Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I wanted to talk today about a simple technique that can help add some character to your minis. Of course the technique that I'm speaking of is the art of painting gemstones.

The technique I want to share with you is a common one that you can use on almost every miniature. You can see this technique used a lot by Games Workshop and many struggle to replicate it. Have no fear, Festus is here! The technique is very straight forward and the end result is quite striking. The art of painting gems.

So as you can see here I used an example of a red gemstone. I made a cartoon to help get  the technique across better. I started with a black undercoat (As I do with 99% of my models). This will help give depth and distinguish the edges of your gemstone. I start by adding a crescent of Mechrite Red to the right of the gemstone. Allow this to dry. Next add a healthy layer of Blood Red inside the crescent of Mechrite red. Make sure you leave the previous layer showing. After this repeat the process with a 1:1 mix of Blood Red and Skull White using the same pattern as before, only slightly smaller. Finish it up with a small dot of skull white in the top left corner and presto, you have a gem! Now obviously if you want better looking gems you can blend more between the highlighting steps. For example adding a 1:1 mix of Mechrite Red and Blood Red in between the first and second step. This will require a bit more time, but the results are well worth it. 

There you have it! I've been using this technique since I learned how to do it from an old grizzled veteran in 1998. Ever since it's been one of my favorite techniques and I try and use it all the time. This can be a great way to add contrasting color to a model or to help draw the eye to a certain area. Also feel free to experiment with different colors, this will work for any, even in a gray scale. Here you can see a few examples of the technique that I have used on various minis. 

As you can see here I selected many gems to help break up the lava technique I used. The different colors helped to mix this Avatar in with other miniatures from the clients army.

Here I used the technique but modified it to fit a tear drop shape. I used green so it would stand out against the red plate mail of this Blood Dragon.

Here I used the technique on the tanks viewing sensors. Once again it helps to draw the eye to the turret of the model. Also note the technique is being used on a square item.

- So there you have it. The first of many secrets I hope to share with you guys! If there are any techniques you would like me to cover feel free to drop me a line at Until next time, stay classy!

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