Monday, September 11, 2017

My easy method for painting eyes...

Every now and then, I see someone comment how they don't paint the eyes, or CAN'T paint the eyes for various reasons .  Usually, following it up with that it is too hard, drove them insane, or whatnot.  I see where they are coming from, painting eyes can be very tedious, and may not be noticeable at all from a distance, BUT it really does add a lot to a miniature whenever someone gets up close to look, and it doesn't have to be that hard... at least, not in my opinion.

Just go online, and I'm sure there are countless videos showing all sorts of methods, or tips and tricks, but here is MY method, one I devised myself awhile ago.  It basically boils down to that I find it's much easier to paint paint the eyes early in the face process, followed by cleaning up around the eye and just being careful moving forward, than it would be get a perfect eye as a last step without any mistakes.  I found it much easier to repair the shape, and paint around the eye than to get it right the first the time.

I'm going to demonstrate, using a graphic of Mr. Charlie Chaplin as a bit of an aid, only because I don't have any faces to paint at the moment.  I should also note, that even though you don't need to be extremely tidy with this method, I'm using a fine tipped, detail brush.

Let's assume this is "step 0" your primed model, face ready to paint!

Step 1 is simple enough, basecoat the face in whatever color you are using for the deepest parts of the face.  I personally, don't use washes on my skins, but if you do, now would be the time.

Step 2 is paint the whites of the eyes.  Don't worry about going outside of the actual eye sockets, as I've demonstrated in the pic, as you'll be cleaning up and reshaping the eye down the line.

Step 3 is adding a black dot for the pupil.  Again, as I've demonstrated, it doesn't have to be perfect.  Sometimes my dots are off, they go out of the lines, etc, but against, you are about to correct the shape of the eye in the next step, where it will all come together.  I should note though, where you place the dot on the eye will determine where the model is looking.  If by chance you place the dots in such a way that say his left eye is looking one direction and is right is looking another, or looking "crosseyed", just repaint  one or both of the eyes starting back at the previous step.

Step 4 is the most important one, cleaning up and reshaping the eye.  I've found it is much easier to very carefully paint over any area that went "outside the line", either above and below the eye socket.  For whatever reason, I seem to have a greater amount of control.  I'll just use the same color I did the skin's basecoat in, and go around one eye very carefully, around the top, then the bottom to reshape it.  It's usually such a minute line, that if I were to use inks in the 1st step, it should be that noticeable that I went back around everything.  As before, IF I accidentally make a mistake, I just repaint the socket in the flesh tone and start over.  (Doesn't happen often)

At this point, you should have a pretty good looking set of eyes, and from here you'll just finish up the face in whatever fashion you had already planned, i.e. wit highlights, facial hair, etc.  At this stage, I shouldn't need to bring my brush near the completed eyes, so the risk of messing the eyes up at this point is really minimal.

There ya go!  Done.  Easy.

As I mentioned, I'm sure there are TONS of tutorials online, and TONS of different methods.  Mine is just a sequence that I've found to be the easiest for me personally, while still getting the "Tabletop Standard" look that I'm going for.  The faces may not end being award winners by any stretch, but it should be enough to dissuade anyone from thinking: "oooh, this person CAN'T paint faces!"

Best of luck, hope this helps at least 1 person out there to be able to tackle painting eyes!

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