Monday, 7 September 2009

Blonde Hair

Being a dwarf player, blonde is often a colour I want interspersing my units and characters but it can be hard to paint a convincing blonde. I have come up with a method that works rather well.

You will need
Paints; Calthan Brown, Snakebite Leather, Golden Yellow, Kommando Khaki, Dheneb Stone, Skull White and Gryphonne Sepia

Each layer should be quite thin, as not to obscure the hair strands. Also multiple layers will most likely be required for each step. Bear that in mind.

For this tutorial I have used a random dwarf body and painted only the beard. I am not being careful of the other parts of the mini as this is just for practice, on the actual mini you will want to be careful of other parts - especially existing painted parts. I also started with a black undercoat.

Step One

The basecoat is Calthan Brown. Paint it all over the hair (from here on in, the beard) until you have a nice solid colour.

Step Two

The next layer is snakebite leather. Paint this all over the beard, but try to leave the basecoat in the deepest recesses of the beard and next to facial features or body parts.

Step Three

Add a small amount of golden yellow to the snakebite and reapply to the previous layer. This will give it a more yellow tone, something blonde has.

Step Four

Add a small amount of kommando khaki to the snakebite mix. The khaki is a neutral colour and has a way of lightening without it gaining colour - it sort of mutes the colour.

Step Five

Now add some dheneb stone to the mix. This does a similar job to the khaki but is lighter in tone. The more you add the lighter the blonde will be at the end. It is also worthwhile to start picking out individual hair strands at this point.

Step Six

Here I have added some more dheneb stone to highlight the beard more.

Step Seven

Add some skull white to the mix. Again, how much determines how bright it'll turn out. Again picking out individual strands makes the beard stand out and look more than just a flat tone.

Step Eight

Wash the beard with gryphonne sepia. Don't just slap the wash on, try to add thin layers of the wash, allow to dry and repeat until happy.

Step Nine

Reapply the highlight from step seven, again looking at highlighting individual strands.

Step Ten

The final layer is to add more skull white into the mix. This is used to pick out the most prominent strands. Such as the moustache and parts of the central braid.

That is it then done. A nice blonde beard.


  1. Yes! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions!

  2. It was your request of a how to yesterday that made me decide on doing a step by step. Well done you. -__^

    I hope you find it helpful.

  3. This is by far the best beard tutorial I have seen in my research. Excellent job! I have a question though about highlighting. I am finally at the stage of painting development when I am experimenting with highlighting. I know in theory you are supposed to be able to pick out a hair and highlight that, but I just haven't been able to do this very successfully. Either too much paint is applied (brush seems to big--even though I am using a fine detail brush) or I am having difficulty seeing individual hairs. Any suggestions?

    Lord Kael

  4. Kyle,

    Thanks for the comment. I am still proud about these beards, though I have changed how I do things. With the highlighting it can take some getting use to. The previous layers need to be dry and thin. So ensure that you have watered down paints, and pant it in layers. This will ensure a smooth coverage that keeps the details clear.

    By the sounds of it you have too much paint on the brush. You should never have a blob of paint on the brush, it should always be a thin amount. If you have to apply several times, you do so. Alternatively if you struggle to see the strands, you can make a best guess - I do this sometimes. If you have a piece of beard that looks large and flat, take you smallest brush and carefully paint some thin, slightly wavy lines. At a distance they'll just look like hairs.

    I hope this helped a little bit. If I can help more please ask. :)


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