Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Painting faces

Painting faces

Welcome to my tutorial on painting faces. Faces are one of the most important aspects of a miniature as it is often the focal point and the component that tends to add the most character to a model. Faces can be tricky to paint but once you get down a few basic steps and get the hang of using glazes to add warmth and depth to the skin it becomes much easier to get good looking faces for your miniatures.

I begin with a black base coat and paint following these steps-

Start with a coat of Bugman's Glow. Water the paint down a touch to ensure it flows nicely and doesn't clog the fine details. It may take multiple coats but that is much more preferable than one thick coat.

Next up is Cadian Flesh Tone. You're aiming to cover all of the previous coat,  making sure to get into all the crevices such as under the brow and nose. Again, this may take two coats.

Now it's time for the highlights, the first of which are painted with Kislev Flesh. The aim with this stage is to pick out the raised areas on the face. These are usually the brow ridge, the nose, the ears, the sides of the head, and the lips. Use a detail brush and take your time here. Thin your pat so thinned that it's hard to control about but not so thinned that it's hard to control.

Using some slightly thinned Screaming Skull, carefully paint thin lines on the eye brow ridge, the nose, the lips and the ears.

Now we're going to tackle the eyes. Painting eyes on small miniatures is naturally a difficult skill but with some practice it becomes easier everytime. The trick I've found is to block in the recess of the whole eye area with Abaddon Black, as you can see above. Make sure your paint is thinned so that it flows nicely into the area but do not load your brush with much paint as you'll need as much control as possible over the application of the paint.

Now comes the tricky part. Using watered down White Scar and a fine detail brush you need to put a small dot of white in each corner of the black of the eye, leaving some black remaining in the centre to give the impression of pupils.
Take your time here and don't worry if you slip up, just paint in the black ( remember to thin it) again and have another go. This does take some practice but it is by far the easiest method I've found for painting eyes.

Also here is a good time to add some very fine white highlights to the raised areas of the face.


With the previous steps complete you should now have a good looking face and it's fine to stop there and call it done. However, and this is my favourite part of painting faces, if you wish to add some more depth and warmth to your painted face you can go a little further and add some glazes. This is how I use glazes when painting faces-

Load up your brush with some Bloodletter, wipe of the excess with some tissue, and gently paint it onto the areas where you want to add some warmth. I usually go for the nose, the bottom lip, the lower cheeks, and the crease in the brow. The glaze goes on really thinly which is good as it allows you to build up the colour saturation that you are happy with.

Repeat the process except this time use Guilliman blue and focus the glaze around the lower eyelid and also the lower part of the model's nose.


Now that the face is completely finished the only thing left to paint is the hair. I've gone for a dark brown but you can use this process for any colour of hair you want by replacing the paints I use with the colours you want for your particular hair colour.

First thing is to base the entire area with Dryad Bark, being careful to avoid spilling onto any of the skin.

Next you want to applying Gorthor Brown over most of the area, leaving the darker colour to show through in the recesses of the texture of the hair and braids, and also at the line where the hair/beard meets the skin.

The first highlight step is with Baneblade Brown and these highlights want to be focused on the ridges where the detail is raised such as the braids on this models and also the mustache.

The final highlight is with Karak Stone and is once again applied to the raised areas, focussing mainly on the ends of his braids and the mustache. 

The very last thing to do is to block out the metal rings holding his braids together with Leadbelcher.
And with that the face of the model is finished.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful and any and all comments/ criticisms are welcome.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Space Wolf (dark grey scheme) Tutorial

Welcome to my tutorial for how I paint my Space Wolves. I personally dislike the 'traditional' baby blue that GW paint their studio Space Wolf army and so decided to paint mine with dark, storm grey armour, much like their Pre-Heresy colour scheme.
I also opted to represent Harald Deathwolf's Company as opposed to Ragnar's so mine will sport red shoulders and detailing instead of yellow.

First step is to base and prime the models but as this is widely done by most hobbyists anyway I decided to leave it out of the tutorial and start from the first base coat.

Power Armour

'Innocence proves nothing'

The first step is to base coat the Power Armour with Eshin Grey. A good solid base coat is needed so it may take 2 coats. I'm generally quite messy at this stage to save time as any grey on other parts of the model will be covered anyway.

The next step is to shade the grey with Agrax Earthshade. Rather than washing the model I apply the paint directly into the recesses to avoid unnecessary  pooling on the armour.

Once the shading is fully dry I move onto highlighting the armour with Dawnstone.  Watering down the paint here is essential to get nice clean straight lines, focusing on the edges of the armour plates. Take your time here but don't worry too much about mistakes as it's simple enough to correct with some Eshin grey.

The final step for the armour is a fine highlight of Administratum grey which is applied to the very edges of the armour such as on the ridges above and below the eye lenses, the elbows, finger tips, and shoulder pads etc.

Red areas

'Educate men without faith and you but make them clever devils'

All the red areas such as the shoulder pads, eye lenses and purity seals are given a coat of Khorne red. This may take two coats so make sure to water the red down.

These areas are then given a shading with Agrax eathshade, applied in a similar manner to the shade on the armour.

The eyes, purity seal and other red details are highlighted with Evil Sunz Scarlet. Make sure to leave some of the previous red visible on the eyes.

The eyes are given a fine highlight of Troll Slayer Orange, painting a fine line inside the previous red.

Using a fine detail brush, paint a tiny line of White scar in the centre of the previously applied orange. Watering the paint down and being patient is the key here. Take your time and make sure your wrists are braced together to insure your hands are as steady as possible.

Finally I apply a glaze of Bloodletter to the entire eye lense and also to the grey ridge around the area to create the glow effect. This usually takes to coats to build up the required coat but you can do this to taste by adding as many layers of the glaze as you want.

Fur/ Teeth/ Purity Seals

'Burn the heretic. Kill the mutant. Purge the unclean'

The fur, teeth and Purity seals are given a base coat of Dryad Bark

For the fur I apply Gorthor Brown a quarter of the way down the area as you can see on the above image. For the teeth and Purity seals I fully coat them with Gorthor brown.

The next layer for the fur is Karak Stone and is applied halfway down the fur. The teeth and Seals are layered with Karak Stone leaving some of the previous brown visible.

The bottom of the fur is coated with Screaming Skull while the seals and teeth are highlighted with fine lines along their edges.
Finally I apply Skull white as a highlight to the bottom of the fur, using it to pick out the ridges and tufts of the fur.


 'It is better to die for the Emperor than to live for yourself'

The Boltgun, the chain links holding the teeth, and any trims you want to be metal are base coated with Leadbelcher.

Next I shade the metallic areas with Agrax Earthshade, applying it all over the areas.
Once the wash is dry I highlight the metal areas with Runefang steel, picking out the edges of the Boltgun and its details.


'He who stands with me shall be my brother' 

Now for the gold I base coat the areas with Balthazar Gold. Again this may take two coats to cover properly.
To add some depth and colour to the gold I use Guilliman glaze, applying it to the details on the gold areas such as the wings of the Aquila on the Boltgun and the rivets on the models right knee pad.
To highlight the gold I use Runefang Steel. This gives the gold a really bright, sharp appearance that helps it stand out from the armour and make it look raised. I apply it to the top most edges such as the wings of the Aquila and the tops of the armour trims.

Boltgun casing/ soft armour

 'Walk softly, and carry a big gun'

The Boltgun casing is given a thin edge highlight of Eshin grey.

The soft armour at the joints is painted with Abbadon black. This is also a good time to go back and correct any mistakes on the armour with Eshin grey.

 Freehand symbols


Now I move on to the Company and Pack Markings. For this it is really helpful to have some reference material to use as a guide. As I'm doing Deathwolf's Company the Company bade is that of a wolf's head swallowing the sun.
Using thinned down Abbadon Black I slowly sketch out the rough shape of the wolf's head, referring back to the image of the symbol to make sure I'm getting the basic shape correct.
It's important to take your time here and make sure your paint is sufficiently watered down so it flows well and is easily covered with Khorne Red should any mistakes be made.

With the Wolf head finished and any mistakes corrected with Khorne red, I move onto the fairly simple sun beams. These are painted with watered down Eshin grey. I rotate/tilt the model accordingly so that I'm painting the lines downwards which gives me more brush control.
The wolf head is highlight with Eshin grey, focusing on the top of the head and the curve of the mouth. I also painted the wolf's eye with a fine detail brush.

To finish the Company symbol the sun beams are highlighted with Administratum grey, using a fine detail brush to apply the paint within the previous grey.

Armour chips/ Battle damage

'Success is measured in blood; yours or your enemy´s'

This next step is completely optional depending on how if you want to add some slight battle damage to the models.
I find it does add that extra little detail to the model and is worth the short time required to do.
Using a fine detail brush paint a small, thin line of Dryad Bark onto the armour panels. I find areas such as the model's greaves and elbows are a good place to paint these.
To finish the chips use watered down Dawnstone to paint another thin line onto the greaves directly under the previous line. This gives the chip/scratch a 3d look.


'Fear denies faith'

Now the basing is obviously subject to personal preference but as the armour is so dark and grey I've opted for a soil/ woodland look as opposed to my oft preferred urban bases.
Use Dray Bark to base coat the sand completely.

Once the previous coat is dry I use Gorthor Brown to dry brush the sand.

Next up I dry brush the sand with Karak Stone.

The very last step is to use and old brush to paint the rim of the base with Dryad Bark.

 Finished model

'All souls call out for salvation'

With that the model is complete.
I hope this tutorial wasn't too long winded and is insightful/ helpful in some way.