SBS: Garrot

by Roman aka jar

Eyho Jungle!

Let's throw in a quick and inspiring step by step, shall we?

Up there you can see "Garrot" by Karol Rudyk Art, a miniature company from Poland.
Karol pushes his range with many demons and vampires, sorrounded by big dragons. This one I painted for Karol himself on comission and my paintjob is now being used as the box-art in the store. Something that makes me really proud and I want to thank Karol for the oppourtunity.

Karol approached me by saying he wants me to paint a demon to this bust as he thinks I am at my best when I paint demons. He loves all my demonic paintjobs I did so far. That is quite a lot of pressure on me. On one hand I do want to paint more peaceful projects - like sculpts by Lucas Pina - on the other hand I can bring demons to life with color.

Demons I have painted so far, that made Karol say this to me:

Abalam & Mephisto

Succubus, 32 mm, Hasslefree Miniatures

Demon of envy, Demon of Anger, Demon of Hate

Well, demons.
They got their certain aura. They are often evil, scary, horrors and packed with emotions. Of course always depending on the canvas of the sculpt. For the painter it is important to what the sculptor provides. It is a co-relationsship. Unfortanetely, demons are always connect to something evil. In Mythology, history, religion and so on. Not often you find a demon of peace or happiness, right? You may find them marked as Angels or Spirits, some can be evil too, but nothing will be evil like a demon.

What I learned in the past is that I can paint best if I connect with emotions, feelings or inspirationl visions. I do extract my emotions with color choices, color concepts and effects. Now painting a demon is something painful compared to painting up an old wise woman.

A demon is not happy.
While painting a demon I connect to my feelings that are not happy.
Yes, I do have them do. Everyone does. Some hide them away, some headbang them out of their system and some are ignoring them. I am usually pretty good with running from them, but I learned in the past that they catch you. So once in a while it is a good thing to face them and once in a while it something good to paint something beautiful.

I knew that Karol wanted me to paint something evil on this sculpt.
Something that the brain will not understand on the first glance.
Something strong and aggressive, like Abalam. Something roaring to fit the idea of "Garrot".
Something powerful. Yet during these days I was not so powerful due some life inbalance and changes. I was fighting other demons these days.

Step by Step

I did not have much inspiration first as the sculpt itself was confusing me. A bust without eyes, but with painful tension in his mouth and muscles. I primed him black and white and sprayed him in a olive green first. Still no idea how to see this demon.

With some more days under my belt and searching for the right vision for Garrot I decided to see him as a demon that glows from the inside. Like a vessel of pain that burns. You can not feel the heat until you hold your hand over the flame, right?

Many people asked me how I was able to setup my freehand work on his chest. Well, I can not explain this. It is in the vision and the feeling of inner demonic pain I interpreted in his chest. After putting orange on him and dark red from below I started freehanding that burning effect on him with his chest as the main and strongest source. So far in my head.

Above you can see how I started to paint up the later on glowing effect. I painted it on top of the body with pure white and used flouroscent orange on top as a basic sketch. If I want something to glow I have to paint white beneath.

I did not know what to do with his non existing eyes, so I blocked them black.

Slowly I saw a vision.
Everywhere he burns I want dark corners and areas to his demonic flesh and muscles. So the freehand decided for my pattern and color choices. I had to paint this in by using black glazes. It helped me to define the sketch, the idea, the demonic pain.

A basic vision, but the burning parts were rather roughly sketched, but he looks angry and desperate and I was able to feel the demonic road I would take him ...

I checked back with him in this stage between other work in progress projects if he looks demonic and on fire compared to the others ... and yeah, well he does :D

Defining the sketch
By using dark blue and black glazes I did build up a lot of definition to all the surfaces. Small lava-looking like particels that show that his flesh is burning. Some more definition to shoulders and face with very dark areas to focus on the brighter ones.

I started to paint up highlights on the red body parts and focues strongest in the face area to get out his facial expression even without eyes.

I decided to make the front view the strongest. In the back I played with matte dark areas and a lot of gentle texture. I wanted only small parts visible that glow and burn from the inside. As I knew the front side would be very busy with the effect I created a busy/unbusy a contrast here.

Above: From the sideview it showed me that I am on the right path. Not defininig the model by its sculpted volume, but by its demonic elegance and energy.

Still very unsure what to do with the non existing eyes. I took them in while I started to highlight the reds of the face a bit more with skin color in the mix. Undefined, but a direction.

From now on I knew it is mainly clean up and stronger definition of all the little elements ...

It was also refreshing to play with the busts angle on the plinth. A small angle change to the front made him look much more aggressive.

From there on it was exhausting detail work that turned out to be fun. Deepening shadows by glazes, rebuilding texture by gentle highlights and calming down fire areas to the chest's outside while at the same time increasing the glow in the middle of his chest.

I really enjoyed how the face came out like a skull in the end. A mixture between flesh, bones and still a demonic vessel that burns from the inside. I was also finally able to grab the look of the non existing eyes. I created them a litte more fleshy, means thinner from the skin that is on top of them, so the burning demon soul is shining through it. Sounds beautiful :D

Well, what can I say?
This was a try to explain the process behind my painting of this crazy bust. Now what if you want to paint a demon yourself like this? By feeling it? I got no clue, I can only say what will not work:

Following a color recipe and a usual way on how to paint volumes.

It will be a painted bust afterwards, but the demonic aspect might only come out if you are brave enough to move away from paths of security. Try to connect to your colors and their application from an emotional perspective. Use brushstrokes, movement, texture, energy, lose yourself in it and a vision will approach you out of it. Or not. You can also fail big time with this approach. Been there, done that, but without failing you will not continue to learn.

I had to give up many things I knew about the application of paint on miniatures to paint with a more emotional approach. I am happy that I made this decision and I was able to push this bust in the direction I wanted. The hard thing about this path is that the outcome is not predicted. It will be on a path where you follow a structure of a workflow and techniques. It is secure. This was not, but it was fun :)

Keep on happy painting!

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