Friday, March 20, 2015

The ABC's of Painting Eyes.

Close-ups By Johanna Spinks. Eyes in progress.

Going cross-eyed? I painted four sets of eyes on my studio easels this week, three of them from life.  Come back to see them finished. 

My ABC's of Painting Eyes
A: AVOID hard outlines: hard whites of the eyes, hard highlights within the eye and hard socket edge shapes. There is never pure white paint within the eye and there are lots of soft halftones around the exterior eye socket.
Think of putting a mist between your 'painted' eyes and the viewer. Lavender helps to push it all back. 

B: BE rigorous in your own art training. Draw eyes often. Paint studies. Study these old Superstars, my own personal heroes of portraiture:
Also look to modern day Masters:
Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A.
Jeremy Lipking
Morgan Weistling

C: COURT your sitter. Paint from life as often as you can. All the greats did - and do.
Chat to your sitter while you are painting them. Their eyes will light up revealing a spark of their personality, their bodies will go into a natural pose. If you have your ABC's down, you will catch it.

Good luck. I will be doing my ABC's too. Always.

A demo of an eye I did in my teaching class this week for students showing the light source moving through  socket.

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