Hey guys Cavalier here, commission painter for Frontline Gaming and co-host of Splintermind the Dark Eldar podcast here today with a painting tutorial on how to paint white models! So if you like the look of this Lion of Chrace I’ll show you how I did it.
The first trick to painting white is this: DONT. Paint it grey! By grey I mean Ulthuan Grey, which is the matching color to GW’s Corax White spray primer! Now I dont know why they dont just advertise that but it was a maddening process to discover, so hopefully I saved you time with that alone. Ulthuan Grey is also an amazing paint which goes on a thousand times easier than White Scar or Ceramite White.
Step 1: Prime Away
Now the model I’ll be showing is the matching lion to the one pictured above. So simply begin by priming the model Corax White.
Step 2: Avoid the Mess
A big tip with painting colors like yellow, bone and white is to paint anything that can make a mess of your pristine colors first, so that you can clean up any splatter in the early stages so all your hard work doesnt get ruined at the end. So I black out the base, paint the saddle Dryad Bark, apply Retributor to the armor. Afterwards I apply a Nuln Oil wash to the leather bits and clean that up. I dont bother applying my usual Reikland Flesh wash to the golden armor until later as you are bound to get some of blue and green washes from the lion itself onto the gold.
Step 3: The Wolf and the Lion
Enter Fenris Grey. Using just a bit of Fenris Grey and a healthy amount of Lahmian medium I make a light grey wash to apply all over the lion. It is very subtle but it makes for a cool ghostly ethereal vibe which works well for this warp-touched beast. I dont use any specific ratios, I just go on feel, adding a bit more grey for the mane areas, more Lahmian Medium on the body.
Step 4: Add Variety
For the next step I use Coeilia Greenshade mixed with Lahmian Medium to add a nice touch of blue green to the lion’s mane and tail. The green in this excellent paint adds some range of color to the model to avoid being monotone greys and blues. In the end it helps to create a more ethereal look to the model. If say however, I was painting a White Scars Space Marine I would use Drakenhoff Darkshade/Lahmian Medium mix after using the grey which would give greater definition, but look a bit less ethereal/mystical. If was painting a Luna Wolf I may go for Russ Grey for grittier more muted approach all round.
Step 5: Reign it In
While that sea green tint is really nice, its a bit strong. I want to pull the whole thing into a more spectral ghostly vibe, so I re-apply Fenris Grey/Lahmian Medium wash to the mane again to knock it down again. This also darkens the mane over all providing necessary contrast to keep the model from looking monotone.
Step 6: Clean up your Act!
So time to do a bit of clean up and brighten the mane a bit. So just using Ulthuan Grey (the main color of the model) I pick out the locks of hair on the mane and tail, the strands in the beard, the raised areas on the face of the lion and bam! Thats it, you are all done painting the white. I treat this whole bit as a pseudo-highlighting stage and call it a day on the actual white of the model. When you start adding White Scar or even a blend of Ulthuan and White Scar it just takes the entire paint scheme into a starker shade of white that I do not want, nor do I think is necessary. You’ll see just how bright this model looks in the end, as the details are completed and in contrast to other models.
Step 6: Final Details
So after that I just carefully pick out the details, like the Harlequin mask, highlight the saddle, wash and paint the armor and detail the gems. I also painted the nose and gums of the lion Slaanesh Grey just to keep the “shades of grey” approach going. As you can see now you’d be hard pressed to think you painted this model grey at all though. Its got a really nice snowy white, but with some nice ethereal shading with good contrast and distinction.
Also when alongside other units in my army, it seems like it couldn’t be a brighter shade of white!
So thats it guys! Thats my approach to painting white. I hope you found it helpful and that it took some of the mystique out this reputedly difficult process. I’m very happy with how it came out and they make a great exotic addition to my Corsair themed Eldar. If you need any tips or advice feel free to ask away in the comments section below, I’m always happy to talk painting.
Also if you are interested in exclusive Dark Eldar and all things Aeldari coverage check out our podcast Splintermind the Dark Eldar Podcast, where we tactics, hobby, lore, interview Black Library authors all as it relates to the Eldar factions. Thanks for stopping by!
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