So on we go to the next project. These two figures have sat on the shelf for the past six years in primer and now it's time to get started. I wanted to put these two gladiators together as I felt the poses could play well off of each other. The idea was to get some contrast in colors through flesh tones and fabric. You will hopefully note as this progresses a contrast between cool and warm tones, aggressor vs. defender.
First Let's start with the flesh. I paint with oils pretty much exclusively. I mix basic caucasian flesh using Burnt Sienna mixed with a touch of Cad. Red Light and Cad. Yellow Medium (4+1+1 approx. mix) with a slight hint of Yellow Ochre to dull the tone ever so slightly. The fact that no two mixes are exactly the same allows for a variety of flesh tones. I wanted a warm, rich sunbronzed flesh color for the figure with the helmet. For the Retarius I needed a cooler northern Celtic appearance so I added Tit. White to the same flesh mix. These base mixes are applied like a stain to the white basecoats and initial highlighting is done wet-on-wet by adding a mix of Tit. White and Cad. Yellow Medium to the larger highlights and slowly refining those highlights with more white being added to the brighter highlight spots. With oils this can be tricky as a little paint goes a long way. You can only carry this so far until any further work is wasted effort and potentially harmful to the desired effect. The work at this point is allowed to dry completely before going forward. In the next steps we will refine highlights and shadows and begin to paintclothing and armor.