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Painting: Face Painting, Step-By-Step


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17 replies to this topic

#1
LunchBox

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Howdy...I've had a few requests, so here it is...How to paint faces/skin:

First, the brushes...I use these 3 for faces. Note that the middle brush is labeled "broken", and as you see, the tip is...well...broken, and curves off to the side. This is perfect for getting to areas of detail that require you to hold your hand and or the model at an odd angle.
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First, the face on top (Face A) is washed with GW Elf Flesh. The face on the bottom ( Face B ) is washed with GW Dwarf Flesh. The important thing with this coat is smooth coverage...even coverage is secondary. At this point, all we're really doing is trying to tint the light colored primer to a dull. pale skin tone. 1-2 coats is enough.
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After that dries, the next step is to wash on your shading color. Face A was washed with GW Graveyard Earth, for a brown skin tone. Face B was washed with Terracotta, to create a pinker skin tone. When it starts drying, or after it dries...doesn't really matter...I re-wash from the eyes, down.
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After that dries, lightly drybrush the base skin-tone back on. Face A was drybrushed with Elf Flesh, and Face B with Dwarf Flesh. This is a very light drybrush, and the purpose is to softly smooth out the harsh transitions between the washes I've applied so far, as well as define where my highlights will go later. This is not for coloration, so you will not notice much if any difference.
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The next step is where the highlighting begins. Face A is highlighted with Elf Flesh, and Face B with Dwarf Flesh. Thin coats are applied, from light high to low, then back to high. In other words, start at the top of the cheek, when the paint is the strongest, drag the brush down the wrinkle in the cheek, then back up to the top. Keep in mind how light will be hitting the face, and what might be in the way, like Face A's arms. This usually takes about 3 coats per highlight from the eyes up, and 2 layers from the eyes down. The top of the head needs about 4-6 glazes.
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The next step is similar to the last, but now we build the color up a bit more. Face A is highlighted with Pallid Flesh, and Face B with Elf Flesh. 4 glazes on top, 3 thin coats in the brow area, and 2 coats from the eyes down.
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The next step involves a lot of different proceedures. I take the highlight I was just working with, and do not thin it...get a little paint, and wipe most of it off. I then sweep the brush across the eye-sockets to lighten up the eyelids a bit. I then wash Scorched Brown into the eyes. Then, I move down to the mouth, and paint the teeth with thinned Bleached Bone. When that dries, I wash the mouth with thinned black.

Just a quick note...washing the eyes with black, makes the mini look like it's wearing eye liner. Then, a lot of people go back with white eyeballs, and it looks like a bug-eyed, makeup wearing Marine. Scorched Brown is a nice deep reddish-brown, so it works for these mini's. Face A was a little too red, so I glazed reaper Granite into the eyes, to dull it down a bit.
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After this all dries, I pick out the eyes with thinned Fortress Grey, then again with thinned Vallejo Ghost Grey. To add the pupil, I barely dab a little thinned black in the eye. If you goof up, hit it with Ghost again, and try again. For the teeth, I go back in with Bleached Bone, then a 50/50 mix of Bleached Bone and Skull White. Just like the eyes, you don't want to just paint the teeth white...it won't look realistic, and you'll end up with a makeup and denture wearing bug-eyed Marine.

After the eyes are dry, I hit the eyelids on face A with Pallid Flesh, and Face B with Elf Flaesh. To finish the highlights on the rest of the face, I used the 50/50 mix of Bleached Bone and Skull White to hit the sharpest highlights on Face A, from the nose, up. Face B was done with Pallid Flesh in the same manner.
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After all this, you can call it quits, or add a few more details. I glazed the lips on Face A with tenticle Pink, and Face B with tanned Flesh. I also added stubble to face A by applying 2 glazes of Reaper Ash Grey, and 1 glaze of Boltgun Metal. I also glazed the scar on Face A with Scab Red.

These were done in about an hour and a half, so they're not as tedious as I would usually do them, but you get the idea. Please feel free to add anything you think will help others.

Check out my Painted Minis

Let your anger be as a monkey in a pinata...hiding in the candy, hoping the children do not break through with a stick."

*If you send me a PM, and don't hear back from me in a week or so, please PM me again. I've been licking brushes too long, and sometimes I read the message but forget to repond.

#2
Magnus the red

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An excellent guide, the face is the problem most painters eem to have with their minis ill be sure to try this out

Thanks Lunchbox,
we might as well got addicted to heroin as
1. its not something you want your girlfriend to know about
2. The damge to your brain from the fumes is roughly the same as doing china white
3. You would also get the same sense of exhiliration form moving peices of plastic round a table
4. Youre always chomping at the bit to get started on your next "project"
5. You would also spend most of your day thinking up a story that involved a Superman, An ork and an Alien


They need a Land Raider that only has a giant rocket engine on the back and can launch itself around the map with a 72" charge range and does like 4D6 S10 Impact Hits.
i believe that's called a lawn mower

#3
LunchBox

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Sorry some of the pics are so bad...I was taking them from my painting desk instead of my "finished mini" area...then the pics got a bit grainy when I had to resize and collage everything...if there wasn't a couple of OK pics in there, I'd be hearing, "Thin your paints, ya big dummy!"

Edited by LunchBox, 26 August 2007 - 10:46 PM.

Check out my Painted Minis

Let your anger be as a monkey in a pinata...hiding in the candy, hoping the children do not break through with a stick."

*If you send me a PM, and don't hear back from me in a week or so, please PM me again. I've been licking brushes too long, and sometimes I read the message but forget to repond.

#4
Legacy40k

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Great guide! I hope this helps some people paint better faces... In my opinion.. the face will make or break a model, and many people don't even bother with their faces outside a coat of elf flesh and maybe a fleshwash.

#5
Master Chaplain Astador

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Great guide! Can't wait to see your stuff in person next time your at GW! I hope your there for the Apocalypse release!
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[url=http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/showthread.php?49752-My-Lastest-WIP]Current WIP[/url]
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#6
Bjorn firewolf

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i couldnt figur out faces over gray thanks abunch

#7
LunchBox

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hehehe...4 hours after finishing this tutorial, I ended up in the ER. *Just got out.
Check out my Painted Minis

Let your anger be as a monkey in a pinata...hiding in the candy, hoping the children do not break through with a stick."

*If you send me a PM, and don't hear back from me in a week or so, please PM me again. I've been licking brushes too long, and sometimes I read the message but forget to repond.

#8
HellChyld

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why in the er? hope the wife is okay

gallery_48988_6285_1641.jpggallery_48988_6285_1098.jpggallery_48988_6285_1776.jpggallery_1805_634_6746.jpg


#9
LunchBox

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why in the er? hope the wife is okay



Wife's fine...I had appendicitis...had to get it out. So, I'll be at home for the entire first week of school...real helpful.

Maybe I'll get some painting done.

Edited by LunchBox, 28 August 2007 - 04:56 PM.

Check out my Painted Minis

Let your anger be as a monkey in a pinata...hiding in the candy, hoping the children do not break through with a stick."

*If you send me a PM, and don't hear back from me in a week or so, please PM me again. I've been licking brushes too long, and sometimes I read the message but forget to repond.

#10
HellChyld

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wanted to try your tutorial with a diffrent color. what ya think?

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wish my camera worked better. I'm gonna have to look into anew one already

gallery_48988_6285_1641.jpggallery_48988_6285_1098.jpggallery_48988_6285_1776.jpggallery_1805_634_6746.jpg


#11
LunchBox

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I'm glad you brought this up, Neph. This "guide" can be used to create any skin tone you want. If ya'll noticed, I basically used the same, or very similar colors between the two faces to create two completely different, but natural looking skin tones. For Chaos, you can substitute the washes in step 2 with Codex Grey, Shadow Grey (for a nice dead, pale look), Liche Purple (for an abused/bruised skin look), Catachan Green (for a nice rotten look, can be highlighted up substituting Rotting Flesh)...you get the idea. For non-typical skin tones, like blue, the same steps can be used.

Neph, the only thing I would add to yours is a final highlight of maybe Fortress Grey, to "deaden" him out a bit...but you got the idea down.

Check out my Painted Minis

Let your anger be as a monkey in a pinata...hiding in the candy, hoping the children do not break through with a stick."

*If you send me a PM, and don't hear back from me in a week or so, please PM me again. I've been licking brushes too long, and sometimes I read the message but forget to repond.

#12
Bjorn firewolf

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i just tryed it over gray but i used bronzed flesh, graveyard elf and a mix of white and elf, great technique makes for a smoothly blended face without blending, thank you lunchbox

#13
mithrilforge

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Absolute :P to you Lunchbox,im painting an Assault Sgt with "head A" and was doing a search on the tutorials pages to see if anyone had done that face right...and Viola :D there he is!
thanks heaps Lunchbox!

Mithril

i might have to post him up here when he's done,to show others that your techniques can be done by average painters ...

well here he is,he's a WIP(and a bad photo but you get the idea)

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Edited by mithrilforge, 06 October 2007 - 02:40 AM.

gallery_70393_10089_1851.png gallery_48988_6285_17537.pnggallery_6494_6331_8260.pnggallery_48988_15465_40221.png  gallery_48988_15465_18945.png

 

 

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#14
LunchBox

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Belated reply: Looks good...great shadowing on the eyes. It does NOT look like he's wearing eye-liner!
Check out my Painted Minis

Let your anger be as a monkey in a pinata...hiding in the candy, hoping the children do not break through with a stick."

*If you send me a PM, and don't hear back from me in a week or so, please PM me again. I've been licking brushes too long, and sometimes I read the message but forget to repond.

#15
Brother Bohemund

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A short off topic question if I may. Where is "head A" from, is he by any chance in the assault box?

edit:
ok forget it have found the head or at least a head similar enough in the assault termie box :)

Edited by Brother Bohemund, 21 December 2007 - 01:51 PM.


#16
saadeath

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Are washes, simply watered down paints? like to a 1 to 10 ratio?
-A fight won in spite of fear is more a triumph than a fight won in absence of fear.

-"Do not ask me to approach the battle meekly, to creep through the shadows, or to approach my foes quietly in the dark. I am Rogal Dorn. Imperial Fist. Space marine. Emperor's Champion. Let my enemy's cower at the thunder of my advance and tremble at the sight of me."

-"When we are no longer able to change a situation... we are challenged to change ourselves" -Viktor Frankl


#17
LunchBox

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Interesting that I happened to check this forum...as I so rarely do. Washes are watered down paint, and glazes are water with a tiny bit of paint in them. Washes may be 3:1 to 5:1 (roughly) water:paint. Glazes are thinner.

Does that answer your question?

*edit* WOW! I didn't realize the difference a year and a half makes. Perhaps I should create another face tutorial...maybe this time with faces that don't suck.

Edited by LunchBox, 05 March 2009 - 01:13 AM.

Check out my Painted Minis

Let your anger be as a monkey in a pinata...hiding in the candy, hoping the children do not break through with a stick."

*If you send me a PM, and don't hear back from me in a week or so, please PM me again. I've been licking brushes too long, and sometimes I read the message but forget to repond.

#18
Fausto2071

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excellent, this was a big help man.
oh man. an army of space marines up on ebay HERE!!!
There's no love in your violence!- Kakihara, Ichi the Killer