The biggest mistake my students make in our Portrait Painting class when painting an eye, is that they try to illustrate and dissect all the parts of the iris, pupil, etc instead of painting it as a whole. Let me explain:
1. Paint out the entire eye socket with a dark color (Transparent red oxide and ultramarine blue)--think of a skeleton and the cavity of the eye socket.
2. Paint around the eye leaving the dark color as the line of the lid. A simple stroke of a a mid value will describe the eye lid., and continue underneath the eye and surrounding area.
3. Since the eyeball and eye are already almost black, let that be the dark part of the iris. Simply mix the eye color and place your brush on the inside of the cirlce.
4. The whites of the eye are never white! Use a muddy skin tone with either a hint of black or a hint of blue. Start darker than you think. Light usually hits one side of the eye stronger than the other
We just finished our first DVD on painting Portraits.
It's a 4 hour program -live demo and is packed with painting tips and lessons.
I made it out of frustration-my students were not progressing as I thought they should so I decided to put the instruction on DVD. I made them watch it before class and I was shocked at their instant progress. Hmm. "They'll listen to the TV but not me."