Darren Linington’s Guide to Painting Faces

Hi, I’m Paul, and welcome to war Banner’s very own self-help clinic, Sculpting, Painting and Gaming.

Today we bring you, as promised, the second of two painting tutorials by painting Guru Darren Linington. A professional miniature painter, Darren has been working his magic on War Banner and Footsore Miniatures’ models for some time, turning each and every one into a little piece of wargaming art. We’re very pleased, therefore, to present the maestro’s guide to painting a face using only five colours. No more, no less.



1. I have chosen War Banner’s Butcher miniature from their Gangs of Rome range. I like to base coat the whole miniature and give it a wash of sepia. You don’t have to do this but this is how I like to work. The benefit is that I can work out what colours go where and see if they work well together.

2. My wet pallete with the three main colours that I will use: Brown Sand, Sunny Skin Tone and Light Flesh. Apart from black for shading and Burnt Red for skin shading, that’s it!

3. Start with the Brown Sand and water it down so that it is translucent. Go back over the raised features of the face, trying to keep some of the shading. You might need to do this stage a couple of times to build the colour up.

4. Start to introduce some Sunny Skin Tone to the Brown Sand, painting up the raised areas of the face, arms and legs.

5. Now start adding a small amount of Light Flesh to the mix, working up the raised features.

6. It doesn’t matter if your highlights go to the extremes; we can bring them back with a few washes.

7. This is the fun part for me: washes. These bring the model to life and you can start to see the character in the face! With some Brown Sand and a small amount of Burnt Red (Warning! You need to water this down until there is just a hint of colour) then apply to the cheeks and tops of arms; anywhere where there are folds of skin.

8. We will add black to the Brown Sand for the shading that is needed, mainly around the eye sockets and jawline.

9. With the same mix that we used for the shading, we will add a small amount of Sunny Skin Tone to the mix. You don’t need much; we will use this for representing the stubbly head and arms. Don’t overdo this stage … less is more!

10. So, with a steady hand and a small brush, paint in the eye with Light Flesh. Then two dots for the eyeballs with a mix of 80:20 mix Brown Sand and black. Paint the teeth with a mix of 70:30 Light Flesh and Brown Sand and then just keep working up the Light Flesh until almost pure. For the lips, use 80:20 mix Brown Sand and Burnt Red, then keep adding Sunny Skin Tone to the mix until you are happy with the look.

11. One final look over to see any mistakes and tidy up if needed and then you are finished!

I hope this has helped.



About Darren Linington

Darren’s adventures in wargaming began with Airfix soldiers before moving onto model aircraft, tanks and ships. He became a committed miniature painter shortly after he discovered White Dwarf issue 93 (the one with the famous Warhammer 40,000 cover) at his local newsagents.

Darren has now been modelling and gaming for 37 years and has enjoyed success in painting competitions, with his Perry War of the Roses regiment winning Best of Show at Salute in 2013.

He is not, to the best of our knowledge, a clone.



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About the Author

Paul L. Mathews
A born-again wargamer since 2015, Paul L. Mathews is now the editor at War Banner. He is also the head honcho at his own freelance enterprise, Tabletop Creative. A dull boy, Paul's interests include editing and staying up past his bedtime

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