Jump to content
Disco58

painting large areas to represent worn leather

Recommended Posts

I'm building large figures, this one in particular is a skull with a WWII era US leather flight helmet. It's about the size of a tennis ball, and the detail is pretty good, so it needs to be realistic looking. No matter what I do I can't seem to get the colors right, and I'm not colorblind by any means. Are there any online videos that really show how to do this? The magazine articles I've read presume an existing level of experience and expertise, and I have neither. I've never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, so all the layering back and forth covering up what you just painted then drybrushing it right back on doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Michael! I'm NO figure painter, but I'll try to write something that might help you.....

 

First of all, I really like Model Master enamel "Leather" for painting brown leather items like headrests, etc. I've never used it over such a large area as your flight helmet, but I think it's a very good basic brown leather color. I would advise trying to airbrush it instead of brush painting such a large area.

 

As to realism, that's a matter that we all have wide opinions on...but in general the philosophy is that indented areas with folds and creases will appear darker than the base color of an item,while areas exposed to wear or that are simply large expanses (like the back of the helmet) without much other detail could appear slightly lighter than the base color. I too have a LOT of problems with pre-shading and then covering up what I've done. I use post shading almost exclusively for that reason.

 

What I'd recommend is to paint the overall helmet brown. Next, add a pin-wash of a VERY dark brown (or even black) into the recessed areas. If you can do this precisely (without needing to wipe away excess) all the better. However, standard "wash" techniques will work for this too. Last of all, add a few drops of flat white into the Leather brown and then LIGHTLY drybrush the edges of the items that stand "proud" on the helmet (strap edges, etc). The idea is to give them a finish that is just slightly lighter in color than their adjoining surfaces. Go slowly and check your results frequently until you like what you see. By the way, IF you do go too far, there is one "cover-up" technique you can use: Take some of the original Leather color and LIGHTLY airbrush the entire helmet again. DO NOT attempt to repaint it brown! The light over-coat of the original color will serve to tone down any garish mistakes in your high and low lighting.

 

The last item is that leather usually seems to have a sheen all of its own. Instead of using a flat coat or gloss coat, I suggest you rub your fingers on your forehead and then onto the helmet and use that skin oil as a "sheen" for the leather.

 

I'm sure there are other methods that may be more helpful, but that's the safest way I know that may take you toward what you want. Best of luck!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm building large figures, this one in particular is a skull with a WWII era US leather flight helmet. It's about the size of a tennis ball, and the detail is pretty good, so it needs to be realistic looking.

 

I'm no expert, but there is a fellow in my chapter that does a great job of this and has tried to show me the techniques for painting model car upholstery (he does use artists oil paints - if you're using model-paints or acrylics this might not help...)

 

Best part is he has a number of write-ups and short videos posted on the "planetfigure" and "armorama" websites. Take a look here (I think he mentions the colors he used on the 2nd page of this thread): http://planetfigure.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13410

 

If you do a web search for figure painting articles by "Mongo Mel" (his user-name) you'll likely find other useful stuff.

 

Good luck!

 

Don

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...