View Full Version : An Eye

03-24-2010, 01:11 PM
I wanted to work on facial features to get some practice. You guys are great at helping, so figured I'd post it here and learn a few things.
I tried to do hubby's eye, but as you can tell, the shape and coloring are off. I didn't sketch it first, so maybe that's what I need to be sure to do next time. C&C wanted, lol!


03-24-2010, 03:04 PM
Eyelashes. The longest in the outer corner of the eye. In the inner eye just very soft lashes. They always bow to the nearest corner of the eye, that's why straight in the middle they bow OUT from the eye. They stand in packs of three, and they are much finer, especially on the lower lid.
Lids. They are 3D, so they have a broadness. Look at the photo, lower lid: you see the edge of the lid? Its "broadness", so to speak? Eyelashes grow at the outer egde of the lid, each lid. With the upper lid, you won't see that this well cause they grow down and up again, so that they obscure the "thickness" of the upper lid. But you see that clearly in your photo with the lower lid.
Eyeball. It's a ball, so give it some shadow where it bends off the viewer (corners of the eye). Furthermore, the lids will cast shadows on the ball, TOO! And the white of the eye is NEVER white, more like a very light skintone.
Pupils. They are circles inside of a circle (the iris). They are concentric. With adults, you *could* see all of the iris inside the eye, but in most cases, one or the other edge of the iris closes up with a lid. There will be a sharp highlight where the light comes from, but also a soft light opposite of the sharp one, lightening up the iris.
Inner corner of eye. The skin starts thin and gets thicker to form the lid. So it is like some small triangle reaching INTO the eye. Look closely, you'll see it. The inner corner of the eye will ALWAYS be lighter than the rest of the surrounding skin because the muscle of the lid will lift it, sort of. Gets more light that way. Also less blood at that point (skin more white, less purplish).
Fold of the lid. That's some sharp fold, so you'll have a sharp transition of skintones into the darkest tones, but only a fine line. The part of the upper lid that is directly above the pupil always is lighter than the corners. It's because the pupil is a lens on top of a ball, so it lifts the lid.
In between eyebrow and eyesocket: there's a ridge of the skull there, directly under the eyebrow. So the brow will cast a shadow, and the light will go from light tones at eye to darker ones at brow.
Eyebrows. Don't smudge any dark color here, unless you really have hairy caterpillars there. Normal eyebrows will always show some skin, so use a fine pencil to sketch single hairs to an eyebrow. Use different shades of dark, as your eyebrows do have differently colored hairs, too. Start at the nose with hairs going UP and change rather abruptly above the pupil to hairs growing DOWN.

Hope I haven't been to devastating. Your's is not a bad eye, you just lacked observation and sketched what you BELIEVED is there, not what IS. Keep going!


03-25-2010, 12:02 AM
Good start. Salud makes many important parts on the eye, it's a lot better than many I've seen though. Thickness of the lower eyelid could be widened but you've shown some of it.

My only additional suggestion is to look close at the photo reference and the color of the white of the eye, even the lighter parts would be grayer than the highlight and shade a little pinker toward the inner corner of the eye. That's reflected color from the skin.

It would also look better once you get the modeling shadows under the lower eyelid in, that's a lot of the likeness too -- an eye is unique and individual by the shape of the eyelids, the ball of the eye is the same sphere on anyone other than iris color. Good accuracy on the shape of the upper eyelid, getting the soft curving shadow under the lower eyelashes would complete it.

If you don't want to rework this one, try sketching it again and don't do anything with eyelashes till last. If you can get it true without the eyelashes, adding them later is a lot easier and they can be simplified a little.

His eyelashes look heavier than they are because of the line width, so scraping them narrower could also be a technique to reshape any that aren't going in the right direction.

Eyes are difficult. Each of these things about drawing eyes that Salud mentioned is something I had to observe, remember, train myself to look for in every eye until I looked for it every time -- and it always has to be re-observed because things like the thickness of the eyelid vary between individuals.

You have a great reference and working larger than life is a wonderful idea.

Great start! I could recognize it on the first go, so you're doing well!

Pat Isaac
03-25-2010, 08:14 AM
Nice study, Candimon. You have some good advice so far so I'll just say, try another and you'll find that each one gets better.


03-25-2010, 12:05 PM
Whew! Thank you lettersalad, a bit of overload for a beginner like me, but good stuff nonetheless.
Thank you Robert and Pat :)

Alan P. in OC
03-25-2010, 01:55 PM
You've already gotten some good criticism, and the iris coloring is pretty spot-on. If you don't sketch (I really don't either), try using grids to copy over/blow up your subject, or just trace it out (great for getting proportions and as far as I'm concerned, not cheating:).
In the future, you can try using oil pencils for fine details, like eyelashes, or try a scratching-away technique to bring them out. Experiment:)

03-25-2010, 03:38 PM
Whew! Thank you lettersalad, a bit of overload for a beginner like me, but good stuff nonetheless.
Thank you Robert and Pat :)
You don't have to remember that all at once. :D Try one at a time. ;)


truck driver
03-30-2010, 06:50 AM
Theres a lot to an eye. but what makes or breaks an eye isnt really the eye itself. its the tone and depth, and shadows around the eye. To much work trying to create the little details without getting the facial perspective of the eye right and it still wont look right. The other thing is a eye out of context looks weird no matter if its photo realistic or not.