I had never done a build-up in gray scale but was up for the challenge when given the opportunity. The kit was painted using the new line of gray scales developed by Garage Kits.US. The warm and cold sets are all semi-transparent and consist of seven values of gray plus Pure White making gradual transitions easy to achieve. The warm set was applied to the skin, skulls, and lower base trim. Cool was used on the hair and most of the base.
The distribution of values and effects of light are the primary concerns since color has been eliminated. Paint was sprayed in a manner that attempted to replicate the way light strikes the form. The darkest value was applied to the recesses and sprayed from beneath to establish shadow. Successive lighter values were then applied from a slightly higher angle. The lightest value was applied from above, striking the sculpt the same way light does to represent highlights (1). The numbers on the diagram correspond to the numbers of the gray scale and indicate the direction they were primarily sprayed (but not exclusively). It is important to remember that semi-transparent paints gradually build to an opaque. Paints are lightly layered allowing the previous shade to show through and affect the next one.
Krylon Flat Black was used as an overall primer. Gray Primer was sprayed over the flesh areas from the #3 position (2).
Warm Gray (WG) 7 was sprayed from beneath the face to the jaw line, mouth, nose, eyes and forehead, along the hairline and neck tendons (3).
WG6 was misted overall using a tight circular motion starting in the #6 position then moving up over the entire face except for the deepest recesses (4).
WG5 was applied a little higher, misting overall, again avoiding the deepest recesses (5).
Each lighter value was applied covering less of the overall surface. The higher the angle of spraying, the more concentrated the area of application. Occasionally lighter values were misted to the underside to maintain an appropriate relationship in value.WG4 (6).
WG3 began to focus on forehead, cheekbones, nose, outer corners of mouth, collar bone, and chest (7).
Continued light applications were used to gradually build lighter value and form with WG2 (8).
WG1 to highlight (9).
Final spot highlighting with light application of Semi-transparent (ST) Pure White (10)
Black watercolor (WC) was brushed by hand along the edges of the hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, and lips. Cold Gray (CG) 7 was then used to thicken hair edging. Watercolor was used because mistakes could easily be wiped and repaired (11).
Eyebrows were masked with Silly Putty, filled with CG7 then highlighted with CG6. Watercolors were also used on the teeth then they were masked with Silly Putty. The lips were based with WG7, lightened with WG6, then highlighted with WG5. Eyelashes were brushed with WG7. The sclera was brush painted with a base of WG3 then highlighted with WG2 (12).
Eye detailing was done with watercolor. Irises were first sized and positioned with black. Two shades of gray were added to fill the iris color. Dark and light striations were added, the sclera was highlighted, and edges of eyelids were lined with a medium gray. Finally pupils and beauty mark were dotted with black. Dullcote was used to seal between steps (13)
The hair was based with CG7 and then a mix of CG7 and CG6 was sprayed to highlight. Transparent (T) Jet Black was misted over all to soften and blend. A black WC wash was used at the top to add contrast to hair flow lines (14). A watercolor highlight was brushed to the edge of the upper lip and philtrum after the photo was taken.
CG7 was used over the upper and lower decorative trim of the base. CG7 and CG6 mix was applied over the web designs and cushions, then misted with T Jet Black to tone down, A little CG6 was used to highlight the mid section (15).
Each different sections of the base was masked with Silly Putty and plastic wrap to prepare for painting (16,17,18,19).
WG7 was sprayed over the lower trim (16). A WG7/WG6 mix was applied on the center motif and above the leg. WG5 was applied from above to highlight the center.
The curved designs above the skulls (17) were airbrushed CG5 and highlighted CG4.
The top design element (18) was done with CG6 and highlighted with CG5.
The skulls (19) were based with WG5, filled with WG3, followed by a light application of WG1. ST Pure White was used to highlight.
The medallion borders were hand brushed with CG4. The oval centers were edged with black WC. Black pastel was used to darken the curved ridges above the skulls. CG7 was brushed into the recessed web lines (20).
The oval centers were masked then sprayed with CG7. CG6 was applied through a stencil to create the texture (21).
CG5 was added the same way to highlight (22).
Cushion buttons were brushed CG7 then gloss coated along with the legs and medallions. Skull eye, nose, and jaw sockets were darkened with black pastel. Teeth were highlighted with Pure White. Tops of the center motifs around the bottom trim were highlighted with a CG5/CG4 mix (23).
The hand was done the same as the face. Fingernails edged with watercolor then sprayed with WG7 and WG6. Some gray pastel work around knuckles(24).