Painting Avantika | Critical Role

Bidet Critters,

We’re back with another painting tutorial for you wonderful people out there to draw some inspiration from. Start out by cleaning and priming your miniature. Before painting your miniature we recommend you check out our article detailing how to assemble Avantika here. Preparing your miniature is a very important step as it will help make the painting process much smoother and more enjoyable. 

For this tutorial, Army Painter paints were used. These are nice paints that are widely available online and at your local game store. When using Army Painter be sure to shake them very well, and when you squirt them out onto your pallet mix them with a wet brush before applying them to your miniature.  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. 

Due to the details 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 0 0 or even 000 for the ultra-fine details. 

If you’re brand new to painting and find it all a bit intimidating, we hear you! To achieve a great looking paint job using some fantastic beginner techniques, only follow step 1, step 2, step 3, and step 5. These steps show the basics of blocking in base colors over the entire miniature, adding some washes to these base colors to help bring out the detail of the sculpt, and some finishing touches such as basing your miniature.

Most important of all, take your time and have fun with it! Let’s begin!

Step 1 - First Layer: Apply your Base colors 

  • Coat – Deep Blue

  • Scarf – Dark Sky

  • Flesh – Kobold Skin mixed with Werewolf Fur (50:50)

  • Hair -  Monster Brown

  • Metal – Rough Iron

  • Gold – Weapon Bronze

  • Shirt – Wizards Orb

  • Leather Belt, Pouches and Boots – Oak Brown

  • Trousers, Hat, Gloves and Scabbard – Necromancer Cloak

We’ll start by blocking out all of 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 details. 

Let’s start with Avantika’s coat and scarf. It’s best to start with these larger sections and then move onto the smaller details as it’s easier to keep things neat. Although, if you slip when painting these fine details its ok – you can go back and neaten up with the appropriate color. 

Step 2 - Second Layer: Brighten up your Base Coat 

  • Coat – Ultramarine Blue

  • Scarf – Dark Sky mixed with Wolf Grey (50:50)

  • Flesh – Kobold Skin

  • Hair -  Monster Brown mixed with Fire Lizard (50:50)

  • Metal – Gun Metal

  • Gold – Greedy Gold

  • Shirt – Elemental Bolt

  • Leather Belt, Pouches and Boots – Dirt Spatter

  • Trousers, Hat, Gloves and Scabbard – Cultist Robe

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 e.g. the ridge of a

When applying the second layer we want to be careful to leave a small amount of our basecoat in the folds and recesses of the area we are painting to act as a shadow. Especially in areas like the belt buckles where there are sculpted details as this helps enhance them once finished.  

Just like step 1 we want to 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 - Third Layer: Applying Some Washes 

  • Coat – Blue Tone

  • Scarf – Blue Tone

  • Flesh – Soft tone

  • Hair -  Strong Tone

  • Metal – Strong Tone

  • Gold – Strong Tone

  • Shirt – N/A

  • Leather Belt, Pouches and Boots – Strong Tone

  • Trousers, Hat, Gloves and Scabbard – Dark tone

The variety of different colors and fine details on Avantika makes it a perfect miniature for a series of washes. 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 chalky finish. 

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. No worries if some accidentally goes on there though. Just like with the highlights you can go back and touch up and slips.  

Step 4 - Layer: Edge Highlights and touch ups. 

  • Coat – Viking Blue

  • Scarf – Wolf Grey

  • Flesh – Kobold Skin mixed with Corpse Pale

  • Hair - Fire Lizard

  • Metal – Plate Mail Metal

  • Gold – Bright Gold

  • Shirt – Elemental Bolt Mixed with Toxic Mist (50:50)

  • Leather Belt, Pouches and Boots – Dirt Spatter

  • Trousers, Hat, Gloves and Scabbard – Castle Grey

After we have applied the washes to add depth and enhance the details of the areas, we can do a layer of color to brighten Avantika up again. 

Just like before we want to concentrate these colors on the raised areas/details of the mini such as the tip of the nose and cheekbones for the face, the top ridges of the folds for the cloth, and the sharp edges of the metalwork. 

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 and increase the look of light shining on black.  

It’s best to use the smaller Size 00 or 000 for this stage as you need to be very careful, especially on the smaller buckles and the shirt details. 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 

  • Coat – Crystal Blue

  • Scarf – Fog Grey

  • Flesh – Corpse Pale

  • Hair -  Basilisk Brown

  • Metal – Shining Silver

  • Gold – Bright Gold mixed with Shining Silver (50:50)

  • Shirt –Toxic Mist

  • Leather Belt, Pouches and Boots – Werewolf Fur

  • Trousers, Hat, Gloves and Scabbard – Ash Grey

At this stage we can apply a further highlight to Avantika to really brighten up the colors and increase the contrast between the light and shadowed areas of the miniature. 

It’s best to use a small size 00 or 000 brush for this stage as the highlights are very small and pronounced. Just like before concentrate them on the uppermost raised areas, sharpest edges and finest details of each area. 

Step 6 – Finishing Touches 

Congratulations! You now have a painted Avantika. 

This is also an extra stage where you can choose to go back to the mini and pick out small details. Paint in the eyes, mouth or enhance the details by taking the Size 000 brush and Matte Black, and carefully painting in the lines between each different area. This technique is known as “black lining” or “lining in”. This will really add to the contrast against the black areas. 

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 and Instagram using #CrittersPaint to show it to the community, Critical Role and Steamforged Games!