Sunday, November 19, 2017

Painting a Diego Diz Ghoul.

"The madness and monstrosity lay in the figures in the foreground - for Pickman's morbid art was pre-eminently one of daemoniac portraiture. These figures were seldom completely human, but often approached humanity in varying degree. Most of the bodies, while roughly bipedal, had a forward slumping, and a vaguely canine cast. The texture of the majority was a kind of unpleasant rubberiness. Ugh! I can see them now! Their occupations - well, don't ask me to be too precise. They were usually feeding - I won't say on what. They were sometimes shown in groups in cemeteries or underground passages, and often appeared to be in battle over their prey - or rather, their treasure-trove. And what damnable expressiveness Pickman sometimes gave the sightless faces of this charnel booty! Occasionally the things were shown leaping through open windows at night, or squatting on the chests of sleepers, worrying at their throats. One canvas showed a ring of them baying about a hanged witch on Gallows Hill, whose dead face held a close kinship to theirs."
-Pickman's Model, H.P. Lovecraft

Trash Bash maestro and sculptor extraordinaire Diego Diz recently sent me a box that contained a ton of his Ars Minima miniatures as Trash Bash Contest prizes, but also a finely detailed resin-cast ghoul that he'd sculpted. It was a bit intimidating to paint since I tend to stay with chunky and or vintage minis, but once I got started I realized how perfectly captured the details were and that they made painting even easier.


You! Drop that baby! Into my mouth!

Fog effects by Optimo Cigar.

The painting was done with several layers of washes and drybrushing. I tried to get a subtle, mottled color that is unfortunately lost in the final photos. I'm most happy with the face as painting the eyes, teeth, and gums really took a steady hand. It's nice to know that I can still handle such fine details. :) 

I was struck by a memory of the story Pickman's Model and how it was discovered that Richard Upton Pickman was basing his horrifying ghoul paintings not on his imagination but from "live" models. Diego seems to have found his own horde of undead artist's models as this miniature has a physiognomy that is unsettlingly realistic. Even at this tiny scale the face is full of malice and hunger. It was a both creepy and fun to see its expression develop under the brush.

Unfortunately Diego is no longer sculpting miniatures due to other time commitments. But I'm truly grateful not only for this wonderfully terrifying gift but also for his continued friendship.

Muchas gracias mi amigo.   


  1. Cool looking Ghoul and nicely painted!

  2. A wonderful job and a great scenery!

    1. Thanks Phil! Using a cigar for fog worked well but now the terrain piece smells a bit like an ashtray.