I’ve put together a painting tutorial for the Blood Bowl Ogre I painted for my Blood Bowl team, the Titan Bay Thunderhawks. It’s the Blood Bowl Ogre I reviewed recently by Hungry Troll Miniatures.
Now, normally I wouldn’t do a painting tutorial for something specific, like my Blood Bowl team, but I figure there may be something of interest in there regardless. Even if you aren’t painting to match my team’s scheme – my approach, technique, etc., could be of value hopefully.
I’m going to break this down into different parts. I literally took 129 pictures documenting this process. So, I’m going through the pictures, working out what’s needed, and trying to present this in a way that’s not overwhelming.
For today, we’re going to work on painting the skin.
I’m going to be honest, skin has never been my strong suit. Typically I base coat the skin a flesh color, wash it, and call it a day. There’s very little skin to be seen with Chaos Space Marines. However, I wanted to step it up with this Blood Bowl Ogre because he has so much skin showing that anything less would just ruin the model.
Note: Click any image to make it larger. I’m showing them smaller because there’s a ton of them, and I don’t want it to take 2 minutes to load this tutorial :)
Step #1 – Base Coating
I started out by using Dwarf Skin (Vallejo), mixed with Cold Grey (Vallejo). The mix was roughly 3-1 Dwarf Skin to Cold Grey. The idea with the grey is to remove some of the orange tint from the Dwarf Skin paint to get a more realistic skin tone.
Then I went about base coating the Blood Bowl Ogre’s skin.
You can see how the grey removed the orange from the Dwarf Skin color.
Step #2 – Let’s Get Glazing
Next up is glazing the skin. If I were aiming for easy, like I mentioned previously, I could just wash the skin. That would give it depth and pick out the details. However, I’m going to glaze the skin instead.
Glazing, if you aren’t familiar, is like using a wash. The difference is that a glaze is thinner, flows more evenly, and the idea is to tint the color it’s going over. So, you aren’t going as heavy with it as you would with a wash. I will be glazing a bit heavy to force it into the recesses, like a wash, but you’ll see that a glaze is far more controlled than a wash is.
To make the glaze you simply mix in Lahmian Medium with Reikland Fleshshade. I go do a 50/50 mix to create the glaze. The Lahmian Medium will thin out the Reikland Fleshshade, and give me more control over using it.
There are other ways to make a glaze. Some people just use water, others use a flow improver. I have used those methods in the past, but once I discovered the Lahmian Medium I never looked back. It’s one of the best things that Games Workshop has created in their paint line.
When you apply the glaze you want to be sure it goes on smoothly and evenly. Unlike a wash, the glaze will move around easily, and it won’t really build up on the surface and create staining like a wash does.
I once took a painting class with Golden Daemon winner Todd Swanson, and learned one of the simplest, and most valuable, lessons with blending. When you’re blending, which includes glazing and washes, the first place you set your brush on the model will have the least amount of paint come from the brush. Where the brush stops on the model will have the most amount of paint from the brush. So, when you’re blending/washing/glazing, you start the brush at the brightest area of the model and work it towards the darker area of the model.
In practice, on the Ogre I would start the brush at the top of the face and work downwards. On the arms, I started on the shoulder and worked down the length of the arm, pulling the brush into the recesses created by the muscles. Make sense? Just work the brush towards the darker areas on the model.
Step #3 – Layers
The best way to give depth to something is to create layers. So, once the glaze had dried I came back in with my skin base coat color. I added another layer of the skin tone to the higher areas of the model very thinly. I left the deeper areas alone, leaving the glaze to shade it, and built up the skin color again.
Step #4 – More Layers
I needed to brighten the skin up in areas, so I took my Dwarf Skin and mixed in a lighter grey this time, Administratum Grey. The ratio is still 3-1 Dwarf Skin to grey.
I took the brighter skin color and picked out the highest areas of the skin, and I left the deeper areas alone. I made sure to leave some of the previous layer showing.
The paint is kept thin by leaving the brush slightly damp, but I’m really just layering it on thinly, not blending it at this point. You’ll notice the transition isn’t smooth, but that gets dealt with later.
Step #5 – Blending the Skin
I used the same glaze I had made earlier (Lahmian Medium + Reikland Fleshshade), I then glazed over the skin. The glaze tints the layer of skin I just did, but also blends it into the previous layers. That’s why I wasn’t too concerned with blending the layers of skin, the glaze does that for me.
This process is repeated a few times. Mostly I focused on blending the layers of skin together. So, I didn’t glaze over everything. Instead I focused the glaze on the seams of the skin layers. This is where my previous painting tip above comes in really handy.
Since I was blending at that point, I didn’t load up my brush with a lot of glaze. I put very little on my brush, almost nothing, and went over the areas that needed to be smoothed out. This takes a few times, but keeping the glaze thin, and doing multiple coats, really smooths out the skin.
Here’s some shots of the glazing. You’ll notice each time it gets a bit better. I know they all look identical, but that’s the trick with blending – smooth and subtle changes until it’s right where you want it.
Step #6 – Wrapping it Up
The skin is almost done at this point. The next step is to get some extreme highlights on here. For this I use Pale Flesh (Vallejo).
This paint goes on very select few areas; just the points on the skin that would have the most light – be the most reflective. On this Ogre that would be his elbows and knuckles. I also apply it to the veins in his arms. Not that the veins are reflective, like skin stretched tight against bone (IE: knuckles), but they stand higher on the skin, so they need some separation. Again, this goes on very thinly.
I then took the glaze and lightly went over this layer as well, again to blend it into the previous layers.
The other thing I did was to darken his nipples, lips, and pick out his eyes. For this I used Carroburg Crimson, which is a reddish-purple wash.
I applied this in multiple thin coats to those areas until I was happy with the color.
Also, I did the teeth. For the teeth I picked them out with white, washed them with Seraphim Sepia, and then picked out the top parts of the teeth again with white.
Here’s all those final details put together on the Blood Bowl Ogre.
And the skin is done!
Blood Bowl Ogre Wrap-up
The skin on the Blood Bowl Ogre was honestly the longest part of the entire process. As I said in the opening, I’ve done very little work with skin, which is one of the reasons this process was as long as it was. I imagine, with experience, that I could have gotten the same results quicker and easier, but it’s a learning experience every time you paint, or it should be.
You should always be pushing yourself as a painter, trying something different, attempting a technique you feel is out of reach, because that’s how you improve.