Animal Eyes in Watercolor
Today I put aside my fear of drawing eyes and started a study of painting eyes from my photo reference collection. I enlarged photos of my dogs faces so I could see the detail & shape of their eyes clearly.
I started by drawing an elongated oval shape with pointed ends & added a circle in the center, that was the extent of my drawing. I used a very controlled amount of water & pigment allowing the paint to mingle & flow outside the drawn lines.
I focused on the shape of the eye and the importance of having a white highlight within the iris to show the reflection of light in the subject’s eye.
What an enjoyable way to spend a rainy afternoon in the studio
playing with the colors & shapes of eyes.
Using a variety of cool & warm colors I attempted a portrait of my friend Moose. I’m not trying to paint a replica of him but I’m happy I captured the likeness of my departed companion.
Doing these studies of assorted eyes validated my belief that I could achieve positive results using my watercolor paints and not rely on drawing skills alone.
Trying something unfamiliar, like painting eyes, helps me to refocus & expand my ideas on what I want to paint as an artist. It felt good to be concentrating on the newness of the subject and gave me freedom to explore & probe the unknown. Tomorrow I might go back to a subject that I’m more comfortable with but I learned so much from today’s painting that I think I’ll fill another day with the challenges of painting animal faces.
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