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On eye size ...

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Russ, Sep 26, 2021.


At what scale is the detailed painting of eyeballs not worth the effort?

1/72 7 vote(s) 63.6%
1/35 0 vote(s) 0.0%
1/32 2 vote(s) 18.2%
1/24 2 vote(s) 18.2%
  1. Russ Active Member

    Hey, all -

    A question on scale and eye size, more accurately: at what scale is it no longer worth trying to depict eyeballs?

    I model aircraft and armor. My chosen scale is 1/72, so much smaller than most serious figure subjects, and I rarely even try to depict eyeballs and irises, relying instead on shadowing. 1/35 figures are about twice the size, and it seems really easy to exaggerate the eyes. Even 1/24 scale (54mm?) seems rather borderline, unless the facial expression is extreme and exposes more of the eyeball itself.

    All that leads to my question: Given a rather neutral expression, at what rough scale does this community feel that attempting to actually paint eyes is not worth the effort for the effect? I thought I'd try a poll for this, so here's hoping I did it correctly. Thanks!
    Oda likes this.
  2. OldTaff PlanetFigure Supporter

    1/24 = 75mm, and with a little care, eyes can be reasonably detailed.
  3. Oda A Fixture

    You are probably correct that even in 1/32 the eyes would not be discernible,if we were talking about a real person (someone so far away from us that he would look 32 times smaller) but in our hobby we do paint eyeballs in 1/32.It is a convention.Below that it is completely unecessary or even absurd although to be fair,I have seen the works of extremely competent modellers were eyeballs are painted ,in 1/35 with amazing results.

    Russ, Mike - The Kiwi, fogie and 3 others like this.
  4. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Russ

    I only paint Bust so the scale benefits good eye work but some modeller just seem to be able to paint them no matter what scale

    Russ and Oda like this.
  5. fogie A Fixture

    Good question Russ, but one that's a bit hard to answer because it depends on
    lots of different things - age, experience, technique, even our choice of medium.
    Most of us are aware of our limitations and stick within our comfort zone. Mine
    is 1/24th and 1/32nd (with hefty magnification let me add !!).

    The trouble begins after we've seen the work of an unbelievably brilliant artist,
    and wonder if we could produce something similar. So we suffer the grievous
    torments of the damned in the ensuing learning curve, in the incurable belief
    that if we're patient we might just raise our our game.

    This example is 1/35th !!! Painted by a Japanese modeller who's name escapes
    me for the moment


    Russ, Billy Dickinson, DaddyO and 5 others like this.
  6. Oda A Fixture

    My point exactly.There are few limitations for some gifted people.

    Russ and fogie like this.
  7. fogie A Fixture

    Couldn't rest until I remembered his name......Makoto Takaishi.
    I understand he actually uses a microscope when painting. Not
    much hope for the rest of us...eh?

    Russ, Nap, Oda and 2 others like this.
  8. OldTaff PlanetFigure Supporter

    :rolleyes:;) I know exactly what you mean, Mike, but the beauty of this pastime is that we continue..." to fight, to strive , and not to yield " Or at least until total infirmity takes over ! (y)

    Russ and Oda like this.
  9. fogie A Fixture

    Too true Alan...don't know when to lie down do we ? :happy:

    All the best
    Russ, Oda and OldTaff like this.
  10. Martin64 A Fixture

    It is always worth to depict eyeballs:D - painted at the age of about 12 with my trusty Humbrols and the tip of a needle... wish I had this sharp vision today - no Optivisor back then


    Cheers, Martin
    Russ, DaddyO, Oda and 2 others like this.
  11. Babelfish A Fixture

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: No-one can paint that small, that detailed. I don't care who they are or how good a painter they might otherwise be.

    Sorry Mike but I just don't buy that "painting-by-microscope" stuff. That's either eyeball decals or photoshop jiggerypokery. Or possibly even a combination of both.

    - Steve
    Russ and Oda like this.
  12. Wayneb A Fixture

    With a bit of thought and knowledge, paint what looks right to you. That microscope is bullshit. I think you have to realize that the small percentage of people who have the knowledge to even have enough interest to look that close to find something wrong is very small. I paint for my own self satisfaction.

    Russ, theBaron, Nap and 2 others like this.
  13. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Intriguing conversation & thanks Russ for posing this question.
    Personally Takaishi San sets standard I try to achieve.
    Whilst I cannot see without my 3x specs & Optivisor - for me these are tools Of the trade I wish I had adopted earlier on.

    I do attempt at 1:35 - 1:32 four stages of detailing for eyes:
    1. Dark iris ring
    2. Iris colour
    3. Pupil
    4. Catchlight

    Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t - and I always try. Another point is though while eyes are a focal point for the face they are only part of the story. I put a lot of effort into area surrounding eyes too.
    Here’s a little guy I did a few years back I was proud of.
    How’s that sound?

    Russ, Martin64, DaddyO and 2 others like this.
  14. Wayneb A Fixture

    That sounds good and looks good Mike, But who are you trying to impress? Is it for shows or for your own self satisfaction. I'm just looking for a psychological answer as to why this strain of perfection. What is your motivation?....I've been there.

    Russ, Oda and Mike - The Kiwi like this.
  15. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    I do it for myself Wayne :)
    All part of a continuous personal learning journey.
    Always aiming to make my next project better than the last.
    Not seeking “perfection”, not sure I know what that is for us. ;-)
    No “strain” - I’d call it learning & growing my artistic presentation.
    Effort to get an authentic representation of a specific personality & their character.
    Eyes are an essential part of this for me.

    I don’t do shows as I live at the bottom of the planet, miles away from others. I do value sharing online and feedback here is critical to reinforce progress I’m making, plus give me a different perspective on what I’m a achieving.
    Russ, Martin64 and Oda like this.
  16. Wayneb A Fixture

    Russ and Oda like this.
  17. Wayneb A Fixture

    Very well said Mike,
    I think my best creative years are behind me.
    I just like hearing what the younger generation has to say about the creative process. I find it most impressive that your drive is for self satisfaction and if others like it;..so be it. I've always thought that trying to impress other people is a loser. Keep up the good work and may God be with you.

    Russ, Nap, Oda and 1 other person like this.
  18. fogie A Fixture

    Many of us are probably a bit obsessive, but I think few would
    go to the lengths of using a stereo microscope....we can just gaze
    in wonder at the results our Japanese chum achieves. Personally,
    I'm fully aware that I can't match them. By careful observation
    though of the way he structures his faces - the intensity of his
    contrasting highlights and shadows, how he simulates stubble,
    so forth - we can try to emulate them on our larger scale figures,
    and still keep our sanity.

    Russ and Mike - The Kiwi like this.
  19. Mirofsoft A Fixture

    as minimum, at least in 54mm, I always tried to paint eyes
    At my beginning ( almost 50 years ago ) Humbrol and Chinese Ink for the eyes with a pen

    450 01.jpg

    450 01 (3).jpg

    and here on a 120mm ( 40 years ago ) I don't even tried to paint eyes ... but I textured straps and pouches with a first thick acrylic layer ...

    Israëlien eclairci.jpg
  20. Babelfish A Fixture

    I think that's actually the key to the whole eyes thing, especially in smaller scales. Get that part right, and you're probably 80% there.

    - Steve

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