This week is “skin tones week” on Tale of Painters, where we want to celebrate different colours of skin. We start with a tutorial for dark flesh, for which I use the three still quite new Citadel Colours Knight-Questor Flesh, Bloodreaver Flesh and Catachan Flesh. There’s also a tip on how to paint muscles more easily, so check it out.
This tutorial assumes you know the basic grips of painting Warhammer miniatures. Step-by-step I explain all the paints and techniques I used. I have a rather eclectic paint collection, so when I use a paint that is not from Games Workshop (or out of production), I’ll try to provide you with suitable alternatives from the current Citadel paint range [in brackets]. However, if you want to achieve exactly the same result as shown, I recommend expanding your paint collection. You’ll find a list of all the paints used in this tutorial at the end of the post.
How to paint dark skin
Basecoat the exposed skin with Bloodreaver Flesh. Two or three thin layers should be enough.
Mix Strong Tone Wash from The Army Painter [or Wyldwood Contrast paint] 1:1 with Contrast Medium [3:1 when using Wyldwood] and wash it all over the skin. Once dry, repeat the process. I prefer two thinned coats over a single undiluted one as I found the result is much smoother.
When painting musculature, rather than layering from dark to light, I really like to pick out the muscles with a light tone, and then use an intermediate colour to smooth over the transitions. I found this much faster, and also a bit easier than the classic way.
Pick out the musculature and facial features with Blood Reaver Flesh. Don’t worry if the transitions might appear pretty harsh – we’ll sort that out later.
Paint the eye sockets and mouth with Matt Black from The Army Painter [or Abaddon Black], then place two white dots left and right.
Are struggling with painting eyes? Then check out my more detailed tutorial below, as I feel that my technique is slightly easier than most other tutorials.
Mix Bloodreaver Flesh with Catachan Flesh about 1:1 and layer it over the hard edges between the shaded areas and muscle areas highlighted in step 3 to create a smooth transition.
Mix Bloodreaver Flesh with Knight-Questor Flesh about 1:2 and pick out the facial features, the fingers and knuckles, and any prominent veins and muscle strands.
Apply a final highlight of pure Knight-Questor Flesh, but limit yourself only to the prominent facial features such as the nose, eyebrows, chin and ears, as well as the finger bones and elbows.
Here is the finished model in all its pumped-up glory.
Paints you will need for this tutorial:
Citadel (Games Workshop)
If you need to expand your paint collection to follow the tutorial, check out our partner stores Wayland Games and Element Games, which offer an amazing range of paints at a discount.
Do you want to know how I painted my Goliath paint scheme? Then check out my detailed tutorial for painting this Goliath Forge-born, including a recipe for a more mocca skin tone.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If so, leave a comment or reaction below, and if you got any questions, leave them here so I can answer them for you. Check back later this week for more skin tone tutorials!
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