Light and Shadow

Contrast is the best way to make a mini pop. To accomplish this I’ll start by defining my shadows and highlights.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween and a good weekend. In this crazy installment of paint slinging I’ll delve into Zenithal Highlighting.

For this project I want to try new things. I always enjoy learning and trying new things is the fastest way for myself to learn weather certain techniques work or not in the miniature hobby.

I usually do a typical Zenithal Highlight, base coat in black and spray white and/or gray from above. This is a great way to define where the highlights and shadows of a mini should go relative to your source of light.

I want to do the inverse of this for the Erlking. I’m going to spray a darker recess shade color from the bottom up. I could not determine if this technique had a name so I’ll refer to it as a Reverse Zenithal Highlight (RZH).

Before I could do that though, I had to assemble the Erlking temporarily. That way I can RZH while it is in model form instead of guessing. To accomplish this I decided to use sticky-tact. As it holds the part together against the air from the airbrush and it can be removed later when I’m finished.

I then loaded up the airbrush with a mixture of Daler and Rowney ink: One part black to five parts Violet. I then sprayed the mini from below. This technique in theory simulates the way light would act when falling on a model. Ideally everything dark purple would be the shadowy areas of the Earlking and help reinforce a dark imposing atmosphere.

Afterwards, I started priming Harry. I want him to be the complimentary of the Erlking. This ideally will help reinforce that there is conflict between the two with color theory (light vs dark, warm vs cold). I used Vallejo Grey 74.601 but, this felt too bright to me. I wanted a subtle difference not a blaring trumpet. I added a drop of black ink to the primer (Ratio was 1:4) and tried again.

I like this version much more. After the primer dries I’ll do a more traditional Zenithal Highlight on Dresden. I’m thinking an off-yellow color for the highlight, I’ll have to explore that more next time.