How to paint magical effects

This article is a free excerpt of the tutorial written by Massimiliano Richiero about the painting of the boxart of Lucignolo.

You can find the
full 32 pages tutorial here:
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Lucignolo bust here:

The Back

Let?s stop our step by step for a moment to take care of the back of our bust. You can see that on the back there are various details and in a subject like this it is very important to differentiate the various parts, the problem is that in certain cases we tend to change color for each detail to try to diversify and make them stand out, this can be very fun in some cases but counterproductive for the chromatic harmony of the piece.

I then used the three primary colors already used in the previous mixes for the back of the bust, namely Cold yellow, Phthalo blu green shade and The red. In this way I can maintain a good color balance and have fun diversifying the various areas by lightening our 3 colors only with The White and using the usual Maxumber or Carbon Black for the shadows.

For the gun I used a more graphic effect for the lights as if the parts painted in blue reflected the light more clearly, this effect is obtained by working as with non-metal metal, i.e. creating strong light effects alongside maximum shadow areas trying to interpret the volumes thanks to the direction of the brush strokes.

Also for this type of effects I recommend you to search the Internet for reference images, especially for the first times that you attempt such an effect it is very important to have an example at hand from which to take inspiration.

For the backpack, on the other hand, I went back to a textured effect that simulates a surface worn by time, the red part of the backpack has been worked using the slightly shiny color to obtain a plastic material effect, also the glossy / matte contrast is very important to differentiate the various surfaces.

Furthermore, in person glossy shadows will appear deeper than matte shadows of the same color: think about car paints, a glossy black will always seem deeper than a matte black.

OSL (Object Source Light)

Let?s now switch to a purely fantasy effect, a textured OSL effect that seems like a magical effect. I often use these types of effects in my pieces if I have the chance, I find them really interesting and fun.

So I use yellow to create a warm / cold contrast as I said earlier, I didn?t use the airbrush to set the OSL because the area is really very small and I want the yellow light to interfere very little with the surrounding parts to not draw too much attention to the base which in this case is definitely not the focal part of the piece.

In the first frame you can see how I set the zone of light on the entire surface concerned, trying, with multiple passes of Cold yellow, to intensify the yellow towards the star.

In the second frame I begin to insert the texture using a random dotted effect around the tip of the magic wand.

In the third frame I begin to connect the dots previously painted to the tip of the wand simulating magic arrows, even here the effect must be as random as possible, try not to use parallel lines and if it is the first time that you try an effect like this I recommend taking examples from fantasy illustrations (you will find several on the internet) and trying to replicate the effect on paper first, in order to train the eye and hand.

In the fourth frame you can see how, by adding the white to the compound, I emphasize differently some of the arrows that will remain lighter, this to simulate that some arrows have just come out of the stick and that others are instead fading.

If you liked this chapter and you want to get the full 32 pages tutorial, you can find it here:

Bellerofonte Studio

Bellerofonte Studio is the artistic studio behind Pegaso and Kimera Models. Beyond creating commissioned sculptures and paintings, it aims to create written and video tutorials in collaboration with the various artists that created the products for sale on the site. The goal is to ensure the highest quality materials on which to learn theory and practice in the various different styles of each author.

You can find find the Bellerofonte Studio tutorials