Saturday 23 March 2019


I love sculpts by Romain Van den Bogaert. There's something very right about them, and he manages to pack in so many tiny details to appreciate when painting. I probably wouldn't identify them in a line-up, but I've been surprised how many just "appear" in my collection.

This sculpt is, I assume, based on the crazy, wonderful French comic called The Metabarons, written by the quite possibly brilliant or insane (delete as applicable) Alejandro Jodorowsky.

I have not remained faithful to the colours of the comic. Instead, I imagined this was a sci-fi wayfarer, passing through on a long journey. One of a million NPCs you've walked past in games, seen for a half second in movies, or imagined in your head when reading fiction.

There are roughly painted symbols on the head, indicating some sort of mentat or indentured man, but honestly, I don't feel they're very good - so no photo. With hindsight, they wouldn't be here any more - but I wanted to capture the idea of something unusual, not simply relying on the skintone.

The shirt is painted with blues, and glazed with purples to try and create a shimmering effect. Again, driving that unusual theme. The jacket is battered and worn leather, complete with edges rubbed away to almost white to set him back in reality. Add bruising and unnerving eyes, and here we are.

Someone asked me how I achieved this skin effect, so here's a few tweets condensed into something useful ... I hope.

Start with a zenithal prime - so black, then white from above, leaving darkest areas in shadow. Then look up suitable reference material. Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy movies was an inspiration here, but my model is deliberately not a perfect match, she's too shiny.

Apply a heavy glaze - basically, not as transparent as a normal glaze, not as opaque as a basecoat, and see how that sticks to the black and white. Build up a few layers of that. Then pick something that isn't just basecoat + black/white to darken or highlight. So using red as where I want to go, and basically, pulling the blue toward red, through purple. Apply not consistently, as skin isn't consistent.

There we go!