It’s come up a couple of times since I started the wolves; how I go about the gold, and it’s not really that difficult at all if you've a basic grasp of layering and of thinning your paint, so I thought I’d run though the recipe and technique here.
A wet palette is very useful, it allows you to set out your colours and then work through the stages without fear of drying. a simple one like this, made in an old plastic box with some greaseproof paper as top layer and two folded sheets of bounty beneath (soaked through) will keep paint liquid for days, even a week, and a few drops of water brings it right back for another week.
The NMM Gold Recipe I’m using at the moment uses six paints, but can be accomplished with less, (Scortched brown, Parasite brown and White), with more manual mixing of steps would work fine.
On the pallete we have from left back to right front:
1) VMC German Camo Black Brown (Scorched brown i think is the GW) / GW Bestial Brown in 1/1
2) VMC German Camo Black Brown (Scorched brown i think is the GW) / GW Bestial Brown in 1/2
3) GW Bestial Brown
4) GW Bestial Brown / VGC Scrofulous brown (GW parasite brown i think) 1/1
5) VGC Scrofulous brown
6) VGC Scrofulous brown / GW Iyanden darksun 1/1
7) GW Iyanden darksun
8) GW Iyanden darksun / VMC Ice Yellow (no idea :) ) 1/1
9) VMC Ice Yellow
10) VMC Ice Yellow / VGC Dead White (it’s just white) 1/1
11) VGC Dead White
I work over a base of pure VMC German camo black brown and paint each layer several times, with thinned paint to achieve a blend over the previous colour.
The thinness of the paint is crucial here, and its something that cant really be told as a hard and fast rule, the reason being that different paints have different properties, especially when it comes to yellows. Anything from 1:1 to 1:4 or higher to achieve the watery (but not too watery) consistency we are aiming for.
I remember starting this type of painting and seeing “Skimmed Milk” all over the internet, it really didn't help me understand, as I’m sure it doesn't many of you, but it’s probably the best descriptor. Runny without being watery, still holding some surface tension and viscosity, leaving fluid colour in it’s brush stroke but without flooding.. there's so many ways to try and describe it, the only true way it to experiment, you’ll know it when you've got it.
Then it’s just a case of taking each, separate surface within the gold material and highlighting it from the darkest to lightest colour.
Something with sculpted contours is probably the easiest to start with, large flat expanses of material will be the most difficult.
Just keep applying the paint, from dark to light in several thing coats per colour, decreasing the area as you go, towards the raised surfaces.
When you hit the last colour, the pure white go back through and pick out some edges, even in the darker reaches and that’s when you'll get the pop. the last highlight, the specular highlight is the one that really brings it all together, and there will be stages in between when it looks like garbage and you want to totally give up, don't, push through, be methodical.
And most importantly, enjoy the process.
I hope this post was useful somehow, thanks for reading :)