With Blood Angles here to stay, I figured I would share my process for painting red. It can be a difficult color to master for some folks and this might help show that it can be easy to do with relatively little work.
There are lots of different ways to paint red... each with its own merits. Ultimately, you've got to go with what you like that gives you the results you want in the time you're willing to spend on painting. I will say that I'm not using all GW colors in this process. I tend to use whatever works and looks best to me, so I end up mixing and matching colors and paints from different ranges.
The colors (and brand) used in this process are:
Moroccan Red from Delta Ceramcoat
Bright Red from Delta Ceramcoat
Terra Cotta from Americana (optional)
GW Baal Red Wash
GW Devlan Mud wash
The first step is priming this guy light grey. Black is too dark for me when I'm working with middle of the road colors and white is too bright. As long as when you prime, you understand the effect your primer color will have on your end result, you should be fine.
The basecoat is done with Moroccan Red. It's fairly opaque and usually requires just one coat with some touch ups in places I missed the first time.
After that, it's a series of washes to create the shadows.
First wash: Baal Red at full strength
Second wash: Devlan Mud thinned (half wash, half water)
Third wash: Baal Red at full strength
The highlights are done with Bright Red. The reason this color works so well is because it's a semi-transparent color. That means it will take two or three passes to get the actual color on the model. This allows me to blend the highlights into the model without any problems.
I just start painting where I want the highlight to be the strongest and continue to feather the paint out from that. Sometimes I'll add just a tiny bit of water when I'm blending it out so the transition is super smooth.
And here he is with the black areas blocked out. This gives you a better feel for how the highlights stand out on the model since it can look a little dark overall with no other parts painted for contrast.
And an optional step. WHen it came time to paint the Chaplain model, I decided to try adding a thin line highlight to the edges of his armour with the Terra Cotta color. I only did it in a few key places (tops of his shoulder pads, his left knee and his helmet) to add some emphasis on key areas.
I've always struggled with highlighting red. It always seemed like the highlight came out too pink or too orange and never looked "right." By using a light orangish-brown color (instead of just orange) , I can get just the right highlight color and not have it look out of place.
Like I said before, knowing there is more than one way to paint red, I thought I would ask fellow blogger Jawaballs for his advice when it comes to this color since he's been painting Blood Angels for quite a while now. Here's what he had for me...
Image from The Blood Angels and Warhammer 40k
The best instant advice I can give for painting red is not to try to do it all at once. It is tempting to try to lather it on and get that rich red to cover all in one swipe. With red, you need to apply it in thin layers over time.
But even more importantly, is once you have applied a brush stroke, DO NOT go back over it with 2nd and 3rd strokes as it dries. Use one confident stroke and drag the color across the armor plate. Going back will just create uneven brush strokes in the drying paint. This will also allow control.
By doing this, the paint will natrually thin out as your brush stroke makes it's way down the armor plate. If you are good, you can plan for this, and leave some natural shading closer to the joints and recessed areas. - Jawaballs
Hopefully this shows you guys that it is easy enough to get your Blood Angels or successor chapter painted up and you don't need to be afraid of "red" when it comes to painting. I'd like to see some finished Blood Angel armies out there in a few months and not just people telling me "they can't paint red."
If you've made it to the end, go back to the top and look at the second pic... While it's not "red," I painted the tread on the bottom of the terminator's boot. How's that for attention to detail?
Part 2 of working with red can be found here. It's sort of a next generation article that shows how my painting red has progressed.
Make sure to check out these posts as they might help:
Painting red, another way
Some problems with painting red