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5.3 Ink the Eyes

We’ve inked the mouth and nose successfully, so now we just have the eyes left. My father always told me to do the eyes first as they’re what everyone looks at first. But... I never listen to that. So in this lesson I’ll be discussing how to line up the highlights in the eyes, how dark to go in the whites of the eyes, and how to string your dots together to give the appearance of eyelids and eyelashes. Take it slowly. You can always go back in and make things darker.

5.3 Ink the Eyes

We're on our last fine detail area, the eyes. And I'm just gonna walk you through a few key points before we start in on inking. So my father always told me to do the eyes first, because if you wait till the end and screw them up, you've wasted all your time. And I never ever follow his advice, because I like to boost up my confidence doing the rest of the piece. So I feel really comfortable and then I go in and do the eyes. So, by now, you've been working a lot on your portrait and you should feel quite comfortable using your pen. So, when it comes to the eyes, he is correct in that it what people look at first and if you get them wrong, they'll know it. We're not gonna get them wrong. So a few things to keep in mind is that the bottom eyelid is always going to be lighter than the area below it due to the angle. That the area above the top eyelid will be darker as well due to the fact that it slopes into the skull. You will make the halve on this top lid a little darker area right where it meets the eyeball. And, just like before, you wanna make a really close dotted line there. With people who have darker hair, eyelashes will be more visible than they are in me. Mine are very blonde. Don't be afraid with the eyeball itself to put a few dots in to show the shadows. And make sure you keep highlight in the eye itself. Your highlights should always line up between the eyes. This shows the viewer that you've gotten the eyes right because just like the pupils they should be in alignment. In terms of doing the eyebrows, the eyebrows are done the same with hair. You'll fill in that area and have a few little peaks that come out and you'll create some strings with your dots. So, let's move on and we'll start inking the eyes. So we're gonna start in on the eyes and I always like to start in and do the eyelid first. So I'm going to go and make my solid line of dots. This just helps give me a marker so that I don't lose it later as I go on and start adding lots of dots in the area. You can see here where it's gonna be darker, right at the top of the lid. And then got the eyelid range here. And just like before we're doing sort of a little bit more intuitive. We just don't have the room to try and blend. So you'll blend on the go. So I'm gonna just keep pushing wherever the eyelashes are till I feel like it's dark enough. And you've got that little darker spot right in the corner of your eye. And then I like to set in the edges of the irises. And then you'll just have a very slight dotted line for the bottom eyelid. And then like I said in the beginning here, you've got that little darker area under the bottom eyelid. Just keep looking at the photo, checking for how far the shadows go, how dark they are, looking at where the little corners fold of the eye goes. And see it's a little darker here than I originally had it, so I'll just push it a little bit. And then it's always dark right across, evenly dark where the iris meets the upper eyelid. Then depending on the color of your subject's eyes it might be quite light or quite dark as it comes down. And you'll want to keep that highlight. So it's best to keep your highlight bigger than you see it. The reference is that you can always fill it in later, but it's harder to get the white back. So I'm just pushing the value a little bit. Add those few white dots to the whites of the eye. You can see here where it's a little bit darker under my eye than I have it. And this area needs to get darker, where the lens of the glasses is. So then we're gonna go up. And my eyebrows, I apologize, they're very light for you. You can just see little strands, so just connecting those dots, you know it's about a four to six. It's darker where it's right near the glasses due to the eye socket starting to curve down there. If you end up giving me big bushy eyebrows, don't worry. I'll probably thank you for that. And I will talk in the next lesson when we really start to blend things in, what to do if you do go too dark. There are a few tricks you can use that will help you lighten an area so that it's not too big of a problem. So now we're gonna move on to the second eye. And here we'll start, and again, I'm just gonna do the eyebrow first cuz its what I did last. Making these little strings, lines to trick the eye into thinking its strands of hair. Keeping some light areas. And then you can see there's just this little bit of glasses where it's the eye socket caving in for the eyeball, so we're gonna ink that in as darker. And then the same as we did before for the last eye, gonna put in the close dot for the eyelashes. And then because this side is more in shadow, those are a little bit darker on the side. Just keep looking at that little light spot, so space my dots out more. The other eye, it's darker right underneath bottom lid, draw this thin little string of dots for the bottom lid. And then we'll add in the outline of the iris. And the reflection point here, it's very close to the lens. But we still wanna make sure we keep it and leave it big at this point. Bigger than you see it. You can always go back and cover more of it up. We'll shade it in a little bit. Just add that one little dot, two little dots to the white of the eye. So now we've got in the base for our detail areas. We're gonna move on and I'm gonna show you how to start to blend all this, push your values, stretch it out so that you get the full zero to nine. And you can go and really refine and hone the detail areas, really push the value, and make your shapes really nice.

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