A Guide to Painting Faces

Wood, metal, cloth, skin, facial hair and fancy shield designs are the main things you will need to paint in your Dark Age army.

Today I'm going to share with you how I paint the skin. The face is one of the most important parts of a figure so I'm going to be focused there.

Before we start, there are two important things that are going to help us to get a nice result:

  • A good modelled and casted figure (and Footsore makes superb ones).
  • And thinning down the paint and applying thin layers.

All the paints used here are from Vallejo. Let´s start. 

1.- I like to prime my figures in a light grey (I use Vallejo surface primer grey), and then apply a wash with Umber Wash (73.203), this brings out all the details of the figure.

2.- Start applying the base coat with Flat Flesh (70.955). We can let the previous wash be seen to create some shadows.

3.- Apply a wash to the whole surface with Fleshtone Shade (73.204).

4.- Make a wash with Flat Earth (70.983) mixing one drop of paint with three of water. Apply it to the deeper areas (both sides of the nose, under the lip, the gap with the helmet, the neck...). Then apply a wash with Umber Wash (73.203) to the eyes and mouth.

5.- Paint with Ivory (70.918) the eyes and the teeth leaving a thin outline.

To paint the left eye (or the right if we are lefties) it will be easier to turn the figure upside down. 

6.- Paint the pupils with black. We can paint it in different positions to change gaze direction, but we have to paint the pupil in the same place in both eyes.

7.- Apply the highlights Flat Flesh (70.955). And them another highlights a mixture of two parts of Flat Flesh (70.955) and one part of Ivory (70.918).

8.- Paint two thin lines with Chocolate Brown (70.872) for the eyebrows.

9.- Prepare a glaze mixing a drop of water or medium with a little (very little) of Cavalry Brown (70.982) on the tip of the brush.

Here you can see the difference between a wash and a glaze.

Draw some of the glaze in a tissue and apply it on the cheeks. The first layer will not be appreciable, but with the next layers a nice tone will come out. It´s important to let dry completely each layer before applying the next (we can use a hair dryer to speed up the process) . I usually apply four or five layers.

10.- Now prepare another glaze with a mixture with one part of Flat Flesh (70.955) and one part of Basalt Grey (70.869). Apply it to the zone where the beard is supposed to be in the same way.

11.- Finally outline the face with a mixture of two parts of black and one part of Chocolate Brown (70.872).

Here are some examples of faces painted by using this method.

 

Author: Pedro Guerra Cernadas
I'm from Galicia, Spain, and I'm a military history and modelling enthusiast. I started painting miniatures when I was 9 years old and since I couldn't stop.
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A Guide to Painting Wood

Wood, metal, cloth, skin, facial hair and fancy shield designs are the main things you will need to paint in your Dark Age army.

Today I want to share with you my way of painting the wood items. All paints used here are from Vallejo. Let´s start.

1.- Start applying the base coat with Old Wood (310) or Beige Brown (70.875).

2.- Next, draw some thin lines to simulate the wood grain using watered down Hull Red (70.985)  and Orange Brown (70.981) .

3.- Now apply a wash to the whole surface with Sepia Shade (73.200) mixed with some thinner to increase the transparency.

With these the spears are finished, but we can continue working on the shields.

4.- Highlight one edge of the planks with Old Wood (310) and apply Umber Wash (73.203) only in the unions.

5.- To change the shade of the planks, we can apply thin washes of Umber Wash (73.203) on some of them. The more washes the more dark the plank will come.

6.- Finally, we can represent some damage by painting some fine lines with a mixture of brown and black, and adding another thin line under it with Old Wood (310) to increase the volume.

Here are some examples of miniatures painted by using this method.

 

 

Changing the colours and washes mentioned here you can obtain different shades. And if you want to represent some new treated wood you can finish your work with a satin varnish.

 

Author: Pedro Guerra Cernadas
I'm from Galicia, Spain, and I'm a military history and modelling enthusiast. I started painting miniatures when I was 9 years old and since I couldn't stop.
Read more
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