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This is a follow on from an earlier article about painting gemstones that shows you the basic steps of painting gemstones. If you haven’t read part 1, you should do so now otherwise the rest of this article probably won’t be of much assistance.

In HOW TO – Paint Gemstones part 1, I covered the basic steps of painting gemstones using Jade/Green as an example. The reason I used green is because green is the easiest colour to make into a gemstone effect, although the basic principles are pretty much the same whatever colour of gemstone you are painting. This article aims to show you how to develop your own gemstone colours and provide you with a few alternative colour schemes. Note that all of the colours I list are from the Games Workshop Citadel Colour line, if you use other paint ranges, I suggest you use the Colour Conversion Chart link in the menu on the left which will convert between the new and old citadel ranges, Reaper, Vallejo Game, Vallejo Model, P3, Coat D’Arms, Rackham and even the hex codes used by computers!

So how do you develop a gemstone colour scheme? Well, the first step is identifying what colour or type of gem you are painting and this doesn’t necessarily need to be restricted to Diamond derivatives (such as Emeralds, Sapphires and Rubies), there are many semi-precious stones that were historically (and still are) used as ornaments and jewelry – this dramatically increases your scope for gemstones far beyond red, blue and green. Once you have decided what kind of gem you are painting, find an example of it and study the colours carefully. I’m going to use Green Agate for this example because this is a colour scheme I developed myself for my High Elf Sword Masters.

This is a what Green Agate looks like, it’s green but with a slight hint of blue – a cold green if you like.
So now we need to decide what colours we will need in order to replicate that on a model. Citadel do have a nice range cold green colours, including a wash. So for the base I selected Incubi Darkness, followed by a Coellia Greenshade Wash. The layers are made up of Kabalite Green, Sybarite Green and Gauss Blaster Green (from the Edge range). To bring the colour out I use a mixture of Guilliman Blue & Waywatcher Green glazes and of course finish the stone using ‘Ard coat. The final result is slightly darker than the photo above, but that’s as much to do with the lighting on the picture than anything else and there are many examples of green agate in varying shades.

So there were two key steps:

1) Identify the gem you’re looking for and find an example picture.
2) Identify the best match colours and what layers you will use.

Here are a few examples of other gem stone schemes I have learned.


To paint a gem like the one shown above, this was the colour scheme



  1. Incubi Darkness (Base)
  2. Coellia Greenshade (Shade)
  3. Kabalite Green (Layer)
  4. Sybarite Green (Layer)
  5. Gauss Blaster Green (Edge)
  6. Whitescar (Layer)
  7. Waywatcher Green/Guilliman Blue (1:1 mix)
  8. Ard Coat (Technical)

The layers are applied in the same way as described in the previous tutorial only using the colours listed above.  The techniques are exactly the same.  This is the result.



Amber is a strange colour scheme because although it is typically a gold or yellow gemstone, yellow is not the main colour.
As you can see below, although the lighter areas are yellow, there are lots of oranges and browns in there too.

This is the colour palette I use for painting Amber gemstones:

  1. Rhinox Hide (Base)
  2. Aggrax Earthshade (Shade)
  3. Skrag Brown (Layer)
  4. Trollslayer Orange (Layer)
  5. Yriel Yellow (Layer)
  6. Flash Gitz Yellow (Layer)
  7. Dorn Yellow (Edge)
  8. Whitescar (Layer)
  9. Lamenters Yellow (Glaze)
  10. ‘Ardcoat (Technical)

Because of the huge difference in colours during the transition from dark to light, this gem requires no less than 10 layers, including the Glaze and Varnish, however as with most things, the extra effort really pays off. Also note that the orange layer should really be little more than a thin band of colour there to help bridge the gap between the Brown and Yellow areas.

This is an example of a painted model with Amber Gemstones.
Amber_02 Amber_01

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli is a semi-precious stone famed for its blue colour, often with flecks of gold. It has been prized as an ornamental stone for thousands of years (possibly as early as 3000BC!).
It’s a very vibrant shade of blue but it is probably the most difficult gemstone colour scheme I have developed to date (all my own work through trial and error). This is my colour palette:

  1. Kantor Blue (Base)
  2. Drachenhof Nightshade (Shade)
  3. Altdorf Guard Blue (Layer)
  4. Calgar Blue (Layer)
  5. Hoeth Blue (Layer)
  6. Blue Horror (Edge)
  7. Whitescar (Layer)
  8. Guilliman Blue (Glaze)
  9. ‘Ardcoat (Technical)

Initially I tried to use Macragge Blue as the base but it wasn’t dark enough and the resulting gemstones didn’t have enough contrast between the shadow and highlight areas so I eventually opted for the darker Kantor Blue.

This is an example of a painted model with Lapis Lazuli stones:
Lapis_Lazuli_02 Lapis_Lazuli_01