[Archive] Looking at pictures of lava?


Just out of curiosity, how many people here looked at pictures of lava before basing and painting their bases?

How many looked to fellow hobbyists for inspiration instead?


I just don’t use lava on my bases.


Fellow hobbyists, since actual lava is a bugger to capture in paint. Might try it one day, however.


Looked at pictures on the interwebs of actual lava. Tried three different types of painting on my bases before hitting the style I like.


I always followed Thommy’s legendary tutorial.


I’'ve tried both and remembering peoples recipes was hard. Since I’m doing some now, I looked at web-photos and then proceeded to just make it up.

I’ll have to look at the tutorials again to see where I could do better


By the way, I don’t think that painting “real lava” is more difficult than our usual approach here on CDO. It’s just… Different I guess.

Good examples are this:


and these:


Here on CDO we paint lava using a lot of orange (which sometimes makes our miniature look like they are walking over pools of Fanta). I personally really like this approach, because even if it might not look real it is very effective, colorful, and provides a huge eye candy!!!

Instead, For the “real magma effects”, black is the main protagonist, as makes lava & fire pop to the eye, creating a “glowing illusion”… In fact, if you look at photos of pools of lava, there are lots of black bits floating in it.

Finally, don’t forget that there are fluorescent paints available on the market!!! They are used mainly for airbrushes and are very thick, but they can be thinned down with lots of water. Here is what I’m talking about:


And here is a miniature painted with said colors:

James Wappel Miniature Painting: Playing with Fire: Part one. Painting your Rothand Studios Golem
James Wappel Miniature Painting: Painting with fire... the Golem continues.
James Wappel Miniature Painting: More of Painting with fire: The Rothand Studios Golem rises!!


I do both, I started a thread here on the forum with real world lava reference which I hope to keep adding to which may or may not be of use. It kinda boils down to photorealism ie how realistic you want your image to be. Fantasy is often quite liberal in terms of whats reality and looks realistic so people might not be too bothered about following reference imagery closely. For my day job I match digital art to the real world so its something that interests me.

My favourite recent painting work is by a lady from Chest of Colours out of Poland (Anna?) , one of our members here paid for a commission piece for a Daemonsmith, she totally nailed it. Theres a step by step on her blog for the lava she did. Interestingly she used a lot of Windsor and Newton Inks, which are easily available from any art shop. They help add a richness of tone and blend layers/ colors together. My mum let me have a load of her exact same inks so I am using those at the moment. So I have used her work/ technique as a starting point, but keep on referencing real life as I go along to try and get it as realistic as possible as I want hyper-real.

The main thing for me so far, apart from using repetitive inks and two brush blending is to use white, white is your best friend, use it to undercoat orange, yellow and red areas and you get beautiful colours which pop off the mini. Orange over red looks dull, but orange over white (over red) just pops out of the page at you.