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Endless eyes Tutorial: colored
By Stephen67   |   Watch
465 49 21K (1 Today)
Published: December 10, 2008
© 2008 - 2019 Stephen67
Here's a quick tutorial on how I draw eyes. Not everything was there as it would be about 200 photos. So if you have any questions feel free to ask :) Also I tried not to sound like a jackass when I pointed stuff out, so if I did sorry about that.

This is one I am doing of Charlize Theron, I might continue to do tutorials on this piece if there is a big enough want of them (as it takes longer to stop and take pictures after each step). Unfortunately a picture isn't the same, it's very difficult to see something endless in a picture over the real thing, especially when the picture is of something a lot larger and the eye becomes like 50 pixels big. So hopefully this will help illustrate a bit of what gets lost in a photo... which is ironic because it is a photo and has lost a lot, lol. For example layers of colored pencil make effects with light at different angles, you loose this with a picture.



As always, remember to have good lighting and GET UP at least once every half hour, other wise you WILL get back problems and if you think back problems just mean a sore back, you've yet to have one :( Drinking A LOT of water helps as a reminder, also keeps your work up to shape and keeps you focused.

Have fun!
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Comments (38)
iminastrangeland's avatar
iminastrangeland|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
omg this has so many helpful hints in it. :) thank you
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Mysticwolf3's avatar
Mysticwolf3|Hobbyist Digital Artist
This helps so much it looks amazing O.o :D
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Sapphire-Hyuga's avatar
Sapphire-Hyuga|Student Traditional Artist
That looks like Amy Lee's eyeO.O
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FireYuuki's avatar
FireYuuki|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Um, can I apply these steps with every eye color?
You have to know that this is the best tutorial about coloring eyes ever! And I've been searching a lot! Thank you so much for posting this!
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Stephen67's avatar
You can use the same steps but you'll need to adjust for what color you're doing the iris as. The important thing to remember is the base color and what family of color it's in. Blue eyes generally have a shade of blue or maybe a tiny bit of green as a base, green eyes can sometimes use yellow in the base but it's very difficult to use a yellow in a blue eye without turning it green. Brow eyes tend to use yellow as well, the more vivid the yellow, the more honey colored the eye will be, for a natural brown eye more of a dark orange color is best (brown is in the family of orange). It can depend greatly on what look is desired with it, and in my experience I have never used the same "recipe" twice with eye color as it's all quite subjective.


Hope that helps, glad you like the tutorial :)
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FireYuuki's avatar
FireYuuki|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for this,it's really helpful!
And for yellow eyes, like you did for Edward, it's the same as for brown eyes? Do I have to use yellow, orange, light brown?
Sorry for bothering you with these...
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Stephen67's avatar
Yellow eyes are a bit different, mainly a base of a strong yellow followed by a little bit of yellow-orange and a tiny bit of a dark brown to give it depth. Brown eyes tend to have a darker base, more of a butterscotch color. Some browns are more vibrant and rich, butterscotch as a base will help with that, a darker brown eye will have more of a chocolate colored base.

I tend to use a lot of colors in an eye, sometimes as many as 40, the trick is to find a good base color that will shine through all the others and effect them the way you want to. It's one of those things you have to play with to get the effect you want, often I'll use a tiny bit of a color and find it's not doing what I want, so I'll switch colors. Expect to use at least a dozen pencils to get the life and depth you want.


And no worries, ask away. I might not always quick to answer as I don't check this as often as I use to, but if I can help I'll tell you what I know.

Have a good one.
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hannahslion's avatar
hannahslion|Student General Artist
This helps a lot, thanks for the help!
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Stephen67's avatar
You're welcome :)

(Sorry for the late reply)
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demeter17's avatar
oh gawd. this is to hard for me
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Stephen67's avatar
Break down the steps more. If something is too hard you're biting off too many steps to do at once. Complicated things take patience because of the amount of small steps involved.
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Igorxxx70's avatar
I enjoyed your tutorial but I could not see the middle row of pictures because they were too dark. Any way I correct that so that I could see the colors?
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Stephen67's avatar
hmm, middle row is the same, I'm guess it might be a problem with your monitor, might be able to turn up the brightness and see more on it. Sorry.
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Igorxxx70's avatar
What do you mean by middle row is the same?
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Stephen67's avatar
Well, on my screen the middle row looks exactly the same as the two side rows, no difference is color, brightness or anything else.
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PurpleStripeyedSpork's avatar
what colors did you use in this tutorial, and what colors would you use in hazel- greenish eyes?... i want to learn to do eyes as good as you! thanks agian for taking the time to write this tutorial!
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Stephen67's avatar
Be about 25 colors so I don't know off hand. Start with the lightest and work your way darker.

Hazel-greenish eyes, similar to the drawing I've done of Abby (which are green with brown) will have a lot of greens, yellows, some oranges, and some browns. Possibility a few blues. The more colors the better it looks. Black Raspberry or Black cherry do interesting things with green bases. But test that first, I mainly use the combo with plants not eyes.

Just take a look at your reference picture and study all the colors. You'll find you will always grow to see more color than you did the prior time. The more you train your eyes to see colors, the better your drawings will be. You just have to search and try to match them to what you have, it's the only way to teach your eyes and brain. Sometimes you can't see a color till you see the effect it causes, like lavender in skin, it's very subtle and not something you normally see on it's own, but when added it makes skin much more real, specifically with women.

Sometimes it takes several minutes to see what color is missing, a lot of back and forth searching, sometimes you have to think what color would react well to what you have down; for example the black raspberry is not a color you would see in a reference picture, but when places on top of several other colors it creates an effect. Only way I know how to explain that is through experience with your colors. For example white over a black base creates a very different effect than black over a white base. The two colors are the same but the order changes how they lay down on the paper. Order is very important, I usually write mine down when I'm doing something large, like hair. Other wise when you go to repeat it, it won't be identical even though you used all the same colors. Just something that has to be played with.

Think of your colors as transparencies not opaque, come to think of it, painting my car with a candy really helped me learn a lot with drawing...
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PurpleStripeyedSpork's avatar
thank you so much for taking the time to answer me.. I am going to go practice now!
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Stephen67's avatar
No problem :)
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PurpleStripeyedSpork's avatar
thank you so much.. I'm having a whole lot of trouble with eyes.. this helped one of my problems! happy drawing to you!
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Stephen67's avatar
Glad it helps, happy drawing :)

I also am in the process of making a tutorial for hair. Just need to write it up.
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PurpleStripeyedSpork's avatar
yay.. Im alright with hair, but I find myself doing tutorials just for practice/new methods of drawing.. please put your color list in the hair one though.. as it is I wouldn't have thought of orange and black grape in hazel eyes.. I enjoyed your gallery!
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letseewhatwegothere's avatar
This is really help, I`m really suck at drawing colored piece...
can`t wait to see your hair tutorial.

:)
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Stephen67's avatar
Glad it does :)
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