Tutorial: Painting Orkskin
Step-by-Step: Painting Orkskin
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Green is a fun shade to paint. Perhaps its because the human eye has an easier time distinguishing between shades of green, or maybe it's because green skin usually means monsters -- and monsters are fun. They say it's not easy being green, but I'm betting that it's certainly wildly entertaining.
For this tutorial, I'll be using a pig-faced ork from Otherworld Miniatures to demonstrate step-by-step how to paint green skin. Hover your mouse over the links along the right side of the image below and follow along!
If you've read the other tutorials here at Necrotales, you probably know the first step already: after cleaning and assembly, the figure was primed with Citadel White spray and mounted temporarily onto a wooden block with a hot glue gun. The figure for this tutorial is the "Pig-Faced Ork with Sword #1a" from Otherworld Miniatures.
Colours used in this tutorial will predominately be GW Foundation Knarloc Green, GW Dark Angels Green, GW Goblin Green, Vallejo Model Colour #803 Brown Rose, GW Dwarf Flesh, Vallejo Model Colour #815 Base Skintone, and Vallejo Model Colour #918 Ivory (or GW Bleached Bone).
The first step is simply a base coat of thinned down GW Foundation Knarloc Green.
For variant shades of green, we'd start off with a different shade depending on whether we want our skin to be darker or lighter. For now, we'll just assume this is your 'standard' green ork, useful for games of Warhammer or Dungeons & Dragons and return to alternate skintones in a later step.
Shading is done with thinned down GW Dark Angels Green applied into the crevices of the miniature as well as anywhere that should appear shadowed including eyes and teeth.
Here I've added further shading with a mix of black and GW Goblin Green thinned down heavily with Future Floor Wax and applied into the deepest sections of the figure, careful to leave a lot of the previous GW Dark Angels Green visible. You can spot this easily in the photo by noting the areas that are now shiny thanks to the Future wash, particularly around the teeth, eyes, under the arms, and between the fingers.
By this stage, we're almost ready to start adding highlights. I've gone back to GW Foundation Knarloc Green to strengthen our base skintone. This is most noticeable on the ears and cheeks, but is also applied just about anywhere there shouldn't be shadow.
Now its time for proper highlights. These were done with GW Goblin Green applied on only the upper most areas, mixing in a bit of VMC Ivory for further definition on areas like the cheeks, nose, and tips of the ears.
For the uppermost highlights, I'm actually using very little green and relying almost entirely on a glaze of VMC Ivory. These are applied on the eyebrows as well as just beneath the eyes to make them stand out, and using small streaks to add definition to the wrinkles on the nose.
We could stop right here, finish up the teeth, eyes, and rest of the figure, and have a perfectly servicable ork. But why stop here when we can take a step further and make this ork much more visually engaging?
Back in the old Dungeons & Dragons days, orks were defined as having pink on the tips of their noses and snouts. At first, you might think that such radically different colours clash, but we can make this work in a very visually appealing way.
Using slightly thinned paint, we'll start touching just small areas of the ork's skin with VMC Brown Rose. Areas to focus on should be the ears, lips, and snout, but be careful to leave as much green showing as possible. After all, this is an ork, not some white guy from the suburbs!
The next step is highlighting our pink parts. Since we're basing this on the green skin, we don't need to mess with shading -- the green skin already does that for us. I'm using GW Dwarf Flesh to highlight, though you could achieve the same effect by mixing in a little VMC Ivory into the VMC Brown Rose.
After that, I've also gone back and glazed in a bit more VMC Brown Rose to blend the pink and green tones together. You can see this more readily in the square inset.
Further highlights of the pink parts were done with VMC Base Skintone, just the same as you would highlight anything else. For final highlights, I picked out the uppermost areas with a thin glaze of pure VMC Ivory. I also added some 'lip lines' while highlighting, though this is actually more effective on orks with fatter lips.
Once the teeth and eyes are painted, suddenly the face takes on a whole new look.
Here, we'll review how the skin, eyes, and teeth come together and make any necessary corrections. One important thing to look for here is making sure the teeth and eyes stand out well. A few additional highlights on the skin can do this for us, but alternately we can also darken the areas around the eyes and mouth even more.
And now, the finished figure, still on the wooden block.
Here we can see how the skin and clothing tie together in the final paint scheme. It's also the point where we'd make any last minute tweaks. In this case, I think he's ready to be sprayed with Dullcote!
Variations abound. This technique is easily replicated using alternate colours as the base and highlights for distinctive orkskin of any shade. Each of the orks in the boxes was started with a completely different base colour, ranging from GW Dark Angels Green to GW Graveyard Earth.
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