Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Painting Faces

A few posts back I said I was looking to enter something in the Golden Demon competition in 2013. This means I have a little under a year to try and produce something I can enter, knowing I gave it my best shot.

In a series I am going to run over the next few months I am going to look at various areas within the hobby, looking in to all the tutorials out there and creating my own tutorials as I attempt to improve on the current techniques I am using to complete my models. This will cover aspects such as painting power weapons, power armour, free hand symbols, modelling and basing.

First thing to take in to consideration is the model you are painting. For instance, a Dark Eldar Wyche will have a much paler skin tone than that of an Imperial Guard Catachan Jungle Fighter. So bearing that in mind a suitable base can be applied to the face in question.

For my Space Wolf models I tend to go with a Scorched Brown (Rhinox Hide in the new paints) as a base, with a wash of Agrax Earthshade in the recesses and a mix of Dwarf Flesh and White to bring up the highlights. This is then finished off with teethand eyes being painted in white and eyes having a black pupil applied to them.

Within the 40k universe we have many a different race, different armies and all with different ways to produce their faces. Lucius (to the left) for instance was based originally in the Scorched Brown but washed with Leviathan Purple. As his face was brought out to be paler, I added another wash of the purple to all the cuts and scars on his face.

To me the faces of each model are among the most difficult aspect as it is their face that makes them what they are. If those eyes are crossed the model can end up looking like a lurching lunatic, mad and unstable. Get them right and you have a fearsome warrior, serious in the art of war.

With faces you generally have similar areas where shading is required, no matter what race you are looking at. The hairline (if applicable), around the eyes, nose, cheeks and finally both sides of the lips - in toward the teeth and then just above the chin. Of course there may be a couple more such as ears and around any studs or scars on the face. Once these areas are identified the aim is to keep as neat as possible, keep the wash within these areas and add the lighter highlights alongside these darker parts.

As for tutorials, there are a vast amount easily found all over the internet. From The Warp have a few and on the Bolter and Chainsword you can find topics such as Painting Haunted/Pale/Daemonic Faces and Flesh, Painting Human Faces and Face Painting, Step by Step.

And now, to finish off this post, I will run through a quick step by step guide of what I have tried while painting the face of Astorath the Grim.

To start with I added a couple of very thin layers of Dheneb Stone (Rakarth Flesh) to the face of Astorath, allowing each layer to dry fully before I added the next layer.

Next up I added a wash of Nuln Oil to the whole of the face, ensuring that it made its way along the hairline, mouth, eyes, nose and around the areas where the tubes connect into the side of his face.

Once the wash has dried completely I applied a further layer of Dheneb Stone around the face, ensuring it was only painted on to the more prominent areas of the face, leaving the recesses shaded.

Finally another highlight of Dheneb Stone with a very small amount of White was added as a final highlight to the most prominent areas.
And that completes the work on the flesh of the face of the Blood Angel. There is a very small amount of work to carry out on his teeth and I need to apply a fine wash of Seraphim Sepia below his head band, but I will do that when I get around to painting the head band.

As he nears completion I will put up more pictures, hopefully using an interesting tutorial I have found on painting power weapons for his axe and adapting a tutorial for the flame in his jump pack to suit the colour I want to use.

Interesting times ahead, but time in which I want to learn a lot more and really try and improve my painting neatness and accuracy. See you all again shortly!

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