Painting Ghouls

Drybrushing plays a big part in getting these guys painted.

Ghoul King and Subjects

Ghoul King and Subjects

Owner: Uncle Phil


I've read many articles on drybrushing and all of them have missed out the most important bit, which is to use a suitable brush. Games Workshop sell a rather nice large flat brush that is really good for learning drybrushing. They also sell a bullet ended drybrush that is useful once you have learnt the technique, but if you can only afford one buy the flat one first.

Dip tips of the bristles in the paint and wipe most of the paint off on the rim of the pot. Then wipe most of the paint off on the tissue. Now apply to the model, using a very light touch. Drybrushing sounds like it is wasteful of paint but once you master it it can actually be very economical.

Undercoat your ghouls in black and then base coat them with Vallejo Intermediate Blue. This, to my eyes, is a grey colour with a hint of blue to it. Next, give your models as wash of GW Graveyard Earth. Once this is dry, drybrush the figure with Vallejo Pale Greyblue. Clean your brush and give it time to dry.

Next step is to drybrush the figure with GW Elf Flesh. This serves as highlighting so most of your strokes here should be downward to catch the upper parts.

Now that the drybrushing is done you can start painting the other parts. Paint the eye sockets with Tamiya Nato Black, which despite the name is actually a very dark grey. While this dries paint the inside of the mouth with GW Scab Red.

Next, use a fine brush or a sharpened cocktail stick to paint the eyes white. Don't worry if you make these areas a bit too big since you can paint a little more Nato Black on later. Once you are happy with this you can trim down the edges of the Nato Black areas with the skin tones.

Paint the Ghoul's teeth. My colour of choice for this is MP Pale Flesh, actually a sort of cream colour. Lightly brush the teeth with paint, but don't worry about going over the edges, since this will be fixed in the next bit.

Once the teeth are dry paint wet your brush and run a little chestnut ink over the teeth and inside of the mouth. Have a tissue handy to take off the ink if you apply a little too much. You'll see the ink runs into the gaps between the teeth and defines them. You can highlight the teeth again once the ink is dry, but I liked the look of the reddish teeth.

Next stage is the claws. GW fluff has it that Ghoul claws drip with poisonous black slime so I painted these with Tamiya Smoke, which is a sort of black varnish.

That's pretty much the basic ghoul painted. Most Ghouls have some clothing. This is likely to be dirty and ragged, but there is no reason that the original garments weren't brightly coloured. Choose colours that contrast well with the ghoul's skin tone.

This colour scheme may see applications other than ghouls. The Vampires in the Judge Dredd vs Judge Death video game look a lot like my ghouls, and this skin tone might be useful for other vampires, alien creatures or dark elves.

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