6 Top Tips to Paint Faces

Hi Folks,

Today I’m going to show you the really easy way to paint good tabletop quality faces (and other bare flesh).

For the purpose of this, I’ll assume we’re working with a Caucasian human face, but this works just as well with darker skin tones, green orks, or those pesky pasty elves.

  1. Thin your paint. The face is highly detailed and a focal point of the miniature. You really don’t want to cover up all your detail, or leave a chalky finish here.
  2. Select your base colour. I tend to start at a mid-light tone, because the next step naturally darkens the shade down. So I’m using Citadel Kislev Flesh as my base here. Apply it in two or three thin coats, making sure you allow the paint time to dry fully between layers to get good smooth coverage.

    Flat Kislev Flesh

    Flat Kislev Flesh

  3. Wash the face with Citadel Reikland Fleshshade (or some other appropriate shade for your base colour), make sure you don’t let it pool on the high areas, and don’t let it completely blot out the eye sockets either.

    Flesh tone wash adds shadows and depth

    Flesh tone wash adds shadows and depth

  4. Using your thinned down base skin colour, highlight the bridge of the nose down to the tip, the brow above the eyes, the cheek bones, and tip of the chin. The forehead should be adequately highlighted enough by the shading process previously.

    Another focused layer of Kislev Flesh on the high points

    Another focused layer of Kislev Flesh on the high points

  5. This next step is optional, whether you do it or not should depend on the steadiness of your hand, but it really makes a difference to your miniature… Take a small brush and put a very small black dot in the middle of each eye, currently this will probably look a bit silly, but bear with me. Still using your small brush, flank both sides of your black dot with a small dot of white. This is my favourite method for doing eyes, done properly it mitigates that comical “I’ve just been surprise kicked in the crotch” look that some minis have with their massive pupils. If you make any errors here, use your base skin colour to cover them up. Hopefully it’ll look like a strategically placed highlight!
    Small black dots for pupils... be careful!

    Small black dots for pupils… be careful!

    Then add the whites of the eyes. Be even more careful!

    Then add the whites of the eyes. Be even more careful!

  6. If you fancy cranking it up one more notch, take a shade lighter than your base colour and put a small dot on the tip of the nose and cheek bones.

There you have it folks, an easy to do set of 6 top tips to paint faces. Make sure you drop me a comment below the line or on Facebook to show me how you’ve got on, or if you know a better way to get easy tabletop result, let me know that too – I always enjoy hearing what you’ve got to say.

If you want more tabletop standard tips, I wrote ten tips for beginners a little while ago that you should definitely check out!



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