Today I want to share a short step by step on how I painted simple tattoos on this lovely miniature from Hasslefree. This is the easy way, and I think it works really well with tiny minis with tiny tattoos. Bigger tattoos (with larger surface areas coloured I mean) require a different method, with more lighting effects. I might make another tutorial for that as well. For gaming minis, but also for small display minis I find that this way works quite well.
Unfortunately my lighting was a bit harsh and I didn’t find out till after I was done, so there is not so much shading seen on the skin, but the tattoo looks as it should more or less.
Make sure you finished painting the skin entirely. You can still work it a bit afterwards, but it is better to start without worrying about that.
Start with sketching in the tattoo with a diluted blue colour. I find that the old GW colour “space wolves grey” works well for this. If you don’t have this, a grey blue is generally ok.
Then cover the entire sketch with the colour of the tattoo. I used a mix of black (GW), space wolves grey (GW) & golden skin by Scale 75. I don’t know the mix exactly, but I think it is about 3:2:1.
To emphasize some volumes in the tattoo, I added a little black to the previous mix and painted that into the larger surfaces of the tattoo.
There are two steps hidden in this pics. The first is cleaning up the area, using skintone to make sure the edges are tight and the shapes are like you want them to be.
The second step is to add a glaze of skintone, this will give the tattoo a slightly more worn look. The more glazing you do, the more it looks embedded to the skin. It really depends on what effect you want.
As you can see the tattoos on my lady are quite dark, so they look more like newer tattoos. Yes, she is naked because she wants to show of her new tattoos.
Of course, you don’t always want to paint new tattoos. To create older tattoos, add more blue & skintone to the tattoo colour.
If you want the “just-had-this-tattoo-done” look, you can add some red glazes to the edges to make it look like irritated skin. But then, the tattoo has to be really dark and preferably a slight gloss to it. People with tattoos know that you have to treat your new tattoos carefully and keep them moisturized a bit ;).