Friday, December 15, 2006

Demonstration of how to draw a Cat's Eye in Coloured Pencil

A quick hello from Rio who is progressing really well. He is now able to lead a normal puppy life with the other Glenspey collies.

I am often asked how I draw the eyes in my macro cat series, so I thought I'd do a quick demonstration to show you.

As this is just a demo I haven't been careful with the shape of the eye and as the diagrams are bigger than my drawing the colour might look less smooth than in real life.

I first draw the shape of my eye using Polychromos Paynes Grey, I indicate the pupil in the same, but use graphite to define the highlights then I can easily erase later.

The second step is covering the pupil in Black Grape taking care to reserve the highlights, and washing the iris with Cream, both colours are from the Prismacolor range (used to be Karisma in the UK).

I always use those initial colours no matter what colour the finished eye colour will be.
In the second diagram.I have strengthened the line round the eye using Polychromos Black Soft and softened the graphite round the highlights. Black Soft is a lovely pencil to use, as its name suggests it is a little less dense than black.

The next stage is to place a wash of Polychromos Indigo Blue over the pupil. Most of the iris is then washed with Deco Aqua except the little bit at the bottom and the edges which get another wash of cream.

I again put a wash over the pupil, this time with Polychromos Black Soft. I have completed another layer of Deco Aqua but changed the cream to Jasmine.

All the above layers are completed with a really sharp point. From the next layer I will start using different pressure to indicate marks in the eye.

I have added a layer of black to the pupil, then layered Polychromos Light Aqua over the Deco Aqua, put a layer of cream over the whole area except round the pupil and then another layer of Deco Aqua.
I've put the eye in context by adding some fur round the it using raw umber, dark brown and black.
Back with the eye I used Aquamarine with a really sharp point to start defining marks, then washed the whole thing with cream pressing on slightly harder

I darkened the pupil againwith black, put some more Aquamarine marks in, then added two layers using Jasmine and Deco Aqua working them in to give the effect I'm looking for. I have started to add some Black Grape for shadow.The eye is just starting to look like it has some depth.

I once again go over the pupil, this time using Black Grape.
Added light green over the shadow and jasmine around the edges, then layered cream with medium pressure. Added light blue in the large highlight

I then layered white over everything except the pupil, worked more deco aqua, light green and jasmine in, again looking to create depth. I took a little of the blue out of the top of the highlight, then used white with a really heavy pressure.I added indigo to the shadow.At actual size this is looking reasonable.I will work another layer of cream then blend using a colourless blender.

I hope this has been useful, if you would like a demonstartion of fur or nose, ears etc just leave me a comment to let me know.


Anonymous said...

Its interesting to follow how you make a eye.
It is one of the things I like the most of your paintings.
I draw and paint a little myself, but always have difficulties with the proportions.

I would like to see how you paint the rest. Ears, nose, headshape.
With those lessons from you I hope to learn how to paint my own cats.

Rio looks very naughty on the picture. I like this expression on his face.

Anonymous said...


I wish you and you''re familue and all the dogs and puppy's a great and happy Christmass-time.

Gayle Mason said...

Thank you Henriette, I will work on more demonstrations in the New Year.
I hope your Christmas was everything you wished for.


sandy said...

I found this very helpful and will be trying an eye, this week. Thanks for the tutorial. I love your site here.


Gayle Mason said...

Thank you Sandy, I'm glad you found the tutorial useful


andi777 said...

I am learning so much from you, Thank You I am very new to coloured pencils so any tips are of great value, Thank you for your lessons

Anonymous said...

this very helpful!

Gayle Mason said...

Thank you Akiko

Rebecca said...

I am very interested in seeing your lessons on painting or drawing ears, fur and nose. I enjoyed the lesson on how to draw a cat's eye.

Unknown said...

Million thanks for posting this Gayle. I have used your tips and advice to get the wheels going on my Jack Russel portrait. (Turned out quite OK!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Gayle, I just love all your work I hope someday to be half as good as your are. Thank you for taking the time to show how you do eyes. Have your ever thought of doing a video?
I love your new puppy, what a beautiful face.

Geri said...

Hi Gayle, I am a big fan of your wonderful work, thank you for sharing with a demonnstration of a cat's eye. Have ever thought of doing instructional videos? I hope some day to have my work look as great as yours.
Your puppy is just adorable, what a cute face.

Jeannie said...

Gayle, Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your gifts. Your art lights up from within--they look like they'll jump up and walk off the screen. You really should do a whole series! Thank you again. Love all your sites.

graniyea said...

Interested in online class. I would like to see how you do your fur. Please

Sandra Bush said...

Thank you for your tutorial. When painting pet portraits in pastel, I always find eyes the most difficult body part to portray realistically. Your well explained steps have been a great help.