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This is my first “request” tutorial. A friend of mine mentioned that he would quite like to know how to paint white robes and have them not look dirty. It’s actually the first of several tutorials as there are several ways of painting white robes, that produce subtly different results.

The first thing to remember about white robes is that what you are seeing is technically not white. White, like Black, is not a colour it is all colours in the spectrum at once, as shown below:


So pure, true white is actually incredibly rare. What you actually see when you see something white is a huge range of colours, mostly blues and greys. Below is a picture of the Pope wearing his traditional white robes, you can see areas of white but the shadows are a kind of blue grey.


And that’s what you need to remember when you’re doing white. Unlike painting other colours where the shadows and highlights are just varying shades of the same colour, when you’re painting white, only the highlight is white, everything else is a different colour, in this example grey.

Colour Palette

You will need the following colours from the Citadel Range

  1. Celestra Grey (Base)
  2. Nuln Oil (Shade)
  3. Ulthuan Grey (Layer)
  4. Whitescar (Layer)
  5. Praxetti White (Base)

For this I cannot stress how important it is to thin the paints. I personally use a medium extender (Lahmia Medium in the citadel range) because it creates a nice smooth mixture and when it dries it creates a better finish. However that is just my opinion and you can use water.

Anyone using other paint ranges should use the Colour Conversion Chart link in the menu on the left of the screen.

Step 1


Thin down the Celestra Grey with a 1:1 mix of paint & thinner (either water or medium). You will need to apply several coats (two or three should be enough depending on whether you used a black or white undercoat) but this will provide a much smoother finish and for white a smooth finish is absolutely essential.

Step 2

Wash the whole area with Nuln Oil.

Step 3

As with the base coat, thin down the Ulthuan Grey with a 1:1 mix of paint an thinner and highlight the robes. If you need to add a second coat, repeat the process, you are looking a smooth finish with no smears or streaks.

Step 4

Again, mix the Whitescar with thinner same ratio, roughly 1:1 and add another highlight.

Step 5

The final stage is to drybrush the area with Praxetti white, although in my opinion this stage is entirely optional.

So, how does this compare with other methods of painting white? Look below to see which you prefer. Clicking on the photos will take you to the relevant painting tutorial

White_Robes_05 White_Robes_2_04

As always, feel free to comment or question and I’ll answer them if I can. Or if there’s a particular topic you’re interested in, ask me for a tutorial and if I can I will endeavour to create one.