What advice can you give me for painting the clothing of a regal Star Wars figure?
Ray Hickman, US
In the Star Wars universe, figures from royalty often wear rich, elegant clothes. They have elements that are both futuristic and bizarre, and have the characteristics of historical clothing.
I take inspiration from Greek and Roman tunics for the skirt, and medieval clothing for the dress. For the headpiece and gold inserts I look to the queens of ancient Egypt. I lay down flat colours with a Hard brush and add basic light and shadows with the same brush. To make the fabric of the skirt look shiny and soft I can either use a Soft brush without any texture, or the Smudge tool.
The skirt creates folds that follow the body shape and the tunic casts its reflected colour on it, so I pick the red colour with the Eyedropper tool, I set my brush’s Opacity to 50 per cent and add some shades of red to the skirt. The tunic and the mantle will remain more rigid and fold only on the waist, shoulder and floor. Finally, I paint gold metal on the headdress, sandals and inserts in the tunic using a Hard brush.
I note where the fabric of the clothing meets the ground: at this point the folds will be essential even if I choose to paint a very stiff-looking fabric. I draw the anatomy of my characters under their clothing. This enables me to adjust the fabric and folds on the body.