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Polda

[Tutorial]Simple crystal effect

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As the title states - this is a tutorial (badly written most likely) on how to make a passable crystal effect. I used this for a Rune Golem to create a Crystal Golem instead the usual rock one. Let's just get to it.
We will be using very simple layering as there are many individual surfaces on the golem.
 

01. Supplies

To start you will need:

- size 2 or smaller brush (I used size 0 for everything) with a sharp tip

- black primer

- black and white acrylic paints

- some medium shade of your chosen color and a vivid highlight color (for the green in the examples below I used GW Warpstone Glow for the medium shade and Moot Green for the highlight) 

- glaze medium

- water

 

02. Preparation 

- prime the miniature black and let it sit for the amount of time recommended on the can

- mix your paints on a (preferably wet) palette - prepare a mix of 2:1 Black and your medium tone for the base color

- stick the primed part with some poster tack onto something you can hold while painting

JDsdRhM.jpg
 

03. Base coat

 - from now on I will be calling out the colors I used

- paint an even base coat of the 1:2 Warpstone Glow and Black mix

sHKKfbf.jpg

 


04. Warpstone Glow layers:

- take your Warpstone Glow, thin it with water and add a drop or two of the Glaze Medium

- start painting somewhere in the top third and paint with short, controlled strokes down to each surface's edge

- you will have to paint the same area several times for the effect to take place

- make sure you paint straight down 

0N2UM6E.jpg



05. Moot Green layers

ZNKdGhl.jpg

- Take your highlight color and go from about 1/2 of the model down

- again use short, controlled strokes and go over the same are as many times as you need to produce the desired effect
mZFutyI.jpg

 

- make the bottom third as bright as it will go

 aim for something like this, the gradients do not have to be perfect as there are so many the viewer will not focus on any single one
vtbGCYi.jpg


- From distance it should look like this:

gh6eEmS.jpg

 

06. Tracing the edges
- take your white paint and thin it, then test it's consistency by painting a thin line on your thumb nail - if it paints a nice, thin line you're good to go

- now you want to hold the model closer to your light, see where the edges are and remember that

- then paint thin lines with the smallest brush you have, in white - I recommend reading this article on edge highlighting http://fromthewarp.blogspot.sk/2011/08/basics-line-highlighting-made-simple.html

Z5yp8rH.jpg


07. Painful repetition
- Now do everything you just did repeatedly all over the model

- Break it down into parts - torso, hands, legs...

- I like to start in the middle and go outwards

dbjxZLH.jpg

8rh2i4Q.jpg

7LWmQ9y.jpg

 

 

08. Reflections

- To finish the effect, you may want to pick a couple of top facing surfaces and paint them in the pure highlight color - no gradients, just a solid Moot Green

z6KXnAx.jpg

 

09. Crush your opponent with your fancy new Crystal Golem

YlDLaMj.jpg

 

Important Points:

Maintain your brush tip - it will be difficult to make the lines without it.

Use a nice, vivid highlight color. - not just, light - properly saturated.
    -For Greens, Citadel Moot Green will work great.
    -For Blues you want something like Vallejo Deep Sky Blue or Citadel Temple Guard Blue. 
    -Red I would go Khorne red for the mid-tone and Citadel Evil Sunz Scarlet or Citadel Wildrider Red for the highlight.

 


Let me know if any of the steps require clarification.

Edited by Polda

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11 hours ago, Darthain said:

Thanks Polda, much appreciated, I make take a stab at this for the wife's requested amethyst golem. 

There you likely want to go with something like GW Naggaroth Night -> GW Xerxeus Purple -> GW Genestealer Purple? If the effect ends up too close to pink, tint the surface with controlled application of thinned down Druiichi Violet wash.

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11 hours ago, Polda said:

There you likely want to go with something like GW Naggaroth Night -> GW Xerxeus Purple -> GW Genestealer Purple? If the effect ends up too close to pink, tint the surface with controlled application of thinned down Druiichi Violet wash.

I paint Vallejo, so something like royal purple, to violet or hexed lichen, to warlord purple (which borders on magenta, yes).  and a black/violet wash more likely.  Depending how thin I make the glazes, can likely skip royal purple, or just use it to make the wash.   I also have a lighter blue violet if I want it to go cooler not warmer. 

Edited by Darthain

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i wasnt planning on doing a "special" golem, just different kinds of stones, but this looks a lot easier (still a pain) than i thought so i might try this.

Come to think of it i should probably redo my obsidian golem since i have a feeling these tricks would make it look better than it is. Also get rid of the purple runes since that didnt work how i wanted :(

Edited by Vineheart01

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2 hours ago, Vineheart01 said:

i wasnt planning on doing a "special" golem, just different kinds of stones, but this looks a lot easier (still a pain) than i thought so i might try this.

Come to think of it i should probably redo my obsidian golem since i have a feeling these tricks would make it look better than it is. Also get rid of the purple runes since that didnt work how i wanted :(

If you go with a shiny effect like this you do not want glowing runes. They will make it uglier, not better. It's two clashing effects when you only need one or the other. 

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On 5/22/2017 at 5:13 AM, Polda said:

There you likely want to go with something like GW Naggaroth Night -> GW Xerxeus Purple -> GW Genestealer Purple? If the effect ends up too close to pink, tint the surface with controlled application of thinned down Druiichi Violet wash.

Turns out I am going to be using 'generstealer purple' (or 'blue violet', very similar, have both).  You win this round (if it works).  Keeping the magenta on the cloth colours (going for an analogous scheme with clothes being 'red' purple and the stone being 'blue' purple.  Wonder how this will turn out...

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Stealing @Polda ideas and running,  done the  glazing stages ( I think, as I want the full panels to be a bit brighter, can always brighten/darken later if not satisfied) . Quick going so far.

 

HpQrABU.jpg

 

I'll take a moment to go a bit more into glazing, if I may digress.  (not saying I'm happy with the above yet, but it needs the rest of the effect to draw it together, then we'll see).

Glaze medium is clear, weird fluid, what it does it is kind of spreads the pigment out (kind of defloculates it), so your paint added to it is more transparent.  The medium you use (I use golem) might be a bit thick, but I also paint on a wet palette.  This means you need to add water (I add less, as the palette gives some).  It can be almost 50/50 with my particular medium to get it moving right.  If you paint either GW or Vallejo, you are going to need a medium to make glazes, and naturally this one does the trick.  Has to do with their pigment types.  I've limited experience, but I hear P3, due to their liquid pigment, become glazes quite readily with only water (or washes, if you go too far). 

What the heck is a glaze?  A glaze covers evenly, and shouldn't pool into the crevices.  If it starts pooling, it is too thin, you've made a wash.  I suppose you can wait a bit, or start over at that point, or add more medium or paint.  whatever works.  It will generally be moderate thin, but it should be controllable, not running wild.  Test the transparency on your palette by dragging the brush along, should provide you with pale colour of your base.  Enough layers will make the base again (magic!). 

Glazes can be a bit tricky, if you are new to them, you may find yourself leaving them in small bunches all over.  Glazes respond a bit better to swipes than strokes.  So you can use that to your advantage.  When you drop glazes you will need to direct them.  Generally a good stroke across your 'start point', then a sweep to 'push' the glaze to the apex you want to work to.  Maybe a few more sweeps and you will effectively create an instant gradient from low (start point) to high (end point).  It will likely look a bit thick at the end point, but as it dries it will regain transparency and thinness, remember we watered this down.  Once you get used to pushing the glazes anywhere you like, you'll find this can be quite easy compared to some other highlighting and blending techniques.

Now dry time, that is going to be a bit more of a factor.  Glaze medium dries slow.  Keep that in your mind, and stay off previous areas when moving around, else you might rub the glaze off with your hand.  Give ample dry time, otherwise you will lift the previous glaze, you really don't want that, it is more difficult to correct due to the rather gradual nature.

The above is merely 2 layers, I made a fairly heavy glaze.  1:1 paint to glaze medium, with water to get it nice and pliable (the water I added, on top of the wet palette was a wet #4 I was using to mix with).  You can take glazing a lot farther, with just a tip of paint into the water diluted medium and gradual build up to where you want to go.  Below another glaze I did (also mixed with iridescent medium), 7 layers later...  Space ships are more my game, I'm new to figures (and am not even a year into space ships).  But I figured I'd share some nice observations about glazes, as once I unlocked their secrets, they are fantastic to work with (all lighting effects on that ship were glazed, I might have some closer of the windows but don't want to hijack this golem thread). 

5lLctcf.jpg

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Figured I'd chime back in with what I did for colours, for future reference (as Polda was so kind as to spur this one and share his colours).  Overall, this scheme is really simple to pull off and have look good.  There are not really any 'advanced' techniques, as long as you are willing to beat the initial hurdle and get used to glazes (which can be intimidating at first, hence my previous diatribe). 

3 - Basecoat - Black + Violet.  I mixed black and violet until the black was showing a 'blueish' hint really, that was it.  I went back and did the runes in black (pure) before I started)

4 - Layer 1 - colour - violet (vallejo model colour) - single layer of glaze.  I mixed 1:1 paint to glaze medium and diluted it as the above, until it was 'right'

5 - Layer 2 - colour - blue violet (VMC, very close to gene stealer purple, I have both, it was a toss up, this one was slightly lighter).  again, one single layer from glaze was enough at 1:1, not precision glazing but per Polda's advice you have so much going on no one will care.  Swipe that glaze!  (steps 4 and 5 are really easy, and fairly quick, naturally step 5/layer 2 is quicker, less area, less thought, you already mapped everything step 1)

6- Lining! (Dead white w/ a tip of blue violet)- this is the hardest part of the whole job mostly as it is painstaking.  I used a lot of side brushing on the places that were oblique enough to do so, but very light pressure is what we want so we get smaller lines.  Naturally I slipped here and there, but such is life and at the end of the day it will come out in the wash.  This step took about as long as layers 1 and 2 together (about 3 hours for me !, 2 sessions).  When you start it will look like crap, don't be discouraged.  Once you start getting past 2 whole arms you will see it coming together. 

7 - don't skip this step and do everything at once like I did, or step 6 might slay you

8 - reflections - I dropped a few, a bit different as I've reposed most of my golems. 

Result - the rock is done, I'm going to wait a bit and varnish the rock up so when I do the rest I'm less worried about how I handle the miniature.  I tend to touch them a lot, particularly larger models, as I go.  This can rub paint off sharp edges of things like star destroyers, I recommend this step. 

dX8t4Yo.jpg

 

Edited by Darthain

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7 minutes ago, Polda said:

That's sweet. I still have to make a second one but am too lazy to start >.<

Yeah I kind of want a blue one, but that guy needs final cloth highlight and gemstones to be finished.  So close.

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Hey guys, just finishing my golem off and just wondering do you a gloss or matt varnish to seal your crystal golems? would the gloss be overkill on the effect already?

 

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12 hours ago, deaddrop said:

Hey guys, just finishing my golem off and just wondering do you a gloss or matt varnish to seal your crystal golems? would the gloss be overkill on the effect already?

 

It's not that it would be overkill, but it would give you reflections that would clash with the highlights you painted by hand. 
 

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