10 Simple Steps to Painting Perfect Eyes
I have gotten this question a few times lately so I’m including my answer here. Keep in mind this is how I do it, not the One True Way to do it. ;p
1. Paint the face including aroound the eye with the basic fleshtone.
2. For male minis, monsters, or anything I want to give a darker, or more sinister look, a dryish wash of ink around the whole eye area.
3. With a 10/0 or 18/0 spotter brush cover the eye itself with a light touch of straight brown ink. For a dramatic outlined eye, cover the entire area inside the lids. For a softer look, hevier color to the top, lighter on the bottom.
4. Use a 10/0 spotter or 18/0 to lay in the white — oddly this is one place where slightly hooked brushes can be useful in that you can pick up your white just on that hook and lay it down into the eye with relative ease. It will give a thin to slightly wider natural looking fill to the socket without taking out the brown outline.
5. I usually use an 005 micron pen for the pupil though on exceptionally good days, I like to use ink for the pupil also as it is a bit softer than the pen.
6. While green and blue eyes with pupils are an accomplishment to do well, frequently the effect is lost on smaller (true 28 mm) minis as the colors are not high contrast enough to be seen at that size.
7. Pupils: rather than drawing a line down the middle of the eye, figure out where it makes sense for the mini to be looking and angle the pen in so you can lightly spot in the pupil. Think light touch up toward the underside of the upper eyelid and just lightly add a few taps in the same place from the pen. That will help avoid that kind of peculuar snake eye stripe that is so common with pen use.
8. Makeup: I rarely use make-up on my female minis’ eyelids. Why? Doesn’t make sense to me that most of them would be wearing it. While there is a historical basis for war paint (and even scanitlly clad warriors; it doesn’t extend to bright blue eyeshadow (usually accompanied by brightly rouged cheeks and HUGE red lips. Ewwwww. Can you say hooker warrior? Her most devestaing weapon is an STD.
On some minis though a hint of color on the eyelids fits well. In that case, by mixing the color with your flesh tone, it cuts the harshness and gives a more natural look.
9. Sans makeup, a bit of a brown wash to the eyelids and crease helps to brighten up the eye.
10. With or without makeup, you can add depth and a more natural look by adding a slight highlight at what would be the most prominient part of the eyelid (right over the pupil).
General: The biggest problem I have ever had with eyes has come from my white paint not being quite thin enough. It ‘s really difficult to get it placed perfectly if too thick, or too thin for that matter. And I prefer ink to paint for outlining as I find it a little easier to work with throughout the process and though I wouldn’t swear to it, I think it tends to soften up the white also by disolving a bit into the paint.