Sunset Tutorials: Eyes


Hi! I’m Darren Huang and I will be doing tutorials for painting with Photoshop.

This tutorial will be on one of the most distinguishing features of a face that draws the viewer into a picture. The eyes are personal my favorite part of the face to paint since you can make each one so different, and you can tell the personality of a character by their eyes. Hopefully this tutorial can help you in painting eyes using Photoshop.

Prerequisites: Of course you will need Photoshop, and a drawing tablet or Wacom tablet is needed for this tutorial. I recommend the Wacom Intuos Pro since it is not too expensive and is really easy to use. A knowledge of basic foundation and anatomy can help drastically as well. Also, don’t be afraid to use a reference! References help a lot! I mean that’s what Google is for, right?


Step 1: The first step is to create a basic sketch using the hard round brush. It can be as messy as you want, as long as you can tell what you are drawing. Remember using a reference always helps. I really recommend to go to see this tutorial on the anatomy of the eye, since understanding the anatomy can help when painting it later on. This tutorial was really helpful when I was learning to draw realistically, and I haven’t been able to find a better one. I advise that you look through all this person’s other tutorials as well.


Step 2: Create a new layer and lower the opacity of the sketch layer, and then start lining the sketch with the hard round brush.


Step 3: Then select which colors you want to use as the base colors and color it. I created a new layer for each part such as one for the iris and another for the white of your eye. In this case I decided to make the eyes dark blue.


Step 4: First, let’s start on the iris. I used the hard round brush to paint the pupil, and then used the airbrush pen brush and made lines around the pupil. Although I showed what colors I used in this case, you can choose any color, even dashes of pink if you want!


Step 5: Then, use the burn tool to define the edge of the iris as well as the area around the pupil and the dodge tool to define the highlights.


Step 6: Then blur it a little bit using the blur tool, especially around the edges, and burn it again to make them pop.


Step 7: Use the airbrush pen brush and use white to create highlights for the eye. I also used some other colors and lowered the opacity of my brush and made some tiny dots as well.


Step 8: Now, shade the whites of the eyes. Using a grey to create shadows, and a very light brown and white for the highlights i tried to make it look as 3-D as possible.


Step 9: At 100% opacity, use black and dark greys to make the eyelashes.


Step 10: Add the skin around it and you have a wonderful eye! Skin is extremely complicated, so we won’t go into that for now, that will be in another tutorial another day.

Step 11 (Optional): Create a clipping mask over your line layer and using the airbrush color the lines a dark red or brown.

Drawings and tutorials by Darren Huang

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