Painting Eyes.

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by Prairie Tank, 9 July 2019.

  1. Prairie Tank

    Prairie Tank Western Thunderer

    Several people on this forum and Face Book have asked me to do a step by step guide to painting eyes. To do this I will need to do one for the whole face, so here goes.

    I undercoat in white, this makes the face stand out better. Once the under coat as dried I paint all flesh with a thin coat of Vallejo basic flesh tone 815. If you use a thin coat the white will lighten the higher points of the face a little which helps with the finished look.

    The customer is doing a high summer time lay out so I wanted to make this guy look like he had been in the sun. I made a 50%x50% mix of Citadel Agrax earth shade and Reikland Flesh shade. I then let this run over the face and hands, using a size O brush. Only use a small amount, you can always add a little once it is dry. Make sure the eye sockets have plenty in, this will line the eyes once they are painted.

    When this is dry, using the original basic flesh tone, pick out the ears, nose, cheek bones, chin and any other high points. Again make sure you use very thin coats, allow each to dry then add another until it looks right to you.

    Once dry, using a OO brush, add a dot of white to each eye. Your figure will look like something from a Zombie movie now so keep well away from those with a nervous disposition.

    Allow to dry. Then taking a OOO brush and an eye colour of your choice add a tiny dot of paint to the white, it is easier to have the figure looking left or right.

    Final touch is a little Vallejo Panzer Aces Flesh Base on the figures lips, using your OOO brush again.

    Remember that your figures are not looked at so closely as these photos show, unless the person looking at them is Steve Austin after he got his Bionic eye, so they only need to look good to the naked eye.

    20190709_160526.jpg 20190709_160635.jpg 20190709_160649.jpg 20190709_161554.jpg 20190709_161736.jpg 20190709_162229.jpg 20190709_162319.jpg 20190709_162327.jpg 20190709_163512.jpg 20190709_163529.jpg

    John :)
    Wagonman, Deano747, 3 LINK and 9 others like this.
  2. Max Midnight

    Max Midnight Active Member

    John, a couple of points if I may?

    I would do the eyes first as it is easier to define the eyelids later.
    Whist we call them the whites of the eye they aren't and I have found that adding a tint to the white makes it more realistic.
    Adding a reddish brown line on the bottom edge of the upper eyelid and a light flesh to the top of the lower lid gives the effect of a shadow and highlight. These can be over painted with the chosen flesh colour if they have strayed onto the outer part of the lid.
    Finally, the tiniest dot of pink in the corner of the eye to represent the tear duct.

    All small details I concede which many folk won't consciously notice but go to making the overall effect look 'more right'.
  3. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Thanks for posting - I will give it a try at some point
    I might just have to give that bit a miss on the 2mmFS figures I have to paint.;)
    Deano747 and Prairie Tank like this.
  4. Jim smith-wright

    Jim smith-wright Western Thunderer

    Indeed the white of the eye is usually in shade from the lids and lashes. The only actual white would be a bright highlight, usually on the pupil or iris. Have a look at what illustrators do but specifically how dark the white actually is

  5. Sully

    Sully New Member

    I think we sometimes get bent out of shape re detailing .....especially if we accept we are viewing from a 'stand off' distance, as referred to by some other disciplines of modelling.

    It is worth while to know and remember the following facts: • a. at 100 yards, the eyes appear as points • b. at 200 yards, buttons and any bright ornaments can be seen • c. at 300 yards, the face can be seen • d. at 400 yards, the movement of the legs can be seen • e. at 500 yards, the color of cloths can be seen.

    Taken from one of the older Military manuals on sniping and judging distance. (We had to JD using natural aids and methods before we were allowed to use laser rangefinders!).

    Look how we see a model, and from what actual distance.....
    Heather Kay likes this.
  6. Max Midnight

    Max Midnight Active Member

    True to a point but not every one will view from a 'stand off' distance and there will be some modelers who want to add that extra bit of detail.
    No one has to add detail but the purpose of this and similar threads is to offer advice to those who do.
    Prairie Tank, adrian and Heather Kay like this.