View Full Version : Painting Eyes

Anna Marie
11-12-2001, 02:53 PM
I am working on a portrait of my sister in pastel mostly because I havent done people in pastel ever!

I have learnt a lot from this experience but I cannot get the eyes looking good to save my life ! I cant get the sparkle I either get a Zombie like stare or cold and hard when they should be laughing.
I havent even posted it as its so horrible.

Any advice on getting eyes right my immediate thought may be that I have the white too white.

11-12-2001, 10:46 PM
Hi Anna Marie

I don't have a lot of experience with eyes in pastel either, but
I think you have probably hit it on the head....the whites of the eyes aren't really very white. There is lots of shadow from the top lid, and fleshy colours at the edges. Bits of blue and grey even in the white.

Why don't you try some colours in the whites....looking very, very closely at your reference for shadows etc....if it doesn't look right, you can always put another layer of pastel on top to fix it.

I'd like to see how it turns out!



Anna Marie
11-13-2001, 03:44 PM
Thanks Duplikat.
They look better now I was being distracted by the effect the flash hotography had.

Now I am at the stage where something is wrong with the face I know not what however I will persevere before I post it as I never like to take the easy road.

11-14-2001, 10:33 PM
Hi Anna Marie,

For the longest time I thought the whites of the eyes were white, too. Then I started making them gray. Now, I have finally learned the easiest way to make them fit in with portrait as a whole is to use a medium skin tone that you are using in the face and use that as a starting point. Make it a darker tone where the eye curves and remember that the side of the face in highlight will have a much lighter eye than the other side.
Here are a few of my latest eyes. Hope this helps. Nora

Anna Marie
11-15-2001, 04:49 PM
Splendid thanks a bunch I shall crack on!

11-15-2001, 05:42 PM

If you have a straight on flash situation in your photo, just have someone sit for you for about 2 minutes. Put a directional light on them at a 45 degree angle and look at the eyes, and other features. Do a quick sketch of how the light is hitting everything then apply to your photo portrait. Probably, your painting appears flat because when shot straight on, the flash floods and flattens all in it's path. The only way to adjust for this is to change the direction of the light completely.

Please post your progress so we can better help you.

Have fun with your very first portrait! It is certainly a challenge, but you'll learn so very much.


Anna Marie
11-17-2001, 05:15 PM
Thanks all of you and Artistry I have put my head on the block and posted it under the Subject 'My Sister Jane'