This is a polarizing one: You either love it or you hate it.
You know how putting boggly-eyes on things makes them cuter? Well, a big, disembodied boggly-eye ain’t that cute. In this series, I did a couple of ‘body parts’, like a heart, a stomach and a brain, but I’ve given them away. My favourite was the eyeball, anyway.
I just remember that Halloween is around the corner, so I’ve bumped this post up to now.
Choose an egg than is not so eggcentric: you want a less of difference between the size of the base and the top. Also, knock off any lumps or bumps with sandpaper or a box cutter.
Undercoat as usual, make it smooth, then coat it over with a good, strong white paint. Texturize a little with foam if you like.
Go look at a real eye. It helps. See the size of the iris (the coloured bit)? It’s not very big in the grand scheme of things. Only one and a half centimetres or half an inch or so. Make it too big, and the eyeball will look comical. My first few attempts, my irises were far too large. Keep it small.
Get a circle, piece of rubber, foam, whatever, that matches the size of the iris and use this as a stencil on the egg at the very top. Next, get a stencil or a sticky dot that is smaller than the iris. Use a pencil to trace it.
If you’ve made a small secondary hole, then the pupil, being black, will happily hide it.
Decide on the colour of your iris: I chose brown because I used my wife’s eyes as a model. Paint lightly with black around the outside of the iris, stroking toward the centre. Then get your coloured paint and paint over these, blended in toward the centre. Finally, using some white paint, add some radiating flecks. Your iris is done.
Now, fill in the pupil. Two coats of black at least to hide any white or colour underneath.
If you need diagrams, let me know.
The blood and gore
The back of the eyeball is where you can let loose. Using impasto medium, get some red, white, blue and pink paint and build up ‘muscles’ on the side, about halfway up the eyeball.
Use the impasto to get lines and icky textures in there, with lines of red and pink and even mustard if you like.
Toward the base, build up the goo into a peak to form the optic nerve. Let this dry.
Pro Tip: when painting arteries and veins, mix in a little white paint into the blue or the red. If you don’t, putting blue against a red background will result in a ‘black’ vein which, while more accurate, isn’t as visually appealing. The same goes for arteries. Adding a little white paint brings up the vivid red.
Using a wire or a fine brush, mix the ‘vein’ paint in with a little impasto to give it body, then dribble or drag over the eye from the base up to create your blood vessels.
When you’re satisfied, gloss it over with high gloss. Many coats. The more coats the better.
Apparently there’s some kind of gloss that gives a ‘wet feel’. I haven’t found it yet, but it sounds like something that would take this to the next level.