1/9 V-Bust – Lt. Col. John Frost cmdr 2nd Parachute Battalion – Arnhem 1944

11th March 2016

Ok, on with the highlighting…

I’m going to carry on using the Andrea flesh paint set for this, for the “1st light” as it’s known I’m going to be adding a bit of Andrea Flesh #3 (1st light) to the base tone (Andrea Flesh #1).

You might hear people talking about 1st lights, 2nd lights, 1st shadows, 2nd shadows. Sometimes even 3rd shadows. What this means is that you start with your base tone – in this case Andrea #1. The base tone is your middle colour, it sits half way between your darkest shadow and your lightest highlight (pretty much). To create shadows you start with your base tone, and add some of the 1st shadow tone to it. This gives you a colour that is slightly darker than your base tone, this can be applied to the areas of shadow and they will end up slightly darker. These shadows are known as the 1st shadows – the 1st ones you apply.

Next you move to the 2nd shadow colour, using this to darken the base tone even more and apply this as the 2nd shadows. In reality you may go through a whole range of shades as you work on the shadows.

The same goes for the highlights (lights). Start with your base tone and add a little 1st light colour. Apply the 1st lights to the areas that would receive the most light. When done move onto the 2nd light colour (the lightest) to add the very lightest highlights.


So for the first lights I will add a small amount of Andrea #3 to the Andrea #1 to get a colour slightly lighter than the base tone and will start blending it onto the areas to receive highlights…



Here’s the result of adding some 1st lights. Doesn’t look very dramatic, but that’s what I’m going for at the moment. 1st lights have been applied to the tops of the eyebrows, temples, tops of cheek bones, top of chin and on the high areas of the ears.



Here’s a side view of the same, you can hopefully see that the face looks more “lit”, the bridge of the nose is quite light as are the cheek bones and chin.



Building up the 1st lights over about 5 or 6 layers…

The trick with getting smooth blends of the lights (and shadows) is to use the correct glaze consistency (and wetness) as described in a previous update, and to use the correct technique of applying the glaze.

What you don’t do is try to paint on the lights, rather you drag the glaze into positon. So for example to get a highlight blending onto the cheek bone, use the side of the brush tip starting in a position away from the cheek bone, and drag the glaze towards where you want the lightest highlight to end up. This way you pile up the glaze so it is thickest where you want it the brightest. When the glaze has been dragged into place, take care to clean the brush in water quickly, dry it on a paper towel and use the clean damp brush to feather out any areas away from the highlight area. You don’t want any tidemarks or lines left by the thinnest part of the glaze.


You can see below that the highlights are starting to build on the nose, laughter lines and chin. It looks as thought the face is getting shiny, it’s not shiny it’s the highlights making the face look lit.



More of the same stage from the side. Hard to see the effect in this shot, but note the creases in the neck, these have had a thin line of highlight painted underneath them to make them pop out a bit and look more 3D.



Onto the 2nd lights…

For this Andrea 2nd light #4 will be added to the base colour #1.



Here’s how it looks on the wet palette.

Andrea #3 1st light on the left, #1 base colour in the middle, #4 2nd light on the right.

Here the paint has been well thinned with water and Lahmian Medium, and I have created a gradient by mixing the various tones into each other on the palette.

To begin the next stage of 2nd lights I will be taking paint from halfway between the base colour and the #4 tone on the right. After I have built up a few layers of 2nd lights I will take the paint from further to the right so that it gets lighter and lighter.



Here we are after adding some 2nd lights, here I’m applying the 2nd lights in a smaller area than the 1st lights to concentrate them a bit.



And the same stage from the side. Here you can see the light on the cheek bone blending in nicely.



That’s it for now with the light and shade, I may tweak it all a bit later on with fresh eyes…

Next I tool some mahogany brown and painted the underside of the top lip and into the mouth. That’s it for the top lip – just needs to look shady.

From this angle you can also see the highlights much better, note that even though the head is tilted back the highlights are still there – they are not caused by reflected light.



Next is the bottom lip. For this a bit of Vallejo dark red mixed with some flesh base tone and a little Vallejo black added to de-saturate the colour. We’re not aiming for luscious lips here 😉



With the bottom lip painted I added some light pink vertical lines to try and give the lip some texture. Not sure about the colour at the mo, will sleep on it and look with fresh eyes tomorrow…



To give you an idea of the lights and shadows so far, here’s a shot with the current state of play superimposed with the bare base coated face. It’s the same side of the face mirror imaged so you can see where the lights and shadows ended up.



Next up is a very (and I mean very) thin rosy coloured glaze over the cheeks and the sides of the hairline. This gives a subtle rosy glow to the cheek area.



Same rosy glow on the other side. This one looks slightly overdone, but it’s easy to tone down with a thin glaze of the flesh base tone.



While I had the red on the palette, I dotted in a bit of dark red into the corner of each eye to represent the tear duct.



And finally for this update, I mixed some of the citadel blue colour that I used on the eyes with the flesh base tone and added a little black to create a very very runny dark blue/grey wash.

This was very thinly washed downwards over the jawline to give a slight 5 o’ clock shadow. Just a slight greyness to the jawline.



Here he is so far, the face is pretty much done, just need to do the hair and hat at which point I will be able to see if the face needs any more tweaking.



Next update: Hair and Hat and onto the torso…

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I write this blog for fun, to share what I've learned, and to share my builds with you. If you like what you see here please leave a comment, and head over to facebook and like my page!

Cheers - Rich

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