A subtle application of inks can transform the face of a figure from lifeless to vital quickly and easily.
The face of this Dark Angels tactical sergeant was painted from pale purple grey in the shadows, up through a yellowy skintone, and highlighted with fair skin. It’s ok, but it’s definitely missing something.
The application of very thinly glazed inks can take that same face and give it far more personality and life.
The thing to keep in mind is that the face can be broken down into three main zones of color. The human forehead is slightly yellow, the nose, cheeks, and lips are reddish, and the jawline is slightly blue.
When glazing the red, focus upon the bulb of the nose and tops of the cheeks. I’ve also glazed blue onto the scalp to suggest a shaved head rather than baldness. Space marines don’t go bald, man!
A drunken dwarf can stand a nice rosy nose & cheeks, while you need to go veeery light with the blue on female figures… unless they’re beardy lady-dwarves!
Don’t overdo the red on the lips: lips that more closely match the color of the surrounding skin look more tense and aggressive. In any event you can always add more, but you can’t take it off.
Two notes on inks:
1) They take a while to dry. Be patient or you’ll start ripping the color off in spots and create a mess. Experience and all that.
2) Inks are transparent, so you need to do all your highlighting & shadows first, because it will be your last (or almost your last) step in the process.
Use these quick tricks on your next figure to breathe a little life into him!