Painting Eyes

SB0613 Stuart Step 13A

Several of you have asked me to show the step by step process of painting eyes. So here goes. The basic shape and lids of the eye are put in first. Remember eyes are almond shaped, not round. Look at your own eyes in the mirror to study the anatomy. The sclera, or white part of the eye, is blocked in being careful not to get it too light. Then the iris, or colored part of the eye is painted over the sclera. Use the darkest value of the eye color for this step. The pupil, or dark center, is now added.

SB0613 Stuart Step 13B

The light is coming into this painting from the upper left. It hits the rounded cornea, the clear part of the eye, making a catch light at about 11 o’clock. I’ll show that in the next step. Then the light shines through the cornea and highlights the iris on the opposite side. In this case it’s at the 5 o’clock position. Stuart’s eyes are a deep brown, so the highlight is a lighter brown.

SB0613 Stuart Step 13C

Here we are adding the catch light. Be careful to place it near the upper lid at the edge of the pupil. Even if your reference photo shows the light in the center of the pupil DO NOT paint it this way. Your subject, human or animal, will appear drugged.

SB0613 Stuart Step 14

Stuart’s complexion is redder than Ben’s, giving his nose and cheeks a warm glow. I begin shaping the nose, the lower part of which is made of cartilage. The nasal dome, or tip of the nose, catches the light.

SB0613 Stuart Step 15

Teeth are a challenge to paint, you tread a fine line. If they are too dark they look dirty; too light and they glare out of the face. I use some of the ocean paint with a bit of MUD added for the base. Then I come back and add highlights. The canvas is covered, tomorrow we’ll begin refining the portrait to get all of the small details correct. Hope you’ll come watch. Hugs, Mikki Senkarik

2 Responses to “Painting Eyes”

  1. Giovanna Barbara Says:

    Querida y dulce amiga:
    Que Dios te proteja siempre para poder regalarnos ltodo el caudal espiritual que tienes reflejadas en tus pinturas abuela Gio

  2. sotxgrannie Says:

    Beautiful portraits, especially the Lady in Red 🙂

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