As stated earlier the feathers on this figure are an interesting challenge to paint as they would have been made from the indiginous birds, many of which are extremely colorful and in some cases iridescent in nature. Throughout this process I will be using oil paints from various manufacturers including the iridescent oils sold as a set on the Daniel Smith Art Supplies site linked on my site. I have used these on a number of figures to achieve effects not possible with standard paints and I highly recommend purchasing a set to play with on silks, feathers and especially fantasy figures.
Over the past few nights I have begun the laborious task of getting the feathers to look the way I want. The photos you see here are only the beginning stages and as such are really the first of three steps that hopefully give me the effect that I am looking for. I am breaking this down to three levels or goals. The first is to achieve the colors desired for the body of the feathers (What you see here). The second goal is to achieve depth through shadow colors and some highlights. The last goal will be to achieve the sparkle of the iridecent feathers and the reflected light one can see from the headress in the movie.
To that end we have the three pictures I have included here. The blue feathers on the body of the headdress appear to be a purple-blue iridescent feather with occasional black tips as seen in the movie and various still photos of the actor. On these I began with a heavy glaze of Rembrandt Ultramarine blue (1), followed by a wash of Dioxazine Purple from Liquitex (2). The red feathers appear to have reddish-brown quality to them so I began with a wash of Liquitex Cadmium Red Extra Deep (1), followed by a glaze of Cadmium Maroon from Holbien (2). The long, tall feathers are started by applying a heavy wash of Prussian Green from Winsor Newton (3).