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Painting black eyes

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  • Painting black eyes

    Normally I paint the eyes of my lil' figures. But I just finished a lil' native guy with slightly reddish brown skin and had trouble painting the eyes with black paint over a white background. The black paint seems to blot. With most of my carvings, I paint the eyes blue or brown (on a white background), and these two paint colors don't seem to cause the same problem?

    Any suggestions, other than not using black paint??
    Last edited by Rodster; 01-17-2023, 03:30 PM.

  • #2
    I use black all the time with no problem. Make sure the eye is smooth and to chips or dangly things. Paint the white, then dry it with a blow dryer. Then use a round toothpick to apply the black and blow dry again. Don't thin the black, usually.
    'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"


    • #3
      I like to add a little dimension to my eyes so I carefully apply a white product called Tulip Puffy. I leave it to dry for 24 hours and then use a very fine brush or a toothpick to first add the black iris and then a very small pointed sewing pin to apply the glint. After I coat the entire carving with a fixative or acrylic poly I like to cover the eyes with a light coat of Triple Thick. Not only does it make the eyes pop but it helps hide any imperfections. The one trouble with Triple Thick is it's expensive and doesn't have that long a shelf life after it's opened.


      • #4
        Like the idea of 'tulip puffy' can you sent a picture of this flacon please?? Is this a '3D' colour??


        • #5
          I paint the eye white, then paint the iris (brown, blue, green, etc.), and finally the pupil is painted black. After all is dry, I will add a bit of either Nail Polish top coat (Sally Hansen's, etc.) or Mod Podge (used in scrapbooking). Both dry crystal clear, although the nail polish has an odor from the acetone in it. With either of these, no white dot is needed on the eye - any nearby light source such as a window or a light bulb will be reflected by the eye and look realistic. If you have either of these, paint an eye on a piece of scrap and try it.

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          • #7
            Thanks Eddy, with my next a..n-order it will jump in my basket (have to try many different things )


            • #8
              Sound like your paint is too thin could be the binder is thick You may want to use artist acrylic paint in tubes or let the paint dry and do layers of paint for a solid color. A lot of paint is semi-transparent and you can see under paint for an artistic reason. If you want solid black on top of another color... the paint must be Opaque paint is paint that is not transparent. It is one of the characteristics of the paint based on the pigment and light absorbency.

              Opaque colors do not allow light to pass through the color, they reflect the light, and offer the best coverage and hiding properties.

              There is also semi-opaque paint which allows some light to go through the coat.

              In general, each brand will mention it on the label. Artist-grade paint is supposed to be more opaque than student-grade as professional paint contains more pigment. And your hobby paints are more often than not semi-transparent.
              Last edited by DiLeon; 01-20-2023, 11:03 AM.
              . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di


              • #9
                Good thoughts above. Thank you all.

                An artist friend told me black paint is the absence of color (whatever that means?). He suggested I use dark brown paint mixed with burnt umber. This should be applied with a toothpick over a painted white background that is allowed to dry.

                I think this makes sense. I haven't had any trouble painting brown eyes in the past (just black).