Friday, February 18, 2011

Tutorial - Over/Under Lightning (Ulthwe Eldar)

As part of the Big Box of Eldar I have done a number of skimmers with the same style of lightning as the Fire Prism in the Eldar codex.  While not exactly like the codex version, mine have used the same over/under technique.  It's easy to execute.

First, paint your lightning as three continuous zig-zag lines.  Neatness is not a prerequisite here as you can see.  Try to at least keep the different lines obvious enough that you can follow them with the eye at this point.
fig 1. basic lightning shapes
Next, choose a line to follow.  In this case I chose the second one from the tip.  Paint sharp edges of the background color at the first place where it intersects another line to give the impression that it is going over that line.

fig 2. first edging over
At the next intersection, paint edges along the other line to give the impression that your chosen line is going under that line.  As you go, clean up any fuzzy edges with more of the background color.

fig 3. second edging, under
Continue alternating over and under.  You don't need to stick with the same line all the way through as long as each line alternates.  If you make a mistake, just paint the lightning bolt color over the edges and then draw the correct edges.
fig 4. alternate over/under
Sharpen corners and edges as you go, continuing the process out to the points of each line.
fig 5. continue and clean up edges
That's it.  Pretty simple, eh?  This would probably work for tribal-style tattoos as well.

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