I'm a fast learner. I'm also a perfectionist. If something doesn't look right, it bothers me and I can't move on until I fix it. A few nights ago I did a study in Gold Non-Metallic Metal. While I've practiced Gold NMM a few times on a lady barbarian and a Minotaur, I've never felt I've quite gotten it right. I've always wanted a subdued, greenish-"muted gold" (in fact, it might even be classified as bronze at this point). In any case, I tried two different approaches recently:
- Start with the darkest color and highlight up from there, using a less-colorful, more realistic color scheme.
- Start with second-brightest highlight and shade down. Use a colorful, fantasy-inspired yellow-orange palette.
After writing about my Miniatures from 2014 and seeing how far I've come in the past year, I wanted to select a mini that I've painted before to see the difference in skill level. I chose one of my favorite Reaper sculpts from Werner Klocke, Bailey Silverbell. I painted her in 2012-- Bailey was the second miniature I ever painted. I love this sculpt and I wanted to try some challenging techniques this time around. Focusing on what I learned from my Gold NMM studies, here's what I came up with after painting the armor sections on each hip:
I even added a small dent in a section of the armor to give it some additional interest. However, after studying the images I posted to Twitter, I realized one side looks much better than the other-- the colorful version like she's wearing a breakfast pancake on her hip and I didn't paint nearly enough contrast to make it look like convincing NMM. I've seen some beautiful colorful NMM before, but after this study, I decided I like the worn, hammered metal armor look. Since I wanted the armor to match the better result, I painted over the "pancake" armor to make it consistent with the other section of armor.
After that, I started painting her knee and shoulder guards using the same approach. While the blending took a considerable amount of time, I'm extremely happy with the results. I've never been happy with NMM like this and I'm so pleased to have results I'm proud of! Her cloak is still only in the base coat phase and I'll still need to paint highlights on her bodice leathers-- she's only 30-40% complete, and it's about time to attach her right arm that holds a dagger. Plenty more to paint on this miniature!