Painting Gems

One of the questions I am most often asked is how I paint my gems, so here is a quick and dirty guide.

One thing that most people will miss with my work, especially with how bright my colors are at times, is that I always start with the darkest shade and paint up. I'm never trying to paint shadows down into crevices. It's a slower style, but I like it. The way I paint gems is the way right out of the GW-style, except that I change the order I apply the colors to account for my dark to light style. So my steps are:

Gem Daigram

1) Paint entire gem one dark base color (ex: Dark Angel Green)

2) Paint about 2/3's of the gem rounded off in a medium color (ex: emerald green)

3) Paint 1/3 in a light shade (ex: putrid green)

4) Once dry, paint entire gem in an appropriate glaze or ink to smooth and deepen the color (ex: ork flesh wash)

5) Once dry, add a small white highlight in the darkest area (ex: Skull White)

6) When the entire figure is done and finish coated, add a small bit of gloss varnish to the gem (ex: PollyS gloss)

Make sure all highlights are at the same angle, and try to divide the thirds across a diagonal axis across the gem. The white highlight does not need to be at the top, but it should face the logical light source (normally the top). It is a little easier to see with a diagram, and I will create one for the website, but no promise as to when (work is insanely busy right now). I use glazes and inks a lot for color depth. The example colors are what I might use if painting a green gem, though if it was me, I'd blend the colors a bit more. And while I do like citadel greens, over all, I use a lot of different brands.