Recently when painting my Mummy bust from Black Heart Models , I knew that I wanted to do something with the eyes that I have never done before which was "dead eyes". According to everyone who has seen it and matching up with reference photos, I am happy to say that my attempt went well. With that said, I figured that I would share what I did with all of you and took the time to create this tutorial.
I zenithal primed the mummy, which shows on the eyes as well. If you are unfamiliar with what zenithal priming is, we have a video on our Metalhead Minis YouTube channel that you can check out here: How to Zenithal Prime. You can feel free to fill in the eyes fully with black primer , or white primer, or leave it zenithal like how I have it. It all depends on how you want it to look (how dark or how bright). In the case of this mummy I was painting, I wanted it to look more realistic, more on the dark and dingy looking side.
Dead eyes seem to have a bluish look to them in the reference photos that I saw. I kept that in mind, along with the fact that my mummy had some greens and browns in it and wanted it all to tie together. For the eyeball colors, I chose Reaper Master Series in Soft Blue and Camouflage Green. I made sure not to choose bright colors to also keep that dingy look. I did a mix about 2/3 Soft Blue and 1/3 camouflage green to do the eyeballs.
I painted in the blue/green for the dead eyeballs. I made sure to do a lit up close up and another a little further away so that you can see the difference in how the blue/green mix looks when applied.
After I painted in the eyes, I lined the outside of them with Reaper Master Series in Nightshade Purple. Night shade Purple is one of my favorite shadow colors. It is also a good contrast color for browns and greens.
On the pallet, I added the Nightshade purple for the outlining and also added soft blue. I added the soft blue for the more highlighted areas of the eyeball so that it will be more visible for the next step.
Now here is where the "dead eyes" effects magic happens. For the glaze over color, I chose Vallejo Model Color in German Yellow . I figured this color would be best because it has that sorta pus colored yellow, not lively, etc. Also you don't want to use pure white unless you want a cartoonish look. I thinned the paint down to a glaze (ratio of 1 drop of paint and 7 drops of water. I then layered on the color until I was happy with how it looked. Basically the objective is to have the glaze over color cover up the bluish eyes, but not to the point where you cant see the bluish-ness show through.
You can see in the photos that the german yellow is glazed over the blue and was also painted in as the "white" of the eyes. Once I finished painting in the eyes, I came back in with the Nightshade purple to line the eyes and make them standout more. You can of course paint in the white to make the shining glint in the eyes if you want to. For the varnish I used GW 'Ardcoat which is a gloss varnish. The gloss varnish part is VERY important in order to give a more realistic effect.
Here is the finished result of the eyes. I am happy with how they came out and I hope if anything that this tutorial I wrote helps and gives you ideas on how you can paint "dead eyes" on a horror/undead figure for your figure/s.
Until next time!
Stay crispy in milk!
Keep on painting!