Tips: Hand Coloring Eyes

· by delijan · Read in about 3 min · (446 words) ·

I am making progress on my doll! All of the first sewing is completed, and the parts are cut out.

First Sewing Completed

Parts Cut Out

I will be working on it some more today.

I like to use 15mm clear plastic “animal eyes” for these dolls. They are the kind with the plastic washer that pushes onto the post on the center back of the eye to hold them in place. They are easy to insert, and hold up well.

I hand color them. Here are the eyes for this doll.

Hand Colored Eyes for Poppet

A little bit of the yarn I’m using for her hair shows at the top of the image so you can see why I chose these colors.

To color the eyes, first I paint the back of them with a little bit of glitter paint. I use the acrylic kind where the glitter is suspended in a clear acrylic base. First of all, the glitter adds a bit of sparkle to the eyes, and catches the light, making them appear more animated and alive. In addition, the clear acrylic provides a base for the next steps.

To add the color, I use alcohol markers. All of the brands (Sharpie, Bic, and Copic) work. The Copic seem to go on the lightest, and are the “juciest” to work with. The Sharpie makes nice, smooth lines and dots. The Bic sometimes makes “blobs”, which can be good or bad, depending on the look you’re going for. I use fine and medium point markers, and sometimes “brush” points (Copic has these.)

I often use as many as seven different colors. Most of them are applied in lines, radiating out from the center post. I also commonly make “dots” of color towards the center, using one of the darker pens. Sometimes, I go around the outer edge with a darker, or different color.

In the case of the example eyes here, I’ve used gold glitter paint. Then the entire eye was stroked with a light tan color. When that dried, I used a yellow-gold pen and stroked from the center to the edge. Although you can’t see it well in the picture, the outer edge has been stroked with an olive green, to give the eyes a bit of a hazel coloring. A few medium brown strokes were added, and then a rust color was applied in “dots” around the center.

Let the eyes dry over night before using them on your doll.

The advantage to coloring your own eyes is that you can make them exactly the color you wish. Go ahead and experiment! If you hate the end results, you can usually remove everything by peeling off the glitter paint!