Photoshop to vector
Eye Painting tutorial in photoshop
by - Daniel 


This time I will take you through the process of painting an eye. As usual I strongly recommend using a tablet.

Here I started with a hand-drawn sketch. In lack of a scanner I took a quick photo of the sketch, hence the bad quality. You can make your sketch right in photoshop, painter or whatever software package you are using. Rough outlines are enough, but you should already give your eye a characteristic shape.
Start to paint some thick strokes around the eye, a standard brush will be sufficient here, but of course you can experiment with your brush settings to make it easier to paint. I made some brighter strokes to indicate where my light source will be.
I added a few more tones. I do not really care about my colour, since I will change it in the end anyway. Also I strengthened some of the defining lines.
More lines to better define my eyes shape.
In this step I cleaned up the annoying background, and painted the eyeball. This is quite easy, keep in mind that it is a ball, so you will have to shade accordingly. The farther away you get from the pupil, the darker should it be.
Now comes the most difficult part. The iris. First, start off by filling it with a solid colour. Then pick a small brush and make short strokes from the pupil outwards. Change your colour a few times here, if you look close at a photograph of an iris you can see lots of different shades and small strokes. This step determines how realistic your eye will look. The more and the smaller your lines, the more realistic will it look. Zooming in is a good idea
You might want to smoothen the iris a bit, the technique is up to you, you can smudge it, or, like I did, overpaint it a little. I also added highlight and darkened the pupil. The pupil got a small highlight too.
What is left is to shade your eye. The shading will add plasticity and can also help to define the emotion which is expressed by the eye. If you go the easy way then pick dodge/burn, the more work-intensive, but better looking way is to add more layers and paint the highlights and shadows.
This is what I have come up with, after some colour tweaking and some more work on the details. I hope this has been a help for you, if you have any questions or suggestions do not hesitate to drop me a mail at

PS: Tutorial written with the permission of the Author!