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Painting makeup & 'pretty' faces


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Hi folks!


I'm trying something that I haven't done before - painting makeup. I'm usually painting for wargaming and military themes, so this is pretty new for me. I'd like to ask for some tips and tuts for making maidens fair and ladies lovely! For a little reference, I was inspired by the artwork of Pathfinder's Winter Witch. Snowflakes aside, her skin is pretty pale, although has a little tint of blue. There's a lot of purple in the makeup around her eyes as well. 


How would you replicate makeup on a mini and make it look 'realistic?'     

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 I would make a thin glaze of the makeup color and apply it.  Then to blend it with the skin add in the skin tone color to the mix. I've got a couple of female minis I'll be trying this out on as well.

Here's a Painting Buddha tutorial on how to paint a female face https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wP3HCiHos_Q

It's for bust that's larger scale but the general principles are the same. 

Here's a short article for smaller scale female miniatures, using Privateer Press paint. http://handcannononline.com/blog/2011/05/19/tutorial-make-it-up-female-faces-and-make-up/

And here's an article where the artist uses Reaper MSP paint.  http://magie-miniatures.blogspot.com/2015/05/painting-skintones-paints-tips-tricks.html

Edited by Seer of the Pitt
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Painting lipstick helps a lot.  I like to mix a little of the flesh tone with the red or pink I'm using, but better painters than me probably just glaze the lip color over the flesh color.  Even when people don't wear lipstick their lips are a little pink, so I always paint them on female characters.  Similarly, rosy cheeks help give the appearance of energy and activity, like the character just ran over at top speed. 


Painting eye shadow can look amazing, but I think it's more important to get some lining around the eyes and paint eye brows.  You don't have to use black to do the lining, if you use a dark flesh shadow color or the hair shadow color then it looks softer and more youthful. 


It does make the faces a lot more work, but it definitely helps convey more emotion. 

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Find video tutorials (or get a girl you know) for applying makeup to real faces.  It's fascinating, intimidating, and enlightening (for mini-painting and just understanding female hu-mans in general).


Also, look up images of celebrities, especially close face shots--they're always wearing a LOT of makeup on film, and usually in public too, but it looks seamless.  It can give you a good idea where each level of highlighting/shading goes, if not direct your color choices a bit too.  A lot of it is painter "common sense."  ie:  cooler colors look deeper and contrast with warmer ones, darker shades look like depressions, light hits high spots first, etc.  A lot of this is great for making sub-par sculpts look better as well.

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Glazes are a good way to start working with makeup effects. Thin the paint down as much or more as you would for a wash, basically something close to coloured water. Unlike a wash, you want to be able to control that wet paint pretty precisely. So after you dip the tip of your brush into it, touch it to the side of a paper towel to wick away the excess paint. For a natural/pale Caucasian skin tone, something like Old West Rose or Redstone/Redstone Highlight are colours to consider for blush/reddened cheeks. (Similar or even redder colours applied in a similar way to the end of noses fora drunk or cold reddened effect.) For eye shadow, I usually try to use a colour I used in the clothing. For blues and greens especially, you'd be surprised how much colour shows with the thinned paint. Opaque or even semi-opaque paint would look like an unnatural grease makeup pancake look for eye shadow.


Lips I do a little differently. I paint those with more opaque (but still a little thinned down) paint mixes. I will often but not always play up on colours in the clothing or elsewhere in the composition. So more of a rusty red if there's orange elsewhere, or purplish red if there's purple elsewhere, etc. Start with the darkest colour over the whole lip, and you'll want to be fairly dark with this. One of the things that reads as more feminine in a face is greater contrast. So darker colour to line the eyes and darker lip colours in comparison to the skin tone than you would with a male. Then take a lighter colour (mixing in a flesh tone usually works) and apply it over most of the lower lip, but leave the darker colours showing around the edges and where the lips meet. Then a lighter colour still just in a dot in the middle of the lip. The greater your contrast between the darkest colour and that just a dot colour, the shinier of a lipstick look. So for a more natural lip don't start quite as dark, and less bright of a highlight.

It's late and I'm having trouble remember one to point you at one where I did blush, but here's an example of a more made-up face. The eyeshadow is a pinky-purple, it's a bit subtle of a colour:


And one with a much more natural look:


Both of these were painted to match artwork.

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