1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Tired of the same old Slann pose? Or just want to show off your painting skills. Why not try entering your own version to the Golden Slann competition - Click here for more info.
    Dismiss Notice

A Guide on Freehand Scale Textures

Discussion in 'Painting and Converting' started by neveroddoreven, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. neveroddoreven
    Chameleon Skink

    neveroddoreven Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    493
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Whenever I show my Lizardmen to anyone, whether it's friends, people in Games Workshop, or here on this forum, I always get great comments on my freehand scale textures. So I thought I'd share my methods and discoveries to adding a little bit of scaly goodness to your models.
    These work best on smooth surfaces such as Skinks, or Saurus crests. You'll need a detail or liner brush you're comfortable with, the kind you would use to paint eyes for example.

    Method 1
    ScaleA.jpg

    This technique is for fine scales such as geckoes and chameleons as shown in figs. A and B.

    This was the first method I came up with and the most straightforward. Essentially, the model is layered as normal (step 2.), but with a final highlight applied as dots.
    The number of layers doesn't really matter, but for the purpose of example let's think of it as 3 stages; shade, mid-tone and highlight. Step 3. illustrates how the dots in the shaded area are the mid-tone colour, and the dots in the mid-tone are that of the highlight.
    For step 4. a final brighter highlight is applied.

    Fig. C shows this method in the classic Lizardmen blue, and D is one of my first goes at it.


    Method 2

    ScaleB.jpg

    This one emulates the diamond-shape scales found on vipers and rattlesnakes (A), or desert lizards such as bearded dragons (B). It's an extension of the old trusty freehand crack or scratch effect. There are many tutorials out there that demonstrate it, but it just involves placing two lines together of contrasting tones.

    For this method I didn't layer up the model as normal, but just applied a flat mid-tone basecoat for step 1.
    I then applied a grid pattern in the highlight colour for step 2. I made mine in a diamond formation, but it would probably work well as a square one, like a crocodile's scales or the Bastiladon's.
    Step 3. is the hardest part. Another grid is applied with the shade colour. the lines have to be a little thinner than the last step, applied just below them. Take care not to cover them entirely.
    Lastly for step. 4 a wash is used in the recesses to add definition.

    Fig. C shows how it can work with the previous method. The model's chest scales are finer.


    Method 3

    ScaleC.jpg

    I haven't had much experience doing this one. The idea for it is focusing on the shiny quality of the skin in-between the scales as demonstrated on the stretched skin of this egg-eating snake (fig. A). It was inspired by this 'Eavy Metal painted Screamer of Tzeench (B).

    For step 1, layer and shade the model as normal. The technique works best with a bright highlight.
    For step 2. paint dark scales in the highlight area.
    For step 3. paint mid-tone scales in the shaded area. For extra effect the recessed scales can be painted as bright as the highlight colour.
    For step 4. the scales can all be highlighted to make them appear 3D.

    Fig. C is my only example of the method. I extended the existing 3D scales with freehand ones.

    I hope this guide inspires some of you to try these out. Please post pics if you do!
     
    Pheonom, Bracnos, Ritual and 5 others like this.
  2. The Red Devil
    Troglodon

    The Red Devil Defender of Hexoatl Staff Member

    Messages:
    687
    Likes Received:
    691
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Thanks for sharing the techniques!

    Looking at your models, they look great but I'm afraid I would get impatient and give up before I could even finish one model.
     
  3. Cragglehatch
    Skink

    Cragglehatch New Member

    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for this! :)

    This is something I've been wanting to do if and when I get some lizzies of my own >_>.
     
  4. Didymus
    Chameleon Skink

    Didymus Active Member

    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    105
    Trophy Points:
    43
    You, Sir, are a god! I am but a mere camp follower, lingering in the trail of your Crusade of Awesomeness.
     
  5. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

    Messages:
    7,827
    Likes Received:
    4,900
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hey admin could we get this stickied in the painting section somewhere? :smug:
     
  6. Arli
    Skink Priest

    Arli Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,158
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Your wish....

    Done
     
  7. GhostWarrior
    Cold One

    GhostWarrior Member

    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    18
    It's a month later and I've just noticed this thread. Thank you, neveroddoreven, you have sped up my learning curve for painting scales greatly!

    I especially like the techniques described in methods 1 and 2, and will be attempting both for my Lizards.

    On method 3, I might disagree with steps 2 and 3. It seems like the scales from the Screamer example are highlighted independently of the level of shade/highlight in the skin beneath. I might argue that the raised/rough areas of the scales just means that the light hits those areas differently, so they get highlighted in a way that is different from the smooth skin underneath (like, at a slightly different light source angle?).

    I'm a little hesitant on this disagreement, since I haven't tried the method myself.

    It may be a couple of months, but I will attempt to come back to this thread and post pics based on on my experimentation with what you have described.

    Thank you again!
     
  8. Rikard
    Bastiladon

    Rikard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    791
    Likes Received:
    837
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Some interesting and very different methods here, I'll make sure I use them, thank you for sharing. :)
     
  9. Caprasauridae
    Stegadon

    Caprasauridae Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    962
    Likes Received:
    461
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I also only now noticed this thread. Awesome tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing. I probably would only try the first one, as the others are too far beyond my skills. I was actually thinking of how to differentiate my Skink characters from normal ones. The first method could be a way to go. Again, thank you for taking your time to make this tutorial.
     
  10. Finnboy101
    Saurus

    Finnboy101 Member

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    18
    doubt there would be any video tutorial on this?
     
  11. neveroddoreven
    Chameleon Skink

    neveroddoreven Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    493
    Trophy Points:
    63
    My new year's resolution is to get my Youtube project up and running (still trying to think of a catchy name for myself, neveroddoreven is taken of course!). There will absolutely be a video on this, I've come up with better ways to do this sort of thing since I made this thread too.
     
    BeardyGecko and Finnboy101 like this.
  12. Finnboy101
    Saurus

    Finnboy101 Member

    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    18
    That's amazing I cant wait.
     

Share This Page