I our last installment, we looked at painting pallid undead flesh. Today we’re going to continue with another technique I use for undead, painting exposed muscle. I tend to use a fairly low contrast color scheme; but as before, feel free to experiment with your own color choices to get a result you are happy with.
To do this technique, you will need:
• a #1 paintbrush
• a dark flesh tone
• Brown ink
• a medium tan brown
• an ivory or bone color.
• a dark brown or black.
1) Start off by basing the entire flesh surface with the dark flesh tone This may take several coats of paint to give it a solid coat. At the same time, using the medium brown lay a base coat on any of the bony areas.
2) Wetting the paint brush slightly, take the brown ink and give a wash to all of the based areas of the miniature. Allow this to dry, and if desired, repeat. I gave mine two full washes, then went back in a few spots a third time where I wanted to ink to be much darker.
I chose brown as I prefer to have my undead looking aged as if they have been running around for a while. If you prefer your undead to look ‘fresher’ try using a red ink for this stage as well. Make sure the red ink you use is transparent though. I’ve found certain brands of ink actually are opaque and lack the luster of the traditional inks. One of the best I’ve found to use for blood is actually red ink for calligraphy pens. For a deeper, more realistic blood color, try mixing a touch of black ink or brown to darken it a bit. Experiment with this a bit before adding it to your miniature.
Above is a set of shots from different angles of the flesh areas with the wash. It can be a bit tricky putting this much ink on a model, especially when it’s not attached to the base. However, I find it’s easier to reach the underside this without the base. Just be prepared for some interestingly colored fingers.
3) Once your ink washes are fully dried and you are happy with the results, it’s time to highlight the strands of muscle. Using the same flesh color that you used for the base coat, and a damp #1 brush, make thin strokes along the length of each strand, starting from one end, and lightening the stroke as you approach the other end. You will want to hit nearly every strand of muscle with a highlight, but try experimenting with width of the stroke, and amount of paint you lay down. This can make the muscles appear as though they are un-even and bulging. After this is done, add a coat of gloss varnish over the skin to make it appear slimy.
1) Now that all of that flesh has been highlighted, let’s turn our attention to the bone. Taking the base brown, and the damp #1 brush again, go over the raised areas of the skull and brighten them up. Blend towards the edges, and make sure to leave plenty of the darker inked areas. Drag the brush along the angled edges of the horns ever so slightly, creating a thin line.
2) Mix a 50/50 ratio of the base brown and the Ivory or bone color you have selected. Using the same highlighting and blending technique, add this mixture the same raised areas, covering about half as much of the surface as you covered with the refreshed base coat. This may take a second coat to make it solid and vibrant.
3) To finish the skull, take the unmixed ivory and highlight each one of the teeth. Using a thinned dark brown, I added a blend to the very tip of the horns and blended it down to the lighter color. Using a black, and the same #1 brush we’ve come to love, add a series of strokes, starting at the point of the horn, and thinning towards the brighter color. I’ve done these strokes along the same edge that the thing highlight line was added on in step two.
Now that we have spent some time working in the Shadows with the Black Sun, in our next article, we shall lighten things up a little!