Eye Spy a Challenge


Costume design reference

Ah, poor Rosie. I wanted to paint her up for ReaperCon, but she was one of the miniatures left by the wayside as I scrambled to finish the miniatures I'd already started. This sculpt reminds me of Kaylee from Firefly (one of my very favorite shows) so I decided to research a few costume design pictures-- I think I'll paint her clothing to match! It sounds like a fun challenge since I'll need to paint freehand flowers on her shirt sleeves. I also want to try some oil spatters after taking the "Weathering Effects" class. I paint everything pristine and I want to try painting dirty things. I mean, she's a mechanic, y'know? She'll eventually be holding a wrench in her raised hand that extends behind her head, but I don't want to attach it before I paint the back of her hair. Excited and nervous about this one-- it seems a pretty big challenge, but I'm always trying to push myself to try new techniques. 

While I want to jump right into the freehand and weathering techniques, I have to start with the eyes. First, I painted a few light coats of brush-on primer on Rosie. Since eyes are one of the most important parts of a miniature for me, I often don't want to move on until they're "just right" and I'll be distracted from the new techniques I want to try (or just give up since no matter how good the rest of the mini looks, if her eyes suck, it kills my motivation). Silly, maybe, but I know myself well. The Shelf of Shame is littered with my previous eye painting failures. 

Here you can scroll through my initial process with painting eyes along with a more recent picture where her eyes are complete and a few of her outfit shapes are blocked out in dark liner. (It may look messy now, but it won't when I'm done with her!) And yes, I included my nails in the photo crops because it's rare when they look nice-- honestly, it's for pure vanity and to prove I actually paint them once in a while. So without further ado:


Reaper Miniature #50016 · Rosie, Chronotechnician · Sculpted by Bob Ridolfi

Add a dash of color + a spot of pure white = voila!


Okay, okay, it's not that easy :) In fact, it took me three tries to get these white dots right and they're still too big in my opinion. Anyway, if I mess with them more they'll get too chunky-- so they're good enough for now! Some days, I'm never happy with the eyes I paint. I make the mistake if over-working them until the paint builds up too much and I have to start over. Other days, I have "good days" and end up with stuff like this:

Arnise Work In Progress - click picture to zoom

Andromedan Hunter - click picture to zoom

One day, I think I'll try a detailed eye painting tutorial blog post now that I have a decent camera to capture details more easily. The photos above were taken with my sad little phone and it shows :( Once I figure out the lighting, it's only a matter of time before tutorials will be an option! Studying how different painters approached various painting techniques was extremely helpful to me as I began miniature painting. It remains useful and interesting for me today-- there's always something to learn from everyone! 

Do you want to see tutorials here? If so, which ones?