Friday, 6 April 2007

Don't Panic!

Hari has started painting his amazons.

Since I can't give him advice personally on how to paint miniatures, here's a simple little guide to the basics of painting and shadowing of miniatures. Maybe that can be useful to Nico and Patrick too.

The following describes how I paint my models, but of course there are as many other ways as there are painters. Still, i believe my technique to be a good compromise between effects and time, resulting in rather good-looking models obtained in a reasonable amount of time.

Here are the basic rules you should stick to:

1) Undercoat well! The spots that are missed by the primer-spray should be undercoated with paint and brush.

2) Three shades minimum! I ALWAYS paint at least 4 layers (= shades) on every model, for every type of zone.

e.g. The leather parts get 4 shades of brown, the skin parts get 4 shades of skin-colour etc...

You can paint only three layers to save time, but at the expense of realism. You should never paint less, lest you regret it in a week time.

3) Darkest colour first! ALWAYS start with the darkest colour and work your way up to the brightest.

4) Shrink the layers as you go. Every new layer you paint onto the model should be smaller than the previous layer, thus creating the wanted "3-dimensional" effect.


5) Drybrush metal parts! Parts that are to look as though made of metal, should NOT be painted as described above, but should be painted by "drybrushing" (explained later).

6) Dip the brush carefully. Try to avoid paint going up to the metal part. It makes the brush last longer without loosing it's tip.

That's about it.

Let's see an example. I painted an orc arm here, but it is the exact same technique with EVERY miniature. Only the colours change.

Here I used 3 colours for the skin. Light green, dark green and black. I used black to make my dark green even darker (= 1st layer!)

Step 1: Undercoat.

Thick brush for drybrushing and thin one for the painting of the skin.

Step 2: drybrushing weapons.

- Paint/Undercoat the part in BLACK.
- Take some "rust" paint onto your (thick) brush and wipe off 80% of it into a piece of cloth (or other).

- Now brush the weapon with vigorous strokes. Make sure some of the black undercoat still shines through. Don't take too much paint or you will clog the detail of the miniature!

- Reapeat the same only with "metal" colour, and stroke more gently. You should now see both, very little black AND a little "rust" shimmer through.

Step 3: Painting the skin.

As described above, paint the layers.

1. 90% dark green + 10% Black

2. Pure dark green (smaller areas)

3. 50% dark green + 50% light green (even smaller areas)

4. 10% dark green + 90% light green (only highest areas, like knuckles etc...)

Below I did the same for the orc's wristband, only with 3-4 shades of brown. Tadaaaa!

For human skin you would rather have used Brown and Pink. Starting with pure Brown and finishing with pure pink. The intermediate shades would be mixes of those two.

e.g. The layers would be as follows:

1. Pure brown.
2. 40% brown + 60% Pink
3. 10% brown + 90% Pink
4. Pure pink on the nose, cheeks, fingers...

The percentages should depend on the paints used, and on what you think looks good. There is no ideal recepie. Be creative!

I hope this helps.


Okami said...

Haughtiness tutorial,
I proceed in the same way of the darkest in most clearly...
Without sometimes my meadows-sleeping around for the flesh for example I use of the white...

Two links :

General practitioner

and tutorials

thomas said...

"Haughtiness"? J'étais condéscendant moi?

euuuh... en tout cas merci beaucoup pour les links, je vais voir TOUT DE SUITE! :)


thomas said...


Premie Link --> Bof. Je n'aime pas trop sa technique d'encrage qu'il semble conseiller pour toutes les couleurs de peau.

Deuxième Link --> LA VAAAAACHE!Mais c'est clair que Rackham ont les figs les mieux peintes! (spécialement Cadwallon). C'est connu ca!
En même temps ils utilisent une air-brush et c'est pas cheap comme outil (quoique excellent). Je doute donc que cela puisse aider mon cousin qui vient de commencer avec ses deux vieux piceaux. :D

En tout cas merci de me remettre à ma place ;-)

Okami said...

Yo !!! ( de ohayo "bonjour" en Japonais)

Mais non mon ami je te remet nullement à ta place ; tu as un super talent et tes figurines sont excellentes - loin de moi l'idée de dévaloriser ton travail - les liens sont justes pour info rien de plus...

Et mon anglais est plutôt salement rouillé donc mes excuses sincères - j'ai utilisé Haughtiness dans le sens "haut" "grand" et pas "condescendant" !!! ;))))

Hari said...


I've violated all this advices and help from tom. i'm not talented but i've satisfied his "law", that models at his table must be painted. and that happend in a most surrealistic und colorful way. I'm sorry!!! ;-)
My models look so disgusting i think.

pictures coming soon...

greetz Hari

Okami said...

No problem on figurines and decoration!!!
It 's a good job!!!


now i know how ya are gonna paint the devilish monkeyXD..

Taller de Escenografía said...

Good tutorial
Congratulations from Spain

Thomas said...

Muchas gracias hombre! ;)