A few days ago, someone asked how to paint eyes on the WAB mailing list. This is how I do it.
First off, don’t paint eyes in any scale smaller than 25mm. It’s just not worth it. Next, in 25mm, all you really have to do — even for painting competion class paintjobs — is to suggest eyes. Some people try to paint fully detailed eyes, with irises, pupils and whatnot. More often than not, this leads to the oh my god, I just saw the Pope naked look of surprise and abject horror on the figure. Don’t do this.
After putting the shadow layer on the face, including the eye sockets (I use Vallejo Mahogany Brown for this), I take a 000 brush and paint a horizontal stripe in the eye socket in Vallejo Beige. Next, I put two vertical stripes in Vallejo Matt Black in matching positions on both eyes and that’s it. Done.
The tricky part to all of this is to get the black dots/stripes to match, so your figure does not look like Marty Feldman in a dizzy spell. I don’t have a hard and fast solution to this, just a tip: start with the ‘difficult’ eye. This is the same hand eye as the hand you use to hold the brush. For me, as I’m left handed, it’s the figure’s left eye, for the other 90% of the world, it’s the right. This is the most difficult eye to do because to paint it, you have to have the brush reach over the figure’s nose, so you can’t hold it as flat as you can with the other eye. Therefore, dot that eye’s pupil first, and match the other one to it. This way you get a figure that has both eyes looking at the same spot, though not necessarily the spot you intended.
For examples of this, just look through the miniature photos on my Flickr account.