[Archive] Painting Beards

The Slaver:

so, what is the easiest method for making the black curly beards stick out? i’ve been drybrushing fortress gray over a chaos black over coat, but it looks more gray than black. Should i simply have less gray? or is there some other way to acchieve a good effect?

The Flying Beaver:

Just use a darker grey. I use a very light drybrush of codex grey myself.


Anyone tried doing a wash of grey isntead of a drybrush? I think that could look pretty interesting.

Ishkur Cinderhat:

What works well with me is to actually use 3-4 different layers of drybrushing, getting lighter the further you’re down the beard. Makes them a bit more interesting. Only use very little colour though, and mix the first few drybrushes with dark grey or black to make the layers more subtle.


I think that grey with a wash of black would work better than a wash of grey over black


When i do black beards for my regular dwarf i paint them first solidly codex grey, then gradually layer them with drybrushes of black ink. I think when i get round to doing my chaos dwarfs ill put in 1 layer of blue ink to give that black-blue sheen.

or alternatively start with a dark blue instead of grey and put the black on that.


Just mix some bleached bone in with your chaos black for a dark grey type of colour, then give them quite a heavy drybrush. Anything else I think tends to look more grey than black

Ishkur Cinderhat:

When i do black beards for my regular dwarf i paint them first solidly codex grey, then gradually layer them with drybrushes of black ink.

Sorry, you do what?? You drybrush with an ink? How do you do that, sir? :)


Its exactly the same as drybrushing with a paint, wipe it off on kitchen roll then lightly apply in strokes with a drybrush brush over raised areas. The fact its ink doesnt really make that much difference, the reason i use it is my brother just borrowed my paints and undercoated 200 night goblins plus extras (possibly 250 total) and ran out all my chaos black.

Sometimes its fun to try things out. I mean theres more you can do with inks than just wash things and get into recesses. The shininess makes them great for highlighting as well.


I pretty much do the same thing as everyone else. You start an undercoat (over the black primer) of about 1:1 Chaos Black and Codex Grey, and basecoat with that. Then I’ll gradually add more and more Codex Grey to the mix for the areas that I want to be lighter, and then I barely drybush Fortress Grey to a small section of the beard in order to give the effect that the beard is made of indavidual hairs and stuff.

Black Ink and washes of Chaos Black work wonders when painting beards. The consistency of the ink/wash settles down into the recesses, making the finished product look amazing. IMO, washes and inks pretty much paint the model for you. :slight_smile:

Good luck on those beards.

Ishkur Cinderhat:

@torn: I don’t want to sound overly conservative, but drybrushing something that has a light base colour with a dark colour seems pretty contradictory to me. The idea behind drybrushing is to apply a lighter colour to the raised areas, after all. I see a point in painting a beard with a light colour, and then applying a wash of thinned black ink, though…


It depends what look your trying to go for. The drybrushing doesn’t have to mean highlighting. In fact just because highlighting is the most used purpose of the dybrushing technique doesn’t mean that that is what the technique is for.

If the word existed id call it highdarking, as in the opposite of highlighting. I cant think of many other times where ive used a darker colour for the highlight, although if you have never done it before its worth trying as an artistic experiment. I do like putting dark angels green drybrushed over goblin green for bases, before static grass is added. Kind of a good-guy base, not one a chaos dwarf would ever stand on lol.

To be honest the whole black over grey came about because grey over black was making the beards look too grey, as dark recesses are the norm and the highlights get noticed. I had a lot of dwarfs to play with trying to find interesting yet feasible beard colours.

My favourite so far is a bubonic brown over black base, highlighted (dybrushed) with bad moon yellow or whatever they call it these days, and then highlighting wit a fine detail brush the exact lines with bleached bone. It gives a very peroxide blond look and i used it to make my dwarf queen look like my girlfriend. Its a good job she doesnt really know what a dwarf is!