Yesterday I mentioned the bar in my local store was set pretty high when it comes to painting. In the same way you'd want to pick a fight with the top player in the store in order to improve, one's painting can benefit from the treatment as well. If I'm working on something, inevitably I'll show it off to the Master Manipulator (every store needs one) or Little Barrera. I have to be careful though, their scorn for shoddy work is legendary.
It's actually got to the point where I can look at one of my models with a critical eye and guess what would be said about it. That happened yesterday when I posted pics of my Berzerker-inspired Brotherhood model. The mold line on his right leg was going to get noticed... it did get noticed.
Anyway, I decided to steal a blog post from the Master Manipulator (every store needs one)'s blog. There's nothing special about this one - they're all good - it was just the most recent. I expect it was inspired by my Tyrion model's lazy eye!
The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): PS: Follow his blog already!
I spend a lot of time looking at others painted minis on the internet as well as in person. One of the things I think can really make a mini pop is the eyes. The face of a mini is normally a focal point and even a decently painted pair of eyes can make the difference.
Many of my friends comment on the way the eyes of my minis look. They are not spectacular in any way, but they do tend to say the right thing about the mini. So, as with all the other areas that people tell me they like about my minis I decided to do a step by step to help others who may need it with this area.
Some people I have seen start with the eyes when they work on faces. For me personally the eyes are normally one of the last things painted on a model. Since I typically use a wash on the flesh when I do the face I don't want the eyes getting covered in it. Anyway, we need somewhere to start so here I have the one decent picture from my failed faces post. This technique is fairly straight forward and does not need a lot of explanation so you may see more pictures than words here.
Once we have a base we need to actually make the eyes. Paint a thin white line across the eyeball. Be sure to leave a bit of the black showing on the top and bottom of the eye.
What we have now is starting to look like an eyeball. Only problem is we need a pupil. There is really two ways to approach this step. You can use a dot or line. For mine I draw a straight black line from the top of the eye to the bottom. It may seem odd, but at this scale you won't really be able to tell when we are done. If you use a dot be sure to touch the top line with the dot at the least. The most important thing here is to make sure the lines are in the same place on both eyes. Otherwise your beautifully painted model will look like Sloth from "The Goonies".
Finally we need to come back in with our original flesh color as well as a well placed coverage of the same wash so we can clean up any areas we may have over covered. I hope this will help you in the future. It is the technique I have used for quite some time.