Hobby Progress: Painting Faces

Today’s a bit of a different hobby progress than my usual Monday post. I wanted to share a technique that I’ve picked up along the way, and this made a little more sense for hobby progress than it does for my Thursday post. That being said, this might be more of a quick tip than anything else.

Anyone who has been in the hobby for a bit knows that one of the hardest things to do correctly on a model (unless the model itself is really big) is the face. The eyes in particular are really hard because they are so small that nearly any slip of the hand will result in a cross-eyed space marine. I’ve definitely seen people online who manage to do an excellent job on faces, and even do eyes really well, but for the most of us, this is just really hard to do. That’s why I’ve managed to use a bit of a workaround. This isn’t the kind of thing that will help you win awards or anything, but if your intent is, at the very least, to make sure your models don’t look like they’ve taken a flamer to the face, then take a look at the pictures below.

As usual, click on each for more detail.

So that’s the look here’s the technique: Maybelline. Just kidding! Step one is to paint the entire head a flat black color. This is going to look a little funny at first, but it will make a difference pretty quick. After that dries, step two is it paint over the black with whatever color of skin tone you are going for, and importantly here, make sure you either avoid the eyes entirely or only get the barest little bit of paint in there so that the darker black primer is showing through. Step three is to highlight and add detail as necessary. For me, this usually means eyebrows on regular space marines, and for the plague marine in the picture, it meant giving him sort of creepy, bright green eyes.

The result of all of this is mainly contrast. With the black showing through where the eyes are, essentially what you’ve done is made it look like there’s just a shadow over the face that is hiding some deep-set eyes. Again, this is not a technique that is going to help you win any awards. If that’s what you’re after, you should probably learn to paint eyes. If all you’re looking for is that good enough category where you don’t have melty faces, then this can probably work for you.

Enjoy!

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