• It's time once again to ferret out those murderous vampires in a new VAU - Vampires Amongst Us. A cross between Cluedo and a roleplay, sometimes gory and often hilarious! Find out more and sign-up! here.
Painting skin can sometimes be a tricky business, particularly when it comes to the ghoulish delights that the Vampire Counts or Soulblight Gravelords have to offer. A model’s skin is often a big focal point, so getting it right can make the world of difference to the overall appearance of the miniature. Where normal mortal skin (the pink stuff) can easily look warm and living, getting the skin of the dead to look alive is often quite hard. In this tutorial, I’m going to try and show you how monstrous skins can look as alive, and as real, as the skins of those in the mortal realm.

For the purposes of this guide, I’m going to use my Winged Vampire Lord, which I’m sure, some of you are sick to the back of seeing, but that’s pride for you! I’ll also use GW Paints so I shall be referring to these as colours*. Whilst I can’t show you any WIP (my bad for not taking any pictures), I hope you can see how I achieved the colour.

  • Firstly, I started with the membrane, as this is the largest area and the primary focal point of the model. To keep the blends looking as seamless as possible I kept my paints very thin.
  • I began by giving the wing a basecoat of Homoguant purple from the foundation range. I chose purple because I wanted to use the red in it (blue+red=purple) to give the skin a feeling of warmth that would make it seem alive despite being dead.
  • Keeping the tones fleshlike, I added some Tallarn flesh to the Homoguant Purple at about a 1:2 ratio and began my first highlight. I’d like to just point out that whilst I jot down rough mixes, I tend to go with a mix that looks and feels right. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to mixing.
  • To this, I began to add progressive amounts of Elf Flesh into the mix for each highlight and worked it up to pure elf flesh at the tips. While painting the membrane I kept my brush strokes light and followed the contours of each wing cell.
  • The wing was then given a watered down wash of Gryphonne Sepia to help smooth out the blends.

ai219.photobucket.com_albums_cc33_theretrose_Untitled_Picture4.png



  • I then shaded around the base and the bony “fingers” using a 1:1:1 heavily watered mix of Homoguant Purple, Tallarn Flesh and Charadon Granite. A tight shade of Badab Black was then applied to the very edges. Finally, the veining was done with Leviathan Purple and a little bit watered down Dark Flesh.

ai219.photobucket.com_albums_cc33_theretrose_Untitled_Picture5.png



  • For the skin on the body, I wanted to keep this a little less ‘red’. Like the wing, this was given the first highlight of Homogaunt Purple and Tallarn Flesh at a 2:1 ratio. This was followed by a 1:1 mix of Homogaunt Purple and Elf Flesh with small amounts of Dheneb Stone being added for successive highlight. A final highlight of Dheneb stone was added to prominent areas. The shading was done with Leviathan purple and this was washed around the eyes, nose, ears and any other recesses. A darker tone of Leviathan Purple with a smidge of watered down Chaos Black was applied to heavily shaded areas and kept quite tight.

ai219.photobucket.com_albums_cc33_theretrose_Untitled_Picture6.png



  • Finally, the teeth were painted with a base of Khemri Brown. This was followed by a highlight of Bleached bone and a final highlight of Dheneb Stone. It was then given a shading wash of Badab Black to give it some definition.
So that is it really. On a final note, when using cool colours for skin it’s important to inject life into it with warm colours.
  • For purple: use purple and red washes.
  • For green: use purples or browns or reds.
  • For blue: use purple and red.
*Correct on original publishing in 2010, if using the later range of GW paints, please substitute as follows:
  1. Homoguant purple = Daemonette Hide
  2. Tallarn flesh = Cadian Fleshtone
  3. Elf Flesh = Bestigor Flesh
  4. Gryphonne Sepia = Seraphim Sepia
  5. Charadon Granite = Stormvermin Fur
  6. Badab Black = Nuln Oil
  7. Leviathan Purple = Druchii Violet
  8. Dark Flesh = Doombull Brown
  9. Dheneb Stone = Rakarth Flesh
  10. Chaos Black = Abaddon Black
  11. Khemri Brown = Baneblade Brown
  12. Bleached Bone = Ushabti Bone
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Kassill

Grave Guard
Sep 28, 2011
221
Excellent work!! 🦇 The veins in particular really add that extra level of detail and they look so neat!
 

Gederas

Skeleton
Jun 15, 2021
63
Side note:

If anyone's looking at this article and wanting to replicate, the equivalent paints in the new GW range are as followed:

  1. Homoguant purple = Daemonette Hide
  2. Tallarn flesh = Cadian Fleshtone
  3. Elf Flesh = Bestigor Flesh
  4. Gryphonne Sepia = Seraphim Sepia
  5. Charadon Granite = Stormvermin Fur
  6. Badab Black = Nuln Oil
  7. Leviathan Purple = Druchii Violet
  8. Dark Flesh = Doombull Brown
  9. Dheneb Stone = Rakarth Flesh
  10. Chaos Black = Abaddon Black
  11. Khemri Brown = Baneblade Brown
  12. Bleached Bone = Ushabti Bone
 

About us

  • Our community has been around for many years and pride ourselves on offering unbiased, critical discussion among people of all different backgrounds. We are working every day to make sure our community is one of the best.

Quick Navigation

User Menu