By Annya Shetinina



NOTE: The kit was cleaned, sanded and primed before any painting started. I prefer to use white primer for most of my pieces, since I mostly paint from light to dark. A white base provides better “glow” to the final result.

Also, for shading I use Pan Pastels, but the same results could be achieved with any pastel sticks. I would recommend using Artist grade product vs. Student grade as those have stronger pigment and do not fade. When using sticks, just rub them on fine grit sandpaper and use the powder for shading.

With that ... lets get started.

The piece was first cleaned using mild dish soap and water.

Note: Depending on the casting method and materials used, some pieces may require the use of a mild cleaner degreaser to remove any mold release which can affect that adherence of primer to your mode.

GKUSC recommends the use of Simple Green or other environmentally friendly and/or another biodegradable cleaner.


In the beginning of painting, I always start with skin tone followed up by using closest to most distant color layer from skin. This helps to ease the process of masking and creates smoother transitions between layers and colors. Garage Kits.US Colors Flesh (GKUCS #353) is used for the base skin tone.


After the base tone is applied, still using Garage Kit Flesh, I add few drops of Gold Toner (GKUSC # 207) to darken it just a touch, and lightly shade over the highlighted areas, which is where I want my shadows to fall.


GKUSC PAINTERS TIP: To create a uniform shading, take a picture of your unpainted kit using a small lamp as your light source. Edit the picture into black and white using any photo editing software you have available and use that picture as your reference for where your shadows should fall.

After the shading with airbrush is done, its time for pastel shading. This method allows for very precise color application and doesn’t need great airbrush skills. For this skin tone, I used two pan pastels: Red Iron Oxide Shade and Burnet Sienna. Pastels are applied with two soft bristle brushes. Smaller one for depositing pastel on model and the other one for softly rubbing it on/brushing excess off.


I add pastels in desired areas. Sometimes it takes more than one layer of pastel to achieve desired effect. I seal the layers of pastels with Testor’s Dullcoat between applications.
NOTE: When using any sealer, it’s always advisable to test it out first to see how it effects your pastels. Some sealers and the propellants used in rattle cans can dissolve, smudge or dim down pastels



After the skin is done, I mask it with Silly Putty, and then it’s time to work on the inside of her cloak. This is where working from light to dark will come in handy. First, I used white over where skin tone was over sprayed, as yellow colors are often not very solid, therefore any left-over skin paint may end up visible underneath. Colors used for the cloak: Saffron (GKUSC # 123) for the base, Transparent Vivid Orange (GKUSC # 410) for shading and finished up with Red Iron Oxide Shade pastel in the folds of the cloak to create depth.


Once the inside of the cloak was masked, I once again apply white to cover unwanted over-spray. Next, Frost Blue (GKUSC # 146) was used to add shading on outside of the cloak, followed up with slight shading with Turquoise Enhancer (GKUSC # 522) to add just a little bit of greenish color.


I wanted the cloak and the piece overall to seem light and ethereal, so I decided to tone down the blues using Semi-Transparent Pure White (GKUSC # 300-ST). This gave the blues the more blurred hazy look I was looking for.


I then used Turquoise Shade and Ultra Blue Extra Dark pastels to further shade the creases of the cloak.


At this point, I wanted to see how the colors were contrasting with one another, so I removed all masking to double check that I was happy with the way everything was turning out. Once I decided I was pleased with how everything was so far, I sealed my work to save it at this point.


Next is time for the base. First it was necessary to mask the dress with putty and cellophane wrap. I then airbrushed Bambi Brown (GKUSC # 199) as a base for wood on the base.


Next, I mix Transparent Burnt Umber (GKUSC # 456) with Golden Glazing Liquid to create a glaze to highlight the wood on the base.


Using old brush, I apply lines to imitate wood grain, and gently feather it down with another clean brush to smooth down the lines, so it doesn’t look too sharp. I follow that by airbrushing same Transparent Burnt Umber (GKUSC # 456) to add shadows and texture. After the wood was painted, it was sealed with glossy finish.


The hair was hand-painted with Leather Tan (GKUSC # 203). By hand painting it, it creates an uneven color. It’s an easy way to create texture on the hair without too much effort.


Next step is to darken the hair. Using navy blue pastels, add some shading in deeper grooves. After sealing it, blue color will blend together with brown creating natural looking shadows.


For the eyes, start with off white color. Do not use pure white as a base color. Pure white is stark and should be saved for the final highlights. GKUSC makes several off white colors that are all suitable for painting eyes. Next step is to outline the eye in light pink. Followed by light blue/grey for add shadows on the top of the eye (created by top eyelashes) and in the corners of the eye.


Darker blue was used to fill in the iris, followed up by lighter shade of blue to fill in the whole circle only leaving the slight outline. Doing it this way, you don’t need a steady hand to outline the eye. Next using a lighter shade of the same iris color, add a small highlight on the bottom of the eye.



Next step is to add the black dot and using dark brown outline the eyelashes.
NOTE: For best effects, do not use Jet Black to paint lashes, nor surround the eye entirely. Study fashion photographs and make note of how make-up is actually applied.
For the next step, pure white was added insight the blue for highlight and couple of dots on the white part of the eye. because off-white was used for the base of the eye, this makes the eye more 3 dimensional.


As the final step for the eyes, a small dot of white is added to the corners of the eyes and Dark Brown outline to top eyelashes and 3/4’s of the bottom eyelash, leaving the bottom inner portions of the eyes untouched. Once happy with the eyes, they can be sealed with a glossy finish.
GKUSC PAINTER TIP: If you have trouble centering eyes, paint one right side up, then turn your kit upside down. This will give you a unique perspective and make it easier to make sure your eyes are in the same direction.


For the metal accessories, the first task is to base coat the metal accessories with either dark brown for gold, and black for silver. GKUSC recommends using watercolors as the paints for metallics.


Silver and Gold Model Master Enamels were used next on the various metallic accessories on the kit.


To bring out the details in jewelry, I used Citadel washes. Red color was used for the gold and blue wash for silver. I use those washes because it’s something I have in my workroom, but there are other ways to achieve the same effect. You can also use Golden Glazing liquid with a drop of desired color for the same results.


For the final touch on metals, use the same metallic colors to add highlights on the jewelry


To add a final special touch for this piece, I decided to add some snow texture using Woodland Scenes Snow. I applied Elmer’s glue to strategic spots, and then applied the scenic snow. It does sometimes take a few layers to get the effect you want, and it’s always advisable to wait until each layer is all dry before applying another.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and found it informative. I’ll be working some more pieces for GKUS, so expect some more tutorials coming soon.

Keep building.