How To Paint Eyes In Alcohol Ink Part 2 (Video at the End)

In Part 1 we took the time to really look closely at eyes to decide what we are going to paint.

In Part 2 I will take you step by step through painting a cat’s eye with photos and then demonstrate via a video painting the second eye.  I love to use cat’s because their eyes are really complex and in this example the reflection in the eye was large and easy to see.

Cat's Eye Observation
A (Click to enlarge)



This is what I observed in this cat’s eye. (A)





I use lots of tools – inks in bottles,  (AD-Adirondack and P-Pinata) ink refills in bottles (SN-Spectrum Noir), markers (SN-Spectrum Noir; Copic and CH-Chameleon) and ink pens.  You don’t need to use all of these tools but it gives me an opportunity to show you the differences. *


When using bottled ink I like to put the inks into a palette.  In this example (B) we have, clockwise, AD-Lemonade, SN-GB1, SN-GB7, P-Tangerine, and SN-TN6.  You can see the alcohol beading up on the sides with the Lemonade and a bit with the SN-GB1.  To control the inks just use where the ink beads up as the alcohol evaporates and leaves behind concentrated color.





Using a very small, cheap brush use SN-GB1 to lay down a light base. (C) As long as the layers on top of the base are limited in the amount of alcohol you can paint on top to get additional colors.






Add radiating lines in the iris (Copic YR27), paint the reflection(Copic YR20,E15, E18), add the pupil and edge of the eyes with a sepia brush. (D)

The reflection is a window sill with a cat on it, a lawn and hillside in the background.





Add P-Tangerine, SN-OR1, SN-OR4 in the darkest part of the iris. Allow the inks to puddle and mingle.  Add SN-OR3 for the edges of the “loops.” Copic YR23 to yellow up the oranges. (E)







As the P-Tangerine evaporates and creates and darker color add more to the dark area to deepen the color. For more dark add SN-EB3.

Sepia pen and SN-EB3 for the dark inner edges. (F)






Use Copic-R20 for the base of the inside of the lid. (G)








Use SN-BGs Brown-Grays for the inside of the lid. (H)




Here’s a chart I put together to show you how to replace the colors/markers I used with Adirondacks. (I)

Color Cross Reference
I (Click to Enlarge)


I’ve put together my first video to show you how I painted the other eye.  Please look at this reference photo first. (J)  The Password is CAT to watch the video.

Second Eye
J Second Eye








Amber Eyes Pumpkin based on Taylor Nicole Demarcy's photo at Paint My Photo
Amber Eyes Pumpkin


Here’s the finished painting. It’s based on Taylor Nicole Demarcy’s photo at Paint My Photo

(Click to enlarge)


10 thoughts on “How To Paint Eyes In Alcohol Ink Part 2 (Video at the End)

  1. Mary Lomma April 22, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    Sheryl I am in awe of your talent, patience and your generosity in these lessons. I have never met an artist so talented and so willing to give away ones methods. You truly are an amazing woman blessed with many gifts.
    Mary Lomma

    Liked by 2 people

    • sherylwil April 22, 2015 / 2:07 pm

      Thank you so much, Mary. Your comments really mean a lot to me. I truly hope people will try some of these methods and see if they help. Best.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara Kay April 23, 2015 / 1:48 am

    Sheryl, amazing detail! ! The painting, the written instructions AND the video. Thank you so much for your encouragement !


    • sherylwil April 23, 2015 / 1:49 am

      So glad you like it Barbara. Lots of work but worth it.


    • sherylwil May 18, 2015 / 12:48 pm

      Sue, I’m so glad that you found this tutorial helpful.


  3. Sharon Parker November 25, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    thank you for sharing all these wonderful videos – – I am in awe of your talent and spend far to much time watching and not enough time practising. Thank you again for sharing. Are you a natural born artist or have you taken many classes?


    • sherylwil November 25, 2015 / 3:16 pm

      Sharon, I love that. I’m self taught from the book Painting Watercolors That Dance With Light by Elizabeth Kincaid. I took several online classes from Karen Walker when I started the alcohol ink addiction and just loved them. She’s retired from teaching and handed the torch to me. I’m so lucky.


  4. kathschad February 4, 2016 / 4:21 am

    You are so amazing as an artist and an instructor. Thank you so much for your willingness to teach.


    • sherylwil February 4, 2016 / 1:12 pm

      Thank you, Kath. I truly appreciate it.


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