Friday, August 30, 2013

Attack of the Owlbears!

GenCon 2013 has come and gone and now it's time to get back to the commissions waiting on my desk.  I've got a wait list until mid-September, so I've got a lot of great projects to show you in the weeks to come!  Let's take a look at a project for Jon H. over at Black Blade Publishing.  I met Jon at KantCon 2013 and after he saw my display models he was excited to get a trio of his owlbears painted to showcase quality.

The task was to do arctic themed owlbears.  I didn't want a bland or overwhelming polar-white look, so I went with German Grey shadows to white highlights.  Subtle wet-blending on the models made a great shade gradient that I'm really pleased with.  The bases were adorned with a few twigs and rocks and then topped off with Secret Weapon's snow (crushed glass & realistic water).  I like the wet snow effect a lot, but for a purely arctic feel, with fluffy snow drifts, I think something like Techstar's snow might be a better bet for a pure white look.  The Techstar stuff uses micro blown white bubbles instead of glass to achieve its effect (both are hazardous and protective masks, gloves, and eyewear should be worn).

The Reaper owlbears have a great and rabid look to their movement.  They also have huge, dilated eyes, perfect to show off irises, light dots, and bloodshot veins.  Each iris is orange mixed with light brown, with yellow/light brown flecks, highlighted with pure lemon yellow.  A dot of light grey flanked by white makes the light dots, and a thin trail of blood red was used to make the veins.

The upraised feet of the owlbears has snow clinging them as if they've been truly tromping through the drifts.

There's a lot of area to build gradients across the model for some wonderful variation, even for such a simple grey/white coat.

This one has a darker aspect, with deeper rings around the eyes and harder shadows on the belly and under its wings.

I took away a new found appreciation for heavy shadows after GenCon and viewing the winning entries.  At the showcase level of paint quality (4-6 hours a model), monster models with a few colors are especially great for doing this effect while under a strict time budget.

That's it for these owlbears and the Monster Lab for this week, come back next time and check out the elf Pyromancer I've been working on and more!


  1. Nice choice of colors. The eyes are great!

    1. Ha ha, thanks Aaron. I liked to call these owlbears "psycho chickens" while working on them.


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