Can you help me paint an older lady character please?
Jen Buckley, Australia
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.