Part 3. The Eyes Have It, continued…
I hope everyone is well and looking forward to putting all your homework sketches to good use.
Dame Elizabeth Taylor was described as one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her facial features meet the criteria of symmetrical and proportional perfection. She was also blessed with unusual irises, that is, their colour… a mesmerising mauve!
We are drawing with soft black lead pencils, so when we draw the irises, draw the outline lightly so you can add mauve later…
The Angle of Liz’s Eyes Take your sketch from Part 2, Step 7… and look at the horizontal oval representing Liz’s right eye. Now consult the supplied picture of Liz, and locate the outer corner of her right eye (not her makeup, her actual eyeball). Notice the outer corner is not level with our original horizontal eye-line.
The outer corner is raised a little, so pop a little dot just above your original horizontal eye-line, in the outline of your original horizontal oval. Redraw your horizontal oval on a slight angle, determined by the little dot you just drew just above the horizontal eye-line. Repeat this process on Liz’s left eye.
Developing Liz’s eyes: Beginning with her right eye… look at the photo of Liz. Determine the size and position of her iris and draw it inside the oval, lightly, remember it will be delightfully mauve later. Draw what you see!
Look at the photo again and see where Liz’s pupil is… the size and position, and if you like, colour it in, but not too black yet as we have to consider the white catch-lights that give the eyes their shine. Repeat this process with Liz’s left eye, consulting the photograph as you go.
Steps 2 and 3
Right eye, upper and lower eyelids.
Look at the photo of Liz and observe the position, shape (arc) and angle of Liz’s upper eyelid eyelash line… thankfully, Liz has made this easy for us with black eyeliner which has been applied all the way along, from the tear duct area to the outer corner, on both upper and lower eyelash lines. .
You can draw these lines a little roughly because we will be drawing black-mascara eyelashes over the top later.
Notice the upper eyelash lines run through the irises, and a little bit through the pupils. No need to erase the excess above the eyelash lines because we’ll be applying eye shadow shading over the top of the upper eyelid later anyway. You can use colour for the eye shadow if you want, just lightly to begin with. We can add to it later. The lower eyelash line is a dipping arc following the shape and angle of the bottom edge of the oval.
Repeat this process with Liz’s left eye.
Adding makeup… eye shadow and mascara… look at the photo… thankfully, Liz enjoyed using makeup and lots of it! We’ll add her eye shadow lightly at first, observing the shape of the space between the upper lid and Liz’s other distinguishing features, her jet black, full eyebrows.
Eyebrows. Look at the photo… observe the position, shape, size and angles that create Liz’s eyebrows… draw what you see… lightly at first, and when you’re happy with the result, colour in a bit darker. There are areas of shading either side of Liz’s nose… observe the position, shape, size and angles of these areas of shading… draw what you see! Draw lightly to begin with, darken later. Liz has raised her left eyebrow a little, so to replicate the photo accurately, we will draw it that way. Draw what you see! All of our drawing steps are coming together now… see how Liz is developing on your page…
Next time, whether we’re in lockdown or not, I’ll show you how I construct the rest of beautiful Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s face. Please find time to re-visit these steps… experiment with other faces… try a self-portrait.
Every time you draw, you’re using parts of your brain not usually exercised, to achieve your final piece. For example, observing the position, shape, size and angles of the numerous elements, and using appropriate shading weight to imply depth, are all little queries that require decisions, and control. And the more you draw the better you’ll become!