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 Betreff des Beitrags: "Conan the Conqueror" Painting tutorial, by Alex Castro
BeitragVerfasst: 06.07.2009, 06:39 
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Hi Everyone,

I have been waiting, as I’m sure many of you, painters, collector and Frank Frazetta fans, for years have waited for the moment in our industry, for the arrival of the masters iconic work of art “ Conan the Conqueror” recreated in full glory in 3D sculptured by the masterful hands of Claybrun Moore.

My hopes are that at the end of this work in progress, I can inspire as many of you as I can, to pick up an airbrush/a handbrush and start to paint or re-paint your statues and figure masterpieces, using my system of painting that has worked for me. I would encourage you not to limit youself with my way of painting but to explore new concepts, methods and techniques, in this wonderful art form!

That being said, before I get in trouble or step on any toes, the disclaimer: This work in progress and any comparison I make to the factory paint job on this statue, or original painting is for demonstrational purposes only, to show how my work and style of painting are different. That being said, the typical factory paint job on the products from SC Moore Studio are among the best in the industry.

The intended purpose of my step-by-step how to is to assist and promote the art form of painting, re-painting, statues/ figures to a wider audience on this forum such as modelers, painters and collectors, fans both nationally and internationally.

I would also like to give thanks to Master Frank Frazetta for making this all possible. Meeting him has been one of the high points in my career as a painter. I would also like to acknowledge Claybrun Moore, SC Moore Studio for sculpturing and producing this fine work of art in 3D. I would also like to thank Statue Forum for supporting and promoting our industry over the years, as pioneers and leaders of this art from.

Thank you, for your encouraging words and support over the years,

Alex

Frank Frazetta’s "Conan the Conqueror"
Bild
My layout board of enlargements done on Adobe Photoshop

The Painting Strategy:
My statue is due to arrive any day now since my collector has indicated the he has received the invoice and it will be drop ship to me directly.

In the meantime I wanted to go over some points.

I would have liked to have this figure in an unpainted kit version for this painting project, which would have made my life a lot easier. However, when my collector requested an unpainted version, it was declined by SC Moore Studio. I'm not sure of the reason.

Dismantling and Striping:
Dismantling where ever possible or painting around it will be a challenge. I will probably strip the paint of some sections, if not all, depending on the relief of the details. Keep in mind that paint removal will also reveal many possible flaws like air holes, and other issues that are not visible with the paint. My point is that you don’t have to strip the entire statue to have a successful paint job! My painting approach will be my original style of painting statutes but I will base it on exclusively on the Master Frank Frazetta’s painting of “Conan the Conqueror” known as Berserker.

Analyze the Original:
One of the first things I do is analyze the original painting in detail, looking for any real differences in the statue version and the original painted version.That being said one thing that stood out immediately was the fact the scabbard or dagger on Conan’s back is missing. I haven't seen on the company's pictures or promotions. However, it may be in the box. I'lll keep you posted. Now there are two ways around this: one is to contact SC Moore studio for a dagger, or sculpt or cast your own. I also noticed that Conan is looking down and a little to the left. This is important because it allows the viewer to see some of the whites in the upper part of the eyes, which adds shock value and focuses the eyes into a more intense Berserker look! His skin tone has a very unique pale color to it unlike the normal flesh on the other Conan paintings.

Creating your Pallet:
I take a digital picture of the original painting and put it in Adobe Photoshop, which I enlarge to the point the pixels are large enough for me to print out and make swatches to develop my palette colors. Once I have my pallet figured out, I go back and try to analyze the light and tone values: true colors used, reflective values and color effects.

These are just some the things that I will be getting into more detail as I get to the actual work in progress.

Stay tuned. I let you know when they statue arrives.

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: "Conan the Conqueror" Painting tutorial, by Alex Castro
BeitragVerfasst: 30.07.2009, 19:42 
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Hi everyone,
The piece arrived on schedule. It was well packaged in one large box which contained the collector's art box with the statue. Note, care should be taken in opening these boxes, in particular the art box. Any damage will have an impact on the value of the piece particularly to collectors! In my case, I have to handle all of this packaging carefully, not just for the collectible value but because I shipping it back to the collector safely and in pristine condition! The statue was well protected, suspended in styrofoam. The axe and marble base were separate. No document or certificate was included. This would have been a nice touch. My collector's statue was 33 out of 1500, which is pretty low.

Over the years, I have come to appreciate master Frank Frazetta for his subtle gestures and nuances in his dynamic forms and explosive anatomy in many of his action compositions that have been very difficult and elusive even for some of the very best artist to capture! The following are my initial impression and observations. Please note that these are my subjective views and I have neither discussed or consulted with Frazetta or Clayburn in any aspect of the creation and manufacturing of this statue. That being said, I'm not privy to any more information then any one else on this forum!

"Conan the Conqueror”
Bild Bild Bild Bild
The original work on the left appears to have a tongue. In the statue the tongue is inside the mouth. The original work shows a dagger or a scabbard on Conan's back for his sword.

Bild Bild
A strap over Conan's right thigh is missing on the status.

The statue at first glance is impressive. My hat goes off to Clayburn and the fine folks at CS Moore Studio for producing such a fine statue. The anatomy on the figure is fantastic and very close to the original painting. Attention to detail is obvious throughout and a very decent factory paint job overall. Most collectors would be satisfied with this statue straight from the box. But there are some collectors that want to take it to the next level of art and realism and it is on this level where some of the seemingly ok issues are not good enough and need to be repainted to bring it in line and closer and the original Frazetta panting.

The collector did request a non-painted statue, but he was told it was not available. Therefore, from my point of view of re-painting this status, I have come across some problems. The figure does not come off the horse, nor does the sword or shield. It has a lot of delicate parts protruding, like the helmet, sword, shield, feet, horse's head and tail. The rings for leather straps are welded closed will have to be cut and replaced. The piece is awkward and heavy to handle and will require lots of foam and additional padding to be able to lay it down. The face has air holes: one right under the left eye and one at the very tip of the nose.

There are some items that I felt were missing from the piece. I'm sure there are good reasons for this. In the original painting there appears to be a tongue sticking out of Conan's mouth. The statue has a tongue inside the mouth. A dagger or a scabbard in Conan's back for his sword is not present. A strap over Conan's right thigh is missing.

I had my assistant Floyd Nixon create a mock scale tongue, which I painted to see how the statue's facial impression would be altered. The change was quite dramatic. When I finish the face I'll post both versions with the tongue and without the tongue and take a poll from the viewers and the Frazetta fans.

I will start photographing the piece from every angle for reference. Then I'll start disassembling the rings and straps. I'll mask out Conan and the mist so that I can paint the horse first. The point here is to start from the ground up. My first focus will be the horse which then will be my foundation or should I say my platform to paint Conan.

For a rare article from a Historex catalogue written by French master painter Eugene Leliepvre that's no longer in print and has been an inspiration to me, please view my website at http://alexcastro.com/how-to-paint-h...y-alex-castro/ This article will instruct you on how to paint horses.
This is not present on the statue.

Stay tuned for the painting of the horse.

Alex
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi everyone,
Instead of priming the entire piece using my two stage priming system (silver enamel followed by acrylic flat white), after much thought, I decided to take a different approach.

Here's my rationale. The difficulty associated with this piece evolves around the fact that it does not come apart and its weight. This will increase over handling and increase the odds of damage. Removing the paint may reveal additional issues like air holes. The fact that the factory paint job was applied thinly was a plus and that the statue had the correct base color which would serve as my primer, gave me the ability to leave some things in place and enhance existing well painted factory areas like the mist!

That being said, large areas like Conan's body and the horse’s body will be completely painted!

The Horse:

My approach was to mask out the mist and use it as a handle. I then masked out Conan since I will be using his factory base colors as my base primer and did not want the colors on him blackened out. I also masked out the horse’s mask and eyes.

When painting horses keep in mind horses have an inner luminosity and warm areas. Also I should note that there is almost never an absolutely pitch black horse. In fact, most are a black brown color, and many have white markings on at least one of their hoofs, which is quite common.

The first thing I did was to paint in all my warm areas mostly under the body and where the extremities like where the legs meet the body (an example of a warm area in the human body is our arm pits).

Then I blend in with flat dark brown the tones under and in the warm areas. These tones are a little flatter and not as glossy as the top coat. The top coat is then painted on in a very localized manner. I finally accent the top coat a mixture of flat black and dark flat blue.

When this dries, I coat the horse with regular house wax. I don't use Testors or any of the glossing products out there because I prefer to gradually escalate and control the sheen in steps. Also, if I need to remove any of it, I can do so without any permanent damage to the paint job. Please look at my website. I will be posting complete details on the under painting of horses.

The Hair, Mane and Tail:

Using dark gray, I followed this up by washes of black and finally I dry stroke with light gray for highlights. Note that the hair is black and if it starts to look more gray you’re dry stroking to much with gray. I do not gloss the hair.

The Hoofs:

The hoofs are painted by Tamiya colors: flat earth, light gray, and a touch of flat green. I then lighten and darken as needed. The horse’s shoes are gun metal touched up with silver. Note, inside the hoof if it appears to have mud or dirt, paint in an earth color.

The Mask:

I like to emphasize that the mask is for the most part the horse’s face and requires an expression and character. It is important to follow the bone structure of the horse’s face when painting. The Tamiya colors I use are, light gray, and mixture of gray, black and white. The emblem was just touched up.

I know this is a lot to read, but for the statue and miniature figure painters it’s never enough!

Thanks, and stay tune for Conan next!

Alex


Frank Frazetta's “ Conan the Conqueror”
Bild
On this Close-up the background was removed with Photoshop! Note the gold strap is still not painted.
From CS Moore Studio, 1/7 scale, sculptured by Clayburn Moore,work in progress by Alex Castro ©

Bild Bild Bild
Frazetta - original painting--------------------- Castro's Work in progress - painted statute ----------------- Factory paint job
This original painting from Frazetta screams movement and action...!!! Clayburn Moore did and excellent job in bringing that out in the anatomy of this sculpture!
My job as a painter is to articulate visually what these two great artist have worked so hard to create, with movement and action...!!!

Bild Bild

The Mask:
I like to emphasize that the mask is for the most part the horse's face and requires an expression and character in order tp bring to bear the spirit of this fierce looking horse jumping right into the heart of the battle!!!

Bild
In these two pictures I have removed the mist to emphasize the explosive action this piece portrays!

Bild
From CS Moore Studio, 1/7 scale, sculptured by Clayburn Moore,work in progress by Alex Castro ©

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Chaos is a higher from of order!


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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: "Conan the Conqueror" Painting tutorial, by Alex Castro
BeitragVerfasst: 05.08.2009, 13:36 
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great boehh
wkr stefan

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: "Conan the Conqueror" Painting tutorial, by Alex Castro
BeitragVerfasst: 28.09.2009, 21:50 
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Dear Friends,

My apologies for the delay in posting the work's in progress on "Conan the Conqueror." I decided that instead of posting in piece meal, I would wait until I completed sections and provide the actual step-by-step for those who are interested to follow on my website.

This is one of my favorite pieces of Frazetta's work. That being said, this is one of those rare cases that I like the whole but don't particularly like some of the parts. When painting sculptured pieces you don't have the flexibility of re-doing the face to your liking; you have to work with what you have. In my opinion, on close examination of the original painting, the face was almost comical in it's "Berserker" expression. Bye the way I did add a tongue but it was just wild .!Viewed from this perspective, the sculpturing was done exceptionally well!!!

That being said , I felt that I had to start with the face. This also is one of those pieces that is an example of when not to follow the original painting and be creative! The skin tones had a very pale and almost yellowish tint. I decided to go with more realistic flesh tones. I also took the liberty to add more scars to his face, around the eyes and brow area. I also changed the gaze of his eyes a little more downward and to the left! One of my biggest concern with the face, as I was finishing it, was the expression. This piece can very easily go from a "fearless" to a "fearful" look if your not careful!!

I added hair to the chest, more or less in the same length and direction, as the original painting. I may go thicker or darker or even add more as I go along with the piece. I'm not locking myself into anything at this point!

I still have to work on the hemet,the hair, necklace, leather belts, straps, arms, veins and hands.

Thanks for sticking around to see Conan come to life!

Alex

Frazetta's "Conan the Conqueror"
Bild
Conan, what is good in life?' 'To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, to hear the lamentation of their women.'

From CS Moore Studio, 1/7 scale, sculptured by Clayburn Moore, work in progress by Alex Castro ©
Bild
had to dig down and ask Crom (Crom is a fictional deity imagined by Robert E. Howard) himself to give me a hand with this one . It is a very difficult piece to hold and paint with out assistance!!
From CS Moore Studio, 1/7 scale, sculptured by Clayburn Moore, work in progress by Alex Castro ©

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: "Conan the Conqueror" Painting tutorial, by Alex Castro
BeitragVerfasst: 29.09.2009, 07:03 
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thanks a lot for the pictures.
your painting is my faforit 1luvu
wkr stefan

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 Betreff des Beitrags: Re: "Conan the Conqueror" Painting tutorial, by Alex Castro
BeitragVerfasst: 11.11.2011, 14:54 
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Hello,
Please forgive my absents, miss you folks very much, please visit my website.
Thanks,
Alex

http://www.alexcastro.com/frazettas-conan-the-conqueror/

Bild

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