I have been sent this lovely picture Joanne is doing of her Grandson and has asked for my help. She writes “I don’t seem to be able to get his eyes right they look a bit Cartoony, he has long lashes in real life”.
I have shown both Joanne painting and the reference photograph above together with a blow up of the eyes so that we can see the problem better. The main problem with the eyes in Joanne’s painting is the harsh line that depicts the dark area, as Joanne states it does look a bit cartoony. Also the eyelashes are much too prominent and need to be suggested rather than putting them in with strong heavy lines.
The answer I suggest is that the lines are erased and replace with a much softer shadow effect. After all this is what it is, not a line as clearly seen in the inset photo. There is more shadow under the eye (see gold arrow) than on the top (see white arrow). This suggests that the eyes are open which is certainly the case, this would solve the problem. At a stroke the eyelashes could then be implied using a sharpened pastel pencil, 283 could be a good colour for this.
Although Joanne has not asked for this, there is one other point I would like to raise while I have this reference available and it could interest you all. I have always liked freckles especially in children and Joanne has quiet rightly included these in the painting. I do feel though that they do stand out a little too much and could do with being weakened slightly so they are not so obvious. This can be done by adding a complimentary colour on top of them.
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