09 October 2010

Painting flesh - [Tutorial]

A couple of people wondered about the skin for this particular group of models so here's a tutorial.Pretty much all paints used are Vallejo. Only GW paints used are the washes. I painted all faces and hands using a “Precise detail/very fine detail” brush.

Step 1:The basecoat
Black primer, I favor this over white for multiple reasons. Leaves a smoother surface and is less tiresome to cover with paints (at least according to me) since I always go from very dark colors up to bright highlights.

Charred Brown basecoat, cover the entire flesh area with dark brown, this is just a basecoat to make the following flesh color cover better.

Layer of Tanned Flesh, again cover the entire flesh area.

Stage 2: Shading
This is where the real groundwork for your future finished result is done. It's pretty important that you've covered the entire flesh areas in good covering layers previously.

First give the flesh areas a good wash of Leviathan Purple.
You will cover most of this wash in paint further on but for now it will serve as a good deep shade and help you pick out the facial features.

Wait for it to dry then paint the eyes, I always do the eyes at this early stage, since you can afford to mess up and still clean things up as you paint the later stages

Now, hit the flesh with another round of Tanned Flesh, this time be very careful while you paint. Leave the wash in deep cracks such as between fingers on hands, and in whatever wrinkles on the face.

Stage 3: Highlights

Usually I have 3 original paints at my disposal, Tanned Flesh, Dwarf Skin and Elf Skintone and mix those three paints as I move from highlight to highlight. However for this type of skin which is a bit warmer in tone, I only use Tanned Flesh and Bone White.

You should leave the lower lip untouched by highlights throughout the remainder of this tutorial as it is supposed to be a darker shade of flesh.

So your first highlight on your previous layer of Tanned Flesh should be a roughly 60-40 mix of Tanned Flesh and Bone White.

Followed by a 40-60 mix of Tanned Flesh and Bone white. This stage should pretty much cover only specific areas that are much more elevated than the surrounding flesh. Eyebrows, chins, knuckles, cheek bones etc.

Almost finished now, your model will look a bit strange at this point, and not at all "warm" as I have described it. But you now are going to wash the flesh areas gently with Ogryn Flesh. Not to much though, you barely want to darken the skin and once again hit those cracks in between fingers and wrinkles. This HL stage will darken those specific areas further - especially if you did a good job and didn't paint over the Leviathan Purple wash.

Now the only thing you need to do is to wait for the wash to dry, then you are going to pick your last Tanned Flesh + Bone White mix (40-60) and apply it - pretty thinned down onto the once again specific raised areas such as knuckles, chin etc. This has to be done very lightly and with a very thin layer.

I Matt Varnish all my miniatures, which can alter the shade of colors slightly, but at this stage you should have something that looks like the flesh on this last picture.


  1. Tanned flesh isn't available from GW anymore D:

  2. What!? Sounds crazy.

    But the Tanned Flesh (72066 Tan) from Vallejo is of the same color, cheaper and you get more of it in the bottle than in the GW can- so swap for that instead :-)

  3. Yea, GW have "dark flesh" witch I think is replacement for tanned flesh...


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