Drawing eyes from Svetlana Klimova

Good afternoon, my name is Svetlana Klimova, I do photo art and I want to share with you the author’s lesson in which I will illustrate the technique of drawing eyes, which I use on the example of my work “Twilight Predator”.

The sequence of these actions may vary or be supplemented, but this is the basis, my well-established algorithm.

1. Source

I will seek a hard hypnotic look. By and large, all this is already laid in the picture, my task is to pull out from it only what I need.

2. Retouch

I make a duplicate of the source code and place it on top of all layers, turn off visibility, I will need it as a reference not to get lost in the light and shadow figure.

Before drawing, any photo must undergo preliminary training, namely retouching. With photos designed for photo art, I don’t particularly stand on ceremony, deleting everything that can interfere with me further: sticking hairs, unnecessary folds, glare, etc. I do not neglect blurring either, since the skin texture will now be artificial. I take color samples from blurred skin and a soft 10% transparent brush, like a glaze technique, removing spots, smoothing tones. At this stage, the volume is lost, but not terrible, I will return it with the help of curves masks.

3. chiaroscuro

Two CURVES adjustment layers for shadows and light.

I drop the curve for the shadows, invert the mask and deepen the shadows with a soft white brush.

For light, I lift the curve, invert the mask and with a soft white brush I intensify the light areas on the convex places.

4. Drawing iris

The cutest thing is when the drawing of the iris is beautiful with its naturalness, then the work is simplified, and you can skip the next step. But what to do if there is none at all? You can, of course, use the “services of the donor” or, for example, a finished brush, but in this case I prefer to create it manually.

On the new layer I make a round selection, fill it with black or white, add a monochrome noise of 150% and then a radial blur (Amount 100; Zoom; Best). Layer expose the Overlay mode and duplicate with the subsequent transformation. I merge the layers, add a mask and use a black brush to wipe all that is unnecessary.

5. Coloring the iris

GRADIENT MAP Correction Layer

Color depends largely on the image. And since I set my goal to achieve the similarity of a cat’s eye, and in accordance with the general tone of work, I choose a cold blue-green gamut.

HUE / SATURATION adjustment layer

I add warmth to the pupil, a little going beyond it.

6. Makeup

New layer for drawing shadows. I confine myself to just a correction, but I can experiment with textures.

7. Eyelashes and eyebrows

A new layer for drawing eyelashes and eyebrows. I turn on Shape Dynamics and Transfer, the size of the brush varies depending on the size of the image. I take samples of flowers from their darkest areas.

8. Pupils and glare

I paint pupils and highlights in pairs on different layers in order to be able at any time to change their color and load into the selection.

9. Shine

A new layer is filled with 100% black and transferred to Color Dodge mode. Alternately, I load the pupils into the selection, then the glare and with a white 10% brush I add shine to them. If you need to correct – paint over black. Visibility of “running ants” at this moment disable Ctrl + H, most importantly, do not forget to deselect Ctrl + D afterwards.

10. Drawing details and correction

I create a new layer, fill it with 50% gray and put it into Soft Light mode. I paint on it with a black and white brush, and not a clarifier and dimmer, it is more convenient for me, since the brush is always at my fingertips.

I begin to give volume to the eyelashes, adjust their shape and draw the shadow in blue.

11. Color correction

This stage concerns not so much the eyes as the general appearance of the skin in the concept of work.

I added cold reflexes from the background, texture, and adjusted the skin tone, darkening the curves, reducing its saturation and diluting the color uniformity using a gradient map.

For clarity, the layers palette looks like this:

I never merge these layers so that changes can be made at any time.

12. Result

In conclusion, I increased the sharpness in the eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows and conducted a general color correction.

Creative success!

The lesson was written for advanced users of Photoshop, enthusiastic photoart, as an exchange of experience.

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