Tutorial: Advanced – Make it Up: Female Faces, and Make-Up

Welcome back, painters!

This is another article in my advanced series, where I demonstrate some simple techniques in making your female miniatures look feminine. I will cover some basic concepts in achieving female skin tones, and I will go into great detail on how to apply make-up, and proper feminine looking eyebrows to your women on the battlefield. With a few simple steps, you can add that extra touch to push your female models over the top, and get them to look their best on the battlefield, as well as the runway! I mean, what female warrior wouldn’t want to look her best when confronting her foes? Right??
I’ll be covering white/Caucasion human/demi-human faces and make-up only in this article, and other skin colours will covered in a future article(s). I’ll touch briefly on these skin types, but the colours I use for make-up are best suited for white/Caucasian skin types. I will demonstrate which colours are best to use, and how to apply subtle make-up, as you want female warriors to look good, but not like Ladies of the Night. These techniques are rather simple, and completed in a few easy steps.
All paint colours mentioned are Formula P3, unless stated otherwise.

For this particular tutorial, I’ll be using the Epic version of Skarre from Privateer Press, Skarre, Queen of the Broken Coast. She has one of the most characterful, and beautiful faces in the entire line, and she works very well for demonstrating techniques in applying make-up for humans.

Make up can be applied in a simple 5-step process, and doesn’t take very much work at all, so long as you have good brush control, and know what you’re wanting for your final colour scheme. It’s always best to match the make-up to the rest of the colour scheme, as it will cause it to be subtle, and blend in well with the rest of the figure. Nothing is worse than having overly red cheeks, and tacky blue eyeshadow on your female models.

Let’s get started!

Female Skin Tones:
The difference between male and female skin tones is pretty subtle. There are a few key things to note;

  1. Female skin should have softer shadows
  2. Females should have a smoother complexion than males
  3. Female skin colour should generally be lighter than a male

All of these methods presented below are for painting the face, but similar techniques will work for the rest of the body. This article’s focus is the face, and thus, the main area of focus will be there.

So, when painting skin on females, regardless of skin colour or race, it should have softer blends between the shadows and highlights. They shouldn’t have as dark a shade for their skin, and bring the highlights up brighter than you would for males.

For white females, I usually start with a base mid-tone of Midlund Flesh. It has a nice rose tint, and works excellent under what I use for highlighting white females; Ryn Flesh. For a shade on white skin, I’ll use Midlund Flesh with a spot of Khadric Flesh mixed in. Keep the shade very close to the mid tone. Be careful not to go too dark, and just shade the sides of the nose, under the brow ridge, around the edges where clothing meets skin, and in the eye sockets. Midlund Flesh should be fine for your shades almost everywhere else on white, female skin. For the first highlights, I’ll use Midlund Flesh with Ryn Flesh mixed in, and then use pure Ryn Flesh. For final highlights, or if I want a paler looking skin, I’ll mix in either Menoth White Highlight, or Morrow White. Morrow White I’ll only use for elvish, or very pale skin tones.

For any colour of skin, bring the highlight up to an extreme; hit the very top of the cheeks, eyelids, tip of the nose, eyebrow ridge, and forehead. This will get it to look natural, and give it a healthy shine.

For black female skin, I usually start with the base shadow;Gun Corps Brown, with a spot of Umbral Umber. This is then highlighted up by mixing in Beast Hide into the base colour mix. For extreme highlights, I’ll then mix in Menoth White Highlight, and bring the highlight up until it’s almost pure white, and just being little dots on the upper most surfaces of the skin.

East Indian skin uses similar colours to black skin, except the shade wont have any Umbral Umber mixed in. For Asian skin, I’ll mix in a tiny bit of Moldy Ochre into my initial base skin mix of Beast Hide, and then highlight with Menoth White Highlight. I’ll post an article on painting the different human racial types of skin that will go in depth, and have a great deal of focus on these skin types at a future date.

Once the face is completely painted, I’ll paint in the eyes, and then get to work on the make-up. If you need help painting the eyes, and detailing the face, just check my Painting Expressive Faces, and Eyes tutorial.

All of my make-up is always painted on with a W&N Series 7 round, size 0.

Step 1: Skarre has had her skin base, shaded, and highlighted. I’ve painted in the eyes as well.

Some of the shadows were a bit dark, so I went back in, and touched them up with a thin glaze or two of Ryn Flesh to lighten them up. This will also help smooth out the sharp edges of shadow. When you’re painting females with make-up, leave the outline around the eye a little thicker. That black line will accentuate the eye, and it’ll make your miniature appear to be wearing black eye-liner.

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Step 2: I then painted in the eyebrows with Umbral Umber. Never, and I mean NEVER, paint eyebrows black. Even if the model has black hair. It’s too dark, and has far too much contrast on a female’s pale skin.

The eyebrows should start thicker toward the nose, and taper out to very thin when they end just about the edge of the eye.

Try not to paint them too thick, as they should be very fine, thin lines. If they’re too thick, your female will lose her feminine touch with big, bushy eyebrows. They shouldn’t go all the way to the temple, and should end just above the edge of the eye to be the most visually appealing.

Step 3: Once you have the eyebrows painted on, you can then add eyeshadow. I almost always match the eyeshadow and lipstick to the overall colour scheme of the piece.

Since this Skarre will have lots of purples, and warm colours, I opted to shade the eyes with Beaten Purple, and the lips the same. If you are unsure of the colour scheme, Bastion Gray works excellent for women’s eyeshadow colour, and Sanguine Base works excellently for lip colour. Neither of these will clash with just about any scheme, and will look like subtle make-up, without over-doing it.

Mix your chosen colour in with Ryn Flesh. Make sure it’s only slightly tinted to the colour of choice. It should be at least a 3:1 ratio of Ryn Flesh to eyeshadow colour.

Paint the entire ridge above the eye, but don’t paint the eyelid. The eyeshadow will look best when it runs all the way up to the eyebrow, and you have the bright highlight of eyelid at the bottom. Just like real make-up, it’s it meant to accentuate the eye.

For the lips, I simply mixed in one more part Beaten Purple into the Ryn Flesh, Beaten Purple mix for the eyeshadow. The bottom lip should always be larger for the ‘pouty’ fashion model appeal. The top lip should be painted with the very tip of your brush and will be about half the thickness of the bottom lip. Again, subtlety is key, or your girl is going to look like a hooker (That’s fine if you have a model that’s a prostitute, but for this exercise, it’s not!).

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Step 4: To blush the cheeks, Sanguine Base works the best. Mix it at least 4:1 Ryn Flesh to Sanguine Base, or it’ll be too red. Like all of the other make-up in this article, be subtle. If you want to have flushed cheeks, then increase the ratio of Sanguine Base. I prefer just a slight tint on the cheek, as it looks more realistic, and not painted on.

Start under the bottom eyelid, and feather out the colour towards the bottom of the cheek. Don’t go all the way up to the bottom of the eye. Start under the bottom eyelid, or where the eyelid should be if it hasn’t been sculpted on.

If you find the colour is too dark, a thin glaze of Ryn Flesh will tone it down, and get it looking less obvious. That is what I did with Skarre in this example. It will also help it to look less like make-up, and more like a natural flushing of the cheeks.

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Step 5: A highlight was added to the bottom lip, by adding in Menoth White Highlight into the base lip colour of Ryn Flesh and Beaten Purple. You want this highlight to be almost pure white. Paint a thin line on the bottom lip, leaving an outline of the base colour all around it. If you botch this highlight, just repaint the lip, and try again.

For a further highlight, you can add a smaller line of pure Menoth White Highlight inside the already painted highlight for further depth and shine on the lip.

And that is how you paint make-up on your female minatures!
Easy, isn’t it?

Other examples of female make-up:

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[singlepic id=356 w=320 h=240 float=center]

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Until next time Hand Cannoneers,

Keep the Paint Flowin’!


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One Comment;

  1. Eric said:

    Thnaks for the tutorial! You’re Jr. Warcaster looks great as well.

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