Making lizard eyes

Finished lizard eye

It's been a wee while between posts, for which I apologise.  Things have been pretty busy this last week because I've been involved with organising my mum's 60th as well as my work milestones for the end of the financial year.  Today, however, I'm back with a tutorial on making eyes for sculptures.  They're really easy, and lots of fun.

Eyes are really important.  They can make or break your project, so it's worth spending the time to get them how you want them.  For some seriously awesome sculptural eyes, check out Arturo Balseiro's web page.  You'll probably remember his work from Pan's Labyrinth.

Naturally, they're called eyeballs for a reason and it's best to start with a couple of suitably sized balls.  There are lots of things you can use; wooden beads are good, or even the ball out of a bottle of roll-on deodorant.  These eyeballs are made with DAS.

I'm making lizard eyes here purely because they come in a range of fun colours, but of course you can make human eyes in much the same way.  I start by painting the eyeballs with a half-and-half mixture of raw umber and Reeves' metalic bronze.

Then I gently stipple them with raw umber.  Thinning the umber with water makes the stippling subtler and therefore more suitable for eyes, but you have to be quite careful with it or you get a wash instead of a nice stipple.

Then I add a very thin wash of the half-and-half raw umber/bronze mix and add black pupils.

Finally, I finish them off with many, many coats of clear varnish.  To get the right glossy, eye-like finish I'd recommend you use at least eight coats of varnish.  Waiting for each coat to dry before you apply the next is boring, but it's worth the effort.  I suggest you drink mojitos while you do your varnishing; I did and I found it makes the process considerably less boring.

I changed the pupils because I decided vertical ones looked cooler
 And there you go - easy lizard eyes.