Painting a ghost face free hand?
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Painting a ghost face free hand?

  1. #1

    Default Painting a ghost face free hand?

    Okay i am currently trying to make a Haemonculus Coven, Iyanden list.

    Part of that list will contain at least 8 Wraithguards and 1 Wraithknight.

    Now i could just go for the standard blue helmet on the Wraithguards and maybe a rune or two and that would be that.
    But i like to paint and give some of my miniatures some freehand.

    What i was thinking was in the lines of that the face of the spirit controlling the body could be seen on the helmet.

    Now the face itself is easy enough, draw it on the mask with a pencil, paint it up in dark blue and use various blue colors to highlight and shade the face and then finish of with 3 different blue glazes the darkest in the sides then a midtone and a bright one in the middle.

    However i would also like to give the face something something of death over it.
    Maybe kinda like the face is just a transparent mask and beneath it you can see the hint of a skull underneath.

    Question is how do i create that illusion without it just looking like she had either painted the skull on her face or just appear to be skinny??

    Any step by step guide would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2


    its always tough to paint something that technically transparent but I used to airbrush this kinda stuff on bigger projects and you can apply the same tech, someone may have a better idea on how to paint this kind of effect on something smaller.

    I would first
    paint the skull in white (use the background colour as the shade) but paint in very thin and transparent white paint and build up the skulls details (but dont go all the way upto pure white, u pretty much want to know the skull is there, u want the skull to look somewhat faded.
    put a very think ink blue glazeover this.
    I would then paint the face over the skull in the same method, but build it up very slowly as u still want to see the skull through the face.
    I would then use a very thin blue ink and do an even glaze over the whole face, because ink is so transparent, the tones of the painting you've done in white will be your highlights and shades and the ink will help tie all the blends together..
    then it will be a question of going back and forth with the highlights and shadows once you've got the base down

    its tough to paint, infact I might even try it myself as it seems a lot of fun.

    thats how I would attempt to do it, but someone may have a better idea
    Last edited by EpicMiniArt; 03-08-2015 at 09:30 AM.


  3. #3


    I would be using brushes for it all (as i don´t have an airbrush).
    I usually use Vallejo game color in painting my miniatures, but they might be a little too strong for this, so maybe i should use either Vallejo model air color or their game air color part.
    Since i shouldn´t use white perhaps a very watered down Vallejo game color Bonewhite or Wolf Grey.
    Either that or i should try my hand with Golden Artist Colors Zink White that should be a REALLY thin color from what i have heard (it´s usually used to brighten other colors so perhaps that could be used.

    As for the blue ink maybe army painter inks could do the trick. Either that or i could take a very dark blue (maybe Night Blue or Imperial Blue) and water it down to a ratio of 1:6?

    Also since all Eldar aren´t usually depicted with short cropped hair (like space marines and such) perhaps there is a way to make the hair seem like it´s under water or something like that kinda like it´s flowing upwards towards the tip of the helmet.

    I think in order to sell that illusion i should concentrate on the shadows of the hair alone maybe trying make it seem like it´s blending into the base color itself.
    Last edited by Erikjust; 03-08-2015 at 10:05 AM.

  4. #4


    I did a 5min test, using brushes, I dont use airbrush on smaller things, only really use them on vehicles and larger as I prefer a more controlled brush finish than an airbrush finish.. ok its not perfect, its more of a sketch, but I only spent 5 mins on it

    to pull it off properly, the paint needs to be thinned more, etc etc.

    as for thinning paints for doing freehand work, I use medium (paint with no pigment, for eg GW Lahmian Medium) and mix that with normal paint, it thins the paint without changing its properties
    Last edited by EpicMiniArt; 03-08-2015 at 10:12 AM.


  5. #5


    you can use an off white if you like there certainly easier to work with than pure white... I find white easier because white doeskin cover well so would be easier to paint transparent layers and if its thinned properly ull avoid the chalkyness u get with white, my advise is give it ago on a test piece of plastic and see if you can pull it off.

    u could also try using blue and mixing white into it and layering in the highlights, but I do find personally that a white picture which is tinted works best for a more ghostly image. although I've never painted it small enough to go on a mini, but i would like to give it ago


  6. #6


    Name:  11051959_1027643140582464_5570356707095352879_n.jpg
Views: 176
Size:  61.7 KB

    I have done some freehand before, the secret to that small face was to make the Shadows and high lights do the work for you.

    I think you might be one to something with the blue, as the white just seem TOO strong.

    Maybe instead of white i could use a blue a tone or two brighter then the base color.
    That way when the Blue glaze goes over the skull will be nearly invisible.

  7. #7


    looks good so far mate, secret too all small things in contrast.

    I would hit that face whit the same color as your armor as a thin glaze, u only want to tint the colour, then punch out the highlights again with white.

    Good looking troop mini btw


  8. #8


    I have to agree with David from epic mini art...that seems like the most feasible way...the one thing david has up one on most artists is that he's an actual canvass artist with oilmpaints...again though let's think bout this if a color you feel is too strong then as david said just thin it properly with some GW medium and then this thinned paint you have the control now to stop when you feel it's coming on too powerful.Ide say whit is the best option but the amount of layers you decide to put on as it would be thinned as a glaze would give you a very explicit control where several thinned coats would not be too much example.let's say 7 coats on a practice piece is too white and looks painted on...that means you know that 3-4 would be perfect for the subtle effects your going for..make sense..hope this helps bud.either way the painting is very well done and this is a tough idea your looking to execute.I myself have nothing really to say except that color theory might help in the long run and there is a book by Betty Edwards guessed it"color theory "by Betty edwards. Good luck and keep up the good work bud.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Privacy Policy  |   Terms and Conditions  |   Contact Us  |   The Legion

Copyright © 2001-2018 CMON Inc.