Monday, May 12, 2014

Eyes Demystyfied - A Simplified Tutorial on Eyes

Aurora Wings Challenge #2 "Monochromatic"
April  21 ~ May 17, 2014

Click here to go to the challenge post.

Hi, everyone!  It's Mitzi here.  Today, for a reminder post, I'm writing a tutorial on the topic of eyes. :D  Once again, I'll be writing with simplicity in mind.  I am also not going to be specifiying particular media or color numbers.  I would like you to experiment on your own as much as possible based on the information.  I feel it's the best way to learn rather than blindly follow everything step by step. ^_^
So here we go, presenting...

Eyes Demystified - A Simplified Tutorial

I'm going to be using my "Anti-Valentine Girl" digi for the eyes on this demo post.  She was chosen because of her very expressive large eyes - they're fun to play with.  Besides, I LOVE her raised brows.

This digi comes as a 1500 x 1800 pixels, 300 dpi, JPG file (5" x 6"/ 12.7 x 15.2 cm), and can be found at my Etsy shop here or in the digi store at my site here.

1.  The Anatomy

Don't worry! There won't be any pop quiz at the end of this tutorial. lol  Just a simple fact to remember here is that the eyes are spheres (the eye BALL) with a disc inside that faces out (the iris). So the play of light is much like the sunshine on a raindrop or on a glass marble.  There's an entry point where the beam of light comes in, and there will be a bright area on the iris that reflects that light that comes in.  Just remembering this will help you know where to put the highlights like a pro!

Speaking of highlights, I'm a big fan. :D  And this is why.  Highlights bring so much life to the eyes (Think twinkle!), and sparkly dots (even when they're randomly placed) bring a lot of magic to an image. We don't want our projects to have the look of a dead fish, if you know what I mean...

There's no twinkle in these guys' eyes...

2.  The 5-Step Approach

The easiest and the simplest way to achieve the pretty eyes is the 5-step approach.  Here's what I mean by the 5-Step Approach.

1.)  I've expanded her pupils from the original in the line art to make her appear a little less aloof (Our pupils expand when what we see interests us, as well as in a reduced light condition.  Pupils will constrict in bright lighting, but you can also show lack of interest/aloofness in the character you're working on by giving her tiny pupils, in reverse.).  Coloring in the eyes with medium brown.  Things look pretty flat at this point.

2.)  The darker shade of brown comes in.  I'm planning on having the light source (imagined) in the upper right and front of her, coming in diagonally from upper right to the lower left, so the sharp highlights will be to the upper right of her eyes.  The darker shade of brown is applied under the upper lash line and somewhat to the right toward the light source.

 3.)  A shade of brown a little bit lighter (off white can be used) is applied to the lower left of her irises.  This helps create the illustion where the light that is coming from the upper right of her eyes would reflect and illuminate on the iris (the disc inside the sphere).

4.) This step is optional, but if you can remember to do this, it adds even more dimension to the eyes.  What I've done here is to give the shadow from her lashes onto the eyes.  A simple sweep of greyed down light brown or greyed down pale lavender works nicely.  Just follow the upper lashline.

5.) The highlights come in.  Because I've decided that the light source is in front of her at the upper right, the brightest highlight will be on the upper right on her eyes.  That's where the beam of light is coming in, and the fresh eye with lots of moisture would naturally reflect with a sparkly shine.  I've also added a few extra twinkles in this example, suggesting some reflected light from lower left of her as well.  Just look at the difference between the 4th stage and 5th!!  Dead vs alive, right?  Conversely, if you want to paint lifeless eyes (for horror effects, for example), skipping the highlights will give you the dead-eye look instantly.  (Giving it a cloudy grey look with less contrast between iris and pupil is also very effective for the creepy factor.)

The important thing to remember on this stage is to use OPAQUE media for the highlights.  If your white medium is transparent, you will not be able to achieve the bright white.  In fact, anytime you're applying the lighter color after the darker color has already been laid down, be sure to use an opaque medium.  Pastels, acrylic paint, even old-fashioned correction fluids (Wite-out) work for this purpose.

Here's a quick look through the phases.

3. Shortcuts and Variations

1.) This is what I call "ommission highlights".  Basically planning ahead and using the white of the paper for highlights by coloring around it.  I'd say this is prone to "accidents".  But that's my personal experience. LOL

2.) Even the simplified 3-Step version, with eye color, shadow, and highlight can produce pretty good eyes.

3.) Here's a look at the same eyes, different color, with the light source being on the opposite side from the brown example.  The same 5-Step Approach was applied.

4.) On this example, I did a variation on the theme to her right eye (your left).  I gave a little iris texture by drawing radiating lines from pupil to the edge of the iris when I placed the lighter shade of green.  The eye on the right is colored the same way in the 5-step approach.  This is cool and fun to do, but only if the image you're working on is large enough to be manageable.  If the image is small, I'd go with the 3-Step version.

I hope this tutorial on the eyes was helpful.  Please remember that these are not absolute rules, but some simple suggestions to make things easiler.  I'd like to always encourage everyone to play and experiment as you go along.  Till next time, happy coloring!! :D


Catz said...

Thank you for the great tutorial! :)

Linda Simpson said...

Fabulous tutorial, thank you.
Linda xxx

Kathi said...

Wow. Fabulous tutorial. Very helpful.

I'm pinning for future reference!

Sharman said...

Thank ou Mitzi. Great tutorial..

Mimi said...

Fabulous explanation :) xx

Carmen S. said...

Eine tolle Anleitung! Vielen Dank Mitzi.
Liebe Grüße,Carmen

Elly P said...

Super tutorial Mitzi...extremely helpful...thanks again! hugs x

applejack cards by sue said...

A wonderful tutorial, thank you. I cannot get onto facebook at the moment so I'm missing out on all the fun, therefore so pleased to be able to follow and practice your technique.

Stampin' Monica said...

Awesome tutorial!!!!! This helps so much. Big impact with relatively little extra work. Thanks for explaining the "whys" too. Can't wait till your next tutorial.

Jane said...

Gosh this is such a great tutorial thanks for sharing your talent. You have really brought those eyes to life x

Laine said...

Stunning tutorial Mitzi. Thank you so much for sharing.

Unknown said...

Amazing tutorial. Thank you so much. I really appreciate the help :)

Cumbrianlass said...

Mitzi, I have learnt so much from this tutorial I need to enlarge the eyes of your images so I can have a practise. This was just brilliant.
Janet xxx

DonnaMundinger said...

Fabulous tut, Mitzi! Love how the eyes come alive with the steps. xxD

Helena (Gvendalen) said...

Fabulous tutorial, thank you!
hugs, Helena said...

love the tutorial from one of the very best of course..thank you
susan s

Barbara Godden said...

thanks for the great tutorial.

Shazza said...

this is brilliant, thanks xx

Maire Gamber said...

Amazing tutorial. Love your images and coloring!

CaroleAnn said...

Thank you thank you for this awesome tutorial.

Annamaria said...

Thanks fore this tutorial.

Gr. Mia

Dr Sonia S V said...

What a fantastic tutorial . Have pinned it here:Card Tutorials

Md Enamul Hoq said...

This tutorial is very helpful without step by step
tutorial always easy to understant .
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Unknown said...

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
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Unknown said...

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