Monday, December 19, 2022

TUTORIAL: Painting Fire

More and more often models are coming with "special effects" modeled on them, with the most common of those being fire. Everyone knows what fire looks like, but it can be a bit tricky to paint sometimes. Recently I worked on the Mawpot for my Ogor Mawtribes, and took the opportunity to make a tutorial on how I tackled this hot issue.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the way real fire looks. Often, a cartoon version of it has the yellow at the top of the flames and the red at the bottom, but it's actually the other way around. Fire should go from being almost white at the hottest point of it, to red at the furthest reaches. With that in mind, here's how I painted the fire on my Mawpot.

Step 1.

All of the flames were base coated with Corax White, and then given a solid coat of the Imperial Fist contrast paint. This covers amazingly and also adds a tiny bit of definition right away.

Step 2.

Now we want to start adding the orange of the flames. To do this I made a mix of Contrast Medium and Magamadroth Flame. I think the mix was about 50/50, but you just want it to be thin enough that it still tints it orange, but doesn't leave a harsh line at the edge. We're going to build this up over about 3 layers, focusing more and more towards the tips to get a gradient.

Step 3.

Next I highlighted this with the aptly named Yellow Flame from Two Thin Coats Paints. You can also use Flash Gitz Yellow from GW for a similar color. I picked out the top of each ridge with this.

Step 4.

I then mixed in some white paint and painted a dot at each of the points on the flames and where any ridges intersected.

Step 5.

Next I mixed in a bit more white, thinned it down a ton with water, and basically painted it on as a glaze/wash at the bottom of the flames. Again, we want a gradient like with the orange, but in the opposite directions.

Step 6.

Lastly, I thinned down some more of the Magmadroth Flame and lightly glazed the very tops of each of the flames to tint the highlights towards orange.

That's it, your fire is done! The new contrast paints make painting fire fairly quick and easy now. They're so saturated with color, it's perfect. While my fire is cooking some lovely looking Ogor stew, this can easily be used for torches, magic, or any other fire effect.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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