Well, there have been quite a few Gilen customs jumping out of my studio lately. I thought it might be a fun post to share my difficulties with the latest. It is one of my favorite molds to paint. It is smooth and everything is well defined. I always find the off-side eye a bit wonky, its not shaped perfectly. To remedy that, I have to look at quite a few references to make sure I'm not painting the eye slanted. It takes a bit of trial-and-error, but eventually it works out.
My most recent Gilen custom is a light buttermilk buckskin pinto. This color was slightly challenging. I usually have a tendency to go darker to add more shading. I wanted this color to be vibrant but pale. The base coat and first layer of shading were airbrushed to give it a very subtle look. It was dark enough, but still had color. I used a very light tan with a lot of white to get the base coat how I wanted it. My main concern was that it would look too white. Thankfully I have worked with my airbrush colors enough to know when they dry, they are usually one shade darker and not as vibrant. I cannot always rely on how it looks in the airbrush cup. It can VERY misleading and result in a color that is far from what I had been hoping for.
The next challenge with this color was adding some real color, such as yellows and red-browns, without making them over powering. I feel I accomplished this by using Earth Pigments and a big fluffy brush. I picked a big fluffy brush for a couple reasons. One, they don't hold much pigment if you tap them out well. Sometimes, it all comes out and you're left with an empty brush! Secondly, it blends the color better, and gives it a softer look. This makes it easier to add a slight area of color without really noticing it. It just blends in with the piece as a whole. Choosing the color to define the muscles was hard. I didn't want this guy to be incredibly yellow, my reference wasn't a banana, canary...you get the point. I chose Cyprus Umber Warm and Natural Sienna mostly due to the red and orange tones. These colors tied the piece together, gave it some interest, and didn't overpower the buttermilk color I was going for.
That was about it for the challenging aspects of this custom. I really like the color overall, it's soft and appealing to me. I know I will be painting this color again!