I was asked to do a tutorial on faces and eyes, so here it is. I got pictures on my phone as I went through the stages, so the picture quality is not awesome for a number of them. Hopefully it's enough to get the idea across.
Let's start with the colors I'm using, with the top highlight on the left and the deepest shadow on the right:
Note the value range there. It's not white to black, but it's a lot. Contrast is important all across a figure, but on the face you're trying to highlight some pretty small details, and it's also likely to be a focal point of the figure, so it's particularly important there.
So here's my figure with the base coat (that's the middle tone above) in place. I've also based coated his shirt and hair. I'm not going to finish them in this tutorial, but having some color on them makes it easier to photograph. It also looks weird to have the face floating in a sea of white.
In the process of putting on the base coat, I realized that this figure didn't cast properly; the end of his nose is missing. That's OK, we'll try to fix it with paint. It's also worth noting that this figure has relatively large eyes - thank you, Derek Schubert!
With the shadows and highlights, you want to define the features of the face - the eyes, cheek bones, nose, and mouth. So I'm going to lay in my first round of shadows, placing them to help define those details.
What I've done here is add shadow in the following spots:
- The line between his lips
- The the indentation just below his lower lip.
- Along either side of his nose, and the line underneath it.
- Filled in the entire eye socket
- Around the outside of his face, where his skin meets the hair. Because of the way his head is tilted, I put a wider shadow area on the right side of his face. It would be more in shadow because it is tilted down.
- A roughly triangular area under each cheekbone.
- This figure has sharply sculpted creases going from the bottom of the nose to the corners of his mouth, so I placed shadows there as well. You want to be careful with this one; it's easy to overdo it and make the face look very craggy, which ages the appearance of the face.
- Bottom of the chin and the parts of his neck that are shaded by the chin. I was generous with the darker color here because the area would be mostly in shadow.
- The little divot that's the inside of his ear.
- The top of his cheekbones
- The curve on the front of his chin. Normally this would go in the center, but since his head is tilted, I placed it at the point in the curve that is facing upwards.
- The spot above his lip and below his nose that's facing more or less upwards
- His ear lobe. If his hair wasn't covering it, I'd have placed a highlight on the top of his ear as well.
- The top of his nose, and a small dot on either side of the for the bump of the nostrils. This is where we start hiding the defect of his nose. I've place the highlight right down the middle, just as I would have if his nose wasn't missing the end. I'll have to over exaggerate that highlight, but having the light stripe there will help convince the viewer that there's a full nose there, catching light from above.