How to Paint a Sculpt [Archive] - OSW: One Sixth Warrior Forum

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02-10-2005, 15:59
Hopefully this will help some first time painters.
Brushes are obviously very important. Donít skimp here I use pretty much Red Sable Brushes.
For large applications such as the base use a #2 flat brush.
For smaller applications go with a 10/0 and a 15/0.
The first picture is the sculpt with factory paint.

The next picture is the same head after being stripped with Acetone. Be sure to follow all precautions while using it.
I like stripping the head fist for two reasons, first it reveals some hidden detail, secondly you donít need to apply a flesh base coat, you can go right over the bare sculpt with your colors.

Next is my basic flesh color laid down. I use Liquitex Acrylics. Mix equal amounts of Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, and a little bit of Cadmium Orange. Add Titanium White until you achieve the desired shade of flesh.

This next picture is the sculpt with the shading applied. I use pastels for this; you can buy them in any craft store. I use the stick type which I grind to a powder with sand paper, and apply them with a small brush. After applying them be sure to seal them with a light dusting of sealer such as Testors Dull Cote.

Next I add some color to the face again with pastels. The trick here is subtlety you donít want to over do it here or it will look like your sculpt is wearing makeup. Be sure to seal it again.

This step is the eyes, Eyes are probably the most difficult step, yet well done eyes will really bring your sculpt to life.
I start by laying down the whites. You donít want to use a pure white here. Real whites have a translucent kind of look I mix in a touch of gray as well as a bit of Raw Sienna.
When your whites are dry you want to start on the irisís. I start by drawing them with a .05 mechanical pencil. This will allow the paint to flow into a nice circle.
Thin the paint by half for whatever color or using for the eyes.
You can also add some tear ducts with some thinned light red paint.
Add some shading to the top of the iris with some dark gray pastel. Seal it again paying close attention to the eyes, but donít over do it.
Finally add some gloss to the eyes, I use Future Floor Finish. A six-dollar bottle will last years.

Last step is the hair. Lay down your base color, when its dry apply a darker wash to flow into the nooks and crannies. When thatís dry, dry brush some highlights, and your finished!

02-10-2005, 16:02
the master makes it look sooooo easy. thanks for the tutorial!

Doktor Von Evil
02-10-2005, 16:02
Wow! Thank you so much!

02-10-2005, 16:23
John-- you are the man!!!!

Thanks so much for this!

02-10-2005, 16:25
So many of us have waited so so long to see the secrets revealed.

Boot25 ya work never ceases to amaze me, even though now I've got a tutorial, well we all have there's no turning back.

This should work extremely well for the Barton's that are on their way to me.

Can't wait to get home from work and crank a head out now.

Cheers again,


02-10-2005, 16:30
Please archive this one! The master giving away his secrets:thumb Did you ever notice how someone really talented in any venture makes it look so easy heres my first attempt at eyes-:wideyes Are bbi heads , stripped , the right color for the base flesh color? thanks Boot

02-10-2005, 16:52
Thank you, thank you for the tutorials.

You're da man, BooT!:thumb

02-10-2005, 17:02
Thank you. This is another example of why I love this board.

02-10-2005, 17:20
Thanks alot!:thumb Really thanks for sharing!:thumb

02-10-2005, 17:34
Thanks, as always for taking the time to show us your techniques Boot!

02-10-2005, 18:58
Thank you very much for taking the time to write this tutorial. I have one quick question regarding the shading with pastels, are you using some "fleshy" colored browns or some other mix of colors?

Thanks in advance.

02-10-2005, 19:01
Shading with pastels, interesting technique, I always thought you used blended notch mate

02-10-2005, 19:16
Here's a pic of the pastels I use.
It's hard to see the color difference in the picture, but #1 is a reddish brown, #2 is a medium brown and #3 is light red.
I use #1 for deep shadows between the lips, around the nostrils etc... #2 is used for the lighter shadows, around the eyes etc... I use the red for the chin and nose. I also use orange very sparingly over the whole face to give some color. I wipe most of it off the brush.

02-10-2005, 19:28
OH yeah I can do that,no problem...


Your work is excellent and you must have alot of patience to do the sweet work you do.

02-10-2005, 19:40
Man! Talk about hidden features! Strip the paint and he looks like Rutger Hauer! :wideyes

Great idea and thanks for the post! Always interested in new paint techniques.

How do you eliminate the brush strokes? Or do you airbrush?

02-10-2005, 19:43
wow thanks for sharing man....

02-10-2005, 20:08
Excellent hints! I'm gonna bookmark this link. Thanks again!

02-10-2005, 20:26
Originally posted by Eagle_MP
Man! Talk about hidden features! Strip the paint and he looks like Rutger Hauer! ...

Glad that I'm either not insane or have a fellow inmate. He does have a great deal ogf Hauer's looks, skillfully hidden by the factory paintjob.

Our gratitude for a great and blessedly simple (except for acquring the talent, LOL) tutorial, Boot.

Lightning Sword
02-10-2005, 20:51
John, many, many thanks for taking the time to put this how-to together!

Clown fart
02-10-2005, 21:54
Thought he looked like a young Kirk Douglas, circa Sparticus era

02-10-2005, 22:04
Thanks for the tutorial. In your personal experience would you say that acrylic and pastels are better than oils?

02-11-2005, 06:57
I should have mentioned, to eliminate brush strokes thin your paint by about a third.
I like acrylics for basically one reason, speed. I'm the kind of person who wants instant results.
I have used oils also, and like them just fine except for the drying time.

02-11-2005, 07:39
Thank you for the great thread Boot!


02-11-2005, 09:01
Nice tutorial. I've tried the one on your website a few... ahem... dozen times and always end up with something that would be hard to pass off as a zombie. Some of us are just all thumbs!!! ;)

02-11-2005, 10:03
Thanks, John. That's awesome.

Are the pastels the oil-based type? I am guessing the chalk type would be extraordinarily difficult to seal.

02-11-2005, 10:06
Thanks guy's
The pastels are indeed chalk.
The trick to sealing them is not to go overboard on the sealer.
A light dusting will be more than adequate.

02-11-2005, 16:27
THANK YOU JOHN! This will help alot, I do have one ? how bout the lips?

Lightning Sword
02-11-2005, 16:28
Nice tutorial. I've tried the one on your website a few... ahem... dozen times and always end up with something that would be hard to pass off as a zombie. Some of us are just all thumbs!!!

LOL, Sean, no kidding, my first attempt awhile back, that I only let John look at was quite amusing.

John was most kind with his comments to. But it was utter crap, IIDSSMS. ;)

02-11-2005, 17:00
Hey Jeff,
For the lips try using your flesh color with a little red, and just a touch of brown.
Thin this by half then keep applying allowing drying between coats until you have the desired shade.

02-11-2005, 17:33
boot25 -

Wow, you are very talented ... and a generous teacher!

How do you appy the pastels ( with a brush?) ... how do you seal the pastels , so they dont rub off?

Have you ever tried using Urathanes?

do you airbrush at all?

Doctor T
02-11-2005, 20:36

You are a true class act. Thanks again very much for all your help.


Mountain Trooper
02-11-2005, 21:21
The LIQUITEX PAINTS mentioned here are all in stock and 50% off at Dick Blick's Art Supply.. just got all the colors in 4 oz tubes for like $13
For those of you that want to try this out.. it's a great time to buy the paints....

02-12-2005, 08:19
Wow! Thanks for the tutorial! Your oil painting tutorial was also a huge help to me. BTW, Winsor Newton has fast drying oils that are pretty good for slow painters like me (ie, enough time to play, but you don't have to wait weeks to dry), but this new method looks both forgiving and blazing fast. And none of the nasty fumes associated with oil painting! Can't wait to try it. Thanks again!

02-12-2005, 13:02
It's amazing how different the original looks from the finished product. Looks nearly like a totally different sculpt all together.

02-13-2005, 12:57
John, can you give us a brief tut on the acetone stripping process? I have tried with limited success to strip the factory paint.

What do you use? How long do you soak it (if it all)? Do you have to do any scraping or other method to remove stubborn paint? Any other helpful hints?

02-13-2005, 13:16
Here's how I strip a sculpt.
You can find acetone in the paint dept. at any Home Depot.
Keep in mind this is nasty stuff.Use it in a well ventilated area, and use rubber gloves.
I pour about an inch of it in a safe container(don't use plastic it will melt).Place the head in the acetone and let it sit for about 30 seconds. Next scrub it with an old toothbrush and the paint should come right off. The whole process should take less than 2 minutes.

combat smurf
02-13-2005, 14:21
Cellulose car paint thinners works well for stripping factory paint too boot.i find it Usually dissolves the acrillic used on DML sculps in seconds.Again,can be nasty on the lungs though.


Lightning Sword
02-19-2005, 01:51
Argh! the Red X s strike!

09-04-2009, 17:27
First of all, great tutorial (even though there are red x's now).

I'm bookmarking this for my use later.

John, I've seen your work on Red Planet Toys and it's awesome.

I appreciate the tutorial. It's helpful knowing what mixtures to use and how to strip a head.


09-07-2009, 17:13
hey boot can you reupload the pics of take some new ones while you are painting a sculpt. it's better with visuals

09-16-2009, 11:24
yes, please reupload the pics as I'm a new joiner and found this turtorial really useful! :)

10-01-2009, 17:43
Any chance of having this tutorial re-posted?

12-13-2009, 13:28
Hello, I just joined the forum recently (great site BTW), and I am trying my hand at weathering some armor. I got the look that I'm going for but, after it dried, it's still tacky. Is there a specific top coat to finish it with? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

12-18-2009, 12:50
Please re upload pictures...I want to learn that...please...
Thank you

01-30-2010, 15:02
Is there a specific top coat to finish it with? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Try Testors Dullcoat.. you can find it at hobby lobby.. its a spray can.. you also dont have to drown the piece in the stuff.. I had the same problem with tackyness and it corrected the problem..

01-30-2010, 15:05
wow I do hope someone reposts or archives the pics in this thread.. it aint no fun without pics..

02-22-2010, 17:29
Gary's How To Page. (
Let me google that for you (

02-22-2010, 19:13
Where are all the pictures ? All I am getting is "Image removed or deleted" message.

02-23-2010, 13:54
Sorry guy's I'm working on a new tutorial with some of my newer methods. I hope to have it ready soon.

02-24-2010, 00:51
Cool, hope will get the post soon!!!:)

02-24-2010, 10:12
dudes, dudettes..
Gary's How To Page. (
scroll down to see the boot25 tutorial link!

02-24-2010, 12:45
Awesome, thanks!


09-07-2010, 19:42
Boot, how's that updated tutorial coming along? Can't wait to see it.

Jeff N
09-09-2010, 05:25
Same here.

09-09-2010, 23:23
Me too. I can't wait.

09-21-2010, 15:05
Me too. I can't wait.

:gimme Same here.... I can't wait to get some tips from the master. :agree

Jimmy C
02-26-2011, 14:26
Looking forward to it

02-26-2011, 19:43

05-09-2011, 11:57
Any chance of a re-post?

05-10-2011, 10:40
Arrggg! All the pixs. are gone. Does anyone have pixs. on how to do this? Thanks.

06-07-2011, 15:38
thanks really but if you can re-upload the pictures for the new members :) :) :) :) :) pppppppllllllllzzzzzzzzzzz

08-20-2011, 22:41
same here, re-upload the pictures please

duck of death
08-21-2011, 14:02
Guys, I don't think he's going to re-up the pictures any time soon. If he didn't say it here, Boots said over on Sideshow Freaks he is dealing with some heavy, heavy personal stuff right now and won't be doing anything hobby related for the foreseeable future.

02-28-2013, 02:59
Just for you guys, I found a working link for Boot's tute in PDF format:

Scroll to the bottom and it's there. Find it, save it, love it! If the disk icon is greyed out you can do Save As under File.