Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cat Eye Tutorial

"Clouded Leopard" Copyright Jennifer Rose Phillip
Coloured Pencil on Canson Mi-Tientes
2.5 by 3.5 Inches

For Sale Here

I have a set of Prismas from when Berol was making them, and while I am sure most of the colours can be found in the new sets, I don't seem to be able to find matches. So if the pencil that I use is a Berol one I will list the number in brackets. :)

Sketch your drawing first so that you know it will fit on such a small space. You can skip this step if you want, I just find it helps to have a rough sketch so I don't end up with half the drawing off the card (which can sometimes look really nice though) Transfer the sketch, simple enough. I used Tracedown paper, which is pretty much coloured carbon paper. Cat eyes are generally the same shape, so once you have the basic shape you just need to figure out what species you want to do, where the markings should go and what colour the eyes usually are. This is supposed to be a Clouded Leopard, some cats are easier to tell apart than others of course :)

1) Fill in the main eye colour, using Sunburst Yellow here, which after the rest of the colours are down you might not be able to even see. Lightly put in some highlights, they usually are not white so the base colour will be picked up here which will help further along to make the eye look a little more realistic.

(2 Close up of the Indigo and the Black Cherry)
2) Since this cat has lots of black markings, I will use the black pencil but not before laying down a few colours first. Normally I try not to just use plain black, it tends to look flat, but I figure if the end result is you wanting black why not use it? I layed down Indigo Blue first and than Black Cherry. (last one of those I have. About 3 inches left before its gone. Pretty much the only Prisma pencil I will miss being able to use. *sobs*) Try not to make the 2 colours overlay each other perfectly, it helps make the spots look a little more real (different shades of black). And then I decided to use some green too, peacock green. (didn't scan this step)

3) Than take Yellowed Orange and go around the inside edges of the eye, and fade into the iris. Take a green (380) and go around the top edge. Make a few light lines going down and around the side of the eye.

Than take Warm Grey 90% (or any dark grey that you have will work well too), and go over all the spots and the pupil. Outline the bottom and top of the lower eyelid, but gradually meet both edges together on both ends (if this isn't very clear, please let me know).

4) Add the white markings, above the eye and at the lower corner here. Take the Cream pencil and lay down some colour on the eyebrow ridge, and the bridge of the nose. Take a brown (341) and lightly put in some fur. Remembering to go in the direction of fur growth, blend the colour into the white and cream. I don't let my pencil leave the paper, just use short light strokes going back and forth. I actually prefer a dull pencil for this, makes the fur look softer.
5) Take Spanish Orange and go around the whole eye, concentrating on the top to put it in shadow. Use Marine Green to darken the shadows and make a few light lines from the top to the bottom. Repeat the same thing with Orange and Pale Vermillion. Not done with the eye but if that looks all right, take your Black and with a very sharp point go over all the dark parts to the eye, and the markings.
6) Back to the Sunburst Yellow over the whole of the eye and use white again to emphasise the highlights. Just repeat the greens and oranges on the eye until you are happy with them. Take Dark Green and go over the top part of the eye, fading around. Now take Carmine Red and start from the bottom left, working around the bottom of the eye to the top, fading into the eye.

7) Couple layers later (when you are happy with the way it looks), take Canary Yellow, or the brightest yellow you have and go over the whole eye. Once again go over the eye with greens,oranges and some reds until you have it looking rounded. It really is just layers of colour over and over again in the same direction. :)
8) Once that is finished, take a Black and Dark Brown pencil and make "eyelashes" on the top of the eye. Just helps to make it look like there is an eyelid to the eye. Lighten any of the white markings with White and Cream. And just build of the fur to the level you want. I usually just suggest fur as I don't want to take any attention away from the colours in the eye.

And thats it :) Any questions? :)


pencilwizard said...

Great tutorial Jennifer,like your use of different colours to achieve the depth and tone of the eye.

Jennifer Rose said...

Thanks you :D

Helen said...

Great tutorial! You make it look so easy - I'm really impressed. However, I am a drawing dunce!

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I am also leaning towards the turquoise binding, and I'm definitely writing up that tutorial.

Hello there! My name is June said...


You did a wonderful breakdown step by step that I think anyone can at least try!

I draw really well and admire your skill & technique!

Way to go!

Azra Momin said...

Your technique is great, and the results are wonderful! Thanks for the awesome tutorial.