About this Site

Purpose of this Blog is to become a tool and a place where artist that collect and paint flat figures can find interesting links and news about flats, painting techniques, history and various related articles.English speaking related sites are very few but hopefully this blog will provide the collector and the painter with interesting and valuable information about the Art of the Flat Figure and everything related to it.
During the next days I will post any related info I have collected for a long time about various aspects of Flats. Techniques, photos, links, historic articles, anything that is related. Wherever possible I will including the author of the original article. I apologise if sometimes the author's name is not included. It's not intentional but it is lost through time.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Painting a Flat Cavalry Figure

Artist Unknown
Without coming into too big a theoretical storiy I just decided to show at this page how one of my flats has been painted. I just explain what colour is used and hope that most of that what I was doing will be self-explaining by added pictures.
Picture 1
After priming of flat using HUMBROL mat white *, I started with face and headdress. The face and its natural appearance will always "make or break" a flat or any other miniature. If to choose between frog-eyed guys and "blind" I always choose the last option. So most figures on these pages don´t have any visible eyes painted (though I have produced some frogs before, too). Oil used are of "MUSSINI" brand.
For some reason a face will never get a complete satisfying appearence with first paint. So I added some more light and shades after first paint has been dried completely. I useed 30% Naples yellow deep and 70% English red light for basic fleshtone. Lights beenig added with a mixture of 10% Naples yellow deep and 90% opaque white and a third layer of pure opaque white. Shadow area at face - here coming from busby - has been added with English red deep .
The Busby has been painted with mixture of 40% Vandyke brown and 50% lamp black (being more dark than ebony black) and 10% brownish grey . Lights beenig added consisting of a mixture of 50% brownish grey and 50% opaque white.
* I use the essence only, thinned seperatly with turpentine substitute as HUMBROL´S thinner is less "liquid" than requested.
Picture 2
I added pure lamp black at shadow areas of busby after first paint has dried completely. During drying procedure the white will always getting darker and vice-versa. This effect is very nice where this is requested, but where hard contrasts are required, a second paint (at least) will be necessary.
Here a light brown horse colour was chosen, which consisted of English red deep, yellow raw ochre and a little black. Lights have been made from Naples yellow deep, cadmium orange and yellow raw ochre. Shadows were again executed with Vandyke brown. Moreover I added some pure English red deep to some parts ttrying to achieve a more natural appearance.My blue colour consisted of 80% indigo and 20% Prussian blue.(BTW: I don´t like the pure Prussian blue colour mostly used for blue uniforms being much too colourful and greenish, especcially when high-lightend with white) Light and shades were added using Opaque white and Lamp black added to basic colour.

Picture 3
After drying completely again (!) I added a first layer of grey using Opaque white, Lamp black and a little bit of Prussian blue. Then I executed a "priming" of light carmine at parts of uniform. This is necessary, as this colour mixed from Alizarin madder lake deep, Cadmium red deep and Caput mortuum is still very transparent and wouldn´t show at all without a priming.
Furthermore added a second layer of very thin colour on blue parts of uniform to receive a better contrast. The reason to do this in a second step is the following : When trying to execute at first shading process it is far more complicated to achieve a neat structure of paint.

Picture 4
After drying completely again, I added a second layer of colour to horse for deeper shadows (especcially mane and tail) and better defined lights.Added shadows to blue uniform and worked on contrast with grey (silver) parts.

Picture 5
After dryed completely adding various layers on any part where needed. Only new part to be added was red stripe on shabraque and some light and shade on trowser piping which was executed with Caput mortuuum and Lamp black.
But I have to mention, that my decision to work with many thin layers of colours on a basic paint leads to a "shabby" effect which is requested. I know that on the other hand, that many painters prefer a "clean" appearance of flats. I don´t like this for giving always an artificial attitude. But this being a matter of personal taste.
But I admit there being at least one problem with my method of painting: I never know when being finished with my figure. When looking at them closely, there is always a part where something could be added or improved.
Picture 6

The Complete Figure


Anonymous said...

Very beautiful
good explainatio
It's a great job

Anonymous said...

Hi, is the figure a demi Ronde? nice Painting on the blue.
Regards Gerry Larkin