• Tim T.

Painting Skin Tones

It puts the lotion on the skin...after layering multiple levels of paint to get the color just right.

When I started painting miniatures, besides eyes (which I’ll talk about in a different post), the most difficult part of painting realistic looking humans or human-like creatures was the skin. Well, I wouldn't necessarily say it was the most difficult, but was definitely the most intimidating. From my research, and lots of practice, I found that most people took one of two stances on skin - either a simple base coat and wash (which makes your mini look like an eighties G.I. Joe figure), or a super in depth layered glaze technique (effective, but takes HOURS).

I found for tabletop quality minis (as in the ones you're actually playing with, and want to get complete quickly so you can actually play), I wanted the figures to look good (so no G.I. Joe), but I didn't want to take the time to glaze. That's when I came up with a simplified layering technique.

I'm sure that many people already do similar things to this, but this is how I do the skin for tabletop minis:

The basic steps are fairly easy to follow: 1 - Base Coat with the mid level skin tone 2 - Block out the shapes of muscles and shadows with your darkest tone 3 - Use a thinned out wash to blend the two tones a bit 4 - Use the shapes that were blocked out in step two to paint smaller shapes in lighter shades

(full explanation is in the above video)

It's pretty simple to do, and doesn't require a ton of skill or talent. The best thing is, though, that after some practice, this won't take very long to do at all; and if you're doing multiple similar miniatures for an army (ie Age of Sigmar, Lord of the Rings, etc.), this works really well when combined with the assembly line method for painting lots of minis.

That's it for this one. Let me know your thoughts on this method of painting skin, and be sure to check back for more painting news and discussion.