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03623: Bones face practice

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I'm practicing painting faces and skin with more blending, less using washes to approximate... I haven't finished this girl, but I think I have the basics of the skin down. Working on getting better before I start my minis for the 2015 challenge! 

I'm working with the whole "thin paint to a 2% milk consistency" and the "paint 8394 layers to make it seamless" techniques. ;)

C&C always welcome, please help me paint skin better!!


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.... maybe I should have posted this in painting tips and tricks?  :wacko:

No, this is the right place; it's just a little quiet at the moment.


I think she looks good. Keep it up!

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Yup right place.

In this case the skintone looks good. The lips don't have to be too red so a touch of rose on the bottom lips generally works nicely for the outdoors types.  I like how you are doing your eyes but ... might be just the mini ... they do seem a bit large for the mini.   Possibly leaving a little bit of flesh tone around the upper part of the eye would make them feel more in proportion to the mini.   I wouldn't go back and adjust this one but keep it in mind for the next.

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I think your skin looks good the blends look smooth and it didn't get chalky. You are off to a great start. Here are my skin tone tips and what worked for me when I was trying to get better at skin but feel free to ignore them as what works for you can be different.


Practice with males first as they are generally easier to learn how to push your shadows as females need to be softer. Look at faces and notice how light hits the jaw line, cheekbones and forehead. For a Caucasian skin tone even on a female I will have the darkest shadows have a bit of Chestnut Brown, volcano brown or burgundy wine mixed in depending on the tone I want. Just remember to keep females soft and go further with the highlight and less so with the shadows compared to males.


Eyebrows are a must again look at people's eyebrows aren't perfect so they don't have to be painted so which may make them seem easier. Also line your skin around the clothing with your shadow color for more definition. Sometimes depending on the color scheme I will use a pinkish purple or blue for this rather than the deepest skin tone color.


Another cheat I use to draw focus to a face is frame the highlights on the hair to accent it. Which means I may cheat the light and put irregular highlights there compared to the rest of the hair.


And lastly glazes are your friend especially with skin as it is an area that they are so many natural variations. You can spend less time layering and mix up two or three glazes to smooth lines, a midtone of your flesh midtone, a shadow which can be any color you want to lean the skin towards and the highest could be a lighter color of your mid or an off white. This works great for large areas such as busts, butts and tummys. However with glazes I would recommend painting your details such as eyes lips and things last.


To really push your skin try painting a nude mini and use cool colors for shadows below the chest and warm shadows above to see how you can push focus to the face.


I hope at least some of this may help and good luck can't wait to see more skin from you.

Edited by Marsya
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I'd recommend hitting up some big, dumb muscly barbarians to practice skin tones and shading/highlighting. The muscles help you see where to put in the shadows etc and are more forgiving with pushing things too far. Female flesh requires a lot more subtlety and smooth blending, I'm still pretty bad at it.


As far as the posted example, yeah you have the basics down. Put a little more shadow in, use the picture as your guideline. See where the light in the pic falls? Put a little more shadow:


along one side of the nose

under the cheek bones

in the nose pit spot under the eyebrow (what's that called, anyway?)

the bottom of the nose, under the eyebrow ridge (also paint in eyebrows as the darkest hair shadow or even darker)

the flat part of the chest and in the cleavage


Even more deeper shadow:


under the chin

in the recessed neck areas


Add more highlights:


top of the eyebrow ridge (before you paint in the eyebrows!)

the center of the forehead (this will suggest some structure and will eventually be where you put in a lot of expression)

the upper cheekbones

nose ridge

one dot on either nostril

upper lip


collar bone

lower breast where it meets the clothing


Top highlights:


tip of nose

underline the top of the cheeks under the eyes

line at the bottom of the breasts above the cloth line


Basically just push the shadows and the highlights another couple steps, but keep it as smooth as you can. Also dot a bit of linen white on the lower lip for a specular shine.

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in the nose pit spot under the eyebrow (what's that called, anyway?)


I don't think it has a name the same way the groove at the top of the lip does (philtrum). It's just called the "root of the nose" as far as I know.


The whole of the eyebrow as it relates to its bump and the shadow it creates over the eyes and nose is the "brow ridge." And the length of the nose itself, from root to tip is the dorsum.


This concludes today's facial recognition software tutorial.  :devil:

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Holy moly! Thanks so much everyone! I am going to absorb this and try again. I didn't even think about the male vs female shadowing difference!

Also, I can't believe I missed eyebrows... Lol

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