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Painting Eyes

Painting Eyes

by Chuck Theidel

When it comes to figure painting, the face is the most challenging, and most satisfying part of painting a figure. The hardest areas of the face to paint are the eyes. I suggest using the “cross-method” technique, which the best way to ensure proper positioning of the eyes onto the face. Remember: the eye is more of a wedge-shape than oval. The iris is barely in contact with lower lid, and partly covered by the upper.

Painting Eyes

Step 1: Do not paint any whites at all in the eyes: at the normal viewing distance the whites appear the same color as the face. However, you can use a gray paint if desired.

Step 2: Paint a large band of blue or brown through each eye socket, keeping each band the same distance from the nose.

Step 3: Paint a narrow band of black or dark brown down the center of each of the bands in step 2.

Step 4: Cut off the top of each eye band with a dark brown line. This is the upper eyelash. Concentrate on positioning the bottom edge of this line correctly, keeping the two eyes level from side to side, and let the rest of the line fall where it may. Add half of a bottom lash. Carefully trim the eye down to size with flesh colored paint. It is a good idea to paint the eyes first before painting the face. This way if any mistakes occur you will not ruin any facial features and have to start all over again.

Photo by Phil Novak. Built by John Alberts