Monday, November 17, 2014

How to paint yellow (like for an Iyanden Eldar)

Hi guys (and possibly girls) and welcome to this new step-by-step tutorial. This time I will show you guys how I paint a nice, bright yellow that can be used for example on popular sci-fi tabletop armies like Imperial Fist Space Marines or Iyanden Eldar.

Yellow can be a hard color to paint using only a brush. A quick method to make this a lot easier is to prime your models white of a light grey instead of black. That will save you a lot of layers trying to get the color nice and bright. 

Using an airbrush makes painting bright colors like yellow a lot easier. Still I prefer painting over a light color to really make the yellow pop. 

I started with a light grey primer. I will start shading it first anyway so for me it doesn't really matter.

Eldar Guardian primed light grey
I used Vallejo light grey primer. It is important to let it dry for a couple of hours to really set on the model. It will be dry to the touch sooner and it will be possible to paint over it sooner, but you will still be able to scratch the primer of the surface. 

A quick coat of orange-brown
I mixed up some snakebite leather (old GW Citadel color) with a touch of golden yellow and sprayed it over the entire model. I focused on spraying it from below because this will be the shadow color. Next will be the highlight.

Top view after spraying white from the top
Using a zenithal highlight technique I spray white from 33ยบ angle from the top on the model. As you can see in the picture above looking down at it it will be almost white. 

Shadows and highlights
Shadows and highlights
As you can see the brown still shows up where natural shadows would be visible. The rest of the mini is white which is an excellent base for the transparent yellow. Now cover the model with a thin layer of yellow. Make sure the paint is thin enough to let the shadows show through the yellow.

Model covered with yellow paint

You can see the light brown through the yellow
As you can see the yellow over the white gives you a really bright yellow color. When you look at the model at a downward angle you can still see the brown, creating a realistic shadow in the progress. 

Now this is only one of the many possible ways to paint yellow. I like this technique because its quick and easy and it looks good. 

Lets finish the model up real quick so you can get an idea of the finished result. I painted the gun, a kneepad and the head with a medium blue. You can further highlight these if you got the time but I didn't. I hope you liked this little tutorial and that it helps you paint better looking models or to help you paint your models faster.

Finished result


  1. I am planning on getting an airbrush soon (Iwata Eclipse HP-CS), and plan to focus most of my work on my Warhammer army. I know that certain paints are terrible for hand brushing, as they tend to flake off.
    What kinds of paints do you use for Warhammer models? Or does it really matter, since the airbrush uses such a thin paint?

    1. the paint doesnt matter as much... just make sure you dilute the paint so you can spray it through your airbrush without clogging. I do suggest getting paint in dropper bottles. It makes your live much easier!