We used the Army Painter range of paints for this tutorial, they have great surface coverage, and a wide range of colors. Make sure to shake the paint pot before you apply some to your palette, to make sure it’s properly mixed. Once you’ve applied the paint to you palette you will need to thin your paints down with a small amount of water. About a 1:1 ratio will work for most paints.
We have used a few paint mixes in this tutorial. To get these simply take the required amount out of each pot and place them next to each other on your palette. The thin them down to the right consistency.
Due to the size of this miniature you are going to want to use a smaller size brush with a fine point. The majority of this miniature was painted with a Size 0 brush, going down to a Size 00 or even a 000 for the ultra-fine details.
If this is your first time painting a miniature then this probably seems a bit intimidating. No worries! You can stick to Step 1,2, and 3 and then base the miniature. Practice makes perfect and you’ll be up and running in no time.
The most important thing to remember when painting miniatures is HAVE FUN!
Step 1 - Apply your Base Colors
Dress Skirt and Boots – Oak Brown
Dress Sleeves and Trim – Troglodyte Blue
Flesh – Kobold Skin
Yellow Trim – Phoenix Flames
Red Trim – Chaotic Red
Green trim – Greenskin
Gold – Weapon Bronze
Hair – Mid Brown
Leather Belt and Scabbards – Necromancer Cloak
We start by blocking out all the different areas of the miniature with a dark basecoat. These colors act as the shadows for the final colors and make them a bit easier to apply. We want to apply a couple of thin coats of paint instead of one thick one so we don’t obscure any of the sculpted details.
Twiggy has a mix of large open areas and fine details. We want to fill in the large areas first and then work on the small detail on top, as it’s easier than trying to go around all the fine details to fill in the areas underneath.
It’s best to start with the skirt of Twiggy’s dress, the sleeves and her hair. Once these larger areas are blocked in we can move onto the different dress trim and the gold details on the leatherwork.
Take care when painting the dress trims as they are thin bands of color. These bands are sculpted on so you have a guide to follow when applying the paint, just take it slow and steady. If you slip when painting these or other fine details its ok, you can go back and neaten up with the appropriate color.
You might need to do two thin layers of paint rather than one thicker layer in order to get a solid coverage of paint when painting the lighter colors or larger areas.
Step 2 - Brighten up your Base Coat
Dress Skirt and Boots – Dirt Spatter
Dress Sleeves and Trim – Hydra Turquoise
Flesh – Barbarian Flesh
Yellow Trim – Daemonic Yellow
Red Trim – Pure Red
Green Trim – Goblin Green
Gold – Greedy Gold
Hair – Desert Yellow
Leather Belt and Scabbards– Dark Stone
Now we have our different areas all blocked out, we will start to add depth to the colors by brightening them up. Concentrating on the raised areas and sections that would be exposed to more light, we start to apply the brighter versions of our base colors. This is generally on the tops of an area, the ridge of a fold of cloth and on the more pronounced details of a face like the eyebrows, nose, cheeks and lips.
When highlighting Twiggy’s dress trim only paint the lighter colors onto the upper parts of the material folds. These will be very fine lines so take your time.
When applying these we want to be careful to leave a small amount of our basecoat in the folds and recesses of the area we are working on to act as a shadow.
Just like Step 1 start applying paints to the larger areas first and then move on to the finer details. This will help limit any slips and getting paint where it’s not supposed to be. No worries if you do though, just wait till the paint dries, grab that original basecoat and touch up the mistake. Good as new!
Step 3 - Applying Some Washes
Dress Skirt – Strong Tone
Flesh – Soft Tone
Hair – Strong Tone
Leather Belt and Scabbards– Dark Tone
These washes will help to add shade to the miniature and increase the definition on highly detailed areas. Mix them well with water, but don’t thin them down too much or they can dry leaving a very chalky finish.
Twiggy is quite a bright miniature with a variety of colors. We don’t really need to apply a wash to these brighter colors just the darker leather areas of the dress, the boots, and belts. The flesh areas are going to be pale so use the wash sparingly here.
Due to the nature of a wash they are much thinner than the paint we have been using and can be harder to control. Don’t overload your brush or allow the wash to pool in the creases as it can run into other areas of the miniature.
Step 4 - Edge Highlights
Dress Skirt and Boots – Leather Brown
Dress Sleeves and Trim – Toxic Mist
Flesh – Barbarian Flesh Mixed with Elven Flesh (50/50)
Yellow Trim – Babe Blonde
Red Trim – Mythical Orange
Green Trim – Snake Scales
Gold – Bright Gold
Hair – Desert Yellow Mixed with Moon Dust (50/50)
Leather Belt and Scabbards– Castle Grey
After we have applied the washes to add depth and enhance the detail of the areas, we can do a layer of color to brighten it up again.
Just like before we want to concentrate these colors on the raised areas and details of the mini such as the tip of the nose and cheekbones of the face, the top ridges of the folds of her dress, and the sharp edges of the scabbards and belts.
The highlights at this stage are quite small and pronounced. They cover only the uppermost areas on cloth folds and sharpest of edges. We do this to add more contrast between the light and shadowed areas.
It’s best to use the smaller Size 00 or 000 for this stage as you need to be very careful, especially on the dress trim at this stage. Take your time and remember it’s easy to go back and cover up any slips and mistakes if you do make any.
Step 5 - Final Highlights and Finishing Touches
Congratulations! Twiggy is ready to join the party.
This is an extra stage where you can choose to add another layer of highlights or go back to the mini and pick out small details, paint in the eyes and mouth or enhance the details by taking the Size 000 brush and Matt Black, and carefully paint in the lines between each different area. This technique is known as “black lining” or “lining in”. This will really add to the contrast for the black areas. If you do this for Twiggy it’s probably best not to try and paint a line between the dress trim colors as they are so small.
With your miniature painted, you can choose how you would like them to be based. It’s perfectly fine to leave the base black, but just make sure to clean up the edge and give the base a nice even coat of black paint to really help the miniature look finished. Alternately you can use sand and glue or pumice gel to give the base some earthy texture and then paint it to match whichever setting you like. You can then add some static grass or grass tufts to bring the base to life.
If you plan to use this miniature for gaming, it is a good idea to seal it with either a spray- on sealer such as Testor Dullcote or Army Painter Anti-Shine. There are brush-on options available if the idea of using a spray can on your freshly painted miniature is something you’re wary of. In either case, be sure to follow the application instructions provided.
Always test your sealer before applying it to your miniature to make sure it cures correctly.
We would love to see your results so post them up on Twitter using #CrittersPaint hashtag!