SbS/FM: Waterbuffalo

by Josua Lai

Hello Jungle

As you may noticed I painted a lot of animals in the last time. Today I want to give you a small insight of how the water buffalo project came to life.

I started with a rather simple but still extremely beautiful buffalo figure. After some cleaning and sanding I glued him down to a simple rectangular piece of wood. My vision was to let him be submerged in a river or pond full of lemnoideae or duckweed.

These types of Asian Buffalo's have mostly pretty dark mostly black fur. For me Black is always a challenging colour to paint. Luckily Roman wrote a super helpful article about it in the past: check it out here !!

After thinking about what colours may surround the buffalo and what reflecting properties wet fur has I decided to prime him in a beautiful dark blue/green tone. From there on I started to block in stuff do not forget about the base in this step as it is extremely important to keep track of how you mini looks like on the base itself. in the two pictures below you can clearly see the stage of blocking in colours.

After this first initial step of bringing colour to the whole thing I started concentrating on other areas. I started to add texture and small details like the eyes to bring this calm guy to life. A few hours in started to feel like he is missing something I painted the whole thing in a pretty cold and bright blue while the base still remained in a rather bright warm green. At this point I realised that I need to bring these two together way more. The base and the buffalo need to look as they would be one unit instead of two different things.

In the next picture you can clearly see what different it made to do so. I do not have any pictures of the steps in-between as I was in some sort of colour and painting rush I completely forgot about time and other stuff. I also started to add some green dots in the front part of the base by stippling as this is a pretty time-consuming thing to do on a whole base I knew that I need to have another solution to create the duckweed.

First of all I put down a thin layer of uv curable resin to give the whole water surface some feel of depth. Now the scary part begins I masked the whole buffalo and the part where I did not want a lot of duckweed swimming around, with Incredible Masking Putty.

After masking the buffalo I mixed up my duckweed colour, as I want to sprinkle the colour on it has to be not to thick nor to thin. At this stage it I use to do test runs to get the consistency right. Soon I reached the level of confidence needed to sprinkle on my paint. This was done with an old toothbrush , just as shown in the picture below I kind of flipped the bristles and this resulted in a lot of tiny droplets of paint flying everywhere. Keep in mind to do this on an area away from your other WIP stuff or you will still find tiny splatters of green paint after months.

The area behind the buffalo was actually the most time consuming part. I wanted to create effect of water swirling around behind the buffalo to give the whole scene a feel of movement and dynamic. The process of princeling on the colour is pretty random so I needed to paint in all the small dots by hand. I was able to bring a playful element to the water thru the little swirls behind him. 

The duckweed was a full success so I started to add small details mostly single point of green colour or some reflecting light on the jaw line of the buffalo. Small details like this add another dimension of interest and mostly only can be seen when the viewer takes his time to observe and search for them. A final coat of gauzy agent was applied to give the water and duckweed a nice gloss effect. I also placed some small translucent micro beads around him to simulate some sort of air coming to the surface, and to add another dynamic element.

I also took some High quality images where you can see some of the details I talk about in this article.  

You can find all of them over at Putty & Paint

I hope you liked this small insight of this buffalo project.

See you soon



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