One of the bigger difficulties that a modeller can encounter in the realization of a figure, is certainly the painting of the face. Obviously there are teachers in this sector that, for their innate capacities don’t incur in relevant problems to realize splendid figures. Their techniques have been explained more times but omitting some foundamental steps. Learned this steps, the modeller has only to refine his patience and his steady hand. Now, thanks to simply pictures I will guide you to obtain results more than satisfactory, because we haven’t to forget that to paint a face in scale 1/35, we will work on a surface small about mm 5x7. After having learned the technique to paint faces, there are no more problems for hands and arms and even with clothes’ drapery.
The picture number 1 illustrates the head of a figure, fixed on a small stick so it can be handled without touching it. At the face have been applied some base coat colours for flesh and hairs. Personally for the flesh base I use a light sand colour. The type of the base coat can be at your choice: enamel or acrylic. Even the white part of eyes have the same flesh colour.
When the base coat is dry we proceed with the first phase, it consists in using oil paint and synthetic thin brush number “0”. Oil paint musn’t be neccessarily expensives because however all oils have different problems. In fact despite oil paints have the same base, colour pigments are produced with different substances, whereby whites often are more dense while blacks generally are more fluid. Is the same for other dyes. So is useful keeping on hand a Linseed oil or a Walnut oil to fluidify too much dense colours and therefore not easily to spread. Looking carefully at the pictures number 2,3 and 4 you can notice that we have give some White strokes on particular points which correspond at the anatomical parts more exposed to light as: nose, cheekbones, cheeks at the sides of the nose, chin, jaw and throat, eyebrow arch, the forehead, protruding parts of ears and neck. As the White strokes we can notice other “Burnt Sienna” strokes necessary for shadow points: above and below the eyes, the sides of nose and below it, the mouth, below the lower lip, under and at the sides of the throat, below the cheekbones and the sides of temples all around the hairline, behind the ears and in the inner parts of them.
Now the step is very important because we will spread and shade these colours. Attention !! In this and next steps, the colour will be removed rather spread, in this way we will avoid that the colour excess don’t nullify the shade work, allowing only little parts of colour to remain on the surface and gradually blend together. So, spread the colours and at the same time remove a part cleaning the brush with a dry rag and without solvents. In the picture 5, 6 we can see the first result of this work. We have now a first idea of shading obtained using not much quantities of colour. Attention !! Before proceeding with the next step we have to leave completely dry the work just executed. A whole day is sufficient since the scarce layer of colour.
When the face colour is dry we proceed with the second phase of shadows and lights. As we can see in the picture number 7 with White colour we give some small light touches on determinated points: only the tip of the nose, just above the upper lip, the central part of the chin, the most exposed part of the throat, the upper part of cheekbones, the most exposed parts of the ears, the forehead and in case the two eyebrows arch. With “Raw Umber” colour we will give some shading points on the following details: in the part of the eye orbit nearer to the nose, below and in correspondence of the holes of the nose, in the deep parts of the ears. Some additional touches are possible as light and shade points more pronunced, we will execute them always after the colour is dry. We see the result of these steps in the image number 8.
Now we can make the facial expression of the figure given some Red colour on lips or cheeks. The best is to use little quantities of colour to avoid that the figure looks like a Clown. Eyes are the final step but they are extremely difficult to realize because the figure could become cross-eyed or he could have too big or small eyes. Problems are easy manageables if you follow this suggestions. Obviously as mentioned previously eyes have the flesh base coat. For eyelashes, eyebrows and eyes I use the “Raw Umber” colour and first I mark the upper eyelashes part and only the internal part toward the nose of thoose below. Is important to have a brush that mantain a fine tip and a steady hand but, unfortunately we aren’t Robot, so the first attempt certainly will not be successful but we can find a solution using delicately a toothpick which we have further pointed. The toothpick tip will remove some eventual imperfections. To execute pupils, which aren’t realized round but like half-moon, we can use the toothpick slightly soaked in our oil colour. If despite all our goodwill we don’t like eyes, remember that is one of the first attempt, we resolve all removing the colour still fresh from eyes with a clean brush dipped in the solvent which must will be removed from the brush leaving it just a bit humid. Repeat the eyes operation with much confidence and the result will be certainly satisfying as we can see in the pictures number 9 and 10. In the pictures 11 and 12 we can see the figure completed and positioned inside the vehicle.
What do you think about these suggestions? We have obteined a good result without become crazy and avoiding substantial costs to buy renowned brushes and colours.I remind you that, however to obtain good results, is possible to use the optimal Lifecolor set, Flesh Paint Set CS-13, expressly dedicated to the flesh painting.