This week I demonstrated painting eyes. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that there is no real "how to paint eyes" method. As always you need to rely on what you actually see.
There are however some things that it helps to know about eyes that might help you make sense of what you are seeing. One is that the surface of the eye is convex but the iris (colored part) of the eye is concave. This is why you see a highlight at the top of the eye where the light first hits the surface (convex) of the eye and then a highlight at the bottom of the iris (concave) where the light hits after is passes through the surface. It follows that the part of the iris behind the surface highlight is in shadow.
Another generality worth noting is that eye lashes often read as just a thick dark line above the eyeball. People often make the mistake of trying to paint individual eye lashes when really you don't see individual lashes because that are mostly foreshortened into a visually solid line.
Finally it is important to note that the whites of the eyes are rarely, if ever, white. They are typically close to the same value and hue of the highlight skin tone - often just a bit cooler. Like the iris there is usually a shadow cast onto the whites of the eyes by the upper eyelid and eyelashes.
My demo painting is far from finished but hopefully we covered enough for you to complete a satisfying painting. We could have spent another three weeks polishing hair, fabric lines etc. but it seems like most were ready to be done.
Judging by what I saw at the end of class I would say it was a successful project. Check out some of the finished pieces in the gallery below.
NEXT WEEK: we will begin a new painting and the subject matter we decided on was a cityscape/architecture. Look at the gallery of images below and submit your vote for your favorite TWO images. I will have a copy of the winner for you on Friday. Come prepared with a new surface to paint on and the usual painting supplies.
Look at the gallery of images below and choose the TWO images that you would most like to paint for our next project. I will print everyone a copy of the picture that gets the most votes.