Sunday, April 26, 2009

Postscript: the animals

After finishing the "people" figures I did the animals--mules and donkeys. The Foreign Legion used quite a few mules in North Africa for carrying supplies, ammunition, mountain guns--even for troops in mule-mounted companies. These are general-purpose mules: and who doesn't need mules?

I painted these in a traditional overall brown color. I first painted the whole animal, base and all, in a very dark brown: Dark Burnt Umber in Folk Art colors or Nubian Flesh in Howard Hues (to my eyes they're identical except for the price.) Then I lighten mule with a mix of Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre and a touch of Alizarin Crimson. It's the same combination as for a bay horse. The mane and tail are almost black with dark gray highlights. The muzzles and maybe the socks are light gray, the eyes are black and the hooves a dark gunmetal gray.

All the leather is, well, leather-colored brown with brass highlights on the buckles. (Hey, those buckles took a long time to model, so you'd better paint them!) Actually, the buckles are easy to paint by dry-brushing them. The wooden boxes are dry-brushed a medium brown, leaving that overall dark brown in the lines between the "planks." Paint the bags a variety of browns and beiges.

The donkeys, below, come in basically two colors. The most common is brown, much like the mules. Occasionally there's a white one--I did that one in light gray because the white mules are never really a pure white. The bags (as I saw them) were a kind of loosely-woven canvas or hemp in one piece that formed two large bags over the donkey's back. These could contain grain or dirt or any number of things that need to be moved. I painted these a light beige color for grain. The donkeys are patient and long-suffering little creatures that plod slowly along, prodded occasionally with the stick of the owner. No bridle or halter is used (or modeled).

1 comment:

  1. Great paint jobs again Al!

    Seriously, you really got the mules and donkeys right. _And_ made it look easy. (sigh) Darn, back to the paints for me! Thanks for another excellent how to. I'll put it to use ~ just like you're earlier posts!

    Yours is much more than just slap some paint on. These really nice figures look really _good_ painted your way!

    ~ TT