Features The Painting Table

The Eyes Have It

So, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again (and if you know me again and again), but I think the two most important elements of a painted miniature for table top war games are the base and the face….bases and faces can make an average model look great and a little attention to detail with the eyes will go a long way towards creating a focal point for your miniature.

Its human nature to look at a face to try and understand a persons attitude, mood or intent and you can use this to help your miniature tell a story. I’ll share the way I do eyes and you can decide if it is for you. A always this is just my opinion and I don’t claim to be an expert painted, but I have been painting a while and this gives results I like.

Firstly I normally paint the flesh with a wash or more likely these days a flesh contrast paint, it give a good base frame for the face and shows where all the details on the sculpt are. Once it is dry I’ll paint the eyes first, simply because if I mess this up now I haven’t got to do much to put it right and if I mis-shape the eyes I can correct it with the shade of flesh I’ll be using as a base.

Secondly, if I want the eyes to look intense then I paint the eye socket are black, or if I want a more unnatural look maybe dark red once this is done I can paint the whites of the eyes. I use a short fine brush with a good point, don’t use a long brush because you want the paint to be at the tip and not filled into the belly of the brush, with this I add the eye whites, about the shape of a grain of rice normally, but if you wanted surprised stare or mad wide eyes you can go wider or if you want sneaky sly eyes then maybe narrower (she what I said about eyes conveying intent).

Once dry I’ll add the eye pupil or spot, I never do anything other than black dots as my model will be on the table or at arms length, but I don’t suppose there is any reason not to use a colour if you like. Again with that fine short brush and a tiny amount of paint on the tip I spot the back eye pupil in position, if I can trying to get it just above centre of the eye white. Remember you can paint the eyes to one side of the eye whites to show the model looking in one direction but obviously both eyes must match otherwise you’ll end up with a cross-eyed face (maybe that’s what you want)

As a final stage if you want you can add a glaze to the eye socket area, sometimes if I want an evil look I’ll add a red wash or maybe a blue wash for magical or undead…..you just have to eye up what you want (pun intended).

What ever method you use I’d be interested to hear about it or look at your results, feel free to post up on my Facebook page. Happy painting.