[Archive] Painting eyes


So i’ve come back into the hobby and was quickly reminded this morning how much I hate painting faces because of the eyes. After looking online, the best tutorial i found talked about painting the eyes first, then the face - makes perfect sense.

Any tips are greatly appreciated.

Also, what size brush do you like to use for eyes?


Small brush. Smallest, in fact.

I usually paint mine after I’ve painted the first layer of skin, but it makes no difference really.

The way I do it if painting the eyes before the skin is to paint the eye white. I then apply a black vertical line across the eye and use black to cover the previously applied white paint that’s outside the eye and use that to define it.


Most models you needn’t bother painting eyes save it for your characters. Paint the socket very dark then paint a black oval then dab a bit it White in each corner. Don’t do it White with a black dot or it will probably look mad or cross-eyed or something! Finish with a line of dark flesh back over the top to make the eyelid and voila!


I use a pin, and I do do (lol) the white under black technique.

Thommy H:

Satan’s method is the one I use. I’m fairly strict about going “inside to out” on my models, so if I’m doing eyes, they’re always first. Just blob on a load of white, then tidy up with black.

Kera foehunter:

I do a white socket and wash it with devan mud and them take a micron .005 marker ( black ) to make the pupils
this give them a great mad stare plus you make them look in different  directions
or you make make them crossed eye if you wish

P.S. if your sloppy like me most of the time there eyes look just like my Avatar
Kera snicker while she tries not to grinn


The eyes are the last thing that i do on the model, i use the smallest brush that i can find , start with black then a line of white then very carefully i put a dot of black in the making sure that the black reaches the top and bottom or you end up with a very shocked looking model


I paint the eye bleached bone and do the pupil with a very small brush. As Loki says, I see a lot of minis where the pupil is a tiny dot which makes the expression look crazed; I try to make it fairly large so there is about as much pupil as whites. Also, get both eyes looking in the same direction.


I always paint the eyes last, I don’t like them staring at me while I paint them. :slight_smile:


Thanks guys. I will let you know how it works out for me. I am using Vallejo ivory and I have a micron marker for the pupils. Great reminder to make the pupil a line and not the crazy dot


Eyes are amongst the last things I finish on a model, along with other fine details (excluding freehand designs, which should be done before applying washes to tie it in better with the rest of the miniature). I usually paint eyes Khommando Khaki + Skull White first, then paints on pure Chaos Black, or Chaos Black mixed with Calthan Brown or Adeptus Battlegrey. The benefit of avoiding stark black and white eyes in this way is a more natural look to the eyes.


eeek… i do not think i have the skill (yet - hopefully one day) to mess around with eyes near the end… Im waiting for my fine detail brushes in the mail to conquer 31 pairs of eyes


eeek...... i do not think i have the skill (yet - hopefully one day) to mess around with eyes near the end...... Im waiting for my fine detail brushes in the mail to conquer 31 pairs of eyes

I paint my eyes last. I paint the whole eye socket white then apply as carefully as possible a big black pupil. I make sure the black pupil extends from the bottom of the lid to the top otherwise you get the crazy look others have talked about it. I then take a medium highlight of whatever I used for the skin tone and paint a line across the top and bottom of the pupil. This way, it looks like the top of the pupil is slightly tucked under the top the lid and the bottom part of the pupil is slightly covered by the bottom lid. If the highlight extends too far into the crevice under the brow where their should be shading, then I just break out the shade color once again and re-apply it. After explaining that, I wonder why I don't paint the eyes first.


Have been painting them last, mainly because I throw the face base coat on as a starting point and I always have to retouch the face etc again so next lot I’ll try doing them first. Its all practice.  I read what others say then try (try, try, try, old & stumpy fingers tire easily) to do it myself as I had no painting experience prior to 3 years ago.

I liked this article,   http://www.reapermini.com/Thecraft/12   on eyes. there are heaps of other articles that espouse different techniques out there but deciding which? The toothpick for creating pupil dots I like and I only have a couple of cross eyed troopers so far