Shading highlighting red?
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Thread: Shading highlighting red?

  1. #1

    Default Shading highlighting red?

    On my local home town forum the topic of how to shade and highlight red effectively has come up. The poster said they were having troubles with finding a way to keep the red from going pink or too yellowy. Anyone have any success stories I can have a peek at?


  2. #2


    whats the skill and experience level of said poster? cos i can give the simple answer of shade with added brown and darker red, and add dwarf then elf flesh for highlights, or, i can throw this mother down
    (yes, yes i am still posting it):)

  3. #3
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Bolton, Lancs, UK (A Geordie in Exile)
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    Depends on the tonal effect you are after.
    I\'ve been using (on Gifts for a couple of Coolmini ladies ;) :D ) Vallejo Red, washed with GW Red wash (?) re-highlighted with VMC Red and then highlighted with VMC Red and VMC Flat Red mix.
    Followed by Flat Red as a final highlight.

    Doesn\'t look too shabby, but it\'s a pity that the sculpts aren\'t as good as the two ladies are Bad! ;):Dlol

  4. #4


    Originally posted by ScottRadom
    On my local home town forum the topic of how to shade and highlight red effectively has come up. The poster said they were having troubles with finding a way to keep the red from going pink or too yellowy.
    Simplest solution to this is one that for some reason often does not occur to people - use both!

    But the thing to emphasise I think is that mixing is very much a case-by-case situation. Sometimes a red won\'t go pink when just white is added, because it depends on the pigment it\'s made from. The only way to know is to try it, see how it goes, then do something different if you don\'t get what you want - because sometimes you do want pink or orange highlights :cool:

    In historical minis where realistic colour is more the norm a light flesh mix, or something like sand + white is sometimes used. These tend to give the right kind of results - not too brilliant and about the right hue (it stays red, not going orangey or toward rose/magenta).

    But for minis anything goes nearly, just up to the taste of the painter.


  5. #5


    I find the GW paints great for red, partly because they\'re quite thin, so multiple coats produce really good layering.
    I normally go Scab Red - Red (Al) Gore - Blood Red - Blood Angels Orange - Golden Yellow - Bad Moon Yellow.

    Maybe water them down a little but as I said, they\'re already quite \'watery\'. If it ends up too yellow you can do the old Baal Red wash.

    Sometimes I might do this with an initial base coat of Scorched Brown, or put a wash of Scorched Brown over the initial Scab Red undercoat. Sometimes if I\'m feeling flashy I might do intermediate stages ie, Scab Red then first highlight stage of Scab Red / Red Gore mix etc

    Are you still awake?

  6. #6


    I use a basic skin tone to highlight red. Gives a rather natural look that is neither pink, nor yellow. If it turns out too much like salmon in hue I glaze with VMC Transparent Red.

  7. #7


    Red is the most difficult colour for me to blend, along with yellow.

    In theory I basecoat with scab red, add blood red until I reach its pure form. Then I usually blend blood red with fiery orange, using pure fiery orange as the final highlight.

    The first steps usually turn out ok. My big problem has always been the shading; scab red usually doesn\'t suffice as the darkest colour. By adding black to scab red you can go further, but that\'s where I always screw up :P

  8. #8


    Well, you can shade red by adding brown... all make very nice shades of red!!!! all do completely different effects. :)
    for highlighting red, i agree with ritual and have to say flesh tones. Bronzed flesh is a good one, but any flesh tone will work. Make sure you add a little red in there at first though. ALso, one thing you can do to make red really pop, is subdue all the other colours on the mini(say you are doing a red cloak and you want the cloak to be fabulous!!!) and then start at a mid tone, shade down to a REALLY dark shadow, and then your final highlights should be blood red(GW brightest red) never go beyond that if you just want to use reds for ease of use. the dark shadows will make the Blood red pop more and work really well. Depending on the paint scheme use different thigns to shade red. if your model has blue or purple on it, use blue or green. If your model has yellow on it, use green, or brown, if your model is an amalgamation of random techniques and colours use all of them!!!1 or black.....

    Anyways hope that helps.

  9. #9


    Scott, have a look over at Tiny Souls

  10. #10


    Thanks for the response guys. Gotta fly or I\'d post a little more. Thanks for the link Mick, I\'ll check it out later.

  11. #11

    Default Purple!

    I love red! A great shading colour for red is purple! Just add a purple like GC Royal purple and you\'ll love the shading effect. You can add black to the red/purple shade mix once you get to the extreme shading. For highlighting, any lighter color is worth experimenting with and should work. While yellow is nice if you\'re going for that Blood Angels look, VMC basic skin tone or brown rose is nice. Also, light grey and something like P3 Underbelly Blue or P3 Thrall Flesh is a cool starting point for the highlighting process. Also, don\'t forget the Beige and all those sandy light colours. They\'re great for mixing highlights up with red. Trust me!

  12. #12

    Default Cyan! Turqoise! Blue!



  13. #13


    Green! Scaly green, works (blue green)


    (blue works well too, VMC Dark Prussian blue)

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