Friday, 3 February 2012

Work in Progress: High Elf Griffon Rider

This is part one of what I suspect will be a rather long series of posts! One of my latest commissions is to paint the High Elf Griffon rider from the Island of Blood box set. Not just paint though, construct a mighty scenic base for this critter and make a nice presentation case. Just for now though, I am working on the griffon itself:

This is one of my favourite models of recent years. I just love the posing and the realistic sculpting of the bird and cat elements of the griffon. At the moment it obviously lacks the wings (in order to make it easier to paint the rider. After cleaning, liquid green stuffing and priming the griffon model I got to work on the cat half.

Getting the tiger element the right colour is interesting. You want it orangey, a rusty brown. Trouble is that orange is not really the right colour! After messing about with a number of different shades I finished up mixing Macharius Solar Orange and Khemri Brown in a roughly 60:40 ratio. This is highlighted by adding increasing amounts of Dheneb Stone. Dheneb Stone is also used to paint the pale underbelly. This helps to link the colours of the underbelly to the top half. The stripes (and the griffon's feathers) are painted in German Cammo Black Brown (or Scorched Brown and Chaos black mix) and were painted from extensive references.

The bird element was so obviously a falcon that I decided to paint it as one of my favourite birds, the peregrine falcon. Again, extensive reference images were used to get the markings just right. German Cammo Black Brown is used to basecoat the dark feathers, Dheneb Stone the light. The dark feathers have the quill texture painted in with black and the light feathers have the same thing done in white. Then the classic peregrine edging to the feathers was added. The dark feathers were edged in a mix of Cammo Black Brown and Dheneb Stone and the Black Brown shade was used on the white.

The skin turned out perfectly. A clean coat of Iyanden Darksun is highlighted with Skull White and shaded with Gryphonne Sepia. That is it. The most perfect colour for bird skin! Claws and beak are painted in black highlighted with the addition of Khemri Brown.

Thats it for today, I will be working on the wings and rider next week.



  1. I second the use of reference when it comes to painting animals. I'm amazed at the little details you pick up from looking at pictures that you can add to your model that make all the difference in the world.
    Nice job so far.

    Ron, From the Warp

  2. looking awesome so far! I can't wait to see him finished.