Face painters are not just entertainers for birthday parties. Most of us are also artists and may even do body and specialty painting. I think it is very beneficial to learn how to paint eyes, especially for Halloween time because they help you practice creepy realism and they are also a common feature of Halloween specialty designs (such as a fortune teller). In this post, I will take you through the steps of painting an eye.
Step 1: As with most drawings/paintings, you first have to do a quick outline. I suggest looking at a reference picture to help you get the basic shapes down. The sketch can be quick and messy because it will all get covered with more paint later on.
Step 2: Fill your almond shape in with white. I added a little bit of grey to the white so that it wasn’t too bright. I filled the iris in with light blue. You can make the iris any color you wish, though. Then, try to center the pupil as best as you can in the iris.
Step 3: This is the part where you will start adding all of the flesh tones. I mixed a couple of brown shades together to match my skin tone and this was my base that I applied all around the eye. Then, I mixed some fair colored paint along with a little bit of red to the base and applied a thin line of that all around the top, outer edge, and bottom of the eye. I added even more red to this color and applied it in what will be the inner corner (tear duct) of the eye. Finally, I added some dark brown to my base and applied that color wherever shadows will naturally be (i.e. between flesh and eyeball & the folds surrounding the eye.)
Step 4: This step is very straightforward, but it is also one of the most important because it will add more realism if done well. I mixed some black paint in with my blue paint and used light handed strokes to apply the paint to the edges of the iris. First, I made these flicking short strokes from the outer edge toward the pupil. Then, I switched and started from the pupil and flicked my brush out toward the edges. So now, the light blue only shows through in the middle of the iris.
Step 5: In this step, you will need to go back to your flesh tones. Choose a shade that is about two shades lighter than your skin tone, then apply that color in all places that should be highlighted (inside corner of eye and along high points of folds. Try to blend as best as you can.
Step 6: Next, we will make the eyes look creepy and bloodshot. Use your red paint to draw very very thin lines all within the whites of the eyes. Then, use your red powder makeup and apply that in the whites of the eyes. It should be more concentrated on the outside edges of the whites.
Step 7: Use black powder makeup to further help create the illusion of shadows and depth. Apply it on the outer edges of the iris, the corners of the eyes, and the eye folds.
Step 8: Use black paint and a very thin brush to create eyelashes. Again, try to look at a reference image so that you know what direction to place the lashes.
Step 9: Finally, add some bright highlights. I highlighted in the iris and pupil, along the outside edges of the whites, and in the whites (blend out). This will bring your painting to life.
White Face Paint
Light Blue Face Paint
Black Face Paint
Various shades of Brown/Skin Tone Face Paint
Red Face Paint
Red Powder Makeup
Black Powder Makeup