View Full Version : Terra Cotta Soldier WIP: Demo, Airbrush

06-08-2006, 04:58 PM
This is a demo of Sam's Terracotta soldier, the whole thread can be found here. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=351713)

I am trying to do the June challenge even though I will not be eligible to participate as I am hosting the contest.
I decided to do a terra cota soldier from Xian China.
I took photos there just recently so That has come in handy for this project. I will be doing this in all green tones.

Here is the sketch

For the background I decided to play first with stippling from the stippling thread. For me blowing across a piece of acetate gave the greatest control.

Then I airbrush through batting to get a mottled look.

I kept alternating between the two stippling and batting till I achieved this.

I will start the rest tomorrow.

06-09-2006, 05:57 PM
Ok here is the next installment. I am only posting two steps however we are looking at several hours of work.

First I did a light stipple and then a light batting application for the horse. Then I shaded it slightly. After all of this I went back and erased parts and random places to give it texture.


Then I went back and built depth with the airbrush erasing and painting in turn. I want this part not to be too detailed and to be slightly out of focus so I put in more detail then needed and then tried to tone that back. I spent a lot of time going back and forth. I hope it will look right in the final piece.


I am painting with transparents so once I remove the mask form the top layer I just let the paint fall on the background it helps soften the edges and not make them so cut out.

I am using acetate as my mask. I do not want a total hard edge. I have finished the easy part the actual warrior will take much longer to do.

Thanks for looking.

06-10-2006, 09:11 AM
Hey Kevin thanks. I will try and take some photos of what I mean about the batting technique not difficult at all. Just pull it apart and spray really. I know pictures do help though.

Glen I too am having trouble finding the erasers that I would like ot have here in China. They have no stick erasers here just kneeded and soft erasers. No electric erasers here either. I am afraid electric erasers are not as popular as they once were so they might be hard to come by. You can acieve the same effect with a variable speed drill and just putting your pencil in the drill. A dremel would also work is the pencil or eraser is small enough. I know that others here have tried and made recommendations for various erasers. Look at the article posted by Tim at the top of our forum on painting Reagan's portrait he talks about some different kind of erasers. There is other discussion about this in other threads as well.

06-11-2006, 12:33 PM
Ok here is a picture of the way that I use batting. I stretch it and then spray through it. Don't know if everyone knows what batting is or not. It is the also known as polyfil or fiberfill. It is used in quilting or for stuffing pillows. It is white and looks some what like cotton candy.


This is the result after pulling the batting away. Because of the transparents the effet will darken with subsequent layers of paint. Like the background.


06-11-2006, 12:44 PM
I noticed that I never answered Glenn's question about board and such. This is 5inches by 7inches on Smooth Bristol Paper using Hansa aero-pro transparents.

06-11-2006, 02:05 PM
Ok here is the next step. I now start erasing the highlights back into the previous mottled effect. I skipped the eraser over the surface to give it some texture. I am using an ink eraser on this one.


06-13-2006, 10:52 AM
This one was put on hold last night I might get to it tongiht if I have time. To answer your question Glen I am using acetate mask not freehand shields. I can not find my freehand shield right now. I do use them when I can.

06-22-2006, 01:27 AM
Ok I have pulled this back out and am starting to work on it again. Just to refresh our memor I am using the rubbing out method. I paint then use erasers to erase back to the underlying color. This is the last step and then the newest where I have done more erasing. Now I will go back and paint some more then erase back again. The idea is to build depth.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jun-2006/30220-statue02.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jun-2006/30220-statue03.jpg

06-22-2006, 02:04 PM
After i erased the image back for highlights I came back over that with a spatter effect. I removed the end cp on my brush and just prayed very similar to what you see in the spatter thread.

Next I came back and layed back down some tone.

After that I erased back. I had some problems with the front piece so did a lot more erasing I will fix it in subsequent layers.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jun-2006/30220-statue04.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-Jun-2006/30220-statue05.jpg

06-22-2006, 04:15 PM
Well here is the last update for tonight. I am not really happy with the face I need to tweak some things. I will go back and erase highlights and adjust more tomorrow. Also need to work on the bottom uniform more but it is coming along.


06-23-2006, 04:53 PM
Ok here are the last two post for this one.
The first just refining some of the parts with some airbrushing and erasing.
The second is really just addition of the words. The words are a quote (Psalm 20:7) that say: in Chinese "You ren kao che, You ren kao ma. Dan women yao ti dao Ye He Hua women Shen de ming." in English it is "Some trust in chariots, Some trust in Horses. But we trust in the name of the Lord Our God." This is a gift for friends that are getting married. We went to Xian to see the Terra Cota Soldiers together.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jun-2006/30220-finish.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Jun-2006/30220-Finished.jpg

07-16-2006, 09:11 AM
This soldier was behind glass and the picture was taken at an angle to get a decent picture without glare. You are right though you can not get close to them to get a good picture.