Correcting errors - just keep at it!

PaulinKendal

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
166
Points
63
Location
The Lake District
First Name
Paul
I thought it might be instructive to show just how much correction is needed when painting model figures, especially when working on crucial facial detail on a small scale - in this case 28mm.

Or rather, just how much correction is needed when I'm painting model figures!

I've been working on this 28mm figure (of Ygritte: Kissed by Fire, from tabletop miniatures game A Song of Ice and Fire by CMON). She's been cut from her base and remounted on a pile of Scots pine bark and Milliput.

20210906_111232.jpg

Here she is after a zenithal prime (brown and white - I was going to paint her yellow and changed my mind), followed by some washes and paint. Her hair is done, but face and hands have just had a thinned coat of Vallejo flesh wash ink. I'm using a Raphael 8404 No.1 brush from here on.

20211020_181334.jpg

You can see how good the sculpt of facial details is, making the painter's job a bit easier.

20211020_185243.jpg

After a coat of flesh tone, the eyes were painted in with very dark brown paint to the sockets, then white to the eyeballs, then a vertical stripe of dark brown for the pupils. At that stage there's brown paint everywhere - that gets covered with flesh tone to get the following result. I've thinned the paint and added retarder to help avoid tip drying. (If the paint was thicker than this, it'd be impossible to correct things without resulting in a mass of splodgy paint ruining the details). This is after the first pass - needs more layers to build up stronger pigmentation.

20211020_192120.jpg

It's all very cartoonish here - you can see the painted eyes bear little relation to the actual moulding - they're way bigger. Unfortunately (or should that be fortunately?), the eyes progressed quickly and effectively, and I've got no photos of that progress.

(You can also see the speckled texture - that's the white of the zenithal prime. Probably had my airbrush on too high a pressure. Next time I do this I'll lower the pressure and use white paint, not white primer, and see if that gives me a better finish.)

After this picture I added extra layers of brown to darken the pupils and reduced the eye size by working up from below, in brown, until I had the desired size, then using more of the flesh tone (Vallejo Pale Flesh), to reduce the brown line beneath the eye until it was almost gone. This went really well, first attempt, resulting in this:

20211020_220932.jpg

The eyes are still unnaturally large, but it looks less exaggerated for real, than it appears in these extreme close-ups.

And I've made s start on the eyebrows. The technique here is to try and paint a thin black line, then reduce it down to the desired size using flesh tone. Her right eyebrow went fairly well, the left was a disaster! So here come all the attempts and failed corrections, in chronological order.

20211020_221537.jpg
20211020_221544.jpg
20211020_222430.jpg
20211020_222819.jpg
20211020_223158.jpg
20211020_223306.jpg
20211020_224131.jpg

Until finally:

20211020_225633.jpg

Bold, determined, confident - and still a bit Barbie, it must be said! I think eyes this large wouldn't really work on a male figure, but are fine in this instance.

20211020_225628.jpg

And a reminder of how small the figure is, and a sense of how she looks for real, rather than in extreme close-up.

20211020_224513.jpg

It's far from perfect (and the rest of the figure is unfinished), but I'm happy with it. There'll be a bit more tidying up of the face, but I'm nearly there.

The important thing for me was that, with suitably thinned, flowing paint, I was able to keep going at this, without building up too great a thickness of paint, until I was satisfied.

Next time I'll do better - I might even try to add white dots as reflections in the pupils. I didn't seriously attempt that this time around.

I hope this is of interest.
 

Attachments

Tim Marlow

SMF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
7,234
Points
113
Location
Somerset
First Name
Tim
Nice job Paul. Terrifying in close up aren’t they LOL……just a couple of notes I would pass on if I may….
Might be worth cutting the eyebrows back a bit, a red head wouldn’t have such dark brows, being fair haired. Also, highlights on the forehead, nose edge and chin point would being out the features a little more.
 

PaulinKendal

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
166
Points
63
Location
The Lake District
First Name
Paul
…just a couple of notes I would pass on if I may….
Always, Tim, always.

I think you're right on both points. I'm reluctant to reduce the brows further, for fear of mucking them up. It's that challenge of deciding when good enough us actually, well, good enough.

As for highlights, I've already taken them up to white (ink), but once I've adjusted the rest of the face (there are still darker areas above the brows where I've not covered up the brown paint totally), I'll certainly revisit them.
 
Last edited:

PaulinKendal

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
166
Points
63
Location
The Lake District
First Name
Paul
I have considered going over the brows with a thin glaze of flesh tone, to make them less prominent, but again, I'm fearful of mucking them up. This is where I got to with the figure last night - I'll probably focus on the rest of the figure for now, and then review the face further on.
 

Tim Marlow

SMF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
7,234
Points
113
Location
Somerset
First Name
Tim
Your figure, your call Paul. With the highlights, another option is to darken the shadow areas, but that may make her look a little too suntanned. Completing mor3 of the figure is a good idea as that will give you the colour values that the face is “competing “ against.
 

Tim Marlow

SMF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
7,234
Points
113
Location
Somerset
First Name
Tim
Love the red hair, by the way. It’s one of my favourites to paint.
 

Jim R

SMF Supporter
Joined
Apr 27, 2018
Messages
7,481
Points
113
First Name
Jim
Hi Paul
I reckon she looks very good indeed. Ultra close ups are never going to flatter our efforts. Your final photo gives the true picture.
Jim
 

PaulinKendal

SMF Supporter
Joined
Jul 13, 2021
Messages
166
Points
63
Location
The Lake District
First Name
Paul
Interesting Tim - I painted the hair and thought "it looks too pink", but left it alone and went to work on the face. After that the hair looked fine!

I'm amazed how some people are able to completely finish one part of a figure before even starting in the rest, without everything being out of register. I find it easier to get to a uniform standard, with good(ish) colour balance, by gradually bringing all parts of a figure up to scratch incrementally.

Thanks for the kind words, Jim. Macro photos are a killer for self confidence - even under the magnifier she doesn't look as bad as she does in these photos.

As you say, the last photo of the most 'honest' presentation of how she actually looks in real life.
 
Top