Learning to paint with oils – demo, painting eyes
April 13, 2010 Leave a comment
I get asked a lot about painting eyes and making them look realistic, so here is a copy of an article I did for my oil painting tutorial site – hope you find it of use.
OK lets take a look at the Lions eye in some detail. Here I have labelled the most important parts.
A- General colour of the iris.
B- Strongest highlight – sun.
C- Where the sun shines through the eye
D- Shadow area
This photo (below) still shows the above effects but they are more subdued due to the sun being not as bright or possibly the Lion if facing away from the sun.
To paint the eye in oils I would usually paint all of it with the eyes base colour i.e. no highlight and no shadow effects. Then with that layer still wet I would darken the shadow area and gently add a suggestion of the reflected highlight at the bottom of the eye- I would usually not even bother with the bright highlight (B) yet.
There are many ways of painting the eye, I could have for instance painted it entirely with glazes, but no matter what techniques you use if you carefully observe the way the light plays in the eye you will end up with a realistic eye, which usually becomes the centre of interest in the painting.
I really hope you have enjoyed this short demo
To learn much more please check out my tutorial CD / E-book