Sunday, March 16, 2014

WWII Soviets: Flesh

As I mentioned in the previous post, I base my figures with white primer.  I do this so that I can get brighter and truer colors when I paint my miniatures.  Part of this method is what I call inside-out painting.  I start with the most inside layers of the miniature and paint towards the outside.  So that means I start with flesh, then go to pants, jackets, boots, gear, weapons, helmets and lastly finishing details.  So my fist painting step is flesh.
As an aside, I had taken some pictures of the individual steps of painting the flesh onthese guys but then I accidentally deleted the photos.  My apologies.
Completed flesh painting example.

Base Coat

Paint all of the exposed flesh with a solid coat of flesh colored paint.  I am using Liquitex Sandalwood.  At this point there is no need to worry about being sloppy, just make sure every bit of flesh has a nice even coat of paint on it.  No bits of white showing through.  Also, you never want to gob on the paint so thickly that details become obscured.  A nice thin covering of paint is the key.  Let the paint dry completely.

Flesh Wash

The next step is a wash of a darker flesh color.  This will deepen the recessed ares of the model like between the fingers, the mouth, ears, and eye sockets.  I sometimes use ink straight from the bottle but on this project I am using one of my own concoctions.  I start with some matte acrylic medium - this is basically acrylic paint without any pigment.  Then I am adding to it some rust brown ink and some sepia ink to get a nice ruddy russian soldier color.  I mix this up in an old contact lens bottle so I can seal it up for later use.  Paint this on to the flesh paint, again you want good coverage, but the skill here is to allow the wash to pool up in the recessed areas.  There should be a difference in color from the models eye socket to the tip of his nose.  Similarly, the lines between his fingers should really pop out.  Let the wash dry completely.
Flesh wash ingredients


The highlight step is done using a drybrush technique.  The paint is the same base flesh color used previously.  Now I use a brush called a shader.  A shader comes to a flat tip, not a point like most brushes.  Dip the very tip of the shader into the paint, and then work it into the bristles by stroking the brush against some paper towel.  You should have about an 1/8 of an inch at the end of the brush saturated with paint.  Now using the paper towel, pinch the tip of the brush and gently pull the brush out.  Don't pinch so hard that you yank out the bristles, you just need to dry the paint onto the brush.  Once that is done, stroke the brush firmly against the fleshy areas of the model so that the raised up portions of the sculpt will "grab" the paint particles from the brush.  This technique should lighten the color on the models chin, nose, forehead, cheekbones, ears, fingers, etc.  You should reload the brush for each model you are painting.  If your brush starts getting gummy, wash it thoroughly in water and let it dry completely before reloading it with paint again.  Dry brushing is a valuable technique for a miniature painter and it is one with which you will need to become competent.
Shader brush and paper towel after highlighting
Another example of finished flesh painting

Next Time:  Uniforms

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