Cold Death And Cold Life

I did see the pictures of the people died of cold on the topic I described earlier. But I have no idea how to depict this effect via painting. Has anyone done this?

I also wish to depict people who are very cold but still alive.

I’d go look at pictures of the german prisoners marching out of Stalingrad for cold but alive

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I actually have pictures. I’m trying to figure out how to match the effect via modelling.

Sorry about that, my tablet glitched and garbled my reply. Tom, your challenge is tough because we can’t use captions and some things would ruin it by being comical like adding ice and extreme amounts if snow on a figure. I’d suggest the following

Modify your figures poses using milliput. Cut down the necks and slightly build up the shoulders to replicate that hunched look we get when we are past shivering. Likewise maybe rework arms to get hands under armpits, build up great coats, burlap wrap on boots. Likewise wool and whatnot can stiffen up so build up softer folds to a stiffer look.

You only will have faces to work off of. Early frostbite can come across as a bad sunburn before that tissue dies and blackens. A light tough on cheek bones and noses, I wouldn’t overdue it. Good 5 o’clock shadow, you didn’t shave much below 0 on the eastern front.

I would experiment w dusting using some of the snow dio stuff that’s out there, pack it boots. Bottom of coats, light on shoulders. Packs etc. Good underlayer of mud too cause before the snow there was the rains. I’d steer clear of using gloss to try and replicate an icy look on clothing. I know sitting in winters deer hunting up here that’s not the result that will show up.

I think your biggest gain outside of your terrain being snow covered and frozen mud will be altering the poses and giving everyone that hunched up stiff look. Oh and I’d scrap any heads that are wearing a smile.


extremely solid advice :+1: :grin:

The areas of skin that are not reddish due to beginning frostbite would be a lot more pale than normal skin tones.
The body will try to preserve heat by reducing the circulation in exposed areas → paler skin.
The activity in chilled skin cells will be reduced due to the cold so they will require less oxygen and less nutrients, this allows the skin cells to survive when the bloodflow is reduced. Within limits of course …
When “thawing out” someone from hypothermia it is vital to start from the inside, warm the core and let the warmth spread outwards. Warming the skin activates the skin cells who will then die from lack of oxygen and lack of nutrients since the blood flow hasn’t come back yet.
Insulate the surface and warm from the inside.


That helps. but I was hoping somebody had actually done such painting and could demonstrate the steps.

The figures I plan to do are the Chinese/North Korean corpses from DEF Model, which already have the poses previously described, so all I have to worry about is the proper coloring.

Look up cyanosis. That should help a bit.