HOWTO Paint: Skulls & Bone in 6 easy steps + the Raven

I got these raven sitting on skull minifigs from the Wildspire Miniatures Animals of Sol’an set, but singles are also included in the Hero’s and Animals set.

plastic raven sitting on a skull miniature, unprimed.

Here are the steps I took to paint the skull.

1. Prime black. I’m using Rust-Oleum 249846 2X Ultra Cover, but really, any flat black primer that sticks to plastic should work fine.

2. Overbrush or heavy drybrush dark gray, leaving only the super deep areas black.

3. Drybrush gray for the mid-lights. (If the skull top is empty, otherwise these may be the highlights….)

3.5 (Add very small white highlights to the top…I didn’t because it’s got a raven sitting
on top of / shadowing those top reflections…)

4. (optionally, add transparent neon red to the eyes for less-realistic spooky look….)

I’ve found that this transparent florescent red Liquitex acrylic ink will dry to a dark maroon color if painted over a black background, as it needs a titanium white background to truly “light up”, so look at the next few photos to see what it looks like dry.

5. Wash with a dark yellow (let fully dry before the next wash). I’ve found that this yellow color is critical for the “skull/bone” appearance, but as a wash it tends to leave deep areas with yellow lines that don’t work quite right appearance wise, which is why the burnt umber wash is done afterwards.
wattered down yellow paint all over the skull

6. Wash with a burnt umber (do the eyes too unless you want them super bright!). This gives the “sitting in the earth” look, and also covers up the yellow from the previous wash in the deep areas.

And this is the final result after hitting the base with a chalky black, painting the raven (see below for the steps) and applying a matte clear coat to protect the mini-fig.

HOWTO: paint the raven (Some of these steps are done while also working on the skull, but would work on a standalone raven or crow figure.)
1. Prime black
2. Paint with a metallic black (I used sequin black).

3. Drybrush with Violet. (Yes, it’s there, and it makes the feathers pop, but you don’t really notice it….)

4. A VERY light drybrush with white or metallic pearl white finishes things up. I concentrate mostly on the top of the bird for highlights, but do a very light brushing on the other areas just to give the edges of the feathers some extra definition.
Two ravens on skulls, painting finished.

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