Step by Step: Inuit Fisherman

by Massive Voodoo


Last week's tutorial voting is over and ... it was a lil' FAIL!

The giant butt article is already up to the jungle, we did just forgot about it, but thanks to an anonymous comment we are managed to fail even bigger by posting it up again - here you go:
Link to the giant butt!

We are very sorry about this fact, but hey - nobody is losing anything by this situation as you now see this article again and another one :)

As last weeks voting really was a little mess up in between Roman's preparation for his basing class we are now up to count only the votes for the "Inuit" and the "Carry Box" and the winner from last week is "Inuit".

So let's see what Roman has to tell about his work on this bust by Romain van den Bogeart -
Miniatures Unpacked to it? Here you go!

I could do this all day, I could do this all night: Paint and talk about painting. It's in my soul and my heart. Learning always comes slow and a challenge is often welcome. My challenge in this project was definatly the size of this bust and the fish. Honestly I was much looking forward to give this sculpt by Romain my version of colour on it as I do love Romain's sculpts. I touched some sculpts of him in the past and always I had the feeling I could feel the soul he did put in his sculpts. It is always a pleasure to sit down with my muse to paint a sculpt by him as I think or believe that his sculpting and my painting has somehow a connection to eachother.

Big talk here, eh. Well, we are not getting deeper in this little journey of my painting Kong Fu, rather switch over to the step by step article of the "Inuit - Fisherman".

Starting easy with this article. The resin bust was prepared and glued together. Small gaps have been filled too. I closed the sculpt's eyes as the looked pretty strange at arrival, at least from a painter's perspective. Still interested in the quality of the sculpt and what's up with those eyes? Check the Mu!

I like to go easy in my approach into such a big bust. I went with some brown and skin glazes on top of a pure white primer to just have some colour on the model. And had to threw in some reds to the face. Rough and easy. Sketching.

Now these tones needed a stronger covering power as they were just thin glazes so far. Following you can see the colours I used to achieve this. Mainly working in that brown middle puddle of colour for the face and leather. Still sketching.

After this was dry I threw a wash on all the areas I worked on so far. Army Painter's strong tone is my new love when it comes to this. Still sketching, closing the cavities of the leather and face area quick and rough. Eyes were painted black.

Well, first sketches done on the leather and the skin, now I wanted to start the fish. Fun that I was invited to my girlfriend's dad to have some grilled fish on a sunday, just the day before I decided to start with the fish. Visual Inspiration everywhere.

Ok fishy, fishy, here we go. I decided to give it a shiny look and went for a little experiment with one of the Scale75 Metal Alchemy colours. I mixed it in VMC. German Fieldgrey WWII. Painted the whole fishy with it, except the fins and added a little brownish shadow to it. Gentle, but still all is sketching here.

While this was the easy task on that fish my mind was already working further. I was asking my girlfriend's brother and dad as both are really into fishing what sort of fish this might be. No one was really sure so I had to ask back with Romain himself on what sort of fish he was sculpting there.

It turned out to be Dusky Grouper - check Wikipedia here. Now I was collecting inspirational photos to see what was up to be painted there. Using black coloured glazes I started to work on that pattern and also the fins.

The fur on his hood has been painted in some sand tones, including VMC, bleached bone by GW and some London grey mixed in to keep it desaturated for the moment. Sketching. Also used this mix for the bone parts of his jewellry but without the grey in it. Fish eyes sandy yellow basecoat with ... I have no idea which colour that was. Can't tell you the name but I am sure if you look close enough on that photo and search for the same colour in your paint rack without looking on the name, you'll find something really close.

Ok, now I went back again to the Emerald Alchemy Colour. Added some more highlights on the fish's scales to bring out more attention of the fish's volumes. Still sketching, no mistakes can be made here, all areas are in sketching mode.

I did a little too much in my oppinion and went for some strong tone again to apply a wash with. This brings all of the fish together, blends in the recently painted highlights and the pattern.

Next step tp bring all areas up to a same level was taking attention to the leather again. Therefore I used a bright tone and a rough brush to bring on random high contrast leather texture. I also washed the bone jewellry parts with Strong Tone. First highlights on the fish's fins have been done with that greenish highlight tone to the left.

This looks like madness, but when you know were you are heading madness is a positive side effect. I went in for detail scratches now, using a similar bright tone but a more focused brush tip.

Attention to the the scratches in the material and finer texturizing now. More highlights on the fins.

Now the leather got some cure of that madness by using several brownish water thinned glazes on top of it. Including Chocolate Brown by VMC and Strong + Soft Tone washes by Army Painter.

Again I went for the fish's scales with that mix of green and Alchemy colour to set some more scales to focus.

Now I decided to head for the face again. It was also lacking saturation. I used Scale75 Skintone Set for the first time to bring out the prominet face spots on the Inuit's face. Applying my glazes several time to intense them by the number of their applications.

I also used some orange and re-brownish acrylics to be used as glazes on top of the leather parts to bring back saturation here too.

Thanks to Michael from 5th-Dimension I was able to switch the working plinth to a proper plinth, special made for this bust. Thanks, Michael!

While the face was growing in colour power I had my fun with the leather parts by repeating the initial madness of texture and giving it some more glazes of brown, orange, reds and even purple was used here and there.

Pure Ivory was used to clean up the hood fur and bring a light situation on top of the desaturated sketch I have done here in the beginning.

The ropes recieved some highlight colour on top of the darker yellowish brown. Using the application of the brighter tone to place the light situation on top of the darker tone, leaving some spots darker.

As you can see in the upper photo I already started to bring in purple, orange and red glazes to the Inuit's face. Added small details and highlights here and there.

Another long day of painting went by on this bust and I was checking the bust with the camera of my mobile ... well, strange but cool looking photo. I was happy so far but not yet done.

After the photo looked so strange of its colours I decided to take out the big camera and do better photos now to see on the photos were I wanted to improve even more- going on detail hunt - adding my thoughts of plan to improve to the pictures now:

 Overall I was quite happy with the result so far:

Happy with the scales and leather so far, but wanted to bring some more detail on prominent fish scale areas.

Happy with the face, but a little more attention could be done with coloured glazes to make things even more alive. Also some highlights on skin irritations are missing  here. When they are done, I plan to glaze some thin skin tone on top again to blend it all together once more.
I was pretty happy with the rough leather look and the different colours that appeared in it but want to add some well placed edge highlights to the true material damage that can be seen as deeper texture work. For example the cracks here and there are in need of final attention.

The bone jewellry parts need a little more attention and seperation from their sorrounding materials. I will use dark lines to achieve this, sort of dark-lining.

Looking at the fish I wanted to use some gloss varnish on his eyes and on some scale parts, but not all over the place as this would destroy my metal scale look that I have prepared and worked on so far. Happy with the scales but in some areas they are missing highlights in the shadow areas if you get what I mean by looking at the fish's tail in this photo:

So these are the thoughts I made and wanted to put some more time in. After looking at the bust I also decided to add some snow. A cold breeze that brings some snow the fisherman's body while he is walking home with his catch. I even thought about adding an icicle of snot to his nose but thought this might be way too much.

These in between photos helped me to check back what I still wanted to do and I wrote a list of all of them to see them fullfilled.  So I did in three to four more days of 6~8 hours of painting, before I was able to paint the plinth black and call it done:

Following you can see the final version I called finished. Well the changes are really subtile, but still took me about three more days to apply them. Maybe only I see them, can be, might be - but I know they are there and that additional time spent on it made it more special to myself. You can click the photos to see big resolution ones:

If you want to see more photos of the Inuit Fisherman check Putty & Paint!

In hope that you enjoyed this walkthrough article I'll drop out of this write up and make myself ready for your questions if you got some. Let me know your thoughts!

Keep on happy painting!
Best Wishes


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