Feature Focus: Sculpting Eyes
The Windows to the Soul
Welcome to the first in a series of lenses about sculpting specific features. Eyes portray much of the emotion in a sculpture and are where you first focus when looking at a face. So come learn about the anatomy of the eye, sculpting, using glass eyes, and more.
Introduction to Sculpting Eyes
Eyes are such a big part of the expression of the face but they can be very difficult to sculpt. This lens gives an overview of various techniques for sculpting eyes in clay figures.
Here's a handy chart I put together on the size of eyes for various species of animals (including humans) and those sizes converted to common sculpting scales: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, and 1/12.
To the right is a chart of the parts of the eyeball.
I know it's a little icky but it's important to understand the anatomy of the eye and the muscles which surround it.
Eye Anatomy Links
- Eye - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eyes are organs that detect light. Different kinds of light-sensitive organs are found in a variety of animals. The simplest "eyes", in even unicellular organisms, do nothing but detect whether the surroundings are light or dark, which is sufficient
- Evolution: Library: Evolution of the Eye
Zoologist Dan-Erik Nilsson demonstrates how the complex human eye could have evolved through natural selection acting on small variations. Starting with a simple patch of light sensitive cells, Nilsson's model "evolves" until a clear image is produce
- ARTNATOMY/ARTNATOMIA - Home
Anatomical basis of facial expression learning tool.
- Evolution of the eye - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The evolution of the eye has been a subject of significant study, as a distinctive example of a homologous organ present in a wide variety of taxa. The development of the eye is considered by some experts to be monophyletic; that is, all modern eyes,
- The Mammal Eye and Vision in Mammals
An introduction to the mammalian eye and the ways that mammals see the world
Eye Anatomy Video - Warning: It's a disection so it's a little icky.
It's hard to find tutorials on sculpting eyes but there's plenty of resources around for drawing and painting eyes and those can be a great help.
- Drawing the eyes - drawing lesson. portrait tutorial
How to draw eyes - tutorial for the portrait artist. Lessons on drawing and sketching the eye.
- How to Draw Eyes
Tips on how to draw eyes. The anatomy of the eyeball and detailed observation.
- How to Draw Eyes
Old art books as downloadable pdf files.
- Human Anatomy Pictures for Artists Online
Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis
You have two options when sculpting eyes in clay, sculpt them directly in clay or use an artificial eyeball and sculpt the eyelids around it.
Sculpting the Eye Directly in Clay
Typically either the eye area is sculpted and then the eye carved and modeled in that are or a ball of clay if pushed into a scooped out eye socket and more clay is layered over the ball as eyelids. How the eyeball is finished is up to the sculptor but common options are a smooth ball, scribed lines indicating the outline of the iris and/or pupil, carved out pupils with or without indication of the iris, carved out iris and pupil.
Using an Artificial Eye
Another popular way t sculpt eyes is to use a hard artificial eye instead of attempting to sculpt a smooth sphere in soft clay. The eyeball is inserted into a scooped out eye socket and the eyelids built up around it in clay. Care needs to be taken that each eye socket is of the same depth, on the same horizontal line, and equal distance away from the center line of the face, otherwise the eyes will be uneven and harder to correct than when sculpting directly in clay.
Options for eyes:
Resources for Sculpting Eyes
- portrait-sculpture.com :: View topic - sculpting eyes/// lip lines
Discussion about sculpting eyes and is the iris should be scooped out.
- Sculpted Eyes | The Best Artists
Overview of eyes in classical sculpture
Mark Alfrey's Sculpting the Human Head DVD
Wonderful video showing the process of sculpting an old man's face. Mark Alfrey does a great job explaining how he works.
Anatomy and Expressions in Clay is one of the most complete and comprehensive sources on modeling the portrait in clay you'll find for the beginner and more advanced student. For the beginner, the step-by-step method provides a means to achieve fast results, as well as a solid foundation in the knowledge of anatomy. For the advanced artist, there is a wealth of information on such topics as the aging process, mechanics of expression, and advanced rubber mold making. Philippe shares his step-by-step method of construction, as well as a guide to catch and correct common mistakes in clay. This 89-minute DVD is for beginners, but it is complete enough to keep the interest of the most experienced sculptor.
Resources for Making Eyes
Videos On Making Artificial Eyes
Places to Buy Eyes
- Doll's eyes : FaerieMajikk's Ooak Supplies
Handmade Eyes on Wire
- Glass Eyes Online, Teddy Bears & Dolls with an International Flavor
Glass Eyes Online : - 3.) Glass Eyes -Wire-Transparent 3B.) Glass Eyes w/Loops 2B.) Plastic Oval Doll Eyes 2A.) Glass Doll Eyes w/Wire 4.) Plastic Eyes-Washer Rd Pupil 5.) Noses-Glass & Plastic 6.) Teddy Bear Joints 1.) Accessories 2.) Glass Doll
- Van Dykes Taxidermy supply company fish deer bird
Glass Eyes - Big Game/Small Game, Mammal, Bird, Fish Eyes, Novelty & Human Mannequin, Reptile, Nite Eyes, Custom Order Eyes
- Welcome to Masterpiece Eyes
Originator of the soft glass flexible doll eyes