Painting 1/35 & 54mm Faces with oils .

Chris S

Its a bit like being handcuffed to a lunatic !
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
4,573
Hi chaps ,

Ok ,so I was talking with Scott a bit last week about painting 1/35 scale faces and he asked if I would do an SBS on how its done with oils.......so I agreed . I must admit Im not a big fan of acrylics for face painting ,nothing wrong with them and some people produce fantastic results with them ,But me ...I just cant get on with them so I stick with the smellys .

Now Im not going to get into colours & palette here as I have already explained that in my other face painting tutorial which can be found here .......

http://www.scalemodeladdict.com/forum/index.php/topic,2806.0.html

I will be using exactly the same palette for these heads ,but just using smaller amounts . Please bear in mind this is 1/35 scale so you only need tiny amounts of paint ,dont squeeze out more than half a pea size from the tube otherwise there will be a lot of waste .
Apart from some paint you need some fine brushes ,a soft flat brush and a good pair of magnifiers is a must ,they make life soooo much easier .

Alrighty ...on with the show .
Please remember that these heads are being viewed well over size in these pics ,so the paint will probably appear a bit grainy ,also as Im doing this 'live' so to speak ,the paint is wet and will look very greasy .

So to start with I picked two different heads ,purely to show some different expressions ,these heads are from one of Historex sets and are really for Napoleonic period ,but could be used for other things . I've already basecoated them in preperation for the oils . The basecoat was done using Vallejo Tan Yellow with a drop of white to lighten it .

DSCF4761.jpg


Step one ........Wash.
Instead of painting in all the shadows like I would on bigger scales ,its far simpler to use a wash for these .Make up a wash of Burnt Umber ,the wash should really be coloured thinners rather than thinned paint .Brush the wash over the entire face ,not forgetting the ears & neck .Dont lay the wash on too heavy otherwise you will lose some detail especially around the eyes .Now let this dry of for an hour or so ,then take a soft flat brush (dry) and gently flick it across the high spots of the face ,places like the nose ,cheeks & chin .This will remove most of the wash from those areas leaving the dark colour in the shadow areas .It may look a little messy ,but dont let that worry you it will come good once the paint start going on .

DSCF4771.jpg


Step two......Skintone.
The next thing to do is start adding the flesh tone ,again its mixed as I have already mentioned before . Paint the flesh tone all over the face ,avoiding the shadow areas and try not to paint the eye sockets too ,again dont forget the ears & neck .Once the paint is on you need to blend it in with the dark colour .This is simply done by stippling or poking at the paint with a clean dry brush ,go very gently around the whole face doing this and you start to see the two colours merging .
In this pic ,the face on the left is blended ,the one on the right isnt so you can see where to put the paint .......

DSCF4774.jpg


Step three ...Highlighting.
With the colour on we need to start adding more depth ,this is done by highlighting . To add highlights I use two stages ,first I take some of the fleshtone and add some white .This is applied to areas of the face that catch the light ,places like the nose ,forehead,cheekbones and chin ,also around the ears and maybe the sides of the neck (depending on the figure). Again once the paint is on ,it is blened in the same way but working it only in the areas its applied too and not spread around the face .

Left blended .....right not .
DSCF4775.jpg


The same thing is done again ,only this time using pure White and again in smaller areas at the highest points .

Left blended ....right not .
DSCF4776.jpg


Step four ...adding colour to the face .
The skin at this point will probably look a bit pale because we still need to add some 'life' to the face .The first thing I do is add some red into the cheeks and the tip of the nose / nostrils .For this I use tiny amounts of crimson ....be very careful with this colour as it is very strong ,so only apply tiny specks were shown in the pic ,and blend these specks in ,try not to push the colour up the face while blending ,but keep it in the cheeks and the bottom of the nose .

Left blended ...right not .
DSCF4777.jpg


You will notice I have painted in the eyeballs too .For this I dont use a paint brush ,but rather a toothpick splinter ....this gives more control .Carefully using some white with a speck of flesh tone mixed in I spotted in the eyeballs .Im left handed so I find the left eye easier to paint ,you can see I need to fix the right eye on the chubby chap ,but thats easy to remove some of the white with the toothpick .

Step five ....facial hair .
This is the last step for now ,Once the stubble is on the face will need to dry for a day or so befor finishing off . To do the stubble I use Paynes grey , Once again use only tiny flecks of the colour and keep the blending in the appropriate area ....ie lower cheeks ,below the nose and along the jaw line / chin .

Left blended ..right not
DSCF4778.jpg


Both faces done for now . Oils need to dry before you can see the full effect ,and usually I will do a second sitting ,maybe just to add some extra highlights if I feel its needed ,also the eyes still need finished and the mouths and hair need done . This may sound like a long proccess ,but in reality I can paint a 1/35 head to this stage in about 20mins which isnt really that long ,it takes much longer to explain it ! So tune in for the second and last section ,which should be up in the next few days .

DSCF4780.jpg


In the meantime .please feel free to ask questions .

Thanks for looking.

Chris.
 

spud

Irish and proud of it :)
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
6,918
Very cool sbs chris, think ill jsut send mine to you tough ;D next time i go painting figs ill be checking this again.
 

Chris S

Its a bit like being handcuffed to a lunatic !
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
4,573
Thanks Spud , I'll have the last part up very soon ;) Have a go at it ,its easier than you think .

Chris.
 

Chris S

Its a bit like being handcuffed to a lunatic !
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
4,573
Yeah ;D ....just a little bit tho' eyes ,mouth ,hair and maybe a little more highlighting to push the depth a bit more ,but we'll see when they dry for a day ;)

Chris.
 

TRM

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
5,024
Great SBS Chris!!! Think this is a definite bookmark for anyone needing to paint figures!!! Looking forward to seeing the next installment!!! ;)
 

Chris S

Its a bit like being handcuffed to a lunatic !
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
4,573
Thankyou gentlemen ;D

I'll have the final part up tomorrow :)

Chris.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Messages
804
Awesome walkthrough! The guys at the art store I frequent say that historical figure painters nowadays swear by oils, and have abandoned acrylics altogether (unlike us fantasy/scifi wargamer painters ;D ). I'm looking forward to trying it out with some potential figs for the spring contest!
 

Chris S

Its a bit like being handcuffed to a lunatic !
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
4,573
Guys ,I havent forgot about this ,I just havent had much benchtime this week . The last part will be up in the next day or so at the latest ;)

Chris.
 

Chris S

Its a bit like being handcuffed to a lunatic !
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
4,573
Hi folks ,

Sorry about the delay on this ,I have been a bit busy this week ....anyhoo

Part Two . ....Detailing.
The only draw back using oils is that you really need to do two sittings to finish a face .The oils need to dry before moving on,but if you are not in a big rush then its not a problem .
Normally on bigger heads you need to push the highlights & shadows a bit more ,and even in small scale it may be needed ,in my case I think the ydried out fine .But if you need to you can add some small flecks of white to the highlights again and blend them in the same way as before .

Starting on the details ,I delt with the hair first .On the head with the mouth open I decided to give him some light brown hair .As I had already basecoated the whole head with Tan Yellow I was able to use that as a base for the hair ,so all that is needed is a wash to create the shadows ,for this one I used Vandyke brown ,again the wash needs to be coloured thinners and be careful not to overload your brush ,you dont want it running all over your nicely painted face .Apply the wash all oveer the hair ,paying attention to the hair line around the forehead ,locks and around the neck ....again take care !.
Once the wash is on and given a while to dry of a bit ,you can use a damp brush to remove some of the wash of the high spots to create highlights .
On the chubby head ,I think the face looks that of an older man ,so I gave him hair that was once Black ,but now turning grey .I started with a basecoat of grey ( I used Vallejo's Panzer Aces Splinter camo base 345) carefully painting this on right up to the hairline . Once dry A wash is done just the same as I explained above .

DSCF4829.jpg


With the hair done that left just a few details to add to the faces ....most importantly ...the eyes .
Take my advice ...never try to use a brush to add eyes to a 1/35 face .It just doesnt work unless you're very very lucky ! . What happens is once you touch a brush to the eyeball the bristles bend and usually produce something akin to a cats eye ...ie you get a line instead of a nice round Iris .
What you need to use is something like a pin ,a bit of wire or a toothpick splinter ,something that will fit the eye opening and produce a nice round dot .You can also use a 0.5 artist pen ,in fact I used one on the head with the open mouth ,and on the other I used a bit of copper wire dipped in raw umber oil paint . Using the pen ...if you get it wrong you can simply remove it with some water on a brush and start again . Using oils you can remove mistakes by gently scraping it of with the tip of a blade ,so its easy to rectify either way . If you use Acrylic paint it tends to dry very quick and can be harder to remove .
So ,the eyes are done ,the face now needs Lips & eyebrows . For the lips I just add a little crimson to the flesh colour and lightly paint them in ....dont overdo the crimson you just want a hint of colour in there ,enough to suggest the red of the lips .
The eyebrows seem to get over looked on a lot of figures ,but its some thing that can change the whole look of a face and it breaks up the area between the eyes and forehead ,it can also help remove the staring effect often seen in figures .Its just a matter of taking a very fine brush and painting them in ,again if you use oils it can be removed or adjusted by gently scraping some off where needed .Remember to keep them the same as the hair colour .

With that ....the face / head is done . Looking at such small heads in a big picture ,they never look quite right because they are very over scale ,So I inserted a small thumbnail in the corner of this pic which is closer to the size the faces will be viewed at and should give you a better idea of how they look .

DSCF4826-1.jpg


And thats it folks .
As I have said before ,I am no expert at small scale face painting ,but hopefully I have explained one of the techniques often used and has been used for many years ,the same technique can also be used using enamels or a mixture of enamels & oils ....they do mix .

If there is enough interest I will be happy to expand on this and take a look at painting clothing ,uniforms etc .....let me know .

Thanks for looking.

Chris.
 

TRM

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
Messages
5,024
Very cool SBS Chris!!! You make it look easy my friend!!! Well done!!
 

Junkie

Active Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
8,830
Awesome! I have to get some oils and try this out!

Thanks a million for posting this Chris.
 

Chris S

Its a bit like being handcuffed to a lunatic !
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
4,573
Thanks Scott .

I'll look at painting clothing etc as soon as I get the chance to put something together ;)

Chris.
 

spud

Irish and proud of it :)
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
6,918
oh that would be sweet chris i think having a good face and bland clothing can be a killer, that is why you see very little figs from me :mad:
 

Latest posts

Top