Sunday, 2 December 2012

Hobby: How to paint eyes.

I've often been told it's the small things that differentiate Golden Daemon winners from the 'also ran' entries. While I won't even pretend to be any where near competition winning standard, painting judges at gaming tournaments in the past have commented that although my armies have been painted 'well', usually in the 24-25 rang out of a possible 30 (the last 3 points go to the top ten in most instances) it's the small details that have been missing. Eyes, drilled weapon barrels, and a lack of army-wide conversions or freehand details have been the main culprits, as well as consistency of painting. Having played Orks in the past, it is tiresome painting 100+ models at a high level! Today I will attempt to address the first point: Eyes.

Stages 1-4

Full credit goes to my close friend Leigh for introducing me to the painting of eyes, his characters always seem to have more emotion or 'character', if you will, and I have attempted to copy his methods here.

Beginning with a near finished model, shown on the left (Stage 1), definition of the eye socket is made with a generous dab of your preferred black paint (Stage 2). I water mine down a bit and even use it around the edge of the face while I am at it, if required. (Stage 3) adds another generous amount of white for the eyeball, leaving a small border of black for definition. The angle of the white can be used to describe emotion, if you are that keen, and size is always larger than you think! (Stage 4) a tiny dab of black is added to the centre. I actually use a larger brush for this as it tends to have a finer point that some of my detail brushes. You definitely don't want to water it down in case it runs. I made a few errors in the above example, and have touched up the eyebrows and eyelids with a little flesh tone. If it all goes pear shaped its very easy to start again!

Wargames Factory Zombies! with GW Imperial Guard, centre.
The closeups are a bit garish, but the end result really adds to the overall model, as shown above. I have used the same technique to add some 'life' to my Zombie! Guardsmen from last week, above and below:

It's a amazing how much character is added with the eyes (or shades!)
Apart from the raised arms, the Zombie! Guardsmen actually turned out quite un-undead, so much so that I used them as Penal troops in my last game. My opponent didn't bat an eyelid until I showed them up close at the end of the game. It's probably because the look more undead from behind:

Now I need some more I.G. helmets to finish the squad.
Thanks for visiting!


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