Contact the


This website and all contents are Copyright 2009 Milton Keynes Scale Model Club unless otherwise stated

Up ] [ Buildings from scratch ] [ Pavements ] [ Sinking the Titanic ] [ Vietnam Diorama ] [ Face painting ]

Figure Painting -  Skin Tones

This article has been written by Dave Scott following his very successful demonstration of the technique at Scale Model World November 2006


Spray a light coat of white primer to highlight any defects, fill & rub down with wet and dry or wire wool. Re-spray with primer and check.

Base colour Humbrol Enamels Matt

I have used flesh for female work, sand for soldiers, but for this large bust I have used 50% sand, 50% flesh, sprayed and left for 24 hours. This layer must be dry and free from solvent.

Oil Paint Preparation

Make a pallet using an index card and layout the following colours:

Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow, Flake White, Raw Umber, Cadmium Red


Throughout the following process it is important not to add or clean brushes with any solvent, i.e. white spirit, turpentine.

Stage One

Brush apply Burnt Sienna to all skin areas and hair. This will appear crude but bear with it. Leave for approx 45 minutes, the pigment will penetrate the enamel base.

Stage Two

With a wide good quality brush remove excess paint, wiping and cleaning the brush on a clean cloth. This process will map out the high and low level areas. It is important to visualise your light source and work the brush away from this direction. This stage is key to success.

Stage Three

Apply Cadmium Yellow to all the highlighted areas leaving for 45 minutes. Remove excess paint and clean brush with dry cloth as before. Work from the outer edges to the centre of the yellow patches, and clean brush again. Soften and blend edges into the previous colour Burnt Sienna.

Stage Four

Apply Raw Umber to the bearded area and White to the remaining highlights, slightly reducing the size of area toward the peaks. Leave for 45 minutes. Remove excess and blend as before staying within each area.

Stage Five

Repeat the White as many times as necessary until the desired effect is achieved. A touch of Cadmium Red to cheeks and lips and the skin toning is done.

Stage Six

The hair is painted Raw Umber with the high points dry brushed, likewise for the eyebrows.

Eyes – Humbrol Enamels

The iris was painted a mixture of Dark Green and Brown and left to dry. 

A mixture of Green and White was dabbed around the central area leaving a small dark margin. Add White to this mixture and apply to the area facing the light source. Apply pupil with circular cocktail stick and Gloss Black. Leave to dry and apply varnish.

The Final Result


If this is your first time find an old model and experiment. It can be difficult to trust this system at first but I have persevered with some pleasing results. Give it a try.

Last updated 08 December 2007

Facebook Logo



Back to the top    Back to last page

July 2009, Milton Keynes Scale Model Club