Before I could begin, I needed the right materials. First, I picked up a set of greyscale paint produced by Black Heart Enterprises. It comes in 6 shades from white to black, with 4 shades of neutral grey. The paints are airbrush ready, but also go on smoothly with a paint brush. I put a bit of each paint on an index card for a reference to compare against black and white photos. I will refer to these paints as #1-6, with #1 being white and #6 being black. Next, I had to get an appropriate primer. I used Duplicolor gray primer because it is a neutral gray and will blend with the Black Heart paints. It is a close match to the #3 paint.
Next, I sealed with dullcoat and blocked in more of the hair with a brush. Feeling that I was on the right track, I carefully blocked in all of the hair, eyebrows, and lips in the #6 black. Remember! By sealing the flesh and the dress with a lacquer dullcoat, I can wipe away mistakes with a damp Q-tip or cotton tipped micro applicator. This is very helpful when painting black around flesh and light colors.
Next, I added a #1 highlight to the sclera (white of the eye). If I was painting this in color, I would use an off white or oyster color, but with the greyscale, the white worked well. I took some #2 and lined the inside of the bottom eyelid, then used the #6 to paint the upper and lower eyelashes. Once I was happy, I dullcoated this area. Painting the eyes was the most tedious and frustrating part of this build, and it took several hours to get it right. But, at this point, the piece started to come together.
For the stone base, I started by base coating it with #5. Using a ripped up make-up sponge and an old worn out paint brush, I sponged and stippled different shades of gray by adding different amounts of #4 and #3 to the #5, working from dark to light. I tried to make the different shades appear random, and not too uniform for a real stone effect. Then, I made a wash with #5 and water, and covered the entire base, letting the wash settle into the crevices. I dry brushed #2 and #1 on the edges for a weathered look, then sealed it with dullcoat. While waiting for this to dry, I painted the underside of the figure black with #6.
Special thanks to Jeff Camp for inspiring me to give greyscale a try and Ray Santoreli for his great sculpt!