Rocco by David Arroba



Rocco in all his glory

Hello, my name is David Arroba and I am passionate about painting figures. I am from Spain and I am 22 years old. My friend Jason Martin has asked me to write this article which is a great thrill for me. First I would like to talk about the creation process of my latest composition “Rocco” from Figone.

This work was made for the “VI Modelism Contest, Leganes”, which took place in Madrid in March this year. This contest, celebrated in Madrid, gathers a lot of modelling fans. Moreover we found many products in the commercial fair, trademark figures and equipment for figure and model painting. The Leganes contest had a large attendance, being celebrated in this awesome city and there are many works of very high quality.



Saturation and contrast

When I first planned this composition of Rocco, it was clear for me that I wanted to make a completely different version to those previously painted. The main idea focused on giving all the attention to the colours used and also I wanted to place the figure in a relatively small base, leaving some parts out of it. I tried to transmit with this, the idea that Rocco and his terrifying lizard may fall from the sky at any time, intensifying the tension displayed by the figure itself, trying to remain upon the boulder.

To create a balanced and harmonious ambience that I wish to place the figure, we needed to integrate all of the pieces of the figure. For this, I added a series of tones across all elements of the figure. For example, if you see the last picture, with Rocco himself you will appreciate that the skin has ochre and yellow tones on the light zones; I did do this to create warm light, ambience and balance between Rocco and his mount.

I have used a hard and intense colour scheme for the land with many red tones, this helped me further to create the correct ambience. For this I used acrylic painting and pigment, these produce very powerful  colours and help us to get intensity and saturation.



Orange and violet tones contrasts nicely to the yellow skin

First thing I ask myself when I start painting a new figure is the environment where I want to place it; this is really important, since a figure will not look the same in a snowy environment say compared to a desert terrain. My main idea for this painting was placing Rocco in a very warm atmosphere, using a strong and bright yellowish light. For my style of painting, I prefer to use very strong colours. So I am going to create great contrast using saturation and complementary colours.

The beast


Building the strong illumination

I start working the figure by painting Rocco’s mount; this is a large lizard with smooth skin. The lizard’s muscles must show a lot of stress trying to stay up on the rock, so I look for a skin that strongly reflects the light and to get to transmit the effect of a real reptile skin. For the outline I want to create high colour saturation. The skin will be of a very strong yellow colour while the head is orange with violet tones. Yellow has been a huge challenge for me, because in my opinion this is one of the most difficult colours to work with. Finally, since the beast is so big, I decide to introduce some colour changes at the end of the limbs and the tail, these parts will be painted with a much darker colour, almost black, with some shades of purple and an ochre-yellow.

The principal idea was to make a hard contrast, on the one hand with saturated yellow colour, this will broadcast us the perfection of warm ambient; and the other hand with complementary contrast, for this I used violet and purple tones to the head and extremities.


Blending the skin tone and adding points of interest

When the skin was finished, I used a touch of gloss varnish to make highest light point because I wanted the lizard to have a leathery finish. Finally, for explaining better the painting process I have prepared a tutorial about “How I work the yellow colour” I have omitted and simplified some steps because I didn’t want to put too many photographs, I didn’t want this article to become too dense.


For Rocco’s skin I decided to use a more desaturated scheme in order to make the beasts skin the centre of attention: making the lizard the more saturated and luminous element of the piece. I made this decision because the lizard has a reptile skin and this allowed me to play with the differences between the different skins. Rocco had been painted using purple and yellow combination which, on comparison with the lizard skin, creates a huge contrast.

rocco9On Rocco´s face I changed the colours, using oranges as on the beast head, trying a better integration between both parts. You can see more pictures of this incredible kit HERE!

This was only a little article but I hope it gave you some insight into my thoughts for painting this stunning piece, thanks to Jason and the figurementors team and thank-you to you also for taking the time to read my musing!