I've been fiddling round with lighting since I got my new desk and installed some new bulbs into my spotlights, so I have a whiter light than previously, This is still all w.i.p, but I think I'm getting there in improving my macro photography set-up.
For this stage I've been focusing on some of the details of the model, specifically the green, red and stone elements of each Deathwing squad member.
I try to avoid making the reds on my Deathwing too bright, while still having a strong degree of contrast. I work from a very dark red base and then use a thinned Blood Angels red to create my highlights, carefully feathering on a little at a time so the highlight slowly builds up. I also try to do this so the lighting is broadly consistent with the zenith lighting on the rest of the model. I play a little fast and loose here though, because if I was totally honest to the zenithal approach I'd not paint in some of the detail.
For the greens, I start with Dark Angels green and wash heavily with black, as I did in the previous update. I then paint DA green back over the areas getting the most light, blending it back into the shadowed areas with the darker tones.
I really really want to avoid a bright highlight on the green. I have it on some of my earlier Deathwing and DA miniatures and it really doesn't work for me. So the highlight I use is a mix of Snot Green and DA Green in a 3 to 1 ratio (snot to DA). As an aside at this point, if any of you produce snot that looks anything like citadel think it does, see a doctor. Please. That's just not normal.
As with the red, the paint is thinned a fair bit and carefully feathered onto the model, gradually building up a highlight.
In the case of the Storm Bolter, I'm pretty liberal with the lighter shade on the very top of the gun, as that is being hit full on by the light source. Having said that, I try to make suure I've got the most highlight at the edges so they're clearly defined. I then feather it down into the darker tones. Again, if I were true to my zenith lighting approach, the detail on the side would be lost, so the bottom edges of the side detail get a touch of hihglight. They're not in direct light (even if it looks like they are in this photo), but without a little highlighting the side of the Bolter would look very flat.
For the joints in the armour (and arm cables), I use Reaper Master series Dark Elf Skin triad to build up contrast in the flexing of the joints, before washing them with Baddab Black. It is a little time consuming for such a small area of detail, but I like the effect and it is more interesting than just drybrushed black.
All the stone detail on the armour is next. Again I try to be consistent to my zenith highlighting. Adeptus battlegrey goes on first, followed by Codex Grey hitting most of the highlighted areas. I then wash with Baddab Black to bring out the detail and pick out the areas getting hit with the most light using Fortress Grey. Other than washing the skull and bones with Baddab Black, I've not done anything with that area yet.
Finally the eyes have it. This is a pretty basic approach, starting with a dark red, then applying increasingly small amounts of lighter tones towards the front of the eye until I finish with sunburst yellow right at the very edge. I then give the eyes a little wash of Baal Red, to blend the transitions and let a bit of the darker cooler pool into the socket. I use a very fine brush for this, either a Reaper 20-0 or Winsor & Newton series 7 000, as citadel don't do a very fine detail brush. The only thing missing from the eyes is a little refracted light blob in the corner of the eye.
All that's left to do now are the purity seals, some of the metal work, the bases and the final highlight on the bone.