CoolMiniOrNot Forums - Blending Fantasy Flesh Tones
  • Blending Fantasy Flesh Tones

    The Start
    I wrote this to post on my favourite forums.
    While I was working on the large Sphere Wars resin demon, there was good feedback and lots of questions on how to merge the various colours I had used across the skin, so while working on the left leg I decided to take a series of step by step pictures of the same area from the same angle and in the same lighting conditions, in order to cover the blending of the different colours across the skin.
    Do ask if you have any additional questions, I appreciate the detail in the later part is a bit light, but time was limited.

    The whole work in progress thread can be seen on The Basement, starting at the end of page 40. There is a short break on page 42.

    The first picture is of the main body before starting work. I had originally used an airbrush to give it an overall pale beige tone and then used a dark green on the extremities of the limbs. I then used a dark red to roughly mark out those areas where there are scratches, or horns and bone are breaking through the flesh. Since then I’ve also done the majority of the work on the head as I had shown earlier in my work in progress thread and the green tones on the torso have received a lot of work which is why they are different to the feet.

    Having explained the starting point I’d best explain that the area I will be working on is the inside of the left leg, the intention is to get the torso and inner thigh areas complete so I can get the arms in place and work on the shoulders. I certainly need to get them in place before the tail and other tendrils get attached.

    Stage 1 : More Pink
    From this point I proceeded to mix up a mid range pink colour using VMC Iraqui Sand and VMC Sunset Red. Then using the translucent properties of thinned acrylics I draw this colour across the surrounding area toward the centre of each region. This effectively provides a limit to those areas that will receive a strong red tone, as the work progresses the edges will get blended with the other colours and the area will be reduced some.

    I should point out that the dark line running down the side of the leg just below the knee is actually a bit of a mold line, but rather than putty it over I thought I could use it as a cut so left it and will actually emphasise it later.

    Stage 2 : Highlight The Pink
    Mixing some VMC Pale Sand with the pink mix from earlier, I start to pick out the detail. With the larger areas I will use boarded strokes to provide a general lighting, while with other smaller details like those by the heel I will pick out the upper surfaces.

    Having gone over the area once I further lighten the mix with white and add extra definition to some features.

    Stage 3 : Darker Pink
    Though happy with the initial highlighting, it does not have a great deal of contrast at this point. So going back to the original mix of Iraqui Sand and Sunset Red I add some GW Scorched Brown. With this I proceed to underline the scratches on the lower leg and darken the lower areas. The whole of the lower heel area is glazed because I know that further darkening of this lower area will be needed later to emphasise the lighting.

    Stage 4 : Angry red Area
    With the main shading of the pink tones complete I took a little VMC Black Red to emphasise those areas where the bone is protruding or I can use the texture to mimic a cut or abrasion.

    Now this area is not complete at this point, the protruding bone hasn’t been started and when that is done additional work on the highlighting and shading will take place to emphasise the detail. And the Tamiya Red will be taken out to add a hint of blood to places. But before that I will work on the beige and then the green areas, getting the whole look of the limb complete.

    Stage 5 : Beige base tones
    With the main pink/red tone work done it was time to work on the beige colours. From this angle the main focus would be on the knee, along the hamstring and up to the back of the knee, and across the front of the ankle where it will have to merge into the dark green tones of the foot. So at first some thin glazes of VMC Iraqui Sand which is the same colour I used in the pink mix and take the edge off some of the edges and start to smooth the green tones around the foot.

    Stage 6 : Highlighting the Beige
    As with the red tones I thin move on to highlighting, adding some VMC Pale Sand and GW Skull White to the Iraqui Sand. Most of the focus is across the muscle mass at the back of the knee and forcing a highlight from the ankle down to the foot. Layers are also used to glaze the pink tones across the top of the leg and on the knee.

    Stage 7 : Shading the Beige
    A mix of VMC Iraqui Sand, GW Talarn Flesh and GW Chardon Granite is then used for shading. Several layers applied along the underside of the upper lag as well as adding shape to the muscles at the back of the leg and blending the tones around the ankle down to the foot.

    Once the first set of shading had been done I worked through a second batch with a hint of VMC Dark Yellow added to put a little yellow/green tone back into the colour balance as I felt the white and ivory used earlier had bleached things a little. Certainly after this you can see the tones around the ankle and foot blend into the green much more.

    Stage 8 : Some colour tweaks
    After this I felt the tones were still a little faded (Especially on the side of the leg not being shown) so used some more VMC Dark Yellow. I went a little high at the back of the knee and that will need shading back in and some more pink tone adding to that area, but I will do the majority of the green work first.

    Stage 9 : Starting on the Green
    Moving onto the third main colour, this will take a very similar approach to the previous two, using a mid tone to blend in the general area followed by highlighting and shading. So after doing some basic work on the rock to give definition to the foot I start with some VMC Gunship Green, extending the tones on the thigh area and around the ankle. I also use two or three layers to get a mid tone on the rough knotted foot as a prelude to placing highlights.

    Stage 10 : Green Highlights
    Adding VMC Pale Sand and then GW Skull White to the VMC Gunship Green, the highlights are built up in layers. Care is taken around the ankle to blend the highlights into the existing beige and pink tones, placing a thin glaze or two along the line of the highlight to smooth the transition. The muscle structure on the thighs is also highlighted though the blending with the beige is a little rough at this point and will be re-touched in the final stages.

    Stage 11 : Green Shading
    VMC Bronze green is then glazed over the green areas to shade it and give definition to the shape of the foot. The sculpting of the foot is quite rough in that the design has very prominent bone structures and tendons. So at this stage I use a very thin glaze to blend the shading along the underside of the ankle and work back the highlighting on the foot to bring out the bones and the knuckles.

    Meanwhile on the thigh I emphasise the muscle structure and add dark green tones to the inner thigh area and the underside of the upper leg.

    There are probably 4 or 5 glazes on some parts of the foot by the time I finish this initial shading, especially on the talons themselves where the highlighting is cut cut back to emphasise the knuckles which I want to look similar to the hands I have already done.

    Stage 12 : More Green Shading
    VMC Black Red and VMC Deep Sea Blue is then added to the bronze green to get a very dark colour just on the verge of turning red. This I then used on the foot to darken the pits between the tendons. As with the previous stage it is also used extensively on the talons to emphasise the shading of the joints

    A small amount is used on the inner thigh to add some extra darkness to that area, and that is the end of the basic work.

    Stage 14 (Not ) : Blocking in the Bones and Claws
    So now all the basic colours and blending are done it’s time to tweak all the little details and smooth any areas that need tweaking. The most obvious issue is the bones protruding through the skin; they receive a couple of layers of VMC Pale Sand and a little bit of white to pick out their basic shape.

    The claws are also blocked in at this point, finally showing that some of these toes have two or three separate talons protruding from them.

    Stage 15 : Colouring the Bones and Claws
    Part shading, part adding colour, GW Snakebite Leather is added to the VMC Pale Sand and quite roughly glazed over all the areas blocked out in the previous stage. Some GW Scorched Brown is then added to darken the mix and give it a richer reddish tone before being used more carefully around the base of each of the elements. This should help blend them into the dark blood stained flesh that will surround most of them.

    Stage 16 : Careful Tweaking
    The basics complete more VMC Pale Sand is now used to pick out and highlight the bones and claws again, this time though care is taken pick out the shapes while leaving an orange brown toned root or edge. GW Skull White is then used for final highlights and attention is turned to the surrounding flesh.

    This should be most noticeable around the middle and lower edges of the bones protruding from the thigh as well as around the base of that protruding from the back of the heel. The flesh is worked up from a mid tone through to a highlight and the detail picked out to give definition. The shade mark in the dip by the tendons just above the heel is also tweaked at this point, lines of flesh tones painted across it to break up the mark.

    Some tweaking to the tones around the knee are also made

    Stage 17 : Some Blood
    Finally time to get the Tamiya Clear Red out, first some VMC Black Red is used to darken the areas where a sore oozing bloody look is wanted, then some Tamiya Clear red is added along with quite a bit of water to sort it turning into a sticky gel. The same areas are then worked over and it provides quite a nice shiny wet look.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Sopi's Avatar
      Sopi -
      Looking very good. Thank you for the step by step explanation.
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