I have agreed to paint a couple of Role playing figures for a friend and one of them is a snow leopard. Having looked at a pictures of the real thing and a painted example on the Reaper web site i am starting to panic! Never painted anything that fiddly looking before. Any suggestions? And yes, I have asked if he wouldn't prefer a black panther or a mountain lion, and he's not having it!
Now, please bear in mind these were done a long, long time ago, but here are some Ogre sabretooths I did in a quasi snow leopard style. Apologies for the dodgy red backdrop (my hallway curtain).
Now, a real snow leopard would have greyer spots a lot lighter than these, and the brownish tinge would be much more subtle (I put them in for dramatic effect) if present at all, but it's kind of close. I find the easiest way to do leopard spots is to put a big splodge down, then fill in the middle with the grey/white shade, occasionally breaking the darker ring. If you use some faded spots and specks getting gradually more faded as it moves down the belly and legs it will break up the uniformity a bit more.
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Get the thinnest old brush you have and cut the end off it, leave about 2mm of bristles, this little brush will now have fairly stiff bristles and a flat head. You can then use this to paint the stippled spot effects.Build them up with watered down black.I have used this for dapple grey horses. You could even prepare a couple of different size brishes to get the varied spot size.
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Cheers for the pointers Mikeland and Cubster, very helpfull. The Snow Leopard is going to be a familiar for Gnome Magician so painstaking, zoological accuracy may not be that big a problem! I do like the dramatic effect on the sabretooths. Googling pictures of the real thing there seems to be quite a range in shades. Some seem darker, more traditional Leopard-y while others seem to be a much paler, greyer shade. Possibly down to age/sex/seasonal variations? Thanks again for your help chaps. If the results aren't too embarassing I'll post pics when I'm done.
Cheers for the tip on cutting down the brush Mikeland. Worked a treat. I bought a really cheap, nasty, thin brush and pruned it as suggested. I can see that working great for painting camo as well. Made "blobs" (stop me if I'm getting too technical won't you?) then filled in the middle of the blob with background colour, as suggested.