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 your 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. This is easy to do: just follow the above process for thinning down your paints but before you add the water, add and equal amount of the second color to the first. You can give these a quick swirl with your paintbrush to mix them, add the water and then continue to mix them together until they are one, smooth color.
Due to the size of this miniature you are going to want to use a smaller size brush with a fine point. Most of this miniature was painted with a Size 0 brush, going down to a Size 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 Steps 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
Shirt – Dark Stone
Leather Apron – Oak Brown
Flesh – Tanned Flesh
Hair – Castle Grey
Barrel – Dirt Spatter
Boots and Gloves – Oak Brown mixed with Matt Black (50/50)
Buckles – Rough Iron
The first step is to start blocking out the different areas of color on the miniature. These will be the darkest shade of each color we use, and form the shadow areas for the later stages. Take your time with these and try to keep them as neat as possible.
Victor is wearing a variety of items of leather protective equipment (wise given his profession!). To make these stand out from each other we will use a variety of similar brown tones highlighted with different shades.
The first color applied is Oak Brown as it covers the majority of the miniature. 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.
After that you can work around the miniature blocking in each remaining color, concentrating on the neatness and getting a solid coverage. The lighter the color, the more likely it is you will need to apply two coats to get a proper coverage.
Step 2 - Brighten up your Base Coat
Shirt – Cultist Robe
Leather Apron – Dirt Spatter
Flesh – Barbarian Flesh
Hair – Ash Grey
Barrel – Leather Brown
Boots and Gloves – Previous layer mix with 50% Cultist Robe added
Buckles – Gun Metal
Now 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 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. At this stage we don’t need to be applying as much paint to the miniature as when we did the basecoats, so be careful not to overload your brush.
We will start to give each different area its own tone of brown. Victor’s apron is going to take the brunt of his explosive craft so lets make it look worn and used. When highlighting the apron make sure to emphasise the tears and rips in the leather as well as the edges and raised folds.
Step 3 - Applying Some Washes
Shirt – Dark Tone
Leather Apron – Strong Tone
Flesh – Strong Tone
Hair – Strong Tone
Barrel – Dark Tone
Boots and Gloves – Dark Tone
Buckles – Dark Tone
These washes will help to add shade to the miniature and increase the definition on highly detailed areas. Mix them well, but don’t water them down too much or they can dry leaving a very chalky finish.
The Strong Tone wash over the top of the leather areas will really help add definition to the leather straps, and increase the difference between the various brown tones layers.
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. If you apply too much simply rinse your brush, dry it off, and then use it to soak up the excess wash from the miniature.
Step 4 - Brighten up the Colors
Shirt – Castle Grey
Leather Apron – Dirt Spatter mixed with Werewolf Fur (50/50)
Flesh – Elven Flesh
Hair – Stone Golem
Barrel – Monster Brown
Boots and Gloves – Castle Grey
Buckles – Plate Mail Metal
After we have applied the washes to add depth and enhance the detail of the areas, we can go and do a layer of color to brighten it up again.
Just like before we want to concentrate these colors on the very raised areas/details of Victor. The prominent facial details, the tops of cloth folds, the edges of straps and scratches and rips in his apron.
The highlights (particularly on the leatherwork) at this stage are quite small and pronounced. We do this to add more contrast between the light and shadowed areas and increase the look of light shining on the various materials. It’s best to use the smaller Size 00 brush for this stage, as you need to be very careful.
Step 5 – Highlights
Shirt – Castle Grey mixed with Banshee Brown (50/50)
Leather Apron –Werewolf Fur
Flesh – Corpse Pale
Hair – Stone Golem mixed with Matt White (50/50)
Barrel – Monster Brown mixed with Skeleton Bone (50/50)
Boots and Gloves – Castle Grey mixed with Spaceship Exterior (50/50)
Buckles – Shining Silver
At this stage we want to add some really small and fine highlights to the very sharpest edges and uppermost areas of the miniature.
We can also use these highlights to increase the contrast in Victor’s leather apron and the worn and battered effect.
Take your time with this layer and perhaps use a Size 000 brush for some of the smallest highlights. This is a more complicated step so no worries if you want to give it a miss and move on to the finishing touches.
Step 6 - Finishing Touches
Congratulations you’ve painted Victor!
This is an extra stage where you can choose to go back to the miniature and pick out small details, paint in eyes/mouth or enhance the details by taking the Size 000 brush and Matt Black, carefully paint in the lines between each different area. This technique is known as “black lining” or “lining in” and it helps to re-define each area of the miniature and helps to add contrast between them at a distance.
This is also when you can add a few indicators of Victor’s craft to the miniature. If you take Matt Black and a Size 00 brush, you can stipple a few small patches of black to represent gunpowder stains and small burns to areas such as the apron, sleeves, and Victor's face.
With your miniature painted, you can choose how you would like him 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 and Instagram using #CrittersPaint!