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(reaper bones #77207)

 

This is the second time I've done human flesh, and the first time I think I was remotely successful with it...  I hope.  

Keep in mind that at this point the rest of the figure hasn't been touched (it's a serious work in progress), but before I continued, I wanted some advice from the community...

 

Does the flesh look okay? 

Is there anything I could or should do to improve it?

Edited by Degare
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XHerman has a good suggestion, but a little more desription of colors used and process taken would be helpful.  Remember that no color exist on a vacuum on a miniature.  A little more advanced information here, but the colors that surround the skin will also influence how the skin looks to your eyes.

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It's a good start, you've got the basic idea. It takes a lot of study and practice to get right, so don't sweat the journey (do as I say, not as I do, hah).

 

Initial thought is that, as I said, you've got the basic idea. The hand is a really strong example of what you're shooting for: darker tones in the recesses and lighter tones on the outer surfaces. For now, don't worry about lighting and stuff, just focus on getting that depth and trying to stay 'in the lines', ie not getting your highlights in the recesses or your shade values in the raised areas. Really try to watch where the brush goes and take your time and most of all don't be afraid to do it over a few times to get it right. A lot of instruction videos show people who can paint things right, but most of us take a few tries and spend a lot of time 'fixing' things (for example, if I get shadow color on a highlight I have to go back in with the highlight color to fix it, no big deal!).

 

Color-wise, I'd say the highlights look too white in the pic. I would use your base color as a mid-tone and then mix it (maybe 50/50 to start?) with the highlight color and use that for the highlights, so it doesn't look like two distinct colors, but a blend of the two. Maybe think about a darker tone for shadows, but maybe focus on the other stuff first, something you can play with if you want.

 

I started out using Reaper's skin tone triads to get a feel for cohesive flesh tones. You'll eventually want to branch out from that (though they're perfectly fine for tabletop!). Here's an example of me learning to paint basic flesh from the old (out of print) Reaper Learn-to-paint-kits: https://cashwiley.com/2012/12/16/bertokk-the-barbarian/

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I like to start from a midtone. Think gw tallarn flesh. You can tweak midtone with blue, magenta or orange to get a more nuanced skin tone. I use ivory mixed with midtone up to nearly pure ivory in progressive highlights. Then glaze in maroon shadows of varying intensity depending on the depth of the shadow. So under a cheek isn't as dark as under an eyebrow if you follow. If you want to get fancy you can incorporate in violet or blue glazes.

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I wouldn't really recommend anyone get into adding colors to basic skin tones until they can comfortably paint skin with off-the-shelf tones. Lower the amount of variables and focus on isolating the basics first.

 

What you're proposing, czebas, I would consider a bit more advanced than the stuff Degare should be tackling to improve in the near-term.

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I agree with Cash. I'd start with something like the Reaper Triads for flesh colors. The easiest way for me was to start with the darkest shade (shadow) as the base coat, then apply the mid tone to area that aren't in crevices or in areas of shadow, then add in the highlight to spots that'd see the most light and be raised. Worry about adding in glazes and colors to your highlights and shadows after you've master the triads and learned to blend better. Really, it's just practice, you need to keep practicing to get better at anything and mini painting is no exception. Enjoy the hobby and most importantly, have fun!

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In addition to Cash's suggestions, I'd take a look at how much water you're adding to your paint. Your surfaces look a bit chalky in the photos, which is often caused by over-thinning. (It can also be caused by overworking a surface that hasn't fully dried, though.)

 

I agree that it's easier to use straight-from-the-bottle colors rather than doing a lot of mixing when you start out. But I'll also suggest that you might want to go a bit further in your dynamic range. I've found that using the Tanned Skin triad as a base and pulling in Fair Shadow as a highlight and Dark Highlight as a shadow is pretty painless and works fairly well.

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Yes, Doug. More than I wanted to get into, but as a rule you can use Dark/Tanned/Fair Skin triads end to end, they all work great together because Anne is a wizard.

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There was a question earlier as to which paints I was using, which leads me to a little embarrassment;

 

I'm using a mixture of paints from "americana" to "apple barrel" - I took a pink, a white, and a tan, and mixed them around between themselves, and water (some are much thicker than others) as needed to try to create my own flesh-tones, lacking any sort of "actual paint" for the job...

 

However - seeing the suggestions here, I do believe my first step should be (before I continue trying to paint him), buying the nice reaper paints mentioned in these posts... Though unfortunately that may have to wait 'till next month, as a single skin-tone (3 paints) worth or reaper paint costs $9.87 (which is the same that I would normally pay for 19-25 paint colors)...

 

However - I believe this will be totally worth it.  ^.^  

I'll update this next month after the suggested paints are purchased, and I re-work his flesh using the advice.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions!

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If you are looking for good skintones on the cheap, check out the Delta Ceramcoat skintones. They are normally a $1 a bottle at Michael's or JoAnne ETC...(Hobby Lobby may carry them as well.) They have some good Mid and highlight tones, and then you can mix some dark or light browns in to create your shadow tones. Thin them with water to the consistency of milk. This will help you in not only in your layering  technique, and also your blending as you progress in your painting. 

 

I've used these paints on some of my figures, especially if I'm working on a larger figure, like a giant or a bust, where I don't want to use my GW/Reaper/Army Painter/Vallejo colors. Hope this helps. :)

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Degare- I use old craft paints I got when my grandmother passed.  Look at the color swathes* for the paint mentioned in this thread (Dark/Tanned/Fair Skin triads) and match them to colors you already have.  Sure reaper paints are awesome, but if you already have paint in that color you don't necessarily need to buy more paint. 

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If you are looking for good skintones on the cheap, check out the Delta Ceramcoat skintones. They are normally a $1 a bottle at Michael's or JoAnne ETC...(Hobby Lobby may carry them as well.) They have some good Mid and highlight tones, and then you can mix some dark or light browns in to create your shadow tones. Thin them with water to the consistency of milk. This will help you in not only in your layering  technique, and also your blending as you progress in your painting. 

 

I've used these paints on some of my figures, especially if I'm working on a larger figure, like a giant or a bust, where I don't want to use my GW/Reaper/Army Painter/Vallejo colors. Hope this helps. :)

 

Delta Ceramcoat Santa's Flesh is surprisingly good.

 

I've developed quite a taste for Santa's Flesh. 

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