Monday, December 17, 2012

The "Eyes" Have It

Any art that is done on paper or a surface is called 2D. 3D art would be sculpture. If you're interested in doing 2D art and want to draw people, there is one element above all others which will propel your art to the next level: learning to draw eyes.

If there's anything in 2D art that I've learned (in art school and in life) it's this: if you're going to draw people, spend the most time making the eyes as best that you can and your art will be well recieved. Why is this? Because of the way our brains work.

Think about it, if you want to know if someone is telling you the truth, you look into their eyes. If you want a real connection with someone, the eyes are where you will get it. Within the eyes, we feel that, not only are we really "seeing" the other person, but we are being seen, as well. That is all art, essentially, is. One human connecting to another. I've never heard of someone gazing lovingly into another's nostril, have you? The "eyes" have it.

So, if your artwork that depicts another human has well-done, good looking and believable eyes, the viewer feels a connection with the work. It's a simple principle and a simple trick, but it works.

Now, I'd love to be able to sit down with you and show you how I draw eyes. But, if I did that, it would only be teaching you how to copy my style. What I want is for you to find your own style. In that way, keep in mind these simple rules.

1) A part of the iris is always concealed by the eyelid.
2) There will always be a shadow on the eyeball which sets it back from the lid.
3) Within the eye, there will always be a white spot which reflects the light source. The location of this white spot will also direct, slightly, where the eye is looking.
4) The eye, when done, is never fully white. There are pink triangles at each side and the side closest to the nose will always have a circle, which is the tear duct.
5) Eyelashes start (at the side nearest the nose) as short and sparse. As they move to the outer edge, they get longer, thicker and are more frequent.

Those five simple principles are really all you need to know to draw realistic looking eyes. Color? Shape? All of these other things will be determined by your artistic interpretation.

Since I can't sit down with you, this internet medium being what it is, let me give you this video which is a quick-draw of a very good eye.

In drawing people, even "fantasy-type people" with cat tails or blue skin, drawing realistic eyes will grab the viewer and make your art more compelling. And, the more compelling your art is, the more people will want to see of it.

In fact, some compelling work can even be done with just eyes as the subject matter --

Experimentation with the pupil

 A close-up photo of an actual eye. Isn't that amazing?

 To see my work with eyes and re-imagined portraiture, see the project Art Wherever You Are

My dearest beings, I hope this post has helped you on your path.

Until next time, please remember that we are all visionaries. We just have to figure out where we excel.

Love to All,


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