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Madog Barfog

What color are lips?

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It's a simple question, but I'm wondering what people use. This time around my subject is a young boy, maybe 12 or so, with light skin. He's a Reaper fig, a cabin boy that comes with a pirate figure IIRC.

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A good, easy rule of thumb for a figure not wearing makeup is to mix a soft, rosy color into whatever you are using as the skin base. Mix up with whatever you were using to highlight the skin to highlight the lips as well, always keeping it a bit rosy. You're going for a subtle difference from the skin of the face.

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As Bruunwald says, mix a rosy color with your flesh color. Also try other shades of red and orange, especially if they are already on the figure.  You need very little red or pink.  You could also use any darker flesh color that you are using for shading, particularly if your pirates are tanned. 

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Another tip: Only paint the lower lip. I find that painting both lips always makes any figure look as if they have lipstick on.

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6 hours ago, Bruunwald said:

A good, easy rule of thumb for a figure not wearing makeup is to mix a soft, rosy color into whatever you are using as the skin base. Mix up with whatever you were using to highlight the skin to highlight the lips as well, always keeping it a bit rosy. You're going for a subtle difference from the skin of the face.

 

This is my way to go as well.

Same goes for nipples btw..

 

With a darker skintone like a shade of brown you need to mix in a touch or dark grey or black.

 

Thumb rule - skin colour mixed with a slightly darker shade of that tone.

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The anatomical reason behind this is that lips have a lot more blood flowing through them that the rest of the skin, so they appear darker.   I've found this chart to be handy (I think it was originally for lipstick).

 

lip-color-for-your-skin-tone1.jpg.52b158f87c7427e753cd2bab6d86be9d.jpg

Edited by Clearman
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There's this thing where we tend to want to see a high degree of contrast on a female face between features and skin (so pale skin with darker lips and lashes). The contrast can also be of saturation (less saturated skin, red lips and some colour around the eye, using colour saturation is helpful with dark colour skins.) There are physiological reasons for it - testosterone causes men to develop thicker, rougher skin, so they tend not to have as strong of contrast between features and skin tone as visually apparent. Also stubble even underlying the skin in a clean shave adds some darkness to the skin tone comparatively.

 

Anyway, in miniature terms I find this translates to keeping lips and eyeliner paint choices (and nipples) on male characters lighter than those for female characters, and I tend to go with browns more than pinks and reds on males. Often I'll just use shadow colours from the rest of the skin for male lips or nipples. Because of how small miniatures are and how tightly coded some of the 'this is feminine, this is masculine' socialization is, something like a little too much red or painting the upper lip on a male character can look weirder than you expect.

Where you have characters that have a mix of traits considered 'feminine' and 'masculine', I might use a bit more red or pink or go a bit darker around the eyeliner. That would include prepubescent boys and elves, that sort of thing. (And on the flip side, I'd throw in a few traits considered more masculine, like stronger character line shading, on something like a female orc or an old woman.)

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