I’d been a bit apprehensive about painting Ghost Rider, what with all that black and flame, but once I got going, I really enjoyed it.
I had a good look through the comics and Johnny Blaze was always in black, all black. Okay, in some it was a blue-black, but that’s a common way of depicting black and I’d already teed that style up for painting Bullseye. So, what to do?
I decided to prime him black and then have a think about it, so that was a start. The bike was going to be metal framed, easy enough, and so I got on with that whilst my brain plodded over the rest of him. I painted it with Vallejo’s Metal Colour Steel, and after a wash of Nuln Oil, highlighted it up by drybrushing Gunmetal, Chainmail Silver, and finally Silver.
Back to the Rider himself, and what to do. I didn’t want the same look for all his clothes. The jacket would be leather, and so shiny, whereas the trousers, I felt, needed to be less so to show they were a different material. The boots I would do similar to the jacket but with fewer highlights.
In the end, I decided to go with a black-brown for the trousers to give things a little more interest. I basecoated them using German Black Brown, which ended up being a little too light a brown and needed toning down a bit, so I turned to the good old Nuln Oil and washed them down, twice! I then highlighted using the original colour.
For the jacket and boots I layered up from the original black prime using German Grey and then Pale Grey Blue. I really liked the contrast between the trousers and the jacket, and he still gave the impression of being clothed in all black, result.
His skull was just a lot of drybrushed layers. Starting from a base of Khaki coated with Skeleton Horde Contrast, I applied Bonewhite, Elfic Flesh, Ivory, and finally White. The biggest challenge was having to make sure I didn’t get it all over his jacket!
I’d been thinking about how to do the flames since I started putting him together. I was keen to use inks, as they blend really nicely and stay wet for some time, which allows them to be played with and moved around. Obviously, I couldn’t use them straight onto the black prime, white would be the best starting point. Using Heavy Bluegrey, which is a great paint for covering dark colours, I painted in all the areas I wanted the flames. I then covered it with a layer or two of White. When painting white over the Heavy Bluegrey I’d normally put a coat of Ghost grey down in between, which helps get a nice, even coat of white, but I was looking for a variance in the white, with some of the Bluegrey breaking through here and there. I hoped this would add different tones to the ink when it was applied, making it look a bit more realistic.
And so, I started flaming! Using Red and Yellow inks, letting them blend to form the oranges, I started to build up the flames. It took considerably longer than I’d imagined, something like 2-3 hours over a couple of evenings. I played with it, liked it, then decided to play a bit more, ruined it, played again, and so on. In the end I had to stop myself, otherwise I’d still be at it now!
I finished them off with an all-over glaze of Yellow Ink and added some highlights of Sol Yellow (Scale75). A quick drybrush over the reds with Scale75’s Blood Red and Deep Red, and I was done with the flames, and I was mighty pleased with how they looked!
When everything was completed, I went back and added some Object Source Lighting. Using glazes made from the inks, I went over some areas of his jacket, the bike, and the base. It looked really good at the time, but after varnishing its dulled down somewhat, but now I’ll know for next time, so something else learnt there.
After the issues I had trying to photograph Daredevil, I decided to use my small studio lamps. This made quite a difference and things didn’t need editing, so in the end it saved some time too. Anyway, that was Ghost Rider. Bullseye is next in line for MCP, with Ronan and Drax following.