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Sometimes: Eyes don't have it

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by kansas kid, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. kansas kid Well-Known Member

    OK, I’ll admit that I’m going out on a limb here, once again. And for most of you this won’t be something you’d be interested in commenting on. However, I am always trying to think about the beginners and trying to think about ways to help them understand the basics. And of course, I’m hoping there are those of the regulars, and the very skilled modelers who might be willing to add their comments.
    A number of times with figures that I’ve purchased I’ve noticed that the eyes are difficult to paint because of unusual sculpting practices. The figure from Verlinden I’m now trying to improve has some major problems with how the eyes, or the opening for the eyes were completed. Look at the colored pencil sketch I’ve done below that indicates the problem at letter “A.”. The eye opening is cut back into the head. And although I’ve tried to paint the eyes a number of times, each time I’m still getting that “deer in the headlights” syndrome. Not kewl, Cartman.

    And on another figure website I saw a discussion about sculpting the eyes where the sculptor put an indentation or hole where the iris would go, and the question was asked by a forum poster what did other painters think about that style of sculpting eyes. It seems most of the responders wanted the eyes to be just rounded surfaces between the upper and lower eye lids. So that it would be easier to paint in the iris on that flat surface. And that would be what I was think is the way to sculpt these faces.
    Below is two pictures that show my attempt to deal with the problem with this Verlinden WWII 120mm US Navy Pilot figure. I’ve used apoxy putty to fill in the recessed area that you see in the colored pencil sketch and hope to paint in the eyes once again, on a smoother surface.
    So I am wondering if anyone would like to comment about this point. How do you deal with this problem of recessed eyes?
    Kind regards, Miami Jayhawk

    Attached Files:

  2. Steve Well-Known Member

    I find this all of the time, Rick. Usually it seems the larger the figure the more likely this is to occur. I do the same thing you do--fill in the hole--only I use 5 min epoxy. My pal Bob Davis uses pre-cast eyeballs around which the lids are sculpted. Maybe we should get him to give seminars as his eyes are a joy to paint.--
  3. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member


    What I would suggest to do is paint the eye white like you have done, then go back with flesh tone and trim it down, once you have the eye trimmed to your liking, paint the upper area of the eyeball in a black red, and upper part of the lower eyelid with same mix with more red in it. This will give you control of where the eyeball is, and will frame the eye nicely. Hope this makes sense, wish I could draw and it would be easy to show!
  4. gothicgeek A Fixture

    i use MS or Milliput, fill the indent and paint the rest in, with the little pits for iris's like on the Zhukov bust, again fill it and paint it in!


    nice sketch BTW .
  5. housecarl A Fixture

    Feeling the indent allows more scope for implying a glance. By painting the iris off centre, also this avoids the Zombie look.
  6. megroot A Fixture

    i also paint the eyeballs off white. Then laying in the iris and pupil.
    But the last time i've done it like Danillo Cartacci wrote down. Not painting the eyeballs white but into the skincolor. He write: "the white off the eye is more a skincolor because the white fade with the skincolor".
    From that moment on the world looks easyer now ;)

  7. 1969 A Fixture

    I totally sympathise with you Rick when it comes to painting this type of sculpted eye and i dont understand why its done this way.
    To gaurentee i have perfect eyes to paint on my own sculpts i now always use steel ball bearings as the basis of the eye and sculpt the eye lids over them, this gives you a great surface to paint onto and ensure both eyes are equal size, i have seen this method used down to as small as 1/48 scale.

    Real nice bit of art to describe the problem by the way,

    All the best mate,

  8. kansas kid Well-Known Member

    Thanks for responding fellow Planeteers . . .

    Thank you to William Scott, Anders, Gothicgeek Mark Benette, Housecarl, and
    Marc van Megroot, for responding to my querry. I will start by saying, one of
    my well rehearsed sayings is: "Effective Communication is very difficult to
    achieve!" And I believe that is true. The main reason why I included the
    coloured pencil sketch, was an attempt to make sense of what I was writing. But
    I screwed up!!! I didn't tell you that the pictures of the Pilot are showing the
    Aves Apoxy Sculpt (which is white when mixed together) placed in the eyes
    and there has been no paint added at this point. And I think from some of the
    comments about using off white — and I do that; mixing buff with white for
    the "whites" of the eyes — to paint the base colour of the eye, indicates that
    I didn't do a very good job of explaining. My own 'saying' kind of bit me in the
    behind. Hummmm. :)

    William: Thanks for your comments. My friend Steve Readdie, also a PF
    regular uses ball bearings for the eyeball and then sculpts the eye lids
    above and below the eye ball, similiar to your friend Bob Davis.

    Anders: Thanks for the suggestion Anders about the black red for the uppa'
    eyelid and the black w/ more red for the lower lid. I will take that
    suggestion to heart. . . as I remember some of the beautiful figure work
    you do that I've seen in real time. As I've said before, the photos do not do
    justice to your talent.

    Mark: Thanks for responding to my dilemma, mate. Thanks for the kind
    words about my coloured pencil quicky sketch. Coloured pencils are a lot
    of fun to work with and I hope to do some serious drawing on coloured
    Canson Construction Paper in the future, as I did WWI aircraft renderings
    years and years ago. Well, I don't need to get into that. ;);)

    HouseCarl: Hey mate, you've now got a gyrating New Year's Eve kiddo for
    your Avatar. Clever. Thanks for your comments. Like you, sometimes I do
    put the eyes off center. I like the effect. Affect???

    Marc van Megroot: Thanks for responding Marc. Yes, you used the term
    skincolour and I used the term buff meaning the same thing. Of course,
    since the buff is somewhat more brown, I add a little white to it.

  9. gordy Well-Known Member

    I can understand why sculptors in larger scales, 1/9 and up, would have an indentation for the iris. It is all part of the pose.

    I have done busts in 1/9 (for the very manufacture listed above ;) ) and every time the box art painter would cock it up with painting the irises everywhere but where they were intended to go. (and would glue the head neck in some unnatural angle, but that is my fault for not keying the pieces... )

    The glance of a bust is harmonious to the position of the head and relation of the shoulders, not following that it would 'break' the entire look of the piece, wrecking the presence.
  10. kansas kid Well-Known Member

    A point definitely well taken. . .

    Hello to Steve and Gordy:

    Steve: Thanks for taking time to respond here, my friend. In fact I mentioned
    your way of using ball bearings for eyes in one of my posts. That is a great
    idea, of course. But I'm not a sculptor, so I won't be doing any 'eyes' from
    scratch. Appreciate the kind remarks about my rather quick sketch, mate.

    Gordy: Indeed, your point is definitely well taken. The slant of the shoulders,
    neck, and the head, definitely should be considered when deciding where to
    paint the eyeballs, or I should say, the Iris. Whether straight forward, or at
    a glance to one side or the other, the position of the "anatomy" should
    definitely be given first consideration. After all, we're trying to create the
    ever illusive 'illusion' of reality here, . . . in miniature.

    Thanks gentlemen for taking time to respond. Sorry it took me a while to
    see these posts. I went to see the film Sherlock Holmes. OhMa'Gosh!
    It is just a super film. Robert Downey, Jr. is marvelous and the way they
    use computer graphics to create old London of the Victorian era is just
    remarkable. A definitely must see movie that will keep you on the edge of
    your seat. And oh yes, the famous Professor Moriarty from the pages of Sir
    Arthur Conin Doyle (please excuse the poor spelling) famous novels of the
    Baker Street Sleuth is also involved, as we find out at the end. Does this
    mean a sequel? Another Robt. Downey, Jr. Sherlock Holmes film????

  11. Steve Well-Known Member

    If one looks at Mike Good's post showing his latest sculpt the eyes are a textbook (for me, of course) example of a sculptor making painter friendly eyes.
  12. kansas kid Well-Known Member

    Steve, I just saw that post. . .

    Hi Steve:

    I just saw that post, and I could NOT agree with you more.


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