Continuing on this series of painting Captain Marvel, it’s on to the painting her face. For Captain Marvel, again I wanted warm tones to convey the plasma energy that she can manifest as part of her super powers. To do that I am going to work with warmer skin tone colors and utilize a slightly different set of techniques then what I have showcased when painting her blue and red portions of her suit previously.

Base Colors

For flesh tones I start with the color tone I want the entire flesh tone to be and then shade it down before highlighting it back up. While I did that to an extent on the other colors this time I won’t be using washes and I will spend a little more time focusing on the shadowing.

For the base tone of her flesh I went with Reaper Paints 09068 Rosy Skin. Using a standard size 0 brush, I painted in a couple of slightly thinned with water coats of this skin tone to build up a solid base of the primary color.

Base Coat Applied


I have 3 stages of shading that I am going to do. The first stage is to take Reaper Paints 09067 Rosy Shadow thinned with some water and start to paint in the deeper places on the face and neck area. This includes the eye sockets, underneath the nose, underneath the lips, under the chin, the recesses in the cheeks, around cheek bones, and the inside of her ears.

Initial shadowing layer complete. It’s subtle, but you should be able to see the difference

The next layer of shadows is going to be subtle, but really important. If you look at a photo of someone, you will notice that there are often places on the face that are very dark in shadow. Places like under the cheeks and chin, hairline, depth of the ears, and so on. If you look at this picture of myself, you can see how it is darker under my eyes, around the color of my shirt, the deep spots in my ears and so forth. I need to reflect that on the models face as well.

Keeping with the warm tones I have selected for the model, I went with a 50/50 mix of Reaper Paints 09109 Ruddy Leather with Rosy Shadow and thinned with some water. Now you should be starting to see some pronounced shadows on the figures face. It’s not important to worry about blending these lines at this point. That part’s coming soon.

Shading is progressing


At this point, I want to blend the shaded areas back to the base tone in most places so that the transition is harder to notice. Some areas like hair lines such as behind the ears, there isn’t any work, but if you look at the neck and cheeks of the model you can see a pretty tramatic shift in tone. I want to maintain that deeper tone in the cheek I want to make it gradually shift more so that it looks more natural. It’s useful to refer to a reference picture of someone’s face at this point. Don’t use a miniature for this, but an actual face. I find it’s more useful and will help you understand where to put the blends.

To get started I made a mix of 50/50 Rosy Shadow and Rosy Skin with a little water and started to build that transition from the darker solid Rosy Shadow areas. I then moved to pure Rosy Skin and water and touched the raised areas with a bit more to bring it back to the original color.

Blended back to Rosy Flesh on the facial features


So far, I am fairly pleased with where this is going, but it’s time to lighten up the facial features and start to work in accentuate the way I want light to feel like it’s hitting the model. For this I started with a mix of 50/50 Reaper Paints 09069 Rosy Highlight and Rosy Skin and focused on areas such as the bridge of the nose, forehead, tops of the cheeks, back of neck, and tops of the ears. I then blended this until I had pure Rosy Highlight and narrowed down the focus areas to just the raised points.

The face wasn’t quite light enough in color so I blended in Reaper Paints 29824 Maiden Flesh with the Rosy Highlight to do some touch points around the forehead, tops of the cheeks and the bridge of the nose. I then applied straight Maiden Flesh to the very tips of areas where I wanted the brightest skin tones. This completed the initial stages of highlighting.

Highlighting complete. The flesh tones are starting to come together

Finishing touches

To finish up the flesh tone I wanted to warm up the face so I made an extremely thin wash with Reaper Paints 29802 Brilliant Red and Liquitex Glazing Medium. Even though it was super thin, it really made a bit of a mess that I then had to blend back in by repeating some of the highlighting process. When finished, I was very happy with the result.

Little features still remain that need to be addressed. These things are items like the lips, eyebrows, and the eyes themselves. I will start with how I approach eyes.

Painting the eye itself is about a tiny brush and a steady hand. This is when I drop down to very tiny brush, roughly a 4/0 size brush. I will then take a splash of Reaper Paints 61117 Factory White and thin with some water and then paint in the white of the eye. It can be useful to add Liquitex Flow Aid to the white and water. This is important because the use of such a tiny brush the paint can dry from the time it leaves the pallet to when it hits the model. Once the white is dry, I will do the same with Reaper Paints 09037 Pure Black to paint in the pupil. On a model of this scale I don’t find it’s important to paint in the iris. It’s enough work to just get the dot in and at 2-3 feet viewing distance noone will really notice anyways.

For the lips, I carefully painted those with Pure Black. Then I used the Flow Aid to Reaper Paints 09402 Heraldic Red to add red tone to the lips. I had to do this in a couple of layers before I was happy with the depth of coverage. Then I touched it with a bit of Brilliant Red to really brighten the lips. I wouldn’t say this is the best technique to paint lips, but this is how I did it on this model.

For the eyebrows I wanted to make sure I used something that showed up. Blonde eyebrows on Caucasian flesh tone just doesn’t work. You will just spend time painting your blonde color and it won’t show up at any kind of distance. What you will end up having to do is put some darkened colors around the blonde. By the time you are done, it’s just the dark color anyways. So instead of going this methodology, I used Reaper Paints 09244 Muddy Soil and again a some Flow Aid to paint in just a slight eyebrow over the eye. Overall, the effect works on this model though I did have to go back and do a little touch up of the flesh tone by just using some of the Rosy Skin or Maiden Flesh based on the spot on the model to match the layer underneath.

Close up of the finished flesh tone. It looks rough due to the zooming in
Backed out at about a foot away from the camera you can see the effect as it will be on the table normally

Wrapping Up

Overall, this is another step on the model that I am really quite pleased with how it turned out. I need to work on my facial painting techniques still, but hopefully you can take away some ideas and thoughts on how to make your facial features look even more impressive.

List of products used in this paint guide:

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