Friday, September 19, 2008

Portrait Class Eye Lesson

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My second class has started and the people who attended my class in July have come back to work on portraits of their own using Prismacolor pencils. To teach this class I am working on a portrait of my future son-in-law, Tao, as a demo. The reference photos are all presented below this text.

Yesterday I started his eyes in class. To keep up with the class I spent four hours this afternoon working on Tao's eyes. I realized after starting on it that the eye on the right was not quite the right shape. So I got my mylar sheet out and traced Tao's eyes as you can see in the second photo. The left arrow points to the tracing. The right arrow indicates the edge of the mylar. Laying the mylar over my work I could see the that right lower lid was a little too narrow and too much white of the eye was showing. The mylar overlay is a great tool for helping to correct this sort of thing.

In the third photo you can see I have started to mold the contours around the eye with Peach. I also reshaped the pupil a bit and deepened the Dark Brown and Pumpkin Orange a bit. Then I blended it with light umber and added black to the edge of the iris. I also drew some delicate lines of black into the iris.

In the fourth photo you can see where I lightened the highlight on the lid with sticky stuff and blended the entire area with Jasmine. I have also added in the eyelashes. I have deepened the shaded areas with Burnt Ochre. It's important to get the areas I am going to make dark brown bright first so when the brown goes on it does not look dirty on the skin. I have added Pink and Terra Cotta to the area that will be the darkest. I have also begun to contour the area below the eye with Blush Pink.

In the fifth photo you can see that I have blended the dark areas with Light Umber. You have to be very careful with Light Umber. If you get enough bright colors under it first it is easier to control as you use it to lightly blend and darken that shadow area. As I worked around the eye I added color in the area where the brow would go. The skin can be seen through areas of the brow. Before I laid in the brow I blended the area with Yellow Ochre and Goldenrod.

Photo number six shows more Pink under the eyebrow and over the deep area of the eye socket. Also it is clearly was time to add the eye brow. Scary because it is so black! I have added Dark Brown to the deep shadow of the eye socket and lid. Putting in darks is hard when the rest of the face is not done. They can look too dark! I can use my little value finder on my photo to determine that I need to take the colors this deep. The rest of the face will blend with this later. I will have to adjust the colors a bit more when I have more of the face done. The areas are still too light.

Number seven, I have pretty much finished both eyes. I put skin tones around both eyes and started the forehead so that I could get all the other colors of the eyes right. The eye on the left will be darkened considerably as I work on the rest of the face. I love the drama of the lighting in the reference photo and I want to reproduce it in this painting. Also the right eye looks a little larger because the face is turned to that direction. When the painting is done this perspective will look right. For now it looks like a mistake.

Next class we will start the mouth.

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