In the last 24 hours I have made some progress on the Dark Eldar commission. Progress is still slower than I would like. I have a giant commission coming and need to clear the table.
I am going to take this opportunity to define some of my terms and painting process.
After priming the models and cleaning them up a bit, I based the minis in Xereus Purple. I don't have a good word for the major colors that I paint all over the mini as a base coat but there should be one. After that, the other base colors need to be painted. That was Sotek Green for the feet and shoulder guards, Ironbreaker for the weapons and Rakarth Flesh for the loin cloths. This is indicated by the top picture. If you just do base colors, this is flat painting.
After that, the whole mini gets washed in Nuln Oil... twice. Purple is really forgiving and loves black wash. Dark Eldar need to be... well, dark. Middle picture shows this. If you stop after things are washed then there is no word for the muddy mess that you created.
After the wash completely dries, the purple needs to be highlighted. This is a hard edge highlight but a very thick one. You have to be careful to stay out of the recesses to keep the deep shadows. The easy parts are the segmented armor plates. The hard parts are where there are no hard edges to follow like the curved helmets and the calves. There you just have o use your skill. Good thing is if you mess up, Druchii Violet wash fixes any places where you might have over highlighted. The figure in the middle in the bottom picture shows this well.
Here is where things slow down a bunch. A true had edge highlight is made with Genestealer Purple. It is very important not to "trace" the mini. A hard edge highlight should be of variable length. Thickest in the middle and tapering to nothingness near the sides. I keep trying to find good pictures of someone really messing this up but this is the best I can do. Less is really more when it comes to hard edge highlighting and this is where a painter's skill comes in.