Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to Paint Small Fish Scales

This guide uses an airbrush, but with some practice you can also use a can of spray paint. Originally posted on Stripers Online by user 'HighPockets'. This is great tutorial on adding fish and snake skin details to custom dolls like Monster High. Perfect for mermaids and gorgons.

Step 1> Make a stencil. I used some plastic sheets that used to be used for overhead projectors (if you remember those!). I made a row of holes with a hole cutter.

Step 2> base coat your model. On this I used Auto Air Aluminum base, but pick your own color.

Step 3> The key to getting a 3D effect is to put down some black. Here I uses AA Transparent black. I also added some gills so I knew where to start my scales.

Step 4> Place your stencil and start painting. I like Tamaya paints for this because you can thin them with isopropanol and they dry almost instantly. Here I an using white so they show up well. Paint only half of the circle. Remove the stencil and dry with a blow dryer.

Step 5> Off set the stencil and paint the next row until you do the entire side. Repeat on the other side.
Step 6 > When you finish both sides, go back and fill in any gaps and dress them up a bit as needed. Here, I painted some small scales on the head, darkened the back with some black, and touched up around the gills and eyes.

Step 7> Spray with transparent color, OR add a few light washes of diluted acrylic paint, dry completely, then seal with clear sealer.