Wednesday, 6 February 2013


The eyes are so important in a portrait that I am devoting a second blog to them.
To view my Gallery please visit Daily Paintworks.

This painting is SOLD but I'm happy to take a commission for a similar work. Contact me to inquire about prints and Art cards.

Observation is the key to any painting but with portraits it is crucial to creating an accurate rendition. It may seem rudimentary, but there are two eye lids, one above and one below; the lower lid is often forgotten by beginners. Darken the crease above the lid, highlight the upper lid and place the lower lid in subtle shadow. Pay attention to the cheekbone and brow ridge which form the eye socket and give the eye it's third dimension.  

As with most facial features use subtle broken lines and vary the size and direction of the brushstrokes according to the features. Most of the modelling should be subtle with delicate changes in colour. Use the colour across the colour wheel to create colourful greys for the shadows. The eye should now appear securely seated in its socket.

Next comes the eyeball. Remember that even though we can't see much of it the eye is a ball and should be modeled in the same way you would an orange. The white of the eye is not actually white and you may have more success if you try subtle shades of colourful greys, blues and skin tones to prevent the zombie look.

Pay particular attention to the colour of the eyes. No two people have the same eye colour; the Duchess has beautiful eyes which appear blue, green or brown in different light so pay attention to where you are depicting her, in the sun, rain, inside or outside etc. On the original call for submissions listen to what the commissioned Artist said about her eyes, after all he was alone in a room with her, not 200 feet away in a crowd.

How to Paint a Realistic Eye - Mark Crilley [Coloring Tutorial] - Amazing!
Good luck to all Artists feverishly painting away for the submission deadline of the Duchess of Cambridge Challenge. Remember any 2D medium and style is acceptable.  Submissions are open Feb 8th when I hope to have a method set up for posting them on this blog. 

Cat # 13031 Geisha Eyes - Posted as # 8 on Leslie Saeta Weekend Post Feb 10th