How I draw eyes (at x25 zoom!)

Eyes are usually my favorite or one of my favorite parts of doing a drawing. I’ve spent a good deal of time lately wondering how to work them into my more realistic drawings. Realistic eyes are actually rather simple compared to not realistic eyes. I started out doing realistic eyes, which are darker and not all that interesting but decided if something was going to be unrealistic, the eyes were good candidates. So I had fun with it and tried a new technique:

2

I basically just treated it like there was a floodlight shining in and the cornea was lit up. It ended up looking graphic and decent enough to keep.

 

Moving forward I decided to go for well-lit but also more realistic. So I made the texture in it’s own PSD at a higher resolution. The only issue is that it ended up looking more realistic than the other bits (way too realistic, it’s actually a little creepy zoomed in like this). In the context of this drawing, where the eyes are a focus, that’s fine, but it’s not something I can apply to everything so I decided to blend the realism a little more:

3

 

Being able to start with the eye in the beginning really helped this one. It’s much less imposed on the eye ball. I did play it a little safe and the eye isn’t actually very detailed this time, but I think it fits this drawing nicely:

4

This one I think turned out the best. I used a higher res file to make the eye then superimposed it. Here, it feels less out of place. The shading and makeup are a little blurry, but they aren’t blow out. So the lighting at least sort of matches the overlit and hyper rendered eye:

1

 

For technique here, you kinda have to play it by the ey…ear. Uh…basically just make concentric circles of a similar shades of whatever color you want it to be. I always make the middle brightest and get darker as I go out. These are pixel drawings, so if you have vector software, it’d be easier to pull off. That said I’m so used to shading pixels that it doesn’t really bother me. The light source on these eyes don’t match the light source of the drawing, and I think the drawings are actually better for it. I’ve kinda been learning over the past few weeks that realism isn’t always better.

Challenge: Drawing a dragon eye using a leaf as a canvas? (Hybrid composite drawing)

So this was kind of a weird challenge, I wanted to make a trippy wallpaper, but instead of “drawing” it on a blank canvas like normal, I wanted to see if I could do the majority of it in textures, on a texture. In other words turn a benign leaf into a spooky water dragon.

SO, this was my canvas (licence free). lol…

abstract-art-artistic-459301

I picked something hard on purpose, as a rule I wasn’t allowed to erase any part of the canvas. I had to turn this leaf into the eye of a dragon.

Here’s the thirty layers of shading and textures I added to my already busy canvas:

without canvas.png

I needed really heavy blacks to obtain any sort of com-positional balance. That was already void from the leaf photo. So I blocked out the blacks and sketched the form of the eye, making sure to keep the important parts away from the leaf’s busier channels. The main challenge was molding the shading around to fit the leaf, because it’d be very easy to blow out the wrong areas. For this reason, my shading and structure probably looks very rudimentary and inconsistent, but this has more to do with drawing around the problem areas.

How it turned out:

13

I’m pretty happy with the result. It looks…weird. The water droplets on the eyelid don’t really make sense but they look cool if you don’t think about it, and my heavier mix of textures on the eyeball alongside the quick sketchy drawing of the skeleton on the crucifix ended up looking pretty intense. It is admittedly a cluster-expletive and completely unbalanced in a lot of ways, and it could use some cleaning up. But given the restrictions and how unmanageable that leaf photo was, I feel good about it. And being real, it does have a rather unique look. 🙂

Anyway, feel free to use this image for whatever as long as you credit me. If anyone wants the .psd or a .tiff format (full size) version of the image, be warned that it is seventy megabytes, but I can send it over google drive or something.

 

PS: I’ve had a few blog posts accidentally be released unfinished because I’m dumb and forgot I scheduled them. I’m going to stop slotting unfinished things assuming I’ll get back to them at some point, sorry for spam!

Cheers,

Blu ❤