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Painting eyes


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1. Bright light. A CF bulb in a goose-neck lamp is fine, at a distance of about 6".

2. The right brush. A Winsor & Newtons miniature Series 7, size 000 is my tool of choice for this. Something with a wicked sharp tip and enough body to hold the...

3. Thinned paint. The paint needs to be in the brush, not on it. If you can touch the very tip of the brush to something and get a tiny dot without flexing the bristles or having to rub the brush around then you have the right consistency of paint. If you touch the point and paint does not come off, clean the brush and start over.

...and optionally...

4. Magnification. A bi-focal magnifying visor does wonders for me, as I posted here. Sometimes I like using it and sometimes I don't. Your call.

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My standard procedure for humanoid eyes is:

* Paint the base color in the eyes and all around it, whatever the color is. If it is a typical average skin color, I like to use GW Tallarn Flesh.

* Apply a wash to darken the eye cavity. In a typical average skin color, I usually make a wash out of GW Dark Flesh.

* Paint the eye ball with a light color. Do NOT use pure white, unless you are trying to achieve some kind of special color effect. Typical colors for regular eyes are GW Bleached Bone or Vallejo Off White.

* Paint the iris with a dot of the chosen color. Usually, dark colors work better (dark blue, dark brown, etc). Do not use pure black unless you are trying some kind of special effect. If I want a "black eye", I mix brown and black to get a dark color and paint it. Usually the iris will touch the top and bottom eye lids, while the left and right eye corners remain showing the light color you used before.

* Finally, if the eye is large enough, you can add a dot of white off the center of the iris to emulate light reflection and you can add a pure black dot in the center to emulate the pupil.

Yes, it requires some level of steady hands, but it improves with practice.

After trying regular eyes, start playing with the colors to do monster eyes, reptile-like eyes, etc.

Hope it helps.

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micro fine pens... or brush tip art pens.

generally, I use a method like Snord's, but use the pen for the iris..

tho, when doing the model's left eye, i also flip the model upside down so i'm not painting across the nose to get to the eye (helps keep the irises even too)

once in a while, if i want the eyes to stand out a little more, i also take my detailing brush and back or purple wash just under the eye (just a thin line)

other tutorials:




there's also a really good one out there using the Infinity Ko Dali figure... but alas, I can't find it now..

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Micro pens are the devil's tools. I use WN Series 7. I've had some practice and I rarely find the need to go below a size 1 for passable eyes.

Have to agree with graz here. I usually take an off white grey color and paint it in the eyes. I do not worry about getting it just in the eyes, if you get it around the eyes that is ok too. Then i just paint black around the eyes ( i prime black) to pull the color into the shape i want it in the eyes. Then i take my W&N 1 brush and put a line down the center of the eyes.

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Though it has been answered already just want to emphasize the Thinned paints and good brushes. These are crucial for tiny detail work.

And just for completeness (since I didn't see it mentioned already) try not to use water for thining the paints, instead use Flow Improver and a combination of Matte and Glaze mediums (to keep to a Satin finish similar to most brands of mini paint), it allows you to thin to almost translucency without the chalking you get from using just water.

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Just a tip I picked up awhile ago and found useful; if you're just starting out and need the practice, paint the eyes so your model is looking off to the side. It's so much easier than trying to match up the center imo. Give it a shot and see if out helps, but 100% agree you need good brushes thin paint and a steady hand.

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