WAMP is hosting a Reaper Miniatures Painting Contest. WAMP contests are fiercely competitive, but even if I don’t stand much chance of winning, painting for a contest is motivating. I also had this Reaper figure sitting in my lead pile already, so I didn’t have to spend any money to enter. Finally, I’ve been painting a lot of gaming minatures lately, and I wanted to take a break to do something more serious. So here we go!
For basing, I’m keeping it simple: a round gaming base, green stuff for hard-packed dirt and stones, plus some static grass added when the painting is done.
For my palette, I’ve chosen to use a harmonic range of grays. Jose Parramon describes in his book Color Theory how this is achieved through mixtures of complementary colors. I liked the colors used by Anne Cooper on this miniature, so I will start with indigo and reddish orange, then pair them with their complements (opposites on the color wheel).
You can see in the color strip above how the orange and green blend into a muddy color, as do the indigo and yellow. A variation of indigo or orange will be the dominant (base) color of most painted areas on my mini. Applying the thinned complement of that base in the shadows will create a muddy shade, establishing contrast through color instead of tone. Finally, highlighting with white will desaturate the entire area.
When you look at the completed model, the first impression should be that of gray, but it’s not black and white. Instead, you see a “subtle harmonization that is delicate in color, yet energetic in tone.” (Color Theory by Jose Parramon, pg.100).
It’s a really neat concept that I’ve been wanting to experiment with for a while now, and I think this model is the perfect test subject.