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"My Name is Reek. It Rhymes with Freak..."
Game of Thrones has a unique (and somewhat annoying) ability to make you absolutely HATE a character one minute, and then feel SO BADLY for them the next. This happens a few times: Jaime, The Hound, but none epitomize this for me as Theon Greyjoy.
The self proclaimed rightful Lord of the Iron Islands has his loyalty torn in two between his birth father, Balon Greyjoy, and his adoptive family, The Starks. That is until he is PHYSICALLY torn to pieces by Ramsay Snow and is turned into Reek.
The paint job for this version of Theon is actually fairly simple, as it's really just hair, trousers, and skin, so we're going to be focusing on making the skin as dynamic as possible, highlighting the pale and sickly vibe as much as we can.
Let's get to it!
1. Gameplan, Prep, and Prime
Okay, so, there's not much that you really need to gameplan for in terms of Theon/Reek, as like I said earlier, it's pretty much just his rags, skin, and hair. But I am going to take inspiration for the hair from the HBO series:
Alfie Allen's Theon has darkish reddish hair, so, we'll be trying to emulate that with Reek.
In a bit of a departure from my typical assembled paints, I'm not going to be using any from Target or the craft store! I've got Basic Skin Tone, Light Flesh, Field Blue, Chocolate Brown, and Orange Brown, all by Vallejo. In the picture above, you'll see Flat Earth, but I actually ended up subbing that out for Orange Brown.
I've chosen the Field Blue as it's a dark bluish gray color that reminds me of his House Greyjoy colors, and I thought it would be a nice little remnant of his noble lineage, TORN TO SCRAPS... Maybe I'm overthinking this...
So, I've primed Theon with matt white spray primer by The Army Painter like I always do, and it's time to start painting!
The first thing I'm going to paint are his scraps.
I'm using the field blue, and just like all the other paints I'm using for basecoats, it should be thinned 50/50 with paint. Nothing too hard here, just make sure you get the top portions of his trousers, where it looks like it's rolled up at the waist.
Next, we'll paint the skin with basic skin tone. Do your best to get even coverage on the figure, and be prepared to do an additional coat if you have to. Since Theon is MOSTLY skin, you want it to look nice and smooth.
After that, use your chocolate brown to paint the hair. Make sure that you get the underside of the left of his hair, where it is falling away from his face, but be careful not to get any on his actual face or skin.
Now, we're actually going to be applying highlights to Theon's hair BEFORE we shade it, similar to what we did when painting Robb Stark. Use your detail brush and add a little orange brown to the top of the hair, avoiding the very center where the hair parts.
You can also add a little bit of orange brown to any areas of the hair that feather out like Farrah Fawcett from Charlie's Angels...
Once you're done with that, and everything's dry, it's time to shade!
So, we'll be using three different washes for Theon/Reek:
Strong Tone (dark brown), Flesh Wash, and Red Tone by The Army Painter.
The first thing we will be shading will be the hair with the Red Tone.
This will give his dark hair that reddish tint that matches up fairly well with his appearance in the HBO series.
Next, apply the strong tone to the trousers. Normally, I say to not let it pool up too much in any particular area, but for Theon, we can get away with that, as it will just make his clothing that much more dirty and dingy.
Finally, you'll add the flesh wash to the skin and face. Again, normally, I'd say to not let it pool in any one location too much, but the darker the wash on the skin, the more dirty he'll look.
That said, I would make sure that the ribs don't have too much wash near them, as you want them to appear as they're protruding, and too much wash can actually make them look sunken in.
Once that's all dry, it's time for highlights!
4. Highlights and Finishing Touches
Okay, so the first thing you'll be highlighting will be the trousers.
You can see here, I've used the field blue to highlight portions of the trousers that are billowing outwards, including where the trousers are rolled at the top, and, well for lack of a better term, Theon's butt.
For the front, just highlight each of the folds that billow outward, including the rolled area near the waist, and you'll be done with the trousers.
Now, we'll be starting on the highlights for the skin. We've done two level highlights before with Ramsay and Roose, but today, we'll be creating three level highlights with Theon. As such, I've assembled some graphics to help you pick out where to put the highlights.
Starting with is upper torso, you'll apply the basic skin tone with your detail brush to all of the areas colored in mustard yellow above. When you're done, it should look something like this:
When you move onto the back, you'll want to follow this pattern:
Again, try to follow where I've put the olive coloring in the picture above, using your basic skin tone, resulting in something that looks like this:
When you move onto Theon's legs in the front, the same idea applies:
In general, you want to highlight the areas that are the lightest, like where the bones and muscles stick out, while avoiding the recesses that were darkened by the flesh wash. If you've done it correctly, after your first level of highlights, it should look something like this:
We're not done, we're just getting started! Now, mix a drop of light flesh in with your basic skin tone, so about 1/1/2 mix of light flesh/basic skin tone/water. Now, you'll apply your second layer of highlights, only covering a portion of what you have already highlighted. See my examples below for the upper body:
Try to follow the yellow marks, but make sure you don't cover up everything you've already highlighted! You want some of those first level highlights still showing through, and you'll end up with something like this:
Now, the last level of highlighting is upon us! Use your light flesh, and you're just going to add it to just the MOST protruding portions of the skin, which I've made the white marks in the graphics below:
The lower body:
And the back:
We're not using much of the pure light flesh, just a VERY little bit on small portions. This should not cover up more than 10% of what you've already highlighted, and if you've done this all correctly, it should end up looking something like this:
Now that the highlights are done, you can add eyebrows using your chocolate brown and detail brush.
This is done just like how we painted Greatjon's eyebrows, so you should be familiar with this by now.
Next, we'll add some five o'clock shadow to him, just like we did with Ramsay, however, instead of using a 1/1/4 mix of blue tone/dark tone/water, we will be using a 1/1/4 mix of RED TONE/dark tone/water to help bring out the red tint in his facial hair.
The VERY FINAL thing I'll be doing is I'll be using some Vallejo Dark Earth Gel, which I normally use for doing the bases, and just brushing just a bit on his legs and knees and trousers. This has a nice texture to it, and gives Theon/Reek the look of him rolling and treading through the muck and the mire.
If you don't want to use the Dark Earth, a similar effect can be achieved by mixing chocolate brown and black together, then using VERY little of that mix on a brush to almost drybrush the dirt on, but it won't have the texture that the Vallejo Dark Earth will.
5. Grovel for Mercy!
That's it for Reek! Spray him with your matt spray, base him, and he's ready to be Ramsay's pet!
I hope you found this tutorial useful, and you can find this, along with all my other tutorials for A Song of Ice & Fire here.
As always, please consider becoming a Patron, as literally, every dollar brings me closer to being able to provide you, my readers, with quality ad-free weekly content. And make sure you check back here and at MeepleGamers often as we continue our journey through Westeros!