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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

It’s all in the eyes

From understanding the parts of the eye to how you can paint realistic-looking features, Dave White demonstrates the importance of close observation



¦ Understand the dynamics of the eye

¦ How to bring your eyes to life

¦ Learn the painting process step by step

English Springer Spaniel , acrylic, 24x24in. (61x61cm). One of the problems of just doing commissions is that all your work is hanging on someone’s wall and you don’t have enough examples of what you do. So this springer was an amalgamation of five dogs I had painted for various people: the ears of one, the eyes of another, nose of another and so on. The eyes were selected as the most artistic and I think they give the painting its appeal. However, whenever a breeder or dog show judge sees the painting they turn away because the eyes are ‘not breed standard’! Some people see things differently to the artist!

This is the part of painting dogs that most artists want to do first. The eyes are usually the smallest thing in the painting and the first thing that your viewer will look at. They have to be right.

However, it’s no good painting the eyes if the rest of the dog is out of proportion, or the wrong colour, so I recommend you get everything else right first. There is so much fine detail in the eyes, and if you do them first the rest of the dog has to follow in the same style. First establish the position of the body and the ‘look’, for instance joyous, coy or contemplative, and then you can use the position of the eyes to accentuate that look.

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About Leisure Painter

Welcome to the December issue of Leisure Painter. As always, the issue is packed full of demonstrations and tutorials for you to follow, from watercolour, pen and wash and pastel to acrylics and oils. Liz Chaderton demonstrates how to add gold leaf to your paintings for that added wow factor and Julie King offers inspiration for this year's Christmas card. There are three quick practices to help you paint watercolour with more confidence and our cover artist, Shelly Perkins shares her unique methods of combining traditional and digital techniques in 'Pencils, Paint and Pixels'. Find out where some of the best exhibitions, art events and art club shows are running this month, books to read and so much more! Enjoy your month of painting with Leisure Painter.