9 Shades of Green – How to: Paint Ork Skin

With Orktober finally here, it’s all gone green at my particular part of Brush and Boltgun. Nurgle is on a nearby shelf, Stormcast are waiting for their turn under the brush, and the greenskins have burst onto the desktop like a spiky green plague.

Prior to the Kommando nob and Painboy that we’ve covered this month, my original Orks all looked more like this:Old-school-ork-boy

The old skin was just Dark Angel Green, with a coat of Goblin Green to highlight it, which worked well enough back then, but I know I can do better now, so I’ve put this tutorial together so that you can get a nice variety of shades across one squad of boyz.

The Orks I’m using are from a close combat mob of boyz that I’ve converted so that they have a shield wall. After the Halfords matt black primer undercoat, the skin was given a coat of Waaagh! Flesh. From there I shaded three with Agrax Earthshade, three with Athonian Camoshade, and three with Biel-Tan Green shade so that in the three examples below, the orks have all been painted up to the same point as the image below.

Biel-Tan Green, Athonian Camoshade, Agrax Earthshade

This isn’t a comprehensive list of ways to paint the skin, but it is a few quick and easy methods to get a bit of variety in your orks.

1 – Waaagh Flesh, Warboss Green, Skarsnik Green

With these three orks, I’ve just used the paints without playing with the colour, just onto the wet palette and added on in their pure form. I think this method look most like my old orks, but with better shading and a few different tones.


2, Waaagh! Flesh, Waaagh! Flesh/White mix 1, Waaagh! Flesh/White mix 2

The second method can be done by adding various amounts of white to the Waaagh! Flesh to get the two highlights. In person they don’t look as pale as they do in the last photo, but it can always be toned down in future orks by adding less white to the mix.

3, Waaagh! Flesh, Waaagh! Flesh/Elysian Green mix1, Waaagh! Flesh/Elysian Green Mix 2

So this method – mixing a lighter/different shade of green – gives yet another look, and because you can use pretty much any green you like (not all will work, but play about with mixing some colours), you can get some real variety in them. The principle is very simple, and very similar to number 2 – after reapplying Waaagh! Flesh, for the second layer you want to add some Elysian/other Green to the Waaagh! Flesh, and paint the first highlights as we have done previously. Once that is dry, add more Elysian/other Green to the mix, and apply a final highlight.

While each method is simple it does give a different effect so that your orks don’t all end up the same shade, or if you want them all to look the same shade, there’s nine different skin tones suggested in the post – Everyone’s a winner! There’s no doubt countless methods out there on the internet, and even another on Brush and Boltgun.

For Dave’s Orc Blood Bowl team he gave a superb tutorial on how he did the skin which is another fine method, and you can find that here: Black Mountain Brawlers.

Below is a picture of the three orks who each had the same shade together, just to show how the shades and colours all worked out. The final picture is all of them together. There is a tenth man not shown on this post, but he’s being used for another about the shield wall.

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