Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to Make a Flat Cat - Eyes

Well, kitties, we have finally gotten to my favorite part - eyes!  I always loved drawing them.  For today's lesson, I've drawn 6 eyes, trying to keep them the same so you could see how shading with different colors looked.  True to the spirit of this series of tutorials, I drew one eye then traced it!  I don't think I would have thought of it before.

I've outlined the eyes, smeared a background brown in with my finger. Surrounding colors influence how you perceive adjacent colors, so I didn't want you to see the eyes against a white background.  I colored in green with short strokes.

 I've smoothed out the green and added a dark contrasting color on either side of the top of the pupil, then labeled the colors for you.
I've smeared the strokes to make them smooth and pulled the color slightly down towards the bottom of the iris.
 I've touched up the colors so they go up to the upper lid.  Notice the green doesn't have enough contrast, the black is over powering and the grey is too light.  However, the brown, blue and purple work really well.
The light bounces around in the eye and the next lightest area will be at the bottom opposite the white highlight.  Here I've used a darker yellow since Oui Oui has yellowish green eyes.
I've added a small stroke of the lightest yellow to highlight that area.  Smear, touch up and add color as necessary.  (These really need smearing!)

That's it!  Isn't that incredibly easy?
I've colored Oui Oui's eyes just like above, using brown.  If she had brighter green eyes I would have used the blue or purple.  It looks like one eye is a little yellower than the other, so that needs fixing.

Did you notice how unsatisfactory black is?  I only use it if I absolutely have to, and that goes for mixing paints as well.  I use complimentary colors to mix a richer dark color.

When adding the second highlight, I would never use white.  White flattens your color, but a very pale yellow would work.  In fact, I've done some paintings where after I was done, the last step was a light wash of yellow over all.  Its just warms it up.

Also, I would try to use the paper as white as much as possible.  If you use a fixative, it is going to darken the white pastel, and most of the white will be lost.

I'm going to end the tutorials for the week on this note because there are a couple other things I'd like to blog about, and I'm going to take a break tomorrow to catch up on commenting and emails.  Monday I will start talking about the finishing and mounting process, then we will be done!  Yay!

Oh, and don't forget I have a drawing of MMM I could color.  Any requests?  An orange tabby, a meezer or something else?

To those kitties who say I make it look easy, I say, that's because it is!  Have a little faith in yourself!  It would be easy for you too.  I hope you try it.  Pastels don't cost much.  Practice on scrap paper first, or use an old coloring book.  Of course, its an investment in time, but believe me, its taken me longer to write these posts than to draw them.

BTW, MMM & Oui Oui have enjoyed coloring too.  Mica Moo just tries to inhabit the same space, and Oui Oui likes to walk across it when I'm washing my fingers.  I had to rework her left ear because of a kitty paw print in it.  She also likes to sit in the space where the drawing goes to keep it nice and warm while I'm taking a photo of it.  So its an activity you can share with your kitties!  Thanks for stopping by.  Purrs!


The Furries of Whisppy said...

How about a Tortie? :) Since their base is black, can you avoid using black?
Thank you for the tutorials!

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Marley, and Laz) said...

We cant tell the eyes apart... So we think we will just go nap.

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

This was a great tutorial! Interestingly, when my human works in Photoshop, she rarely uses black or white for fonts and outlines - there is almost always a tinge of color, no matter how dark or light.

Cats Herd You said...

An activity you can do with your kitties? You obviously don't have a Newton in your household.

These tutorials are great. We really do want to give it a try when time permits. And we can figure out how to keep Newton from participating.

da tabbies o trout towne said...

oui...we kinda liked de black eye....knot like ya getted a punched kinda black eye but de eye yur mom drew...mica...how bout bein a tuxie? cow kitty....gray stripped tabby...ore yur gorgeous self !! manee thanx onze again ta yur mom for takin time ta eggs plane all thiz ~~~~~~

meowmeowmans said...

Well, we say the EYES have it. MOL! It was very interesting to see how surrounding colors have such an affect how the viewer sees things. :)

Kitties Blue said...

Loved the note about the paw print in the ear. Your eye drawings look really really great, and that seems like one of the easier steps. Thanks for the continued tutorial. Purrs and hugs from the kitties at The Cat on My Head, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

Sweet Purrfections said...

You are so talented! Mom Paula says she wishes she could do that and she'd make a nice artwork piece of Angel Sweet Praline. She had the most unique coloring.

Sparky Spitfire said...

lovely eyes! so much fun to read about the process. we're color nerds here too and my Human Sister is down stairs now, finishing a giant painting of a guinea pig on a red velvet pillow. It's quite grand, altho' the expression on the piggie's face is his standard, "wth?!" look. anyway, HS took a long time getting the eyes the right shade of beady and panicky. I fink she did a fine job. Mrs. W. sez she's going to frame it in one of those huge gilt Louvre museum-type frames. You should do that to your Kitteh Eyes collection. thanks for sharing!

The Island Cats said...

You have a good eye. ;)

Marg said...

Wow, now those are some good instructions. Those eyes on Oui Oui are really terrific and love how you do all the different colors. Well done.

Brian said...

That is so amazing! Hey, we voted, the eyes have it!

Anonymous said...

It's great to see it step by step and to see the difference with other colours.

Kjelle Bus aka Charlie Rascal said...

I´m one of thoose kittie´s that say it looks easy , but is hard to do :)

Gigi said...

My Human is talentless but intrigued. Maybe next week she will read back through the whole tutorial and contemplate. Yes, contemplation seems about the right level of action for her at the moment, ha ha ha! It would be hard to draw me anyway as I am an almost-pure-black boy.

GLOGIRLY said...

These are beautiful! ....we just love how artistic everything is looking. It's very hard to create that on a computer program. Nothing beats the old fashioned way. : ) Just gorgeous!