Hobby: Object Source Lighting Attempt & Advice

I decided to finally give object source lighting (OSL for short), an attempt. It’s one of those techniques that I really haven’t tried, at least seriously. However, with my Chaos Marines I’m taking my time getting them painted and want to use them as a way to work on techniques like this, ones I’ve shied away from in the past because of the time required to do it right.

Last night I did some experimenting. First up, here’s the WIP shot of the Oblits that I’m working on this for.

You can see the right one’s fist is ‘done’ and I tried some OSL. I like the style of the fist I did, it’s just different, but the problem is it doesn’t lend itself to using OSL really. You can also see some of my attempt at creating light on the red armor, which I’m not happy with. So, I decided if I’m going to do this I need to redo the fist.

With that in mind I did a test fist. The fist is black when not powered on and I wanted the electric blue to be the glow color. What I did to start was layer white from the ‘back’ of the first forward towards the fingers building it up until it was pure white towards the fingers. I then worked the blue in the same manner, building it up towards the fingers. This was, subsequently, also my first attempt at wet blending. I should have taken a shot before the blue as the blending off black to white was pretty damn good if I say so. I think I failed a bit on the blue blending but that’s what practice is for.

Anyway, here’s what the result was.

I think overall it came out pretty well but now some opinions from you all. Do you think I should just do the entire fist the glowing blue instead of blending it up from black to blue? What about if I did the fist red and blending from red the blue instead of the black to blue? General opinions and advice on the technique?

As stated, that’s my first attempt at wet blending and OSL so obviously I need work on the technique itself and it’s a matter of practice.

The other thing I wanted to do was work on getting a better glow effect on the red armor. I painted the shoulder plate thing (whatever it’s called), red and then gave it a blue glow. What I did was mix in some red with the electic blue to tone down the blue and get it a more appropriate tone. I then did some more wet blending to create the glow. I was really happy with how this came out, both in look and technique. Note, it’s not intended to be the light cast from the fist itself, it’s just some red for the sake of working on the glow.

So, I think all-in-all a reasonable first go at this but obviously room for improvement which is why I’m throwing it out there. Any advice and feedback by the great painters out there (Ron, Dave, etc), would be greatly appreciated.

Please Rate This Article

Please take a second to rate this. It helps us deliver to you the stuff you enjoy.

Join the Discussion!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest
Notify of

for your first crack at it I like it a lot. In my opinion I would just make the whole fist glow kinda seems weird leaving the top part black or maybe a bit more blending to the black would fix it all. The stuff I have seen for wet blending OSL techniques usually had the entire power weapon/fist glowing. I have never tried it before but i deffinitley want to now that ive seen this it looks pretty cool.


The blending part is tough. But… it’s only technique. You can practice the blending and do it over and over again until you get it right. The biggest thing with OSL is the radiant light and applying it correctly to the surrounding surfaces. 

You need to account for things like the distance the radiant light is going to travel, the surfaces it will and will not hit, how strong the radiant light is at the source… all the little things that need to be “mapped” out before you even get to the blending part of it.

I’ve got the series I do on FTW that covers all of this. Not so much the blending, but everything leading up to that so you can blend in the correct places.

Object Source Lighting series

Take a look through these if you haven’t already. Even if your blending isn’t perfect, if you’ve got a good handle on how the process works, it will turn out better in the end.

Ron, FTW