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paint consistancy for eyes


hugdctr
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Hi there. Thanks for all the advice for painting eyes which is my nemesis right now.  One thing that is sorely missing is what paint consistency or formula do you guys recommend to mix with a drop of paint when painting the eyes please. My paint either dries too fast or when I touch, it runs into all the cracks. What size brush? Too big of a belly and the paintbrush is loaded too much. Ok.... so I get some black paint to make a black dot, gently touch some of the excess on the back of my hand to decrease the paint load then I go for it and have the trouble noted above. I know I need practice but I would appreciate any input into getting the perfect paint consistency. Thanks so much for any suggestions. 

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Ok, here's a trick that some of us use professionally.  Slow Dri Fluid Retarder will make the paint dry more slowly than normal (which will help when you're working with so little) and Flow Aid (which helps the paint move from your brush onto the minis).

 

Another piece of advice here is about brush technique.  Your brush stores paint in it's belly, not the tip.  If you put the tip on a mini, then move it in a line, it will release just fine, but dotting with the tip tends to be rough.  I'd recommend painting the eyes first on your mini, do that you can use lines for the pupils (then line around the eyes when you're done).  

 

For dots (color or shines) the best thing to do is find ways to use the side of the edge of the brush.  I find dotting often works best this way.

 

Oh, and for getting the eyes to both look the same- start out with whichever eye is worse.  If one eye is misshapen or half covered or something, it is way easier to get it looking good and match the easy eye to it, rather than trying to get a bad eye to match a good eye.

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OGS gives pretty much the same advice Schubert gave in his class.

 

I used to use a lot more drying retarder, but I didn't like what it did to the consistency. Currently I'm using just a bit thicker than my 'normal' paint consistency when I paint eyes. When I first started painting, the lack of solid ratios drove me nuts, but it really is because it's so dependent on the paint, weather, technique and application. So I'd say I like to have it thin enough to flow easily off the brush but thick enough to get good coverage. Painting eyes is NOT where I want to have to make multiple passes for coverage!

 

That system of painting the more difficult eye first is a really good one. That eye will dictate the limitations of what you can do. You might need to make it look off to the left or something, for instance. Then you can more easily duplicate that on the eye where you have a bit more freedom to paint.

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 I almost always do the eyes first, as OGS suggested - I personally find it easiest to paint the whites first, then paint vertical lines (or at least an elongated dot - as long as you drag the brush even a tiny bit rather than just touching it to the surface you'll get a better result) for the color, and then I outline the shape of the eyes with my darker color. Then when I paint the eyelids and surrounding face, I can decide just how much of the darker outline to leave.

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Another good tip for eyes is to flip the mini upside down if necessary to get to one or the other of the eyes. If you develop the muscle memory where a particular brush stroke works well for you then by all means take advantage of it. Move your mini around, not the brush. Once I figured this out, eyes became easier (note I didn't say easy). 

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Thanks for all the advice but I mean I need sug in paint consistency like 1 drop (dr) paint to 1 dr of h20 (or jen's formula) or 2 drops of paint to 1 or 3 dr h20. Or do you have your own formula to put in with 1 dr of paint? I use wells for painting, not a wet palette.

Many thanks for any suggestions or shared recipes!!

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The problem is there really aren't any hard and fast ratios. I don't even measure how much water I put in my paint anymore really. I just add water or paint until it looks right. I can guestimate, and if I did so I'd say I probably use a 1:4 ratio of water to paint, but that's not always going to be accurate. 

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Thanks for all the advice but I mean I need sug in paint consistency like 1 drop (dr) paint to 1 dr of h20 (or jen's formula) or 2 drops of paint to 1 or 3 dr h20.

When I first started painting, the lack of solid ratios drove me nuts, but it really is because it's so dependent on the paint, weather, technique and application. So I'd say I like to have it thin enough to flow easily off the brush but thick enough to get good coverage.

You'll get a different answer from everyone, there are several variables that may not apply to your situation, which would make any advice given bad advice. And honestly, few painters I know use any set ratio, it's a feel thing. Another reason it's tough to explain. As I said, I hear your frustration, I used to feel the same thing. I've been painting for two years now and I'm firmly in the intermediate camp of knowing some of the basics but still a bit mystified by the pros. Paint consistency and brush loading are two skills I'm still working on every time I sit down to paint.

 

As I said, I'd use a relatively thick paint. For me that's just enough water where it flows nicely but is still opaque. Maybe like Loim's ratio? But I wouldn't put down 4 drops of paint just to do eyes! I use a sheet of multimedia paper to test consistency.

 

You mentioned the paint flooding the eyes, that's probably too thin. But one of the key skills to work on is properly loading the brush for the consistency of paint you're using and the intended use. If it's flooding the mini, you've got too much paint on the brush, wick some off on a paper towel. This is another thing I use the multimedia paper for (and sometimes my thumbnail).

 

For instance, washes and glazes can be the same consistency (there's more to it, but for the sake of this example let's say they're identical). If you are doing a wash, you want to load the brush so it floods the area and gets into all the recesses. If you're doing a glaze, you want much less paint on the brush so it only goes where you apply it.

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To a certain extent, you need to learn the paint as much as learn to paint.

 

I suggest getting some slo-dri (aka retarder) and some flow medium and then messing about until you get something that works. Once you've played with it for a while you'll be able to spot the right consistency. But there's no shortcut for learning how the paint is going to act. I suggest you try a couple of different things, and see what happens. Try also messing up your normal paint routine. Do some layers. Do some unthinned straight from the bottle. Mess with some washes, do some wet-blending, apply some highlights unthinned from the edge of the brush. Drybrush something.

 

But do it all with a sharp eye for WHAT the paint does when you treat it different ways. Push your normal rules until things go wrong, and observe the paint. Then when you're inside its head, you can trick it into doing your work for you :)

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OGS gives pretty much the same advice Schubert gave in his class...

 

 

Hey, I'm in good company then.

 

I'm a little surprised though- the Derek Schubert technique for eyes is "cut them out and resculpt them larger."

 

And the Marike Reimer method is "Cut them out, gloss over the area then freehand them on larger."

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