Author Topic: Ebony  (Read 2392 times)

Patrick Lefevre

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« on: June 16, 2012, 09:59:34 AM »
As far as I know there are 3 types of ebony: brown, brown/black layered and the typical pure black one.
It's the last kind I'm trying to paint on my minis and I just don't know how.
I'm starting a small Space Marine army called the Ebony Lions, based on the Zulus from the Anglo-Zulu wars, and while the convertions are pretty easy, the ebony-bit is a pain in the back.
I looked at the Black Templars as an example but they're more of a flat black wich seems to absorb the light rather than reflect it, ebony seems to have this rich and warm black and it's the highlight that I can't put my finger on.
Anybody who has any ideas or experience with this?
I mainly use Vallejo and GW paints, what's the best technique to do this? Blending, drybrushing, washing?
I really need some help here because it's driving me insane.... well, even more than usual  :lmao:

So, how do I paint THIS?


The miniatures in the last pic aren't mine, I nicked them of the net  :whistle:

Offline Steel Penguin

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Re: Ebony
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 09:29:24 PM »
streak a "full matt black "  over a very dark grey?  or possibly streaky gloss over black.  part of the problem your going to have is your trying to recreate a micro pattern ( wood grain) on a macro scale.  you cant see the wood grain on a fence panel at distance.  and trying to get it may just look "wrong"
anouther thought is to try to get the stripe effect you can get with artist acrilics if you dont mix the water into them ( get a cheap tude of dayler rowley sytem 3 or simaler acrylic and have a play to see what im mean here)   outherwise  :shrug: not shure.
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Patrick Lefevre

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Re: Ebony
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 10:34:11 PM »
Thanks but it's not the wood grain I'm looking for, just the colours (base, highlights,...).
A bit like what you see here

I've contacted GW but all they could come up with was a very dark grey basecoat and a wash with Nuln Oil, I want to give it a try but I'm not to sure of the effect and up to now I can't say I'm very fond of their washes but that's prolly due to me not being used to them.

Offline Steel Penguin

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Re: Ebony
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 10:59:58 AM »
( precurser  i have glasses and dodgy colour vison  following statements need this added to them when read)
all i see with those candlesticks is solid black with a very stark grey almost white highlight and a semi gloss finish,  so to achive it the black templar aproach with a semi gloss high light may work,   you may be onto a long search for what look right for you here.  the outher question is what distance are you going to look at the finish at?  as 6"fro the eye, in the hand will look totaly differant to whats needed at 3` on the table, and with what you want i think  a finish that looks good in one situation, may look rough, or non existant in the outher.
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Offline Inso

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Re: Ebony
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 11:19:03 AM »
If I was going to paint Ebony, I would go for a warmer, brown highlight approach.

As Steel Penguin has just said, the picture you showed does seem to have pretty harsh, grey/white highlights BUT there seems to be a hint of brown in the wood itself.

What you could do is start with an almost black, brown and then add white to it for highlighting but make the highlights quite stark on the edges.

Using old GW paints a Chaos Black/Scorched Brown mix to start and then small amounts of Skull White for highlights... but keep the highlights quite stark (a bit like the Black Templars). Once you have finished, a watered down wash of Devlan Mud to tie it all together.

I really think that brown needs to be in there somewhere because otherwise it will just be a black armour and you could just follow the Black Templar method.
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Offline DRAGON

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Re: Ebony
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 01:17:54 PM »
I also find the type of varnish used can create an overall effect - for instance I sometimes give visors and goggles a gloss coat with the rest of the mini matte - I was thinking of a satin varnish in your case  :shrug:
Vallejo do a German black Highlight (337) in their Panzer Aces series -which comes out a dark greyie/brown colour if it helps at all......
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Offline Ajsalium

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Re: Ebony
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 02:46:32 PM »
And for my :twocents:...

I'd go for totally matte. I'd use a very matte paint (Reaper Master Series paint are, though I don't know much about other brands), and paint rather contrasted highlights with matte greys, light greys. If you use a wash, the "old" badab black from GW gives, again, a matte finish. I don't know the effect of their new range. Finally, I'd varnish it with Testor's Dullcoat varnish, which also is very matte.

The idea is to avoid having any highlight created by the glossiness of the paints or the varnish; only the ones you paint. Because ebony is, for me, a synonym for pure black. And black is absorbing all light without reflecting any.
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Patrick Lefevre

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Re: Ebony
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 02:51:18 PM »
Ok, thanks for the good advise all  :happytears:
I'll make sure to put it in good use  :thumbup:

Offline caerban

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Re: Ebony
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 05:45:37 PM »
I'd be tempted to go with the very dark brown/black base and then glaze using brown and black washes/inks to give colour depth. Then highlight up through the browns but quite sharply and use thin brown glazes to keep everything tied together.
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