Eye

I was asked some questions about how to paint eye iris so here you go - short, but hopefully detailed, tutorial about painting an eye. It's really very simple. You just need a bit of experience and patience, but in truth drawing a realistic looking eye iris is nothing complicated ;)

If something still remains unclear - let me know, I'll try to add further explanations. The same goes with mistakes, if you spot any please alarm me.

Of course I begin with some rough sketch. Firstly circle which should be iris, then all the rest, build around the main subject of this tutorial. I use some simple, hard edged brush, it doesn't really matter now. Sketch lays on the separate layer and when it's done I lower the opacity too make it less visible. I don't want it to stick out from the bottom.

Eye Eye Eye

On the separate layer I start to put some first colors. At the beginning, when I pick up colors, I use some big, round brush with hard edge and lowered opacity. After a while I switch to the soft one, because it's easier to blend colors together with it. I also draw some hard circle around iris and darken the pupil. I darken shadows a little bit and paint the corner of my eye. Usually I don't pay this much attention to it, but there is only one eye on this picture and nothing more, so I feel kind of obliged to try a little harder :D

Eye Eye Eye

I fill the iris with small lines. At first I paint those which are black, coming from the circle I drawn before. After they are in place I switch to color and paint some additional lines, paying attention to the iris color I want to achieve. This time I want them to be brown-olive like ;) I blend lines together using smudge tool, but only a little bit, because I don;t want them to disappear completely. At this moment iris has it's color and texture, what is left are the lights - very important thing for the eye.

Eye Eye Eye

With a soft round brush I lighten iris a little bit. I do this by painting a circle around pupil with wide stroke and light color. After that I change brush to the hard one and paint some reflexes - big light spot and some smaller highlights. Edges of some lights I blur out using smudge tool or wipe them out with soft rubber (drawing them on separate layer sure helps with that!). On the last picture of those tree below I changed the shape of iris a little.

Eye Eye Eye

Next I draw eyelashes (usually I do that on the separate layer because I always make them all wrinkled and wrong and need to try several times until I'm satisfied). I do that with small, hard edged brush and after they are painted I smudge their ends to make them longer and prettier. If I accidentally stretch them out too much I just use a rubber to fix this up. After this is done I choose a soft brush with low opacity and draw a shadow which helps eyelashes to blend in better and imitates a soft make-up (yes, this is a female eye :D ). At the end I ply a little bit with the skin, drawing some small wrinkles and dots, just to make it more interesting. Drawing is ready!

Eye Eye Eye

As I said on the beginning, I really don't draw so many details when I paint (for example) portrait. But I tend to spend some time on iris as it is the most important part, eyes are what most of the times catches our attention when we look at the face. That's way it's important to draw them well and all attention you give them will pay off later ;) It's also good to play with lights, experiment with all those shining spots you can see in the eye.