Earlier this week I took some time off from my regularly-scheduled painting frenzy to work on a quick painting tutorial for my YouTube channel. It's the first in a series that will show you how I paint various facial features, and I will break them down one at a time, starting with eyes.
This is how I learned to draw and paint realistically when I was 14, and this was how I taught my students. In fact, a simpler version of what you see above was what we did on the first day of school every year. I think beginners are intimidated by drawing an entire face--there's just so much going on--and reducing what they are looking at into bite-sized pieces gives them confidence. Then they'll have an easier time putting it all together.
The reference photo I used for this tutorial is from my cousin Tyler and soon-to-be cousin in-law Natalie. Together they are Sharpe & Walker Photography, and they are marvelous. I urge you to check out their website. Just look at this portfolio of photos from a wedding of two people you don't even know and try not to cry. I dare you. Everything on their site is inventive and beautiful. And just look at how adorable they are.
I messaged Natalie and asked if she had an example of a blue or green eye that I could paint, please please please (they're a little more challenging than brown eyes--otherwise I'd use my own or Jeff's). She immediately knew exactly what I was looking for. She zapped an incredible blue-green eye over to an ecstatic me. The model's name is Cassidy, and Tyler and Natalie took a series of magic-hour photos of her earlier this month. I love how the golden sunlight hit her eyelashes, and while I knew that capturing this effect would be challenging, I think it makes this eye special.
Yesterday Jeff and I spent the entire day editing the video and adding captions--it's harder than you might think--and here it is for you to enjoy! Please subscribe to my channel and share this with your pals. Warning: you will hear my voice for about 15 seconds as I introduce the video. But then I go away, don't worry.
Thanks for watching!
If you're interested, prints of this eye in a variety of sizes and formats are available here!