Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Dr. Zed 4 and Moxxi 11 - Blood Spatter and Cell Shading!

Hello again ladies and gents! First I just need to say THANK YOU for reading! I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm starting to get regular traffic, people posting my page on Facebook, and a lot of Google traffic too - awesome! Feel free to leave a shout out if you're working on a costume, if you've rocked out a Moxxi or Dr. Zed using any of my tutorials (I wanna see!) or ask questions if my explanations are missing anything you were wondering about - and seriously, thanks for stopping by!
It's all falling into place - muahahahaha!
Second, things are coming together for my Gaige! There's still a tonne of work left to be done, but my Rubi is starting to look awesome, everything I've ordered online - my wig, mini-lunchbox to make the class mod, and LEDs for the shield and grenade mod - are IN, and I picked up all the paint and primers I should need to do the base coat for the gun and possibly the other props as well! I ended up postponing my Robin photoshoot, first because it took TWO DAYS of searching to find green spandex, and again when it was raining on Sunday, but everything is together now, and we've rescheduled for Friday afternoon - I can't wait to see how it turns out!! That said, I probably won't be tutorializing Robin, as it was rushed, and certainly not perfect - that said, if anyone WANTS it let me know, and I can try to put something together that might help others learn from my mistakes!
My Robin costume!
My Robin costume - ready to go for Friday!

Alright, so back on track with one of my favorite parts - blood spatter and cell shading! We all know Dr. Zed sees a lot of blood in his line of work, and I like to think Moxxi's spats earned their stains while she was curb stomping bandits in the Underdome - either way, we're going to need fake blood, and lots of it! I researched various methods, but this is what I found worked best for me!

Smock spatter reference!
Spatter and shading, front and back
Materials needed:
 -Red, green, and orange acrylic craft paint (for the blood)
-Black, white, and beige acrylic craft paint (for cell shading)
-Acrylic fabric medium
-Black fabric marker
-Water
-Various paint brushes, toothbrushes, sponges and anything else that can spatter blood
-Gloves and protective material for your area

Mixing up some fake blood!
Fake Blood Mixing!
As the spatter had to be OVER everything else, I had to take care of the cell shading first. For the spats, I just laid them out, and did my best to emulate the in-game colouring. Black fabric marker for the black lines, varying shades of gray for the shaded areas.  As always, I mixed the paint 50/50 with fabric medium. Next up was the smock - if you look at it in game, there are a LOT of grungy little shaded details, little lines, big swaths of shading, highlights, lowlights - I didn't want to go overboard and make it look like a big ol' mess, but I did want some of that detail in there. I started with the fabric marker, adding the little details on and around the bias tape - little lines, loops, squares, cross hatching and the like. I also outlined the flask pocket as per the in-game images. Then I mixed up a few different shades of beige with the fabric medium, shaded in the necessary areas on the main body of the smock, and finally, I mixed up some light gray to make the highlights on the bias tape.  Done! I think I may add a bit more before next wear, but we'll see!

Next, it was time to get messy! I had way too much fun with this part. So the first step was finding a blood formula that worked. I really wanted the rusty colour that dried blood brings  so I tried various amounts of red, black, brown etc. As you can see, I tested out multiple different mixes and tested them on a scrap of Dr. Zed's smock material. I found that red, orange and green worked best together (I can't say the exact proportions, it was five months ago at this point)  mixed with a bit of fabric medium and  water to thin it out enough to splash, spatter and spread as necessary.
Blood spattering set-up!
Blood Spatter Set-Up! Note the saran-wrapped laptop.
Then on to the fun stuff! The first step was to set up my messy studio (also known as my balcony) - cheap old vynil tablecloth on the table, a variety of paint brushes, tooth brushes and implements, and my laptop for reference (as always, I wanted to be as true to the game as possible). To keep the laptop safe, I placed a layer of saran wrap over it so I could see my images, but any wayward spatter wouldn't become a permanent addition. Also, I ensured I was wearing my painting duds so as not to ruin anything I cared about, and wore little nitrile gloves to keep me from feeling like Lady McBeth.

Dr. Zed's smock was up first - just like when I was painting the stripes on the jacket, I placed the smock over a dry cleaning bag on a hangar to prevent any paint from seeping through to the back of the garment, then lay it out on the table. Next I kind of blocked out the main areas I needed to focus the spatter on as an attempt to stick to the pattern as much as possible.  From there, I went to town! Really, this was RIDICULOUS amounts of fun - toothbrushes and thick paintbrushes were dipped and flicked, a fan paintbrush was great for spreading, and I even just dipped my gloved fingers in the blood and splashes and flicked drops everywhere from there. Once I was satisfied with the level of bloodiness, I hanged it in a safe place to dry.
Before and after spattering!
Up next were the gloves - I picked up Dr. Zed's gloves at Canadian Tire (after trying everywhere I could think of... Zellers, Wal Mart, Dollarama...), just non-exciting turquoise dish gloves.  As with all things, they weren't the perfect shade, but I had a heck of a time finding anything other than yellow, and almost ended up having to go with blue! Oh well, turquoise worked! Same idea, flicked and splashed with my paint/blood, then allowed to dry. (I neglected to photograph this stage, but will try to take a picture of the finished product and post it in the next few days)

Last but not least, the spats.  I brushed most of the spatter on for the spats, as the drips and drops are spread out in a slightly less chaotic fashion.  I still did some flicking, but making defined drops was easier with the brush - the only struggle was to ensure the drops weren't too evenly spaced or sized, as I didn't want it to look like a pattern.
Before and after the cell shading and blood spattering! Please disregard the wrinkles, this is after months of storage.
And that's it! The smock, spats, and Dr. Zed's gloves all finished off in one fell swoop! Next time we'll be finishing up Dr. Zed with his accessories, and completing the look!

All my Borderlands cosplay tutorials so far!

Moxxi:
Part 1 - Spats
Part 2 - Finding Fabric and Starting the Jacket
Part 3 - Jacket continued, Stripes and Zipper
Part 4 - Cuffs and Collar
Part 5 - The Button Solution
Part 6 - The Patches!
Part 7 - Belt and Buckle!
Part 8 - Rubi's Holster and Garter 
Part 9 - Finishing the Jacket, Piping, Rick-Rack, and Curly Tails!
Part 10 - The Hat, Card, and Feathers!

Dr. Zed:
Part 1 - Smock Basics
Part 2 - Shoulder Armour and Flask Pocket
Part 3 - Buckles, Buckles, Buckles!

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