Saturday, 6 June 2015

Tutorial: Nurgle skin painting guide

A few people have asked me how I paint the skin on my Nurgle models, so what better way to respond than by doing a step by step photo guide. I've sensibly chosen to work on a model that has lots of skin for this guide on how to paint skin, so I've gone for an old school Plaguebearer; here's the finished article:

Now this chap didn't turn out as well as usual, or indeed as I hoped! That's partially because I tried out something new and also because I lost my rhythm a bit as I had to keep taking photos. Excuses out of the way, here are the steps to achieve this type of look:

1.  Halford's White Undercoat/primer
2. Carroburg Crimson wash. I added a glaze medium and a touch of washing up liquid which helps make the paint more transparent and flow better respectively. This smoother application prevents pooling and tide marks and helps bring out the details (as the wash sits around theme) which ultimately makes the highlighting steps easier as the detail is pronounced.

3. Same as stage 2 but this time I've added a little Nuln Oil tothe wash. This one is applied to the darkest recesses and shadows. I don't always include this stage, but may instead re-apply stage 2 to deepen the wash colour.

4. Highlighting. Because the washes are very transparent, the general colour of the flesh at this stage is of course very pale due to the white undercoat. Therefore the highlighting colour is based upon the original wash colour (Carroburg Crimson) but only a small amount with a large amount of white. I apply this to the raised areas (and also I imagine where any light source is coming from - usually from above).

5. Subsequent highlight layers are added, each time a greater quantity of white is added to the mix and applied to a smaller area of the raised detail, so that the previous hue is apparent. By adding some glaze medium to each highlight the paint is quite transparent which means that some of the colour of the underlying coat shows through - which helps blend and unify the highlights.

6. Now this was the experimental part. (I did have some prior success on a Chaos Warrior - scroll to the bottom of that post) where I used some crackle medium. In that post I applied the crackle medium straight onto the model. In this case I mixed it with a touch of Nurgling Green in the hope that the separating nature of the crackle medium would reveal the crimson undercoat between the cracks, like so:

Imagine the cracks here revealing the crimson colour beneath a pale nurgling green layer - here seen as brown.
Alas the addition of the paint and it's own medium combined with the crackle medium, seems to have counteracted the effects of the crackle medium so the Nurgling Green layer has ended up appearing just like a glaze - not what I was intending - but it still looks ok.
7. So I continued on (but more experiments are needed in a future post), by working in some highlights for the uppermost layer of skin. Adding larger quantities of white to the Nurgling Green for raised highlights.
8. To create a greater contrast between the skin layers and the open sores, I mixed up a bloody combination of red, purple and black inks and applied several thin layers into the relevant areas. Again a touch of glaze medium and washing up liquid was used to help improve the flow.

9. Finally some Tamiya Clear Red was applied to small spots of the open sores to create a glossy, oozing feel to the wounds.

10. The teeth and horns were painted with layered up yellows (from Bestial Brown to increased amounts of Sunburst Yellow and white). I think I may have gone a bit too yellow and should really tone it down with some Bleached Bone. But that will never happen - I rarely go back to a miniature when it's completed! The tongue is painted with Titillating Pink. Any excuse to paint with it and name check it in a post.

11. The basing tutorial in all it's detail.

So the completed model. As I said it's far from my best ever paint job, but serves a purpose in sharing how I paint (if anyone is still interested!). Furthermore it shows my enjoyment of experimenting with new and different techniques, even if they don't always succeed. But I will persevere.

As an Art Teacher, I'm often asked how we mark artwork, well some of the criteria are:
  • how students (hopefully successfully!) experiment with a range of materials
  • how students realise their intentions
  • how students have developed their work, often through looking at how other artists have worked.
Well with regards to miniatures, the later we all do I'm sure - who doesn't have a folder of inspiration on their PC? Or at least we have all looked at an 'Eavy Metal article / Golden Deamon paint job from a White Dwarf of yore and based our own work on that. The last two criteria I haven't been so successful with here, so I certainly wouldn't mark this highly - I'll give myself a C.

I may go into this link between "successful" GCSE/A-Level art and miniature painting in a bit more in a future post, stay tuned, I bet you can't wait!