When painting our miniatures we are trying to introduce and express the character of the mini. That can be done through the colours we choose to paint the clothes and armour, the way we paint skin and hair to define a particular ethnicity, or though any number of personal touches to set the mini apart from others. Today I’d like to discuss some of tips and techniques for faces and skin tones to help define a miniature’s character.
Chan Lee and Da Wenti
At it’s simplest, choosing the correct skin tone can be all that’s necessary to achieve your goal. As the skin is such a focal point on Chan Lee, this element will speak volumes about the miniature. I wanted a skin tone that would reference a person from Hong Kong or it’s surrounds. Too light or too dark would give the impression of the wrong ethnicity. So using Vallejo Model Colour Sunny Skintone 020 as a base, I shaded the mini with P3 Flesh wash, and highlighted up with VMC Light Flesh 006 and VMC White 001 added to the base colour. Finally I used some P3 red wash to glaze the scar on his face and chest to suggest a still raw wound. This colour combination I think resulted in a warm skin tone reminiscent of someone of Cantonese descent.
In the same vein, I went with a darker palette on Da Wenti to suggest a character of a similar ethnicity, but one who spends a lot more time in the sun, perhaps of a lower caste than Chan Lee.
Andre de Montbard
For Andre I wanted to suggest a character from a paler, northern European background. This required a much lighter skin tone as a starting point. His face was base coated with VMC Flat Flesh 018, shaded with a very thin wash of P3 brown wash and highlighted with the addition of VMC Light Flesh and VMC White to the base coat. After basing and highlighting the beard, I added a thin wash of P3 blue wash around the eyes to reinforce an older skin tone.
Staying in Europe, I look at Angelo’s miniature and I think swarthy, southern Italian. To realise that image, I started with a base coat of VMC Medium Fleshtone 021. This was shaded with P3 flesh wash and highlighted with VMC Flat Flesh and VMC White. This achieved a darker, mediterranean skin tone I think more appropriate for this character. Next, to suggest a man in his middle years, I painted his hair with VMC Black Grey 168, then to further reinforce the suggestion of middle age, I added some VMC Basalt Grey 162 to the temples and as streaks in his hair. Finally, I finished off with his cigar and gold chain.
Thanks for reading again, I hope these pictures have given you some ideas for your own projects. See you next time!