I have been busy prepping two busts that I will soon be painting for a friend in Germany but I need to keep the hand in the brushes as well, in order to keep working my techniques. With that in mind I have been working on the tunic and trousers of this little 54mm figure from Soldiers. As the figure will be wearing a cloak that will be reddish in tone I wanted to go for a red tunic that would be totally different in tonal value while still holding the coloration that I would expect in a fabric from the time period. I decided to go dark, with my plans being that the cloak will be lighter (faded). I also wanted off-white, greenish umber tones in the trousers. I'm pretty happy with my progress to this point.
For the tunic I started with a mix of Cadmium Red Deep and Mars Black. This was applied overall and allowed to dry overnight. The next step was to apply Cadmium Red Deep to the mid tone areas and blend outward with a soft brush. This thins out the paint to act as a "filter" for the undercoat and gives the deep red tone that I desired. This dried overnight and a second highlight tone was applied to the brightest points, using Cadmium Red Deep and a touch of Titanium White. An even lighter mixture was used to touch the lighter worn edges of the sleeves and lower hem line.
The back side of the tunic is the darkest and has stronger contrasts because it will be mostly hidden by the hanging cloak. What will be seen should stand out a bit due to the greater contrast.
The trousers were first painted with a mixture of Raw Umber and Titanium White. This was highlighted initially with straight Titanium White blended wet on wet to give mid tone highlights and shadows. Once dry, a thinned coat of Greenish Umber was applied overall and brushed out to tint the cloth a greenish hue. Once dry I began to bring out the highlights with repeated applications of White mixed with a tiny bit of Greenish Umber. Each application had more and more white added to further pop the highlights, never using pure white.
I know how dark everything looks in the photos. This is enhanced by the areas still primed white and will die down as more of the figure is covered in paint. Dark is the goal, but being this dark is simply a trick of the eye/camera from the contrast with the white. Stay tuned.