Painting Eyes

The Eyes Have It!
The Eyes Have It!
What's the saying? "The eyes are the window to the soul"? Maybe I spend too much time getting them right in my paintings but when done well, the subject comes alive! When that happens, I am spurred on to finish the painting. Here are the steps I use when painting eyes:

Step 1. Paint the iris color (burnt sienna in this example) being careful to save a highlight.

Step 2. Paint the dark pupil (payne's gray and burnt sienna) and outline the iris. Continue to save the highlight.

Step 3. Darken the iris at the top. The upper lid usually casts a shadow so this makes the eye more realistic.

Step 4. Define the area immediately outside the eye.

Step 5. Soften the outside right edge of highlight by lifting color with a stiff damp brush. Lift additional color within the pupil out onto the iris just below this highlight. Drop in a bit of soft blue on the outside right edges of the highlight. Now the eye looks wet and glass-like!  

The eyes have it!

Thanks for looking!! Jean :)


8 Responses to Painting Eyes

via jeanweinerart.com
Like the info on drawing eyes; that's always difficult for me. When I got Charlie's eyes right, it was a done deal. Now you need to do one on drawing "noses"!!

Love ya

Daina Lathrop
via jeanweinerart.com
Thank you for sharing your talent and this wonderful lesson on eyes. Best wishes-Daina

Randi Mackey
via jeanweinerart.com
Jean, I had to look at your site after your talk Tuesday night at Siouxland Artists. I could do eyes with pastel, but have never gotten them the way I like them with watercolor. I am going to have to try this very soon as I want to paint a watercolor of my granddaughter (first-ever portrait!). You are so enthusiastic and positive that it helps me get excited about watercolor again.

Randi Mackey
via jeanweinerart.com
OK, I had to try this right away this morning and it turned out fairly well. I think I need some practice, but for a first try I think it was great. I liked the brown so well I had to try it in blue, so when it came to dropping blue on the right side of the highlight, I dropped burnt sienna instead and it worked. I am no longer afraid to paint eyes! Thank you, Jean! - Randi

Rose Peterson
via jeanweinerart.com
Your information and handout were a tremendous help when I was painting the eyes on our cat, Jefe. I refered to it again and again!

Thank you!

via jeanweinerart.com
these are some of the prettiest paintings i've ever seen......keep up the good work!!!

carlene wilson
via jmweiner.fineartstudioonline.com
Thank you so much for sharing the eye technique.I always feel like I fall short on this.You are so generous.It really helped.

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