Kat Can Paint! Eyes

Free Painting Tutorial! How to Paint Eyes

Kat Can Paint! Eyes

Week One wraps up with a tutorial on how to paint the eyes that you learned to draw yesterday.

This painting tutorial is a primer for you to get familiar with painting: learning color mixing, paint flow, and laying down lines & forms with a brush instead of a pencil.  I’m covering the basics first, then we will wrap up all the lessons in one big class that brings everything you’ve learned all together in a finished painting.

Supplies you will need:

  • Canvas or paper : I like to use canvas paper or watercolor paper for studies or exercises like this one on how to paint eyes. Be comfortable with your supplies and enjoy the process. Please don’t worry about getting everything perfect or ‘ruining’ your good supplies, use sketchbook paper if you don’t have canvas.  
  • 3 brushes: one larger one to paint in the skin base, one smaller one that is your default brush, and one tiny liner brush for details. I use golden taklon brushes, because I like their springyness in these sizes; size 12 flat brush, size 2 round brush, size 0 liner brush.   Have no idea about brush sizes? Dick Blick has a great pdf for that!
  • Acrylic paint in:
  • white
  • black
  • burnt sienna
  • primary blue
  • primary red
  • yellow ochre for skin mixing if needed
  • optional colors if you don’t want to mix them yourself:
  • light blue
  • gray
  • skin tone of your choice.

Mixing a light skin tone:

Light Skin tone is white + burnt sienna + red.  The ratio for me is something like 5/1/1.  That’s five parts white, one part burnt sienna, one part red. If this mixture looks too pink to you, add a dot of yellow ochre.  There is a push and pull to mixing flesh tones because its subjective, if you like your skin mix darker, lighter, pinker, tanner, etc then you can customize just like a recipe, this is the base mix.

Dark Skin tone is burnt sienna + yellow ochre + blue + white.  The ratio is 5/3/2/1 ish.  Again, this is subjective, you should experiment to find a color mix you really like, use this ratio as a guide and make it your own.  Be careful with the white, though, it will make a rich brown look very ashy if you use too much.

I dedicate an entire bottle to my flesh tone base color.  I start with a white bottle of paint, add a squirt of burnt sienna, 1 drop blue, and half a squirt of red and shake it like a… yeah, I almost went there.  If you have an entire extra bottle of white paint and are going to paint a lot of portraits, then I recommend you make your own bottle so that your skin color paint is always consistent.

I always adjust my color as I need it, the key here is to really not get an orange skin tone.  Unless you are painting Snooki and George Hamilton, then pick up your nearest pumpkin orange and have at it.

How to Paint eyes easy tutorial from KatCanPaint.com

If you love it, share it.

Of course, you can always paint any color eye you want.  I realize that maybe you want a green eye, or a brown eye, or a lavender eye, or some sort of crazy peacock feather inspired eye.  Do it.  These rules are just guidelines to get you to see painting eyes in simple shapes and easy steps that you can break down and learn.

How to paint eyes color collage by KatcanPaint.com

Quick and dirty eye color studies. I like that brown eye!

Green eyes?  Paint the iris with your base green, then highlight with a brighter green, and add the white highlights accordingly.

Brown eyes? Paint the iris with a milk chocolate color, shade with an expresso, highlight with a teddy bear brown.  Brown eyes look great with a lot of different tone on tone shades and highlights, but white really dulls a beautiful brown, use it sparingly.

Purple eyes? Base your iris with a lilac, shade with a violet, and highlight with white.

See the pattern?  You can apply it to any color of eye you’d like.

Wacky peacock inspired eyes?  I used turquoise to base the iris, purple to shade, and lime green to do the four spoke highlight… then I just added the white highlights like normal.

Try metallic paints, or glittery ones, they can be very striking as eyes.  Just limit yourself to a few colors 2-3 plus white and black for small eyes so you don’t get your paint colors all muddy and lose detail.

Lets wrap this up, shall we?  Next week I’m going to show you how to draw and paint noses!

In this blog workshop / free painting series you can expect to learn how to draw and paint all the basics of a pretty female face:

  • How to Draw Eyes 
  • How to Paint Eyes (You are Here ^_^)
  • How to Draw Noses
  • How to Paint Noses
  • How to Draw Lips
  • How to Paint Lips
  • How to Draw the Face (facial structure) and Ears
  • How to Draw Hair
  • How to Paint Hair
  • Bringing it all together

Plus:

    • How to Mix Custom Skintone Colors (we did that today!)
    • How to Choose a Canvas
    • Types of Paint : Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews
    • Types of Brushes: Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews (I’m feeling a theme here)
    • Gesso, Mediums, + more: demystifying the whys and whens of using primers and mediums
    • How to Incorporate Mixed Media and Collage elements
    • Where do I go from here?
    • Pinterest drawing and painting Inspiration

I know there will be a lot more additions to this list too, because I want to include everything I know about drawing and painting a pretty face in this series.  I want it to be easy to read and follow along and fun for beginners and more advanced painters alike.

If you have questions go ahead and leave a comment so I can answer them & add them to the tutorial.

<3 Kat

Free Painting Tutorial! How to Draw a Pretty Face: Week One – Eyes

Howdy! All this month on the blog I’m offering a free painting workshop: How to Paint a Pretty Female Face.

This first tutorial is how to draw the eyes, because eyes are my favorite things to draw!  I doodle eyes everywhere, they are my default doodle when I am on the phone or trying to warm up / loosen up for a larger piece.

Yay, free face template / pattern to paint. For this blog workshop we will be painting this ^ lovely girl from start to finish, so feel free to print and transfer her onto your favorite canvas, watercolor paper, or art journal.
I will be covering all the drawing basics first, before we jump into painting, because it is important to have a well crafted sketch and drawing before you start thinking in paint and color.  If your foundation drawing is wonky your painting will be wonky too.

The tutorial today will be covering the basics of how to draw a semi-realistic stylized eye like the one on template.  You can print out the tutorial and practice drawing basic beautiful eyes to create your own face if you’re a more advanced artist and don’t want a pattern / template.
I made a lovely infographic (that is perfectly pin-able, hint hint) for my first installment of my free painting workshop How to Draw a Pretty Face – Week One : Eyes

In this blog workshop free painting series you can expect to learn how to draw all  the basics of a pretty female face:

  • How to Draw Eyes (You are Here ^_^)
  • How to Paint Eyes
  • How to Draw Noses
  • How to Paint Noses
  • How to Draw Lips
  • How to Paint Lips
  • How to Draw the Face (facial structure) and Ears
  • How to Draw Hair
  • How to Paint Hair
  • Bringing it all together

Plus:

    • How to Mix Custom Skintone Colors
    • How to Choose a Canvas
    • Types of Paint : Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews
    • Types of Brushes: Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews (I’m feeling a theme here)
    • Gesso, Mediums, + more: demystifying the whys and whens of using primers and mediums
    • How to Incorporate Mixed Media and Collage elements
    • Where do I go from here?
    • Pinterest drawing and painting Inspiration

I know there will be a lot more additions to this list too, because I want to include everything I know about drawing and painting a pretty face in this series.  I want it to be easy to read and follow along and fun for beginners and more advanced painters alike.

If you have questions go ahead and leave a comment so I can answer them & add them to the tutorial.

<3 Kat

Free Drawing and Painting Workshop! Introducing my How to Draw and Paint a Pretty Face series.

 

Want to learn how to draw and paint super pretty faces?

Stay tuned, I’m putting the finishing touches on the first  class: How to Draw Eyes – which is my favorite part of drawing and painting faces. I’m really passionate about this topic, and if you haven’t noticed, I love painting portraits and beautiful, dreamy girls.

Tomorrow I am going to share some of my favorite portrait painting inspiration images from Pinterest, then we are jumping right into the How to Draw Eyes class.  My aim is that at the end of this series you can draw and paint a pretty female face you’ll be proud of, from start to finish.

My simple face painting tutorial turned into several classes then morphed in a workshop.  I really wanted to be thorough and share what I know about how to paint a pretty girl face.  Every time I outlined the information I wanted to share, the list grew.  And grew. I can’t hold back; there are so many little bits and things that I’ve learned over the years of painting.  I’m creating a source of information that I wish was around when I started painting.  I had so many questions and I couldn’t really just Google things back in the day:  How do I choose a brush when there are ten trillion in the brush aisle of Michaels? Why is “Santa’s flesh” orange? What is the difference between this $2.00 bottle of paint and this $11.59 bottle, besides price, obviously?  I had a lot of questions on technique, materials, and style that mystified me when I was trying to figure out how to paint portraits.  I’ve spent years experimenting, researching, painting, taking classes, and learning everything I could about figure drawing and painting people and portraits.

 

Now you can Google the answers to a lot of art questions if you need a quick answer, but there is still a lot of art speak involved, especially if you are just jumping in, and it can get majorly overwhelming.  More than that, these questions come up a lot later in your artist journey when you’ve already invested time and money in experimenting, like I did, only to find that you hate using oils and turpentine.

I’m really into this workshop. I ran through outlining and planning all the tutorials and extras I wanted to add in the coming weeks.  Look at this list!

  • How to Draw Eyes
  • How to Paint Eyes
  • How to Draw Noses
  • How to Paint Noses
  • How to Draw Lips
  • How to Paint Lips
  • How to Draw the Face (facial structure) and Ears
  • How to Draw Hair
  • How to Paint Hair
  • Bringing it all together

Plus:

    • How to Mix Custom Skintone Colors
    • How to Choose a Canvas
    • Types of Paint : Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews
    • Types of Brushes: Quick and Easy Explanation and Reviews (I’m feeling a theme here)
    • Gesso, Mediums, + more: demystifying the whys and whens of using primers and mediums
    • How to Incorporate Mixed Media and Collage elements
    • Where do I go from here?
    • Pinterest drawing and painting Inspiration

I know there will be a lot more additions to this list too, because I want to include everything I know about drawing and painting a pretty face in this series.  I want it to be easy to read and follow along and fun for beginners and more advanced painters alike.

This week is How to Draw Eyes.  Quickie preview?  Yes, I’ve got one for you!

I’m so excited about this fun and information rich workshop that I’m having a hard time not unleashing an insane amount of stuff into the world all in one go… but that would be insanely overwhelming.

See you tomorrow with my Pinterest face painting inspiration!

<3 Kat

 

 

face study on book page collage by KatCanPaint

From the Archives: Can you paint on wood without looking like an Audrey Kawasaki copycat?

I’m revisiting my archives this week, dusting off old paintings and posts to share.

This post is from May of 2009:

Can you paint on wood without looking like an Audrey Kawasaki copycat?

I’ve been painting on canvas and in my art journal for over a year, and I thought I should mix it up. I like the look of wood and paper but both pose a problem for me: Book pages always look like folk art mixed media works, or the collage leaves and uneven messy surface to paint on, and if I draw or paint on wood pieces my girls look like Audrey Kawasaki clones.

Experimenting with art on book pages and wood pieces.

To create a background for this painted portrait, I made a collage of story book pages onto a piece of canvas paper.  (Next time I do this it will be on something sturdy, a hard board panel or wood. Canvas paper is fun to experiment on but its too flimsy for mixed media layers.)

face study on book page collage by KatCanPaint

Face study
Acrylic, dye, and beeswax paints over old book pages

The collage added a lot of bulk and overlapping bits to the background which made it a challenge to get the smooth “licked surface” painterly quality that I like my portraits to have.  Its obviously rough and an imperfect and I love it!

At first I was very judgmental about this background technique, I thought it would look instantly “shabby chic” or scrapbook-y.  Now I want to use book pages for everything:  just look at that lovely yellowing, instant age and depth. 

Her face came out so nice.  Every time I paint I get better: the base / underpainting is in acrylics and her features were detailed with my watercolor-esque beeswax paints. I like these beeswax paints, they are beautifully translucent while having a lot of chroma so they don’t look as flat as using just acrylics.

If you wanted to achieve this look in your paintings the color palette is: mars black, titanium white, cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, light cadmium red, burnt umber, and lots of raw sienna. My underpainting this time was purple instead of the usual raw sienna and it was an interesting and fun way to start.

Luna Moths drawing by KatCanPaint

Luna Moths

pencil on wood

Luna Moths is a sketch on a tiny spare piece of wood left over from a wood-burning kit.  The wood and pencil make me automatically think of Audrey Kawasaki’s work, and that is unfortunate because I think that a lot of people will have that association; still it was a lot of fun to do. If I want to work on wood I will have to be sure my style is clearly defined as my own.  I like the color and texture of wood panels, even more than the book pages, I just need to solve the style dilemma.

It boils down to figuring out the equation, really. What makes this piece, or any, look like another artist’s work? Pretty girl, captivating stare, manga inspired, focus on the face and facial features, focus on tight detailed line work, muted color palette, a lot of wood texture visible, and minimal background?  In this case, it’s a lot of things that could very well be solved just by painting my piece with acrylics.

<3 Kat

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