Browns; how to color EYES
Using Earth-Tones to Color Human Features
Today’s Feature: EYES!
Have you ever wanted to learn how to blend a human face with Copic markers but could never get it quite right? Well, you’re in luck! In the next few blogs, we’ll be diving into each major facial feature and give you step-by-step instructions on how to blend realistic eyes, noses, lips, and hair. And, in the final blog, we’ll show how you can bring all of these features together to create one spectacular face using Copic markers! Without further ado, let’s get started with our first feature: the eyes!
Being able to capture eyes in a drawing is very important since they’re referred to as “the windows to the soul!” With that being said, the drawings above give you 6 basic realistic eye shapes that you can refer to while sketching. Feel free to deviate from these templates as you wish, or even look in a mirror to see what your own eye shape looks like!
The next step after sketching is coloring! For the almond eye shape above, I’ve swatched 4 colors for the eyeball, along with 3 colors for the skin, 3 pink colors for the tear ducts, and 3 neutral grays for the shadows under the eyelids. I will use 100 Black for the pupil, but I’m going to be swapping out 100 Black for E49 for the eyelashes at the end… I think dark brown lashes make the eye appear more realistic rather than using the “mascara” effect of pure black, but you can choose whatever color you want!
Next, let’s start adding color to the eyeball! There are many ways to approach coloring with Copic markers, but I prefer starting off with my darkest color, and in this case, that’s E15. What I’ve done above is flick the Super Brush nib down the eye to cover the top third of the eyeball. I layered the top third of the outer rim twice to make sure this area is darker. The more you layer, the darker the pigment will appear on your paper!
Step 2 is adding your mid-tone color, and for this example, that’s E13! What I’ve done here is flicked the color from inside the E15 area downward to cover the next third of the eye, and I repeat this on the rim of the eyeball as well.
Step 3 is adding your lightest colors last, which are E11 and E00 for this example. I only used E11 to fill in the remaining space in the rim of the eye, and I used a little bit of both E11 and E00 in the remaining third of the eye. The goal here is to make the rim of the eye dark enough so that the center part of the eye stands out more! I’m all about creating contrast through layering!
Step 4 is when I added R85, R32, and R30 (in that order) to the two tear-duct areas on either side of the eyeball, as well as 100 Black to the pupil. The eye at this point is starting to look more realistic, but also kind of creepy since there’s no shadow definition yet! And that’s where step #5 comes in…
Step 5 is when I added N4, N2, and N0 (respectively) to the upper and lower areas of the eye. Basically, I added this step to make sure the eyeball appears further back in space than the eyelids, and I followed the same steps in adding the grays as I did when I colored the eyeball (dark to light).
Now that the eye itself has been colored, it’s time for Step 6, which is creating depth by adding skin color around the eye! As I have done for this entire step-by-step tutorial, I began with my darkest skin color, E25, and added it to the darkest areas/where the shadows are.
Next, you guessed it! Step 7 is all about softening the darker color by adding a mid-tone (E23) and light tone (E21), respectively. I’m trying my best to make a realistic eye, so the best way to do that is by layering…and by going back in with E25 around key areas of contrast, like the eyelash line and the behind the eye socket bone.
For the FINAL step, Step 8, I took a step back and looked at the eye itself and the skin around it. I asked myself, have I added enough layers so that everything appears smooth? Do I have enough contrast? When I could answer yes to both of those questions, then I added the eyelashes with E49!
To create a realistic eyelash, press down on the paper with more pressure at first, then quickly flick the Super Brush nib away from the eyelid. Try your best to create eyelashes that move in the shape of the eye, for example, the lashes on the left side of the eye above are facing left. The lashes in the middle of the eye are more or less facing up, and the lashes on the right have been flicked to the right. This makes a huge difference in making the eye look more realistic!
And with that, you have an 8-step process on how to color a realistic eye!
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned to the test…
Print out the template above at home on marker paper to practice coloring various eye shapes. Swatch your colors in the rectangles below each eye, and don’t be afraid to try new things! Maybe you’ll like starting off with the lightest color first, maybe you’ll like using 100 Black for the eyelashes instead of E49, or maybe you’ll want to give your eye some colored eye-shadow instead of a simple skin-tone! The possibilities are endless.
Stay tuned for our next blog, where I’ll be showing you how to color a tricky human feature: the nose!
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