Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Seraphine snake tutorial

Sorry it's been a while since the last Seraphine painting tutorial - but here's the next part, painting the snake!

It may look quite complex - but when you break it down into individual stages, it's quite a straightforward process. The photos are fairly self-explanatory, but here are some additional notes.

The first step was to paint the entire snake an off-white colour. In this case it was a linen colour from the Foundry range called Moss - it has a nice natural feel, so suits a 'live' subject very well. The snake was then highlighted by adding white to the base colour. Even though a lot of this (nearly all in fact) is going to be covered, it's a good idea to highlight at this stage as it gives some 'shape' that will help you with the rest of the painting. The highlights help to define the upper and lower halves of the snake - thankfully it's very realistically sculpted and that makes the painting a lot easier.

It's really important to find some good reference for things like this - the added realism that copying from a real subject brings can make all the difference. Once Ali had found some reference she was happy with she broke the pattern down into logical steps.

The first picture shows the white highlighted and the pattern painted in black - try and be as neat as you can here, if you aren't happy with the markings at this stage, you can change the shape and neaten them up with the base colour. Once you are satisfied with the layout of the patches, paint inside each one with a camo-green colour. This is applied quite thinned down in two coats, for a slightly blotchy effect which makes it look softer and more natural.

Once you are happy with the patches, paint between the markings with a mix of greeny-brown and white - this is applied very thin as a controlled glaze to tint over the base colour. Leave a little of the base colour showing in a line round some of the markings.

The final stage is to add some pure white highlights to give the skin a natural sheen. These were applied as dots of pure white that were quickly blended in with a damp brush.

Ali has finished painting this version of Seraphine now - and I will be publishing it here in the next few days. In the mean time keep a look out for the next Studio McVey miniature - Vitharr Bearclaw!



1 comment:

Shades said...

Beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your technique and taking the time to provide such great step-by-step photos and descriptions.