Thursday, 12 January 2012

Harlequins dance in

Finally, we have a post that includes painted Harlequins! Hurrah!

I won't lie, this commission has been something of a trial so far. I don't have much experiance painting bright, bold colours despite all my time in the hobby. As anyone who reads this blog knows I am a fan of the grunge so I have had to re-teach myself to paint for these guys! Add to that the wrist-crippling in the middle of it and it has taken far, far too long as a result! Now to business, the interesting bits of painting: All of the bright colours have to be applied over a white undercoat otherwise they lack intensity. Given that harlequins have a whole "riot of colours" thing going on you have to choose a couple of features that will bind them as a group. In this case I chose the masks and the wraithbone. Lets take a squint at the masks first.

I wanted to create a mirrored effect on the masks as the old fluff for the harlequins had their masks mirroring your worst fears. In this case the masks are basecoated in mithril silver. I then created a horizon line reflection with glazes of inks (green, brown and blue) to make it seem as though the mask reflects the surroundings. Rehighlighting the mask with mithril tones down the glazes and a layer of gloss varnish finishes the mirror finish. Seems to work well enough.

The models are a mix of the new and the old, all of them treated the same way to try to bind the models together. Instead of the incredibly laborious lozenge patterns that harlequins are usually painted in I decided to go with a more Cirque du Soleil look. Bold patterns across the bodysuits. To balance this I chose a very neutral leather and wraithbone contrast. Lets have a closer look at the wraithbone:

Wraithbone is a living psycho-plastic so needs to be bone, but not bone. My method starts with a clean basecoat of Dheneb Stone, I then use Ogryn Flesh wash to warm the colour and shade it, that gives it a disturbing fleshy quality. I then highlight first with Dheneb Stone and then with increasing amounts of white added to increase the highlights. Dheneb is a very dead colour and creates the look of artificial bone nicely.

This trio of bad-asses are the Death Jesters. I painted all at the same time to make them as identical as possible. The black was achieved through layer upon layer of badab black over a dark bone colour to create a smoothly toned and unusual shade. The rest of it was just the wraithbone and purple as contrast.

The last model (in this batch, there's about three more batches this size) is the old solitare model. Using black for the undersuits creates contrast for the bold colour without introducing yet another shade. The odd weapon in his hand seems to be a crystalline gun grown from wraithbone handle. I made the colour transition from the wraithbone into a blue crystal. I used mithril as the base shade again before glazing in layers of blue and adding white catchlights and gloss varnish.

Thats all for today folks, more soon!



  1. Wow! I love how the mirrored effect turned out - that's really well done! Definitely digging the old school harlequins as well. Keep up the great work!

  2. I have to agree with Mordian... particularly on the newer model up there the mirror effect looks really good! I've got a whole tray of the old harlequins in a box somewhere and I look forward to seeing more of what you do to help fill me with inspiration!!

  3. I agree with Mordian7th - the mirrored effect is nice. I also really, really dig the crystal method you used in the last pic. I've almost never seen believable crystal effects on a model.