How to paint muted Raven Guard skin tones

I got a couple requests for "how" I painted the pale skin on the Raven Guard guys I've been working on lately. It's real simple and if you take your time and work in the details of the face and blend your highlights, the results are better than tabletop.

It's just one color (a light, cool grey) and two washes, Ogryn Flesh and Devlan Mud. Here's the process.

1. Prime. I did this one in black like I did the others for consistency.
2. Basecoat with the light grey. You want a nice, smooth and consistent finish with this coat.
3. Liberal wash with undiluted Ogryn Flesh over the face.
4. Go back with the grey and pick out the raised areas of the face.
5. Slightly thinned (50/50) wash with Devlan Mud over the face.
6. Go back with the grey and pick out the highlights.

That's it.
Like I said, if you've got a good, smooth basecoat and you take your time working with the grey, you'll have some really nice transitions on the face and plenty of detail.

When I'm working with the grey, I thin it down ever so slightly so that it takes two coats to get it back to pure grey when I paint over another color. Make sure your final highights are that pure grey too.

UPDATE: Some additional links that might help.
A tutorial for Dark Eldar skin tones and tattoos
How to paint rich, vibrant skin tones

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Perfectly done tutorial. I like the technique a lot. I'm starting to find that having a very light base coat for certain things can provide an increased amount of depth, flesh being a perfect example.

  2. I did few test runs of various grays and washes recently. the hardest part is getting used to the consistency of craft paints. Quaker and Hippo Gray from Ceramcoat seem to both have poor coverage and are grainy. Mainly I use them for flagstone and drybrushing on terrain, so I never noticed. Once you get the smooth layer on though, they are great bases for washes on miniatures.

  3. No eyes, for 3 reasons
    1. I don't ever see them.
    2. They're the size of a pin at best.
    3. They're on the other side of the model from me when I play.

    I use the power of suggestion, if I paint enough other features, you believe there are eyes there.

  4. Now that's simple and proof of a pro- simple and effective. I have found out the same formula for me although I work with elf flesh as a base color. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Outstanding tutorial Ron. I never thought of using a grey base color for the flesh before.


  6. Glad it helps... you can change out any portion of this "formula" for different effects.

    It's in experimenting that I come up with these. I found out the perfect way for me to paint dark, Salamander Marine skin tones too.

  7. Ron, thanks this really helps out and it is very simple. Would there be another step or color/wash used to make it bruised?

  8. Steve: I think if I were to go for a bruised look, I might try stippling the purple GW wash in areas or maybe substituting the purple wash instead of the ogryn flesh and thin it slightly.

    That will change the look overall but if you're going for a specific are bruised, then try the stippling.

  9. OKay thanks i will try that.

  10. Thanks for the painting pointers! However, the Raven Guard don't develop the muted skin color immediately. It is a slow, over-time effect (along with their hair going jet black at the same pace) that stems from how Corax' genes effected his geneseed.

    Sorry for being a fluffnazi. x.x


  11. Would it work to use the new colours for this?

  12. Anon: I'm not sure about the matches between the old washes and the new washes/glazes. I suspect it would work, but your results might be slightly different.

    The idea would work, you might end up with a slightly warmer or cooler skin toned based on the colors of the new paints. Either way, I'm sure it could be adjusted to suit your tastes.

    Maybe a quick test model just to be sure.

  13. Sensational Ron, a simple point based tutorial that has helped me finish off my scouts much appreciated. As for RG eyes leave them black with a slight grey highlight as that is a detail of the son's of Corax..


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