I started with a base I made by mixing titanium white, mars black, burnt umber, with a little bit of yellow and purple.
Now I want to say a few words about making a decision about what color to paint something. Looking at my reference photo, I wasn't sure what "color" exactly that I saw. It wasn't definitely brown, or definitely gray, for example. I mixed the colors that I did, despite being unsure. If the shade I came up with wasn't right, I would know after I put it on the canvas.
What I'm getting at here is that it's much easier to know if the mixture you come up with is "right" when you see the results with your eyes, as opposed to just thinking about it in your head. If something's off, I know if I need to add more of a particular color to my mixture or even if I need to glaze some of that color over the painting after it's dry.
Of course, you may find that one color is too strong in your mixture and in that case, you'll need to tone it down. That's where complementary colors come in. I talk about those here.
As always, I sketched out my design for the eye with a charcoal pencil over the now dry base.
For the main part of his eyeball, I painted it with burnt umber mixed with mars black and titanium white. This was still too brown, though so I glazed gray over it made by mixing transparent mixing white and ivory black. I mixed more mars black into my color for the iris so it would be darker so I could paint the rim around the eye.
For the white parts of the fur, I mixed my original shade for the base of the fur into some titanium white. This gives me a very light tone without it actually being stark white, which would've looked very flat. I was careful to make my strokes go in the right direction. This helps to create the curly texture that is characteristic of poodle fur.
I’ve added blue, along with both transparent mixing white and titanium white with a liner brush, to create shine on the eyeball.
The more I looked at the rim around the eyeball, the more I thought there wasn’t enough contrast between the two, so I glazed ivory black over the rim.
Using a liner brush and some darker colors, I created more texture in the whiter parts of his fur.
So that is how I would paint a poodle's eye in acrylics.
Painter of portraits and wildlife