Next up on painting The Raven Priest is the feathers - and it's my turn. Feathers are obviously quite a feature of this model - and while they can sometimes be quite time consuming to paint, in this case the sculpting is so neat - they're pretty quick and easy.
For this version, we wanted to pick a different colour scheme from the others we had painted - so I decided to go with eagle feathers as the main theme. They give a nice warm feel and really give the miniature a distinctive look. I always think it's best to make life as easy as possible - so I tried to take advantage of the crisp detail to help with the highlighting and shading. I starting with a light base coat and added shading in thin, controlled washes. I only used a limited palette of colour for all the feathers - four main ones in fact. A deep umber brown, a rich mid brown (GW Bestial Brown), a light buff and a parchment off-white. The only other colours I used were a little touch of black, a warm grey and brown ink for deep shading.
Photos 1-8 show the progression of the feathers on the cape. 1 shows the flat buff base coat - this was two thin coats to avoid filling any of the detail. 2 shows the whole area washed down with thinned Bestial Brown mixed with a little matte medium. 3-4 show deeper shading added as the feathers go up the back of the miniature - these are applied as thin washes with matte medium added (the matte medium makes the thinned colour adhere to the surface a little better - so it doesn't all run off the miniature). 3 shows the first level of shading applied from the third row from the base upwards, and on 4 there are three successively deeper shades, each applied to a higher row. Bestial Brown is deepened for the successive shades - first with deep umber, them with brown ink. I didn't blend anything - it's really not necessary as the whole effect will be tied together when the highlights go on.
Photos 5-7 show the highlights being applied. The first level is just with the buff coloured base coat - I decreased the size of the highlights as I went further up the cape. The highlight colour was lightened with off-white and the colour applied to smaller areas each time - picking out only the top edges of the feathers. You can see that by the time the highlights are finished on photo 7 - the fade from light to deep feathers is quite smooth.
At that point I decided it was all looking a little samey - so I added a little interest by painting some of the feathers dark with light tips, and giving others deep bands. I also mixed a deep shade colour and defined the edges of the feathers a little more strongly.
Photos 9-12 show the large feathers on the arms being picked out. I decided to go for something a little more striking here, so painted them white with black tips. The base coat was off-white, washed down with warm grey and then re-highlighted with off-white. The dark tips are umber with just a spot of black added.
13-16 show the 'rough' of feathers covering the right shoulder. I used pretty much exactly the same palette of colours as I used on the cloak - except a little lighter where they would catch the light.
Looking at the whole miniature in the photographs now (there is nothing quite like seeing a mini in photos to highlight the flaws...) - I think I need to do a little more work on the arm feathers, they don't look quite right. At the moment they stand out too much from the other, warmer colours and aren't quite neat enough. I can fix that when the miniature comes back to me after Ali's turn!
Not quite sure what Ali is going to paint next - but I would hazard a guess that it will be some of the fabric areas - like the loin cloth and inside the cloak.
I'll post pictures as soon as I know!