One month ago I prepared a videotutorial about how to paint faces, which was published in a new blog, ModelBrush, created beside some friends. And I wanted to share it in my personal blog, in order to complement another old article about the same topic, but based in a different painting style (in Spanish): como pintar caras en 28mm. The comparison between both techniques it could be interesting!.
NOTE: set the quality to 1080p FullHD
The face is one of the most important parts of one minature, because once it’s painted, the model finally “comes alive” . Therefore, it’s important invest a bit time to get at least a good face expresion!. And this task isn’t hard to achieve!. Indeed, to paint faces we only need three colors: Tan 066 (Game Color, Vallejo), Dwarf skin 041 (Game Color, Vallejo) and White.
We can follow this steps:
- Painting eyes
- Tan 066
- Tan 066 + Dwarf skin 041 (2/3 + 1/3)
- Tan 066 + Dwarf skin 041 (1/2 + 1/2)
- Dwarf skin 041
- Dwarf skin 041 + White (2/3 + 1/3)
- Dwarf skin 041 + White (1/2 + 1/2)
- Beard: Dwarf skin 041 + grey (4/5 + 1/5)
First we can paint the eyes, because now if we commit any mistake, we can solve it without complications. We start painting a horizontal white oval, and inside we paint the pupil in black. We can repaint the eyes again and again until we get the best result. It’s important to use a good brush for this taask. I usually use a Winsor&Newton Series 7 miniature del number 0. Then, we apply a general layer with Tan 066, except in the eyes. This color will be our shadows. So, now we have to apply some transition layers, until we apply our “base” color, the Dwarf skin. This transition layers will help us to get a gradient effect between the two colors. And for this reason, It’s recomendable to use diluted paintings (layers will be more transparent, supporting the gradient effect). We can get these transition layers by mixing Tan 066 and Dwarf Skin 041. Once we have apply the base color, Dwarf Skin 041, we can start painting the lights, by mixing Dwarf Skin 041 with white. I usually apply 2 or 3 lights, and once more, we should use diuted painting, to achieve the gradient effect. We can also paint beard by mixing Dwarf Skin 041 with grey, but we have to use the painting too diluted.
Finally, probably the most complicated task is to know where we should apply the lights and shadows. My old article show a picture with the location of the lights. This is a good rule to follow, but in my case I’ve changed the pattern. Now I avoid some drastic shadows, because I prefer cleaned surfaces. So, now I focus in only four parts: nose, jaws (upper and lower), eyebrows/forehead and cheek. I usually follow the shape of each part. But in the cheeks, I prefer to paint an inverted L: short arm below eyes, and long arm beside the nose. Anyway, the lighter color should be applied in the most exposed area, although I usually apply the lights always in the upper area.
Obviously, this is only one method. It’s not the worst or the best, it’s only my own method. Therefore, I invite you to experiment different styles, in order to get your own way of painting faces!. If you are interested, you can find more info about how to paint faces in 28mm and 15mm in this PaintingWar monograph about WWII germans.