Can you help me paint an older lady char­ac­ter please?

Jen Buck­ley, Aus­tralia

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An­swer

Tony replies

Paint­ing age into a head is mostly a mat­ter of mak­ing the skin less taught around the bones and adding wrin­kles. Depend­ing on the de­meanour of a per­son, those wrin­kles will show up in dif­fer­ent places. Smil­ing cre­ates a lot of folds around the bot­tom and sides of the eyes, while scowl­ing will deepen the lines of the brow and top lip. Pay at­ten­tion to the ar­eas that have rounded off and paint them ac­cord­ingly, adding in the ef­fects of grav­ity wher­ever you see a cheek or nose that sags.

Don’t think of wrin­kles as lines on the face, but as hair-thin trenches. If the light’s an­gle can get in to them, the wrin­kle won’t be very vis­i­ble. If it can’t get in­side the trench, how­ever, the fold will show up. You can then just paint the light on to the face as nor­mal – just don’t paint it in any­where the vis­i­ble wrin­kles are.

One of the most im­por­tant things to re­mem­ber when paint­ing wrin­kles is that you don’t need to draw them on. Just leave gaps in the light.

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