Friday, 25 February 2011

Stargazer's Painting/Malifaux Corner - How To Paint Hair

So this is the start of a how to series that I will be continuing (provided I get requests lol) showing how to paint all sorts of different things almost a painting clinic if you were...

Anyway this week I had a request from Atreides asking how to paint blonde and ginger hair so that's what I'll be addressing as painting both brown and black hair is pretty straight forward but these 2 colours can cause more problems but never fear
they will be easy after you've read this article! ;)

Rawr I'm a carnifex!!!- This is about as close to hair as this fella is gonna get!

So I'll start off with the blonde hair, a little disclaimer for abbreviations GW- means normal GW paint. GWF-means GW foundation paint. GWW- means GW wash. FP3- means Formula P3 paint. Also make sure you thin you paints down. I usually go about 1:1 with water but depending on the age of the paint this can vary so watch out. Also don't let the colour dry out on your palette because you will be needing it for later stages.


Basecoat with GWF Calthan Brown. This will give you a good even basecoat with a light enough colour to start with. Then highlight it with GW Snakebite Leather. At the moment just block highlight and don't worry about the individual hairs that will be addressed later ;). (sorry about the blurry pic but this isn't the most major step.)

Next up mix in GW Golden Yellow into the Snakebite Leather and again block highlight the hair. Then mix in FP3 Trollblood highlight and begin highlighting
with brush strokes making the appearance more hair-like. Then add GW Kommando Khaki into it again making hair-like brush strokes, just make sure that these brush strokes are thinner than the previous colours. On a completely flat surface (Space Marine Scouts I'm looking at you!!) Stippling is good technique to use giving the appearance of short hair instead of looking flat and just generally weird lol. (see left)

Now start mixing in pure GW Skull White and make very thin brush strokes or even just spot highlights on the highest parts of the hair. Don't worry if you end up going too bright on this stage as you can either use GWW Devlan Mud to give a darker blonde or GWW Gryphonne Sepia to bring it back down to a realistic blonde. (finished article on the right)


This one seems to be the hair colour that causes the most problems with people. The main thing to remember is that ginger hair isn't or at least very rarely is actually orange! It's more of an orangey brown colour so you have to go about painting it in that way.

Basecoat with GW Vermin Brown this might take a few coats as it doesn't cover very well but as long as you take your time over it and don't rush everything should come out looking fine. For the first highlight add a small amount of GW Fiery Orange just to give the Vermin brown that extra tint. As well as GW Kommando Khaki. For darker looking hair FP3 Trollbood Highlight would probably look pretty good but I kept it simple and just used the Kommando Khaki.

If at any point the hair is looking too bright for your liking just hit it with a wash of GWW Devlan Mud and everything should be sorted (I've actually heard Devlan Mud being referred to as Pixie Dust for painters lol) for the final highlights just keep adding Kommando Khaki to the mix remembering to texture the hair with your brush strokes (as you can see on the left). I did a final wash of GWW Gryphonne Sepia just to tie it all together but again for darker hair either hit it with some Devlan Mud or you could even start from GW Bestial Brown instead of Vermin Brown. That's pretty much it really. See not too complicated when you know how ;)

Let me know of anymore tutorials you would like to see either on here or just a small emailed one ask in the comments or email me at Also sorry bout the random Carnifex at the beginning just couldn't resist!

Until next week

Stargazer out.

1 comment:

  1. this is excellent mate, just what i needed. since i'll soon be building a pretty varied inquisition force (codex permitting) i will be using this guide!