How to paint vintage eyes

Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
83
Reaction score
89
Location
Arizona
My customizing nemesis is the eyes on vintage customs. Like this twi'lek endor soldier custom.
20210413_034132.jpg

They are quite simple in their design, but I just haven't developed a good and technique that gives me consistent results. Much like this Rex Endor battle custom:
20210413_034144.jpg

Any advise on how you do it would be welcome!
 

Attachments

Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
2,175
Reaction score
958
Try using an extra fine tip marker (White & Black) or just black for the vintage look.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
262
Reaction score
323
I’ve tried using toothpicks, but my results have been hit or miss too.

One of the best customizers out there, sith_fire30, did an interview with Yakface many years ago (Link) and gave some advanced tips on how to paint eyes.

It’s some next level stuff, but tips like using magnifying lenses are practical:

“- Many ask how I am able to paint eyes in such detail and the secret is MAGNIFICATION! I have a head mounted magnifier that I use quite frequently and would never attempt to paint such detail without it. I suggest customizers purchase one and it’s worth every penny.
Eyes require practice, practice and more practice. . .including patience. Don’t push the process and do a little at a time and walk away.
I start out by shading the area around the eye, darker than that of the flesh tone of the subject to show depth. Then I fill the eye opening with black and let dry. Then go back and fill the eye opening with white, but allow the outer edges of the openings the stay black. . .this takes a steady hand. Next I go back and add a heavier outline around the eye opening depending on the subject being a male or female; females having thicker, longer lashes. Then I add the iris using black once again; making sure the iris in both eyes are facing the same direction; if not careful you may end up having a lop sided or cross eyed Jedi LOL! Allow to dry. Then add the color of the iris (brown, blue etc) while allowing the edge of the iris to remain black. Add the pupil and a reflective dot if necessary, but make it slight. I then sometimes add a little gray dry brushing around the white edge of the eye opening to break up any harsh back lines.
Again, practice, practice, practice.”
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
83
Reaction score
89
Location
Arizona
I’ve tried using toothpicks, but my results have been hit or miss too.

One of the best customizers out there, sith_fire30, did an interview with Yakface many years ago (Link) and gave some advanced tips on how to paint eyes.

It’s some next level stuff, but tips like using magnifying lenses are practical:

“- Many ask how I am able to paint eyes in such detail and the secret is MAGNIFICATION! I have a head mounted magnifier that I use quite frequently and would never attempt to paint such detail without it. I suggest customizers purchase one and it’s worth every penny.
Eyes require practice, practice and more practice. . .including patience. Don’t push the process and do a little at a time and walk away.
I start out by shading the area around the eye, darker than that of the flesh tone of the subject to show depth. Then I fill the eye opening with black and let dry. Then go back and fill the eye opening with white, but allow the outer edges of the openings the stay black. . .this takes a steady hand. Next I go back and add a heavier outline around the eye opening depending on the subject being a male or female; females having thicker, longer lashes. Then I add the iris using back once again; making sure the iris in both eyes are facing the same direction; if not careful you may end up having a lop sided or cross eyed Jedi LOL! Allow to dry. Then add the color of the iris (brown, blue etc) while allowing the edge of the iris to remain black. Add the pupil and a reflective dot if necessary, but make it slight. I then sometimes add a little gray dry brushing around the white edge of the eye opening to break up any harsh back lines.
Again, practice, practice, practice.”
This is excellent advice. I'm lad to hear from the rest of you that I'm not the only one that struggles with eyes.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
4,212
Reaction score
3,559
really thin paintbrush with a minimal amount of paint lightly poke until you have the desired size. then do the other side lining up carefully. then a line over them. most people don't think of this but you can always use the same color base (the color of the face) coat to even the eyes out afterward. it takes practice but you can do it!
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
83
Reaction score
89
Location
Arizona
I think the use of magnification could be key with my aging eyes.

I forget we're all about the same age as these vintage figures, and that's old!
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
4,212
Reaction score
3,559
I think the use of magnification could be key with my aging eyes.

I forget we're all about the same age as these vintage figures, and that's old!
Totally recommend it. mine has a florescent light that hums loudly too.
 

Utinniii

Moderator
Joined
Jan 2, 2015
Messages
5,328
Reaction score
890
Location
Canada
Taking pics and then looking at your work also helps. Somehow you always spot those minor muck-ups AFTER you look at your pics.

Damn photos can be unforgiving, especially when you zoom in.

Speaking from my own personal experience, of course.;)
I concur!
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
83
Reaction score
89
Location
Arizona
Alright, I've decided to go out to Hobby Lobby and get a desk magnifying glass with lights. Knowing my luck, my details will still stink but it is worth a try.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
391
Reaction score
170
Location
Netherlands
I actually use a thicker (5mm) brush because it has a really fine pointy tip and it's easier to hold , compared to my thinner brushes it makes finer lines.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
83
Reaction score
89
Location
Arizona
I recently was able to utilize a technique mentioned above that really helped. I still haven't bought a lighted magnifier, but was painting some eyes when "oops" I messed them up. Frustrated I was about to start over again then remembered the technique of using the skin tone to dab over the messed up parts. I was able to correct the eye line without starting all over again.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2009
Messages
391
Reaction score
170
Location
Netherlands
Another technique you can try is to put a gloss finish over the skin tone before you apply the details you can use a moist wooden toothpick as a micro eraser to fine tune your lines or a cotton swab to completely remove them.
 
Top