Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WIP: Psykers- Underpainting and NMM

I've been working on these Psykers this week. Decided to try something a little different on the flesh and attacking some speedy NMM. Let's see how it worked.

I didn't study painting when I went to art school, but I know enough about it tangentially to be dangerous. A very common technique for renaissance painters was to paint different colors underneath their skin tones to generate different effects. If you look at skin, it's pretty translucent. Painting reds and blues (veins) underneath some translucent flesh tones makes them look more lifelike. Painting greens and purples underneath can make the skin look sickly or dead.

Now, I've not had a ton of experience with skin tones being a Tau and (helmed) GK player, but that's going to have to change now. So far I've been pretty disappointed in my results playing with flesh tones. I never seem to get them to blend right. Regardless, I thought I'd make it that much more difficult for myself and make these Psykers look sickly and weird by starting with some underpainting. I've seen underpainting done on minis before, but not at this scale and not with the greens.

Now, keep in mind super tight macro photography highlights flaws incredibly well, but I'm just playing with the technique a little to see how it works. You can see in the header image it's actually not too bad when viewed with human eyes. Here goes:

With a Waggah base and purple around the eyes, and then keeping pretty pale and light on the flesh tones (mixes of Vallejo Flat Flesh and some GW Ushabti Bone, Flesh wash) he looks pretty sickly. It's not a bad result and I think it might be worth me exploring more in the future.

After knocking out the skin, I moved on to the NMM Gold on the top of the staves. I used Rodion Rubin's recipe. His looks a hell of a lot better than mine.

I think the biggest thing (other than rushing and being sloppy) I did wrong was to get rid of too much of the Sepia wash. The final product is too pale. I'll probably go back in and try to darken it up a bit because it was looking more gold at step 4 than at step 8. Too brassy now.

Goal for the week is to kill these and then bring on the Alphas!



  1. I've never thought about doing underpainting for flesh colors. That's ingenious.

    The only critique I can give about the gold NMM would maybe give a little more directional lighting? This may give it some better reflective points.

    Kinda like this helmet's pillars

    1. Yeah. I'm really all over the place with the light source on these models in general. Was in a rush and got lazy.

    2. I totally get ya. I tend to rush my NMM as well.