Post image for The Lazarus Effect

The Lazarus Effect

by Alex Castro

Ecstasy , 1/4 Scale, sculptured by Steve West, from Cellarcast, one piece resin figure/with base, painted by Alex Castro .(c)

 ” The Lazarus Effect ” written by Alex Castro.

Blood in the Lower Extremities Concept:I remember watching a science fiction movie where the inhabitants of a small town died from an unknown virus. A scientist and a doctor were flown in to investigate the deaths. The doctor requested that a dead man in a sitting position have his pants and underclothing removed. The doctor explained to the shocked scientist, that due to gravity the blood accumulates in the lower extremities. Therefore, he could deduce the cause of death. I also realized that these pools of blood are present in a living person, but the difference is that the blood is replaced by fresh blood in these areas. This is what I call the Blood In The Lower Extremities concept.

Lazarus effect: It was during this period that I had been studying the techniques of the old masters when I realized that they were very much aware of the accumulation of blood and used it in their painting techniques. Some of the old masters painted in a Grisaille style, using black and white paints to establish variation of gray tones. They worked out their half tones, and light and shadow values. Then the pigments (oil colors) were glazed on with the black oil medium (washed oil) that produced a translucent coat of paint that appeared as through fog (known as velaturas) over the gray tone and half values. These masters glazed on the vermilion color to signify blood in their naturally occurring location in the body, making the figure appear life-like. This is what I call the . I concluded that this concept was applicable to painting figures.

Pools of blood also accumulate in various parts of the body when the heart is beating but they are less pronounced because the flow of blood is in constant movement. In fatty tissues these pools of blood accumulate in the lower extremities such as the cheeks, nose, ears, lips, female breast, buttocks, and bottom of the feet, ankles and heels. There are also areas with very little fatty tissues and bones that require vermilion such as the forehead center, temples, chest cavity, elbows, kneecaps, and knuckles. This creates a reddish coloration in various parts of the body. I found I could produce a similar effect by gently airbrushing vermilion into these key areas or applying a light vermilion wash with a brush to achieve a glaze effect, allowing the skin tone to show through lightly.

The application of vermilion can also be used to indicate emotions such as anger and coldness. Please note that even though the buttock concept is less observable in darker complexions, the same principle applies. The application of the Lazarus effect and blood in the lower extremities concept bring to life the miniatures in a realistic, dynamic form that is difficult to achieve using other methods.


Written by Alex Castro.(c)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: