Painting; always the fun bit, especially if you get to use artists' oil paints. I find that oils really are the best medium for painting skin on larger figures such as this, not only for the texture and sheen, but also the sheer flexibility of the paint. Let's face it, hundreds of years of world art done in oils speaks for itself. Also for blending there really is nothing to touch oil paint and as the paint stays wet for a few days, if you are not satisfied with the result there is the option of changing it, as well as painting over it.
Some people approach painting skin, though, with some trepidation. This is understandable as if you get it wrong then it can ruin or spoil an otherwise beautifully painted model. Certainly it is tricky with enamels and acrylics, but oils again make life easy and I have a quick method of getting (for me, anyway) satisfactory results.
After laying down the suitable base colour, in this case the Humbrol flesh tone I painted on my gladiator figure yesterday, this afternoon, I opened a tube of Burnt Sienna paint. Squeezing out a small amount, I thined it a little with some white spirit and then quickly painted the colour into the creases and hollows of the muscles and wherever they met with clothing. Once this was done I squeezed out some white and ochre. I mixed the Burnt Sienna and white approximately half and half and added a little ochre to colour. This gave me a shade pretty close to the Humbrol flesh tone. This I then liberally paint into the spaces between the Burnt Sienna I had painted on earlier.
At this point think about where your light source is coming from. Perhaps the easiest is from straight above. With this in mind you can start to blend the two colours along their edges, keeping the darker Sienna in the folds under the muscles more than on the top. This is the bit I always find the most satisfying, as you can see the results appearing before your eyes, while the malleability of the paint allows you to experiment a little. Dollops of more Burnt Sienna or your patent flesh tone can be added as desired. When I was satisfied with the overall paint job, I then added a few bits of purer white or white and ochre mixed to highlight the tops of the muscles to give them a slight sheen.
And that, as they say, was that. All that was then required was some minor tidying up, plus I mixed some crimson and Sienna to dot the gladiator's nipples and redden his lips. Normally with a model I would spend quite a while getting the face just right, but as the figures face will be hidden behind a face mask I'm not too fussed over getting this as detailed as I normally would.
As noted, in many ways painting with oils is a plus. On the downside, though, I will now have to wait a few days for the paint to dry before I can do any more work on it. The figure doesn't look too bad, though, so far. The pictures here are perhaps a little more orange than they should be, as I took them late in the evening with the light on.