How to paint marble bases

I’ve been asked questions how to paint marble, like on the base of my Space Marines Librarian. As people seem to be interested in explanation of my way of painting marble, here it goes:

How to paint marble

I used VMC 907 “pale greyblue” as my base color.

Photo: How to paint marble bases - Tutorial

I stained the surface with dark stains of wash made from VMC 939 “Smoke”. Beginning of this stage can be seen above, and the final effect – below:

Photo: How to paint marble bases - Tutorial


While increasing the intensity of the wash I outline the streaks achieved previously by several layers of wash and make them bolder. I also create a few more streaks:

Photo: How to paint marble bases - Tutorial

Effects of this operation can be seen below, just like thickness of the base color (ie. thinned a lot) which was still used to highlight the palest parts and to emphasize the edges where colors change:

Photo: How to paint marble bases - Tutorial

I painted some veins with the base color

I used wash of VMC 938 “transparent blue” in some places, where my intuition suggested, I created spots. And then I used the same color, but thinned it less, to draw places for next veins.

With a wash of VMC 828 “Wood grain” I stained the surface just as I did before with blue.

Photo: How to paint marble bases - Tutorial

With a thin brush I painted veins – cracks, using a mix of “Smoke” and “Transparent Blue”. It was nearly black, but I didn’t use black as I didn’t want the veins to contrast too much with the rest of the surface.

I emphasized the veins with the base color and the same brush, and I added a few more veins. I also added a few spots in this color.

I was only missing a few darker accents – deeper in the sculpt. But this was done with ground old dry pastels in color of dark browns and the scenic water effect, which I am presenting below. But you will find your own ways of finishing your marble.


Photo: How to paint marble bases - Tutorial

So that’s the way I painted my slab of marble. Everybody might prefer their own ways, but maybe my method will be useful for you? 🙂

There are many kinds of marble, though. If you are interested, let me know and maybe one day I will be painting another marble base so I can take photos and show you how to deal with different marbles. Or maybe you want to share your ideas?