Detailing Eyes

The eyes are the most important part of a vector portrait. So I decided to include a detailed tutorial on working on eyes. In our original sample, we didn’t need to detail the eyes because the model is looking down so for this special part of the tutorial we will use a different photo.


This is a great picture to work on because it is detailed and we can see clearly her left eye. First posterize the photo to 8 levels. I used eight because I wanted to be able to include as much details as I can. This is what our sample currently looks like:

Enable fullscreen mode (Press F on the keyboard) and zoom into her left eye. First step is to trace the general shape of the eye. Then trace around the boundary between the eyeball and the eyelids.
eyeshape.gif eyeball.gif

With that two shapes done, here’s what you should have so far. I used the color white for the eyeball and a light flesh tone on the shape of the eye (#AE8052).

Next we’re going to work on the iris and it details. The more detail you can put in your work the more beautiful your finished project will be. Simply trace around the shape of the iris and you must keep it in inside the eyeball. Looking at the photo carefully, I found out that she has green eyes so I used a dark shade of green for the color of iris (#15220C).

Let’s add details to the iris so it won’t look flat. First trace the pupil, it’s just a circle shape in the center of the iris and then draw a smaller circle in the center of your pupil. This will give detail and prevent your pupil looking flat. Then trace the shine of her eye found on the upper right corner of the pupil. Set the opacity of this shape to 20%. Lasty, trace an arc at the bottom left part of her iris again to give detail and prevent her eye from looking flat. Here is a step-by-step screenshot.

We’re almost done. Here’s what we have after tracing the details on the iris.

The only shape missing now is the eyelashes and the definitions of the eyelids. I also decided to add a little bit of shading to the eyeball instead of keeping it flat white.

That’s it. We just finished working on her eye. Here’s what I have so far.

Looks nice right. You cant even notice that the eye is already a vector. Now just to complete the effect, I also traced the skin shades around the eye including the eyebrow. Then I added a solid shape to form the eyebrow. Here is the finished work:

That’s it. I really hope that I’m able to help you work on your vectors portraits. To download a copy of the psd [click here]. Please don’t let this tutorial limit you and what you can do on your portraits. You can put it as much details as you want and make it as real as possible and come up with your own method and style on working on your portraits. Thank you for reading my tutorial and I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing this.

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