Friday, 13 November 2015

Painting Pale Flesh

I am currently painting some marauders and thought that some might find it interesting or useful to get a little insight into how I have painted the skin. For most of  my personal work, I am always on the lookout to improve my speed as much as anything, but without reducing the quality of the paintwork. I realised long ago that base coat, shade, layer, layer and more layers was not for me - it takes too much time, is technically difficult and gives (to my eye) a very false finish. Consequently, I have spent many hours experimenting with washes, glazes and other methods. That's exactly what I have done here.

A white primer was washed with a grey - this is the finish on the non-skin areas in this first photo. I then painted the skin with a pale flesh colour, mixed with water and a little matte varnish - this is generally how I make up a glaze. In effect, I am basing the skin with a glaze. When that was dry, I mixed in some grey/blue, and applied a second glaze, this time concentrating on the recesses, especially around the abdomen, chest and arms.

After painting in a few leather bits, I revisited the skin. I used a favourite wash of mine from coat d'arms, the super wash brown. Diluted (again) with a little matte varnish, I use it to pick out face details like the mouth and eyes - it also went on to some leather areas. The final step was to mix up a green grey glaze and apply the final "deep" shading and any lining I think is required. You can see this down the centre of the chest, on the join of the stomach and trousers, and in the mouths. It's quite subtle (view the photos full size) but it does make a difference. It's possibly above what is required for gaming figures, which after all are viewed from arm's length, but it's a short step that makes a noticeable impact. And that's it! One base coat of a semi glaze, one glaze over all, and two more controlled shading glazes. No highlighting at all. I might break this rule later and add a little light here or there, especially to the front rank, but it's practically done. I hope some of you find this useful.

EDIT : You can see the final result of the fully painted unit in this post.


Stuart Bannister said...

I've come to exactly the same conclusion, although only for skin areas as the transparency of the paint layers works well for recreating skin. I do add the odd highlight too. I still use the traditional layering for opaque objects like clothing and wood etc, so a compromise of speed and habit!

Killshot Productions said...

Nice tutorial, thanks. I'll give it a shot when I get some more barbarians miniatures to paint.

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