Make a decision as to whether youll paint the eyes in your portrait realistically or playfully. If you choose to paint in a photorealistic manner, youll need to remind yourself to show restraint when applying color to the eyes. When painting the eyes in your portraits, you can begin with a pure pigment. Then, as you move through the successive layers of the painting, reduce the color to a beautiful neutral of that same color family. You can achieve a realistic color with this method by using just a few colors from your palette; the three primaries work very well if all three are either warm or cool (for example, permanent rose, aureolin yellow and Winsor blue). If youd like an eye thats on the green side, simply make sure that you apply more blue and yellow layers to this eye than red layers, until you get the hue youre looking for. The last color applied will always give you the dominant color tendency.
Foster Caddell lives in Voluntown, Connecticut, and is a memeber of many organizations, including the Pastel Society of America.