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The Beginner's Nemesis: Painting Eyes


ChudMacGud
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I was introduced to the awesome hobby of miniature painting for a little over a year as of this post. I am absolutely in love with my new hobby, and am a huge Reaper-Fan. (This is my favorite website) I started painting a few miniatures by Reaper just to practice, and now (Warlord Second Edition Core Rulebook and a few Crusaders minis later) have become a super-enthused Crusader army builder. I am okay at painting fully armored troops, however I find myself saving and miniatures that are not wearing a helmet because I'm not confident enough to paint eyes. I thought that now is the time to ask the pros; the wonderful people of the Reaper Community. I ask for any tips, advice, experiences, etc. anything that can help me or any other miniature painter looking for help on the ultimate beginner's nemesis - eyes.

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Here is a Reaper tutorial for a method that has helped many people: http://www.reapermini.com/Thecraft/12

 

I have tried it. It works, but it is not to my taste. I prefer the old school paint a brown football in the eye socket, then a smaller white one, then iris, pupil, etc. It requires a steady hand, though, and a good magnifier for my aging eyes.

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I recommend the above - and just doing it. It's only paint, it won't hurt you. Confidence is tough early on, believe me I know. That's where most of my Shelf of Shame came from. When I started in on Bones and didn't worry so much, I painted more. And now, even though I still try to keep speed as a paramount concern, my painting is improving. I have another Bones Ogre about to come into the world and he's nicer than my first completed Bones Ogre (faster, too). The more you do, the faster you learn. And when you start nailing it regularly, go back and touch up the early jobs if you want.

 

Everybody here went through the same thing. Heck, Derek Schubert was a cap painter once upon a long ago, painting without even thinning!

 

Or, at least, that's what the half-remembered anecdote I recall tells me. If that wasn't you, Derek, my apologies and I'll send you a nice box of juicy, slimy swamp mushrooms to make up for the error.

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Has anyone hear tried Micron pens to help them along? I think it's quite fair to use (just another means of applying ink) and it seems the fine point would be easier to control.

 

I actually just bought some but haven't used them with eyeballs yet. :p

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Has anyone hear tried Micron pens to help them along? I think it's quite fair to use (just another means of applying ink) and it seems the fine point would be easier to control.

 

I actually just bought some but haven't used them with eyeballs yet. :p

I find that these pens are great when the eye sockets are really tiny.

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I've only done six eyes (two minis worth, had to redo one pair when I went overboard and got a later layer in it) in my mini painting so far, so I'm pretty sure I count as a beginner. However, I never really had a problem with them.

 

I paint the face with whatever skin colour and shading I want that area to have, so I won't have to go near it later and risk messing it up. Then the tiniest bit of white paint, hold the mini in one hand and the brush in the other, sometimes my hands are touching each other or the table to reduce shaking. Slooooowly tap the eye with the white paint until everything that needs to be covered is. Repeat with a dot of black. Go back over the edges with the appropriate colour if needed to clean things up.

 

Sometimes I hold the paint next to the mini for too long and it dries on the brush before I touch them together, but normally this works. I suppose a pen would be great since it would not dry up before it got to the mini!

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I've used the Micron pens for blacklining. I found them easier to control than a brush, but the mistakes were larger and harder to cover up. Here's a link to a WIP where I used the Micron for lining: http://www.reapermini.com/forum/index.php?/topic/46580-03201-damian-helthorne-bandit/

 

I used a brush for the eyes, though.

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@buglips*the*goblin has it right. (Mushroom gift optional.) I used to paint from the lids/caps of open jars of paint. For about 15 years.

 

Over time, I got better:

post-2358-0-60948900-1364324572_thumb.jpg

 

Start by putting a dot of paint at each eye. If the dot is too big, let it dry and then touch it up with the skin color.

Repeat on other figures until your hand is steady and you are making fewer and smaller mistakes.

Refine the technique. Repeat.

 

Derek

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And if you want a single mini with which to practice 100+ eyes...

 

Thats just mean... but a good way to get a lot of eyes in!

 

Edit: On a related note, its less of a faceless horror, and more of an only face with no nose horror. If it was an enemy made only of arms, I think Faceless Horror would be a good name for it. This is more of a Noseless Horror.

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