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From the painting desk #77 – Lizard beast

April 25, 2021

The blog has been pretty quiet lately, as work has been really hectic. We put together an academic seminar, which was this year’s biggest work-related thing (I assume/hope), so stress is now starting to ease up. Painting mojo has been somewhat down because of the lack of time, so I’ve spent most of my free time playing Age of Empires III and alternatively watching either Kengan Ashura or pro wrestling. With the seminar now behind me, I’m getting back to painting, with new mini projects looming again!

Before this cooldown period, I did manage to print and paint up a giant, six-legged lizard from Papsikels! It proved to be a bit of a bastard in a few ways. First of all, I struggled to print the base, which simply wouldn’t sit level when I printed it in resin. After a lot of sanding and cursing, I decided to print it on the FDM, and it came out perfect. The next hurdle was putting it together. It just would sit nicely on its rocky base, so I had to do a fair bit of putty work so it didn’t hang in thin air. After that, I got on with the painting…

My idea was to paint it in some kind of an exotic colour scheme, rather than dulled down brownish greens. I asked some nice people in ourΒ Ghost Archipelago group for ideas, and they suggested all sorts of colourful real-life lizards, so I ended up drawing inspiration from these. Now, the start of the painting was really easy. Spray undercoat, drybrush, Contrast, Contrast, Contrast. Then came the patterning part. The worst part of doing patterns on a very textured model, on which the painting relies mostly on washes and drybrushing, is that if you screw something up, you have to go back quite a few steps to fix your “canvas” for another try. Red patterns turned out to look too much like bloody wounds, black stripes made it look too much like a tiger. Repainting galore!

In the end I settled for a pale tail, an orange back pattern, and some irregular blue splashes of colour to suggest both toxicity and a fantastic element. Maybe when they’re small, they’re a great delicacy for some beast, resulting in warning colours. Or who knows about mythical islands, there’s probably something out there that snacks on these creatures when they’re fully grown.

Photo of painted lizard miniature

Click for a larger version

Photo of painted lizard miniature

Click for a larger version

Photo of painted lizard miniature

Click for a larger version

Scene of lizard threatening pirate miniature

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After wrestling with the model quite a bit, I’m really happy it turned out as nice as it did. I went to town on the base, partly also to hide some spots where the model doesn’t quite sit right. Anyway, lots of new things on the painting desk, so hopefully I’ll get some of that out on the blog as well!

24 comments

  1. Looks absolutely wonderful! Great color choices excecution. I love the first pic!

    Liked by 2 people


    • Thanks! The red eye turned out nice, I think πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person


  2. Love the skin tones on that lizard, looks great!

    Liked by 2 people


  3. Fantastic – that lizard skin has turned out wonderfully!

    Liked by 2 people


    • Thanks Wudugast, so happy to hear that after all the struggle!

      Liked by 2 people


  4. That is really nice, Mikko! πŸ™‚ I like the blue patches on its back!

    Liked by 2 people


    • Thanks John! I was inspired by the poison dart frog which is bright blue.

      Liked by 4 people


  5. This looks really nice. I think the paint colors you chose and patterns you applied make this oversized lizard look very realistic and lifelike. The final scenic picture really proves this!

    Liked by 3 people


    • Thanks so much Kuribo! I tried to go for a combination of realistic and fantastic, so that’s very nice to hear πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people


  6. Just echoing what others have said, that lizard looks great! Hope life let’s up a bit so you can get back behind the brush more often!

    Liked by 3 people


    • Thanks Eric! Things should be getting pretty much back to normal, phew!

      Liked by 1 person


  7. One of those stories where the tales of woe about the process is completely invisible to the viewer, or at least to this viewer.

    The scaly skin looks particularly nice to me. It has a very realistic, dry appearance.

    It was worth the effort in the end Mikko.

    Liked by 4 people


    • Thanks Paul! In some ways this kind of stuff is very rewarding – in others I’m really happy to be done with it πŸ˜€ The model has some excellent texturing, making it a real joy for Contrasts and drybrushing.

      Liked by 2 people


  8. Superb job mate, I love how you’ve painted this beastie

    Liked by 3 people


    • Much appreciated, Alex!

      Liked by 3 people


  9. Wow a super impressive lizard

    Liked by 3 people


    • Thanks Mellis! Even an extra pair of legs in there πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person


  10. Wow, that’s amazing! Like the markings, but also really like the tail. Great work!

    Liked by 2 people


  11. The work that you did here Mikko really paid off, tremendous depth of color and detail. Really beautiful. And that base is a work of art in and of itself!

    Liked by 1 person


    • Thanks Mark! I did go to town a little bit on the base – also because there was a lot of small imperfections etc. to cover up. Sometimes things like that can have surprising ramifications, in this case they led to a nicer base!

      Liked by 1 person


  12. Excellent work! πŸ™‚ Love the colors you went with.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Thanks Moth! It’s fun to play around with colours every now and then, despite the occasional teeth-gnashing πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person



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