Sunday, 2 March 2014

Dougie- Painting British Part 2- Flesh!

The resident Brit in our Armies of Afghanistan has returned, this time sharing his way of how to paint skin tone.

Hi Folks,
This update will cover how I’m doing the flesh areas on my Brits. Whenever I paint a figure one of the first decisions I make is whether to paint eyes or not. I only really consider this on 28mm figures, anything smaller I normally have the eye sockets as shadow. The last thing you want on a figure is the bug-eyed “popeye” look (it might look a bit silly to have really, really shocked British- Ed so unless you’re confident you can do it don’t bother and paint the eye sockets as dark shadow instead.

The easiest way I’ve found to do it, and there are loads of methods out there, is to paint the eye socket area in your chosen eye colour, dark brown is a good choice, and then dot in the white areas in the very corner of each eye- so 4 in total. You want to get this dot as small as possible, the majority of the eye should be the colour with very small areas of white or off white in the corners. This can take a bit of practice and if they’re not even, or as good as, it won’t look right.

If I’m painting eyes in they are the first thing I do on the face, the Brit model we’re using has shades on but I’ve photographed one of the other guys as well, so you can see what I mean.

Anyway, on to the Flesh. I’ve adapted my 3 colour 20mm method and blended the 3 shades sequentially so we’re looking at about 5 shades on the face.

I’ve used the following 3 colours.
1. Shadow – Vallejo Game Colour 44 Dark Flesh
2. Base Colour – Foundry Flesh Shade 5A
3. Highlight – Vallejo Game Colour 4 Elf Flesh

The method I use is to paint from shadow to highlight in the natural way leaving the darker show shades in the places where the shadows would be, not teaching anyone to suck eggs here you’ll know what I mean if you don’t they’re loads of tutorials on line.

This first Photo shows our guy with VGC 44 added.

Here’s a close up

The next layer is a 50% mix of VGC 44 and Foundry 5A.
Followed by plain 54.
Then a 50% mix of 5A and VGC 4
And finally plain VGC4.
The various shades are layered on going from shadow (Dark) to highlight (Light)

I‘ve then painted in the bottom lip for some contrast using Vallejo Model Color 802 Sunset Red.

A closer view

The photo below shows one of the other guys without the shades

I’m not 100% happy with the eyes, may have to decrease the white areas but you get the idea.

You can also add 5 o’clock shadow if you want to, I haven’t in this case but its easy enough to do, I use a blue grey wash.

That’s it for this update the next one will cover the uniform and the joy that is multicam!

Later, Dougie


  1. Great stuff Dougie - Eyes are a perennial nightmare to me and you have done a great job.

  2. Very nice face. He is really happy (perhaps thinking in the end of the patrol...).

  3. Very nice. As someone who just isn't quite dextrous enough to manage it, well played sir.

    1. Agreed- the only things. I generally manage when painting eyes is people who have eyes over their entire face.

      While appropriate for Cthulu, not so good for Sangin...

    2. Thanks Folks, it is practice and I still have occasions now where I can't get it together and I end up repainting them as shadow!

  4. The eyes, the eyes... I wish I could paint this well. Looking forward to seeing some of these in the flesh at SALUTE Dougie.

    1. My 3PARA boys and the Talibs will be there, be nice to get some photos on your terrain and maybe roll some dice!