Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Trouble With Faces

So when I got to painting that first Guardsman you've seen here, I came to painting his face. Now I had read the GW tutorials and looked on the net at how other people were doing it, and figured I'd go ahead with the traditional method of several layers of highlighting etc.

What a mistake.

Not only did it take me way too long, especially if I planned to get an entire army done, but I couldn't make it look good. Part of the problem was the heat (I was painting during an Australian summer, so the paint was drying on my brush before I could get it on the face) but mainly my inexperience in painting. Consequently, My first attempts looked like this:

Which is a scrappy, chalky mess. After attempting a handful of faces like this, I got fed up and stopped. It had been suggested to me earlier that I should just use a wash, but for some unknown reason I decided to be stubborn. Anyway, after a few failures with layering I decided to give the wash a go, and got this result:

Which I much prefer. I can't remember exactly what ratio of paints it uses (I vary my skin colour across the army to look a bit more 'natural') but I know it's a mix of Elf Flesh with Tallarn Flesh. Using the foundation gives a good coverage of pigment which makes the process a lot quicker.

Then I do several light layers of Devlan Mud wash. I find that a single heavy layer doesn't do such a good job, as you get too much pooling of the ink and it doesn't bring out all the recesses, whereas a few carefully-applied layers achieves this.

Here's a lieutenant with my first (and only, so far) attempt at painting eyes - a bit wonky, but not too bad:

For dark skin I simply use Calthan Brown undercoat with Badab Black wash. Unfortunately I don't have a picture at the moment, but I think it looks quite good.

So there you go - listening to your friends' advice every now and then can pay off! I may eventually go back and do some layering, highlighting etc. like I had originally planned (especially on special characters and such) but I think this will do for now - at least until I get 2000 points or so built!


Col. Corbane said...

GW washes, you wonder how you managed without them!

Excellent face mate.

Frag_Dad said...

Cheers! I don't know why I was so reluctant to use them, but they work really well for some things!

Admiral Drax said...

I've just started using the Gryphonne Sepia, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoy its effectiveness.

As for eyes, I've always done them, but my all my older models look surprised...then someone pointed out that I ought to ensure that the 'pupil' (dot) went right to the top and bottom eyelids.


- Drax.

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