Time for another mini painting session! Dramorion, the dark elf sorcerer from Reaper. (I actually painted this one before my previous post, but I couldn’t let the secret out of the bag. This is another surprise mini for one of my players in my Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign.)
Believe it or not, trying to find a male dark elf mini for a magic-user is difficult! Magic-using dark elves tend to be females. (Think priestesses of Lolth.) And most male dark elves tend to be warrior-types. But, I did manage to dig one up using the Reaper Figure Finder. I love that search feature!
Focusing on the dark elf archetype, most images show very dark skin with hair that’s nearly white. I’ve seen some images that have a bit of a purplish tint to the skin tone, so that’s what I went with to try and provide some contrast from the items this guy is wearing. After all, the dark elves love their black and purple, so what else would I paint his clothing?
I started with a base coat of black spray primer, as usual. Once that was dry, I painted over him in pure black mini paint to get the matte finish. Then I hit him with clear varnish to protect the base coat between sessions. My main reason for the clear in between colors is that I’ve noticed metal minis really tend to chip their paint on corners, points, and edges. And I want to give him as much protection as possible, since we’ll be using him in a game.
During session number two, I sat down and did the skin and a bunch of highlights. The skin areas I painted using a darkened purple color. The eyes are black with a tiny dot of light gray for a pupil or reflection. The black bits I highlighted along sharp edges using a dark gray, and then stepped up to a bit of a medium gray. I found that the dark gray didn’t really show at all when viewed from more than a foot away. And without that contrast, he just looks like a dark blob. I also added layers to create the blended black-to-purple look on his cloak.barely make out the white tip of the wand’s crystal behind the staff.
Then I painted all of the wooden items: the staff and the wand. (I went with white for the wand’s crystal, aiming for a Wand of Lightning Bolt, or something similar.) I mixed up my usual medium brown tint (RMS Harvest Brown and Shadowed Stone in equal parts) to paint these areas.
After all of this, I hit the mini with a brown wash on the wooden items and a black wash everywhere else. Things had gotten so much dry-brushing that they looked a little hazy, and the black wash really brought back some contrast again.
Once the was dried, I hit all of the highlights again to bring up the contrast even more. I added the sand on the base. And I hit the model with clear varnish again. And voila! He’s done.