Step by Step: Ragnok, Norse Orc Hero, version 1

by Massive Voodoo

Good Monday Morning Jungle Painters, 

time again for a step by step article once again.
The jungle of Massive Voodoo is proud to present to you a step by step of Ragnok, Norse Orc Hero - an insight on Roman's paintjob and mind while painting. This time not version two, but the version one he went colorful crazy with.You can find many step by steps in MV's article section.

And if you missed version two - here you go:

We hope you enjoy and now Roman is taking over ...



like I told you some articles are coming out of the pipeline. I am always looking forward to prepare and write articles like this, but on the other hand it takes time to get all the preps ready. If you are thankful about all these write ups and enjoy the painting knowledge provided, always consider to drop a jungle donation and pay me a coffee or two as he definatly drinks them during these preparations.

I painted this bust twice on comission. Why twice? Well, the initial plan was to paint him once in a "normal", easy readable version. I failed with the first one and went a little crazy with colours, OSL and athmosphere. After I realized that I decided to paint him again as a promotional paintjob should be something more easy to be inspired from and so I painted version two - which you can read about here!

Now we are heading over to the version one.
The one I failed, but not too much, just went a little crazy with colours.

 I now want to take you on a journey to explain what happened here. This article will not tell you any color recipes, nor techniqual ways how to move your brush. I do not want to teach you painters out there how you can copy and paste my style. I want to inspire you to make your own thoughts and go ahead on your own journeys.


Likewise the second version, I primed the first version also in black and white. 

I did not know yet that I would go crazy with colors, so I started to apply my basic tones for the leather, hair, fur and skin. Still looked very promising on my way to an easily readable and understandable promo-paintjob.

Well, then colors took over.
Somehow inspiration struck me and I decided to have another light source in the model. Not only zenithal light from the top also a warm fire tone coming into the bust from its lower right. Why? I can not explain. Maybe it is my imagination while painting:

Orc, Norse, Viking ... leads my thoughts to a burning village on a shore, villagers being hunted, gold is being collected, beer and wine is getting drunk, prisoners are being made and those who tried to fight back are no longer alive. He - the leader of the raiding party watches the carnage he has brought and is ... well, satisfied. 

I roughly sketched this into the bust.

One side stayed cold ...

The other side recieved the warm touch by throwing reds into it ...

A strong leader, needs strong eyes not mess with this guy! You can see the reds playing into his face too. All coming from the busts lower right.

The rough sketch on the warm side ... Pow! Pow! Place it where you want it!

The cold side, barely touched by the reds ...

Think about and imagine your additional light source. Like an Object Source Light, only in this case we do not have an actual object in the model itself. Need more OSL inspiration? Check this!

After my first rough sketch of this was done I started to clean up a little bit, first mainly in the face. Make transitions smoother here and there by painting more and more layers of color on it. A transition is not smooth because a too bright tone is close to a too dark one. Or a too different color is close to one that is not in the same colour family. What we need is the tone in between to smoothen this up. You want an example on this?

There you go:

I hope this is easy to follow. Is it? 
The way you work that on your model is yours to go. You can go slowly by applying tone after tone with small steps in between or like I did here, go in with a rough sketch and smooth afterwards.

I personally would say: If you are a beginner I recommend painting slowly each step by each step with no rough changes in your mixtones. Go slowly and you will have a better blending. The other way around - cleaning up later - is a little more difficult and annyoing if your eyes are not trained for it. Your eyes have to be trained to find out which tone is needed here to smooth this area. By painting a lot you will quickly collect a lot of experience in this.

Well, back to the Ragnok. I did smooth some parts already in his face. In the blueish skin between darker and brigher blues and in the blueish face, where blue was hit by reds. Smoothie!

After this I increased the contrast in the skin, by adding deeper shadows and stonger highlights. Once in a while I had to smoothen some areas, but that is just the normal procedure.

I decided to start working on the leather and clothing parts too and added a little gentle shadow and highlight all over. The hair recieved some highlights, but let me talk about these later. I painted the tattoos on both sides. Can you see how warm the one side is compared to the other one?

I took some time to work on the hair. From the rough sketch they still looked very undefined. I changed that by working color hair by hair. I also took some red again to place them where I lost them on the clothes.

For the hair you can see my color chart in the next picture. The upper color line was for the hair that is not touched by the fire osl. The lower chart was used for the hair that is influanced by the warm osl.

On to the next step. Increasing the firey athmosphere. Increasing the power of the light source. For this I used strong and powerful orange and placed it on some edge highlights (but from below, from the direction of the warm light source). I allowed myself to even place just dotes or lines here and there where needed.

In summary you can say I painted a cold zenithal light hitting the model from the top and a warm light hitting the model from the lower right. Explained here:

On the cold side of the bust I mainly worked with cold highlights on all materials. Makes sense if I want to keep it cold, eh?

What helps me to understand the whole light situation is to close my eyes. Not completly, but a little bit so that I can see the model a little more blurry. Does this work? Is it intense enough?

 Well, closing the eyes a bit more and making it even more blurry I'd say yes.

In fact I can not tell you why I painted this guy like I did. I was in painting mode, not thinking-too-much-mode. I definatly went far away from my initial plan to paint him simple. That is why I painted a second version. That is why I wanted to write the second versions' article first.

I am always on a journey, when it comes to color and painting. My technique is never complete, my color choices are not my everlasting style. I am who I am and I do walk further, never stop, things change and progress, things fail and progress, always on a journey. Let go from old habits, find new ones. That is what I have learned from painting this one up. I am painting several of such projects these days and some of them really do not have a perfect concept from the start, but they evolve through the painting work. Color guides me through. Sometimes. And sometimes I struggle to find my way. Normal on a my journey as a painter.

In the end I enjoyed both versions and like them a lot. Both cool, but different.
I hope you enjoyed this insight into the progress of this bust too. Let me know via comment about your thoughts, ideas, thoughts and questions.

Here is the final version:

Funny thing to the end of this article: Both versions beside eachother, same bust, but totally different looks, but yeah both orcish vikings which is pretty cool badass.

Both busts are on sale - if interested check back with Massive Voodoo's for sale offers here:


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