Custom Painting Guide: The Paint Wipe

The Paint Wipe technique is a great way of shading your figure while giving it a realistic tone. Here I'll show you the basics of the Paint Wash and how to apply it to your custom. Keep in mind this is only a guide and just outlines the steps and techniques I use. Your results may be different depending on the paints/tools you use and your level of skill. Study these steps and practice until you achieve the result you’re looking for. If you're new to painting I suggest you first check out my Basic Figure Painting Guide before you start an advanced technique like this.

This Splatterhouse Rick custom's paint wipe is almost done. You can see the difference between the right leg and the rest of the body? The basecoat is a basic flesh color and the paint wipe is a brick red. Once applied the paint wipe will darken his flesh tone and bring out the detail of the muscles

For this particular wipe we'll mix up some diluted brick red, almost like you were going to do a wash but make it a little thicker. Apply the paint on liberally until it covers the whole surface.

Now take a slightly damp paper towel and wipe over the surface in one direction. I actually use my fingers and wear an old shirt to wipe the paint off on. That's up to you tho! You'll see the paint wipe start to dry in the crevices and start to shade the skin.

Don't worry about wiping away too much of the paint wipe on the first try. Let the initial wipe dry and then go back to specific areas. Here we'll be using the wipe to darken up the muscles on Rick's back. Apply the paint wipe but this time with more control and just where you want it.

Same as step 2, wipe the paint off in one direction and let dry for a minute to see if it needs to be darker. You can always make it darker but turning it a lighter shade requires you to paint the piece with the base color all over again.

Once the paint wipe is dry you can lightly drybrush the original base color over the section. This helps blend the tones together and you can even add highlights at this point. Here's the finished figure of Rick from Splatterhouse. After all the other details and effects are added, the whole figure comes together.

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