This is installment two in painting beards on miniatures. I have already shown how to make a really old, mostly white beard but I wanted to do something different for this one. I wanted a different hair color and I wanted a more youthful appearance to the beard. The miniatured has a glorious beard so I knew this would be fun to paint.
I started off with a dark red for the base color of the beard. If you don’t have a very dark red, try mixing in some black until you get the desired darkness. I have a dark red but it’s very transparent when applied so I had to go over it with several coats before I got the desired opacity. The picture below is with about two coats over the hair portion. I also made sure to paint the base coat for the eyebrows as well. This miniature is cool because it’s a complete contrast to the last one where the miniature was bald. This guy has hair everywhere!
Once I got the base coat down I began to add some highlight color in there. I used a lighter red to add these beginning highlights. They help add shadow and contrast to the hair so it looks more realistic. If you add too much or a spot isn’t to your liking, you can always go back over it with the darker color to add some of it back in. I made sure to add some highlight red to the eyebrows to give them the same effect.
After the initial highlights came the fun part, adding in the gray. I went a little overboard with this I think. This might be okay if I was going for an older look like before but I wanted a middle aged guy, not an old guy. The first thing to do is not panic when it doesn’t come out as expected right away. A lot of these things take work and patience to complete. Still, I really liked the effect I created with this step and I used it as a sort of secondary base coat for the final touches.
I began adding some dark and light red back in with a super thin brush. I was very careful so the red didn’t overpower the paint job and left a good amount of grey behind. It wasn’t just like a wanted it the first time. So, I kept working at it. I added more gray in some areas and more reds in others to balance out the colors. It was time consuming but rewarding when I actually looked at the finished result for the beard. Even the eyebrows got a dusting of gray.
I loved the end result. I achieved a pretty good balance of the three colors to really make it look like a man who I about to turn fifty or so soon. Plus I really like the use of red as a hair color and this looks natural without looking like it might have been dyed that way somehow. That’s how you paint hair and beards.
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