+ inload: Practical – painting marble +

+ inload: Practical – painting marble +

+ Following on from the theoretical inload [noospheric link embedded] last week, here's the practical side to painting marble effects on your models. I've opted for a plaque on the side of a Forge World Land Raider, which is large enough to show the effect, while also including some interesting details to show how you can help set off the marble. +

+ Practical +

+ Before you begin, make sure you've got your reference close to hand. This might be an image you've sourced from the noosphere, but I do recommend trying to see some marble in real life before you begin – local official buildings and statues are a good way of finding it. There's nothing quite like seeing your reference first-hand. +

_ 1 With the area cleaned, prepared and undercoated (I used Halford's grey primer), dilute some dark-toned paint to a watery consistency. A good way to test the consistency is to tip your palette up to around forty-five degrees from horiztonal. The pool of prepared paint should begin to drip. 

Paint this over the whole area, keeping your brushstrokes at a consistent angle. The image to the left shows I have worked from top left to bottom right. Allow the paint to dry to being merely damp (not wet), then reload your brush and draw some fine wavering lines that follow roughly the same angle. Vary them a little for interest. 

_ 2 Allow the previous layer to dry, then tint the mix by adding a fair amount of white (or other light colour, if you are painting a differently coloured marble) until you have a very light tint, just off-white. Again, dilute the paint to a watery consistency.

Paint this mix over the area in the same way. You are aiming to glaze over the underlying colour to soften the hard lines. 

Note that you can still see the marks you made in the earlier stage.
 _ 3 Allow the paint in your palette to dry a little, then use the point of your brush to draw in fine wavering lines of the light tint, exactly as you added the dark strokes earlier. 

It's tempting to say that you should reinforce/avoid the dark lines you can see through the glaze; but if you want a realistic effect, you need to avoid the temptation to stylise things. Just work naturally.

Check your reference image throughout. You don't need to reproduce the marks exactly, but it'll help you make sure that the marks you're making here look right.
 _ 4 Change to your lightest tint – pure Vallejo white in this case – and draw in some highlighting lines. Once again, follow the rough direction of the stone (top left to bottom right here). Try to get the lines as fine as you possibly can, and don't be afraid to branch out the lines a little. Again, check your reference if you're unsure.

This essentially finishes painting the marble. It's a relatively simple effect in itself. The important things to remember when painting is translucency – keep your paints thin; especially the initial layers. 
 _ 5 This tank was second-hand, and came with brass detail plaques in place. This gives me an opportunity to show you some additional tricks to set off your marble. 

Generally, you should avoid putting two similar tints next to each other, as they bleed into one another. To avoid that here, I've used a craft knife to carefully scrape away the marble effect paint from the rim of the brass. This reveals a different-toned border which helps set off the neutral white marble against the white paint behind.

_ 6 Your marble can be given additional depth with inks, washes or glazes of dilute colour. While not as effective as building up the colour through transparent glazes, this is a quick way to get coloured marble if you're unconfident about mixing hues. 

Simply build up the marble as above (using hueless greys and white), then glaze the colour over the top. Here I've used Seraphim Sepia to suggest a warm marble which complements the brass rim and sets the area aside from the white on which it sits.

+ The finished article. To finish off, I used Daler Rowney sepia ink to overlay the legion symbol. +


Stygianheart said...

Thank you, that's a great tutorial.

Joe B said...

Nice tutorial, the end result looks really nice.

apologist said...

Thanks – glad you liked it.

apologist said...

Ta very much. There are quite a few marble tutorials floating around the web – many much more accomplished than mine, but I hope this is useful :)

greggles said...

The final painterly effect is very nice. Thanks for the step by step!

apologist said...

My pleasure, and thanks for the comment; always nice to know something's come in handy :)

Drake Poldragon said...

That's awesome. Thanks for sharing, Jo of the Broken Paintbrush put me on to this article and I'm real glad he mentioned it.
I was looking at doing some marble recently and gave up. Back to the work station for me now. :)

One question would be, how would you change the method over a larger area? Paler markings? Thinner lines? Long stripes across the whole distance or shorter lines begining and starting over again? :)

apologist said...

Hi Jamie (and Jo!). Thanks for the comments, and I hope it's proved of some use. :)
For larger areas, I guess it would depend on the type of marble you're painting. You might try looking up 'marble quarry', which gives results like this: http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/x/marble-quarry-17047082.jpg, for some guidance. Generally speaking, I'd tend to go for fewer, longer stripes on large areas. Marble is already a fairly visually complex surface, so you don't want to go over the top. With that in mind, I'd probably aim to allow the stripes to fade in and out.