The new photo on the right below shows the latest progress including highlighting completed to the trousers plus the painting of the haversack and sash. I've shaded the brass details but still need to do the highlights to these. Once the trouser highlights are dry I'll be adding the red stripe (or welt) on the outside of each leg and deal with dirt and dust effects to the trousers and jacket, haversack, belts, etc. I've included the last photo from July updates page for ease of progress comparison.
The highlights on the trousers have been painted with oils and the various tones have been mixed from a combination of prussian blue, titanium white and ivory black. In fact, there is very little blue included in each mix and the tones are more of a bluey grey colour. However, the visual effect when applied over the dark blue base colour is pretty much exactly what I was aiming for.
Limiting the amount of prussian blue in the mixes may help when it comes to the shine that can be a curse for oil painters when painting dark blue. There are still a few areas of slight sheen but these will be resolved when the dirt effects are applied or through a matt varnish at the end as needed.
The dark blue base in the photo on the left was mixed from Andrea acrylic colours Prussian Blue and Black. As I've probably mentioned before I always try too keep my mixes as simple as possible, irrespective of the medium I'm using and over the years I've found ways to simplify various mixes that I used to use more colours to create.
I've also included below a photo of the oil highlights palette I used. (Before mixing, the oil colours were left on a piece of card overnight to soak out some of the oil.) Once these highlights were applied I then applied some washes mixed from ivory black and prussian blue to re-emphasise the darkest shadow areas.
It's time to start attaching everything to the figure. Started with the canteen. Next will be the rifle. I'll use a small piece of Duro to fix the rifle to the hand, then once that's dried will add the thumb and fingers.
I've painted the dirt and dust effects on the trousers and jacket. I then painted the shoes so that the dirt on them is consistent with the colouring of dirt on the trousers. The effects on the trousers were painted with oils. As always, I've used various tones as this adds realism and allows me to compensate for the natural shadows and highlights on the trousers. The sheen from the oils will be dealt with by varnishing at the end.
I painted the shoes with Humbrol enamels as I decided this would be far quicker based on their size.
Preparing grass for groundwork
The strands are then cut into uneven lengths and glued onto the groundwork using white glue (PVA). I manipulate the end to be cut before cutting so that the individual strands in that clump will vary in length, since natural grass doesn't all grow to a uniform length. I find this can be a time-consuming process and the grass on this base took around 45 minutes to cut and glue in place.
My method for preparing grass is quite straightforward. First, I take some regular string (the jute variety). I unravel one end an inch or so and tape it to a simple frame. I then unravel the remainder of the piece and tape the other end to the frame. Once attached to the frame I paint the unravelled strands with Humbrol grass green (80) which has been well thinned with white spirit.
After the grass is fixed in place it can look unnatural if all left the one shade of green.
I therefore like to randomly apply some earth tones to give a more natural feel. Smaller clumps of grass than are being walked on would get muddier than longer grass that isn't, so I reflect this when painting those areas..
The Grenadier is finally finished apart from some matt varnishing. Here are a couple of pics but I'll post more from other angles once I've finished the varnishing. I'm going to apply it with an airbrush rather than brushing on as I have always done before but I need to do a decent amount of practice with my new airbrush before doing this. It's been a lot of fun to do this figure but challenging too with making most of the accoutrements from scratch.