Run, little Orcses, run.
I’m proud to announce that I have found the paper/paint combo that I will stick with to the end of days. Doc Martin’s liquid watercolours – no surprises there – and Canson Montval. The Canson students’ paper is good, but tends to cake up under too many layers of paint, and dries too fast. Enter Canson Montval. Handles like my beloved Hahnemühle BUT allows you to go really dark in the shadows without caking up. Auta i lómë!
I documented the painting steps for this one, and instead of giving them all chronologically, I put them together sorted by face/hair/metal, which made a lot more sense here.
Colours used: Permanent Red; Indian Red; Alizarin Crimson; Yellow Ochre; Cobalt Blue; Payne’s Grey; Burnt Umber; Burnt Sienna. All very much mixed beyond recognition.
The colour used for the face here was dulled rather a lot by some Payne’s Grey. It’s hardly noticeable here, and that is good – if I hadn’t done it, he would have stood out against the dull greys everywhere. The shadows have got great amounts of Alizarin Crimson and blue tones.
The hair was done in my usual way: Laying down a base glaze of reddish paint (again with rather a lot of cold blues added), with more water used in spots where the light hits. Then, after drying, the second glaze, picking out the darker strands.
For the armour texture and reflections, I got one of my dearest reference books off my shelf: “Söldnerleben im Mittelalter” (The Medieval Soldier), by Gerry Embleton and – John Howe. With John Howe actually posing in fifteenth century armour.
The key to doing believable metal in any medium is a mix of sharp edges and high contrast. I can’t say I’m that good at it, but I do my best.
Edit: Several people pointed out that the red of his tabard should reflect on the armour; so I added a bit of that in the finished version. You’re right, of course.
Some detail shots: