To maintain my brushes, I clean them with liquid oil-based soap, then leave the soap on and shape them to a clean point or edge.
11 Shape and edge refinement
Next I adjust the shapes and blend where necessary. With the armour I push what I see towards harder, geometric brush strokes along the edges of the overlapping plates. I also want to create more fluid, liquid reflections and highlights inside the forms.
12 Punching up the highlights
In real life, metallic surfaces have a very bright, blinding highlight. To achieve the illusion of this effect, a little artistic license is required. Adding notes of pure colour next to a white highlight will make it appear even brighter.
13 Reflected light within the shadows
To even further this effect, I inject pure notes of colour into the shadows near a highlight. In certain areas I use cadmium orange and yellow then blend out into raw sienna, burnt umber and then finally full black.
14 Rinse and repeat
If painting is a visual language, and my style a dialect, then I see every image as a sub-dialect, with its own rules in grammar and form that I’ve learned along the way and can use to tell the rest of the story with ease.
Once the above layer has dried, the final step is to go back with one final layer or two of extremely thin, transparent paint to subtly adjust colours and values. In this case I need to warm up the armour slightly.