Sunday, 4 November 2012

Hobbit skin and faces

I prefer to paint from the 'inside out', ie the deepest, hardest-to-get-to bits first, and the superficial easy bits last. Skin is often a deeper layer (hands are the exception) and in this project I'm doing it first. Besides, it's a drudge and I'd like to get it out of the way. Furthermore, when the skin and face are finished, it guides you as to how the rest of the figure will come together.

(I also try to paint messy bits before neat bits, so basing and drybrushing gets done early.)

My belief is that a face is the focal point of a miniature- get it right, and the rest of the figure works. The converse also applies. I don't paint eyes very often- you see eyes on people less than you think you do. More often, it is merely a shadow. Besides, getting eyes wrong ruins a face, and thus, following my logic above, ruins a miniature. Also, painting eyes- hard.

Anyway, I've gone through different styles and ways of painting skin and faces over the years, and this is what I'm currently using for my hobbits:
  1. All paints are Derivan MiNiS (which I believe are now OOP) over a GW Chaos Black spray. Lighthorse Brown to all the skin, covering the eyes but leaving the mouth black.
  2. Most raised areas except around the cheeks, sides of nose, between fingers (and toes!) in Tobruk Brown.
  3. Eyebrows, nose, chin, cheekbones, knuckles etc. Flesh.
  4. Watered-down Dark Chestnut to give shading to the eyes. Voila!
By stages as described above
Faded labels! Colours as described above


  1. Nice skin tutorial looks effective.

  2. very interesting post and tuto!
    I've always difficulties with painting faces...

  3. Your system works well, Sir. Nice Hobbit!

  4. That's a great effect, nice work!