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Painting 1/35 Scale Heads Using Oils "The Bannerman Way" Part 2

Mark Bannerman


The next step is to apply another dark shadow using Raw Umber with a touch of Lamp black oils mixed with Humbrol paint thinner (the yellow bottle). Remember to keep it tainted thinner and not thinned paint ! I applied selectively with a sharp "OO" brush in all creases,  in mouth, dropped a speck in each eye socket, nostrils, around the nose, in and around the ear and along the hair line. You can see face looks very blotchy but essentially, you can actually see two shadows - the original reddish one and the new one which is considerably darker. Note that the eye sockets are completely dark while the bags under the eyes are lighter darker shade


Just as the new wash is getting dry (8-10 minutes), moisten your brush and go over those areas which overlapped or look overdone. This is simply to clear up the face and sharpen up the details. Wipe away excess or push dark paint back in to creases. Use your moist brush and lightly stroke to protruding parts of the face to remove any dark wash from the highlight points. The photo shows the results once this step has been done. Now all the deep shadows are done.  This figure is starting to look a lot like...Paul Fraser ?! One of my local modelling colleagues :)


On to the application of flesh. On a piece of plastic sheet, I dab a blob of Titanium White, Burnt Sienna, and Gold Ochre. Prepare flesh mix by adding Ochre,  Sienna, and White to a 2:1:4 ratio (middle blob). Fiddle until you like the colour. Remember, wet oil colours tend to dry to a slightly darker shade so be liberal with the white!  I transfer two little blobs of the base flesh to the right and two more to the left right. I add 30% more white to the first blob on right and the extreme right gets 2/3 more white. These are the highlights. Same applies to the left side accept with Burnt Sienna which will be the shadow paints.


I apply a very thin layer of paint from the middle blob which is the base. A *very* thin layer by jabbing the paint on softly to the entire face , neck and hands, always avoiding both the eye sockets and avoid directly painting in flesh where you have residue from your second shadow/wash application. It should be thinly spread out and translucent enough so that the base colour be visible through the fresh flesh oil paint. Oil colours in general, and particularly white, are translucent in nature and this is favourable. Let this dry for two hours under direct light. The photo was taken right after the paint was applied - hence it is shiny and this will dull down as it dries.


Before I get into highlights, shadows, lips, 5'o clock etc... Let's do the eyes. Because my digital cannot actually zoom in on the eye, I have to resort to paper and pen to show you how I approach the eyes. The photo represents a drawing of the left eye socket. If you look in the previous frames, you will see that the sockets are a very dark colour as a result of your wash.


With a toothpick and optivisor, I add a spec of white oil mixed with Humbrol Flesh in the centre of the socket and with my toothpick, pull a bit of paint from both ends of the spec to fill the inside of the shape as the socket,  always leaving a thin line of the dark colour intact. This is a bit meticulous but a little patience will really do it.


Once the whitish paint is dry, I add a spec of dark brown for the iris. I usually go on left side or right side because dead on looks never quite work out. You will note the iris is not a perfect circle but rather and a circle with its top and bottom cropped off. That is the look you want and the way to achieve this is simply moving paint around with the tip of your toothpick. There is no magic in this. Just a little practice and it will work


...and the toothpick splinters that make this last task so much easier.

Next week , we'll wrap up this project by adding more shadows, applying highlights and shadows, "rosy" the cheeks, 5 o'clock shadow, hair, teeth, lips, hi-highlights and essentially finish him off. Wrap your oil paints in Saran Wrap, place in freezer so that you can use same paints in future.

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