How to draw a severed eyeball in 3 steps

Artist Kev Crossley reveals how to paint a severed eyeball ready for all your Halloween illustrative needs.

eyeball main

Kev Crossley gives his top tips for creating a severed eyeball covered in goo and slime

Any self-respecting severed eyeball is going to have a tail of gore hanging off its back, which is lovely to paint! It's not the easiest thing to learn how to draw though – the trauma of being poked out will flush 
the eye white with engorged blood vessels, nicely accentuating the horror as well as providing us with plenty of detail to consider.

01. An eye for detail

eyeballing

Although it can be fun to build detail into a painting gradually, it can be deeply satisfying to get indulgent during the pencil stage and pile the detail on early. This provides a well-defined framework on which to apply washes (or overlays) of colour.

Successful rendering of goo is all down to how wetness reflects light. Studying reflections on spilt water or watery ketchup under strong light is a useful way to learn this.

02. Visualise

eyeball goo

Using a sharp 2H pencil I draw a nicely gruesome image of an exposed eyeball, complete with a gobbet of muscle torn from the socket wall. I then scan this into Photoshop and create a new multiply layer over the top.

Choosing a standard soft brush set to 
30 per cent opacity I start to paint in broad, pale washes of yellowish tones 
for the eye-white, and fleshy colours for the juicy stuff.

03. Looking good

eyeballing 2

Next I beef up the flesh with darker reds, allowing areas of the paler first wash to show through. Thick, dark blood is created with a darkish blue-green colour that’s enhanced with reddish hues, before yellowish streaks are painted into the viscera to suggest the presence of fatty tissue.

It's all looking good (except for the owner's eye)! Optic fluid and pooled blood have highlights carefully painted in to finish the job.

Artist's top tip: study reflections

Successful rendering of goo is all down to how wetness reflects light. Studying reflections on spilt water or watery ketchup under strong light is a useful way to learn this.

Words: Kev Crossley

Kev is an experienced concept artist providing a plethora of character designs, storyboards and environment art for the games industry. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX issue 57.

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