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Dotting your eyes


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Bah. You people. *I* learned to paint eyes after the first 500 pairs, easily. ::P:

You aren't allowed to make admissions like that, Jen. It ruins my illusion that you are a painting goddess that just picked up a brush and started painting the way you do... :upside:

 

~v

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Well ok then... 998 more pairs of eyes to go. >_<

 

Here's a couple tips I can give...goes back to my historical days (much larger figs, but the technique still holds).

 

Shep Paine has a method that is simple, but requires that the eyes are painted first on the face.

First fill in the eye socket with the "whites of the eyes" color (I use a fleshy white rather than a pure white).

Using your iris color, paint a vertical stripe through the eye ball the width of the iris.

Paint a black stripe the width of the pupil down the center of that.

You should have 5 color stripes ("white", iris, pupil, iris, "white" color).

Using your iris color, clean up and "position" your pupil (touch up so that what's left of the pupil stripe is just a dot in the position you want the pupil to be).

Clean up and "position" your iris with the "white" color (round off corners if you want to show "white" above or below the iris, for the extreme up or down gaze)

Using a darker brown (I go slightly darker than my face shadow color) edge the upper eyelid. You can follow the sculpt or adjust as you see fit. You can also be a little messy in the direction of the rest of the face, you'll clean that edge up later with the flesh base coat. If you follow the sculpt, sometimes a thinned controlled wash can be run along the sculpted edge...But be careful!

Using a medium brown, edge the lower eyelid. I sometimes will only go from the outside edge of the lid to directly under the iris, emphasizing the corner of the eye.

Final clean up is with you flesh base color. Paint up to, but leave a thin upper eyelid line, same for the lower lid and you're done.

 

The beauty of this method, although it sounds complicated and time consuming, is that it doesn't really rely a lot on precision. The steps allow you to "clean" up and shape verses trying to get a shape correct in one go.

 

Additional hints -

For a straight ahead look, align the iris/pupils with the corners of the mouth...ymmv depending upon the sculpt of course

Do the eye on the opposite side of your strong hand. E.G. I'm right handed so I do the left eye (mini's right eye) first. That way, when I'm painting the remaining eye I'm not fighting the nose and I get a clear view of the painted iris/pupil to help better align.

As mentioned above, don't forget to turn the mini upside down...helps to get at the eye socket when sculpted hair or armor is in the way.

Pop-eyes can be avoided by painting the upper and lower lid edge so they slightly clip the iris...leaving "whites" above and below the iris is going to give that "Oh my god!" look...which is fine for certain situations.

Avoiding pure white for the "white of the eyes" color will also help lessen the Pop-eye effect.

Practicing will make the procedure less mechanical and more intuitive, but I'm willing to bet before that happens, you'll start to develop the control and technique to actually just "dot" your eyes in.

 

Hopefully this is helpful. Shep Paine's figure painting manual (Kalambach) is a great find if you can get it. Every one of his classic Monogram Model inserts had this technique outlined too.

 

Edit:Oops...I didn't mean to make the illustrations to scale :wacko: . Sorry, still learning Photoshop.

 

Thanks

AWhang

post-896-1177430037.jpg

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You're gonna hate me, but eyes have never been a problem for me. When I first learned how to paint, Jester said, "now paint the eyes" so I did. Just white with a pupil. Then, at the first reapercon, Marike said, "if you put a white dot in, they look more realistic" so I did. No issues. Of course, I can give them more expression now, but I could always do it somehow......

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You're gonna hate me, but eyes have never been a problem for me. When I first learned how to paint, Jester said, "now paint the eyes" so I did. Just white with a pupil. Then, at the first reapercon, Marike said, "if you put a white dot in, they look more realistic" so I did. No issues. Of course, I can give them more expression now, but I could always do it somehow......

 

Yep.

 

I hate you now. ::P:

 

I am still waiting for the "possessed/dead/zombie" eyes to come into style. Then I'll be good at painting eyes.

 

I am at 150 pairs so far... another 800 or so and they'll stop looking walleyed... I hope.

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I found the little bead of paint method Jen described to work much better for me.

 

I had been using the "Betty Davis Eyes" method that Darin Hlavaz wrote about in The Craft section of the main Reaper page.

 

Some of the hints I have been given over time, that have also been helpful, which no one has mentioned yet:

 

1. Hold your figure in your off hand, and brace your brush hand against the palm. This helps reduce some of the strain and cuts back on hand shaking some.

 

2. Just use a gentle motion with your fingers to make the dot, just extend your middle, index and thumb forward. Don't move your whole hand. This gives more control and a straighter motion, and again helps reduce some of the risks of a tremor.

 

 

If you want to get a lot of practice in painting eyes, but don't want to paint a million figures, may I suggest: 2838, Faceless Horror. There are more than a hundred eyes on it. Here is a painted version.

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A nice quality of the micron pen is, as was mentioned earlier, that it takes a long time to dry. If you mess up, just wipe the eye socket a few times with a wet brush and the dot will disappear. Wait for the socket to dry out and try again. You can do this for hours until you get an iris that you like. I know from experience. :;):

 

Seriously though, it's a good way to practice the techniques described above again and again and again...

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Hey, Jen, isn't 500 pairs of eyes the same thing as 1,000 eyes? ::):

 

Anyway, I used the tips on Jen's website, Painting Faces. Then lots of practice. The site doesn't mention the method she talked about in this thread, but it was very helpful to me then. It has helped many others as well.

 

Oh, and I focus on the model, not the brush. I can't see how it would be helpful to focus on the brush. It would confuse me.

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While we're on the topic of eyes, anyone have a fave color for the whites? I usually like to mix white into my lightest skin tone. Tired of mixing all the time, I've made a bottle that is 50% Rosy Highlight 50% Pure white. Not exactly what I was after, but the bottle is too full to mix again. I like the RH/PW mix 50/50 with Linen White better.

 

Hmm... get another bottle, dump half the Eye White in it, top off each with Linen White, and I'll have it.

 

AWong- I like that eye method. I'll have to give it a try.

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I didn't see it mentioned already, so I'll add that it's important to use a very pointy brush. Practicing eyes with a cheap brush is only going to frustrate you.

 

Windsor & Newton series 7 brushes are an excellent choice. I prefer a size 0 for eyes.

 

Wouldn't it be great if Reaper did a video tutorial for their craft section?

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