BATTLE- READY WARRIOR
Learn how Michael C Hayes uses oils to paint a determined-looking knight in battle
There’s something about painting armour in traditional media that’s always appealed to me. It’s the paradox of having both very little room for error lest the illusion be broken, and having so much room to play with value and colour within those constraints. It’s no surprise that this technically challenging subject has dominated the many covers, gaming cards and personal oil paintings that I’ve created over the years.
There are many schools of thought on how one should apply paint to a surface, ranging from the extravagant, seven-layer paintings of the Flemish masters to strict, single-layer, wet-into-wet purists. While not as rigid as the aforementioned Flemish, I’m probably one of the more methodical painters working in illustration today. I work in multiple layers and follow a step-by-step process that helps ensure consistent results (a must for working in the freelance market). Although some of the steps might seem like a waste of time, I feel that they reduce errors and help illuminate the path ahead. Thus, they actually save time.
In this workshop, I’ll be assuming you have a decent grasp of the basic principles of draftsmanship, because the concepts I cover are a bit more intermediate to advanced. Although I’ll be getting into the key aspects of working with oil paints, much of what I’ve to say about colour, value and edge will translate into the digital medium.
Creating this image wasn’t a straightforward task. Rather, it was a process of discovery with many turns. This is to say, mistakes were made and corrections and changes needed to happen. So, in addition to my thoughts and advice on the subject matter at hand, I’ll also be sharing some of my strategies for correcting mistakes without the aid of the Undo command.
I’ll be skipping many of the preliminary stages of image creation process that readers will be well aware of, such as thumbnails and colour studies. Instead, I’ll dive into placing layers of paint on top of each other and brush strokes next to each other as part of that seemingly magical process of transforming millions of microscopic pigments suspended in oil into an illusion of reality.