40K · fine detail · miniatures. · Painting Tutorial

Tutorial: Freehand Skulls

So, building on what I wrote about painting bone, I thought I would share how I paint freehand skulls next. This is just my thoughts on the subject, and I am sure there are countless others out there. This is what works for me.

First off, you’re going to need the following: IMG_1994

As well as a wet pallette, brushes, paint thinner and clean water. You will also need a picture to follow. I used the Legio Mortis one I used the other day for the freehand on the top of the Reaver, but there are plenty of good pictures out there on Google too.

Step 1:

Use the pencil to sketch the outline of the image on the panel you’re going to be painting on:

img_1995.jpg
The shape does not have to be perfect, so long as it is a guide.

Step 3: Shade the skull shape in with thinned Rakarth flesh

IMG_1996
Don’t worry about the thinner parts, they will be covered up as we layer the paint!

Step 4: Mix Ushabti bone with Rakarth flesh 50/50 and start picking out the bits that are going to be highlighted.

IMG_1997

Step 5: Add extra highlights to the lighter spaces with Ushabti Bone – wet blending comes in handy here.

IMG_1999

Step 6: Mix Ushabti bone and Screaming Skull 50/50 and continue to add lighter patches, they should be getting smaller each time. You might want to add some white in as well, depending on how light you want the skull to be. I only added a tiny bit to this stage, but neglected to take a picture.

Step 7: Mix 75/25 Rakarth flesh and XV-88 and start shading down the darker parts of the skull.

IMG_2001
Some of the blends here look a little harsh, that will be fixed next stage.

Step 8: Add a little more XV-88 to the mix and keep shading down those key areas in the design – refer to the picture as a guide as well, it is what it is there for after all.

Step 9: The final stage is to use black to define the eye sockets, the nose and to tidy up around the edges as well, seeing how this is on a near black backing.

IMG_2003

My main points when doing freehand would be: don’t rush it, thin layers are always better, and have a picture to refer to as well!

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