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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Verdigris this!

Last month, my friend Chris asked if I'd paint a pewter statuette for his wife, Nancy. Nancy’s father served as a Marine in WW II and she inherited his Iwo Jima statuette. My friend wrote "the monochromeness of the piece made it look like a jumble. In person, the size of the Arlington piece and the dynamism of the poses makes it awe inspiring. For our little piece, I think color would make the marines stand out more and give the whole piece more definition. In my mind's eye, it would be really nice."

I agreed to paint it if I could do it gratis for two dear friends.  I'm honored that they'd trust me with this, honored and a bit nervous. Worse comes to worse, Pine Sol has my back, right? So, here's my Work in Progress.  The piece is fairly large; 5" tall, 5" wide and 8" long.  I suggested the piece could be reworked in verdigris. Nancy and Chris agreed to give it a go.
Prime black.  So far, so good!
Blocking a mix of bronze & brown for a weathered base.
Two heavy washes with GW Agrath Earthshade.  This turns out to be a bit of a misstep.  
I was tempted to stop here because the piece was looking quite nice! But that's not what I offered or what my friends agreed to.  Time to buckle up and move to the verdigris.
I used my brightest Vallejo blue and green, very watered down. The names on the jars are worn off but they're Game Color and quite bright.  I started with a 3-1 ratio of blue to green for the first wash and then in successive washes, I moved to 3-1 ratio of green to blue.  There is lots of flat space on these figures and the washes took me only so far.  For the last coat, I painting vertical highlights onto the figures, trying to mimic the weeping effect of verdigris. I did also try to mix in dark streaks but that didn't work in this scale.  It was looking pretty bright so I flattened it out with a watered Agrath Earthshade wash.     

Then on to the base.  I may need a wash to flatten it out as well.  
The final trick is the flag, and it's freaking huge. I'm thinking verdigris but that's not my call. The Arlington memorial is topped with a real flag and Nancy was thinking color at the start of this project. I'll confirm which way they want to take this-red, white and blue, or verdigris.   

This piece has been a riddle and a challenge. It's not like anything I've painted before but then again, it's good to get out of my comfort zone  I've really enjoyed seeing the piece evolve.  Here's hoping I get it across the finish line in good order!

28 comments:

  1. Monty, that is really a cool piece and a nice story. I really like the look of the washed bronze in the step before application of the blue/green. Finished it off with a colorized flag and the piece will be striking.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan and I'll be doing a color flag after all! I stripped the oak pedestal and put a black stain down. The first coat turned out too light. If a second coat doesn't make it dark enough, I'll spray it a satin black. I hate to hide the wood grain entirely but I don't want it distracting from the piece.

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  2. Cool project. A little different to usual wargaming stuff. I like it.
    cheers

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    1. It has me ready to run back to the Dark Ages!

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  3. That's an amazing transformation, Monty. I kind of like look in the 3rd & 4th pictures - before the patina. Still looks great in any case. What a tribute too. Best, Dean

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    1. Good point Dean, and I can always go back there with a little work. The wash on the bronze base was a wasted step as it turns out as all the washes, light and dark, all settle in the same place.

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    2. Oops, re-looking the pic order, I meant the 4th and 5th pics - I'm sure you knew what I meant though. The ones with the finished bronze looks. Best, Dean

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  4. A VERY interesting project Monty, original and not so easy...good job!
    Cheers,
    Phil.

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  5. Fortunes favours the brave! What a result Monty.

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    1. Brave one day, less so the next. It's ok because there's nothing that a painter can't alter, amend or strip. ;-)

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  6. Once again, Monty, you pull another surprise out of the hat! SAGA Jomsvikings, Gunslingers, Galatians, and now commemorative statuary?

    This is a lovely piece, and will no doubt delight your friends. So much better than the raw pewter too!

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    1. Thanks, I just have to pull it all together at the finish line.

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  7. Now that is something special! Looking forward to seeing it complete...

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  8. It's looking pretty good, Monty. If you're looking for ideas, or for future reference, I think Privateer Press have done a couple of good tutorials on this effect.

    FMB

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    1. Thanks Marcus, that is a good one, but I deviated from it. To dry brush bronze back on would mean the highlights would be bronze and the verdigris is settled in the low spots. I have a picture of a verdigris angel that I was shooting for. It had gone all shades of green and some black streaks. I may test a lightest dry brush and see what it looks like.

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    2. Drybrushing with bronze doesn't work at this late point but drybrushing with shades of verdigris does. All in!

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  9. That is turning out beautifully Monty, lovely job!

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  10. That's some awesome work! I'd be lucky if I was your friend.

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    1. Thanks Moiterei, I'd be lucky if I could play WW II skirmish with your minis! ;-0

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  11. Very cool and unusual project. Nice one Monty!

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    1. Thanks Jonas! I'm thinking this won't be a regular feature but it's a nice changeup.

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