Wednesday, October 16, 2013

El Greco Laconian Hoplite - Helmet and Cloth

Progress on the helmet, crest, cloth and hair can be seen in the pictures above and below. I have put together a small step by step series of photos (see below) showing the process over the past few days to get to this point. As for the hair on his head and chest, I basically filled out his beard and hair with a coat of Mars Brown and Burnt Umber. The chest hair was created by repeatedly touching the effected area with a worn W&N "Series 7" 000 brush with thinned Burnt Umber in the hairs.

The first step was to block in the color panels using Mars Yellow, Raw Umber and Mars Black.

These areas of solid color were then stippled and blended with an old soft brush to develop transitions in the tonal values.

Orange reflected color was worked into the wet paint as a "reflected" color tone on the helmet (both sides front and right side back).Additionally, a base wash of Cadmium Red Deep, Mars Black and Orange was applied to the crest.

Mars Yellow and Titanium White were used to begin highlighting and unifying the finish.

Titanium White with a touch of Mars Yellow begins the process of reflective highlighting. The helmet still looks to soft but additional highlighting once the helmet is dry will begin to pull it all together. Cadmium Red Light is used to begin to get the red dyed crest to begin going towards a dyed and faded crest from the period.

The tunic cloth was highlighted with Cadmium Red Deep mixed with Titanium White. At this point the chest hair had not been started.


  1. Jim - what's with the green and Indigo in your flesh mix? Does that render a more "olive" complexion or were you just changing things up a bit?

    1. Good question Jim, green is the natural opposite for red on the colorwheel. This allows for shadow work while the paint is still wet and cools the flesh tones a tad. The Indigo is what I have always used to create "five o'clock" shadows and makes a nice transition to the beard.