First of all, after preparing the bust cleaning the casting lines and sanding softly, you have to put on the base spray. I normalLy use Tamiya, either white or grey. On this occasion I have primed it with the white one. (fig. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5).
Then, I spray a first layer of Andrea’s set White base colour with airbrush to the uniform. Then, I apply a first shadow pointing from below with the airbrush to do a first contrast. I continue spraying the first light of the Andrea set from above with the airbrush and another shadow from below. I finish applying a sprinkling of ivory White from above to set the hardest lights. (Fig. 6, 7 and 8).
All this brings me a sketch of contrasts between whites and darks that will help me to continue with the brush.
I start marking the gallons and epaulets with Golden Brown of Vallejo and Arabic Shadow of Scale Colour, for painting it with oil later. (Fig. 9, 10 and 11).
I keep putting on colour bases in general. I mix black and Red Brown colour for the hair. Carmine Red and a pinch of Green for the neck of the blouse and then I begin doing the face.
DEVELOPING THE SKINTONE
For the flesh base colour I mix the second shadow of the Andrea’s flesh set, Ochre Yellow and Vallejo’s White. I try to do a medium tone, not too dark, not too bright. (Fig. 12 and 13).
I begin the lights adding a bit of White to the previous flesh base, strengthening the tone very softly three or four times. (Fig. 12, 13, 14 and 15). Then, I start doing the shadows adding the base shadow colour two or three times, I add a pinch of black at the fourth time. (Fig. 16, 17 and 18).
I start painting the eyes in order to give the face the expression. This is a very delicate part, as the resemblance and the expression of the gaze will depend on it.
I apply a more grey tone to the cornea, shading the upper side and outlining the eyelashes with a dark tone. Then I paint the pupils, first with a dark blue colour, continuing to lighten it adding White until obtaining the right transparency of the eyes. Then, I place a Little point of black on the centre and a smaller white point to represent the reflection of light due to the moisture of the eye. (Fig. 19, 20, 21 and 22).
I carry on adding tonal values to the face, applying purplish ranges of colour, greys and adding more lights and shades. Always using soft acryllic galzes or veils. I become a bit chaotic in this phase, doing a lot of mixtures with the colours on my palette. This is more intuitive and artistic and it is difficult to explain it on paper, but I wish you can understand the basic premise. (Fig. 23, 24 and 25)
I paint the neck with Carmine Red and increasing the light with Vermillion Red and Golden flesh. (Fig. 26 and 27).
PUSHING THE DETAILS
I start painting the alamars putTing on a mixture of umber shadow and Golden Ochre. I add more ochre and a pinch of Napoli Yellow for the lights and more umber shadow for the shades. (Fig. 28, 29, 30 and 31). Finally and with patience, I texturise the Golden thread with tiny shiny points on the crests (Fig. 32, 33 and 34) and finish it applying mild acrylic Golden washes.
The medals haven’t any secret, so I start with them using blue and red, lighting and shading as usual. (Fig. 35, 36, 37 and 38).
Finally, I reinforce lights and shadows on the blouse with oil colours. For the shadows I mix natural shadow and White, and pure White for the last lights, fusing over the acrylic layer using a dry brush. I end painting the buttons with Vallejo’s brass, illuminating it with gold and shading it with umber shadow colour oil paint. I apply lights on the hair with oil, mixing black, umber shadow and White in different ratios in order to giving it a spectrum of luminic values. (Fig. 39, 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44).
At last, the bust is finished.
This description is summarised, giving you the basic technique I use. There is a lot of ‘underground’ work below this that I am not able to explain only in written words. The painting requires high amounts of concentration and know ‘how to’ towards the finish you wish to achieve. That’s why you have to experience a lot and take over control of the most techniques as you can. For this bust you have to use both acrylic and oil, and airbrush too.
I hope it serves you as an orientation and to encourage you to paint more historical miniatures.