Retouch facilitating facts about eyes

Why do we actually start with eyes? That’s fairly simple! Eyes are the mirror of the soul. And it’s true! We can recognize the person only by looking into his or her eyes. Our eyes don’t grow bigger, they don’t grow thin, and in most cases they don’t drastically change color. Eyes is something that opens up our soul and makes people recognizable.

Do you remember the eyes of Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie or Audrey Hepburn? You just can’t forget them! And as soon as we start talking about those beautiful women, their eyes immediately flash up into our memory.

We can only draw or snap someone’s eyes and it will be clear at once who they belong to, because all the other things are secondary! This is why it is so important to save our customers’ identity while retouching their portraits. Thus, eyes should be retouched in the most delicate way that provides saving the eye shape, color and the emotion they are filled with!

As our character is gradually being formed influenced by life experience, ‘the mirror of the soul’ gains its special features making the person different from the others. Some have laughing eyes, others look serious. Sometimes you just kind of drown looking into someone’s ocean blue eyes. But there are certain eyes that make you want to turn your head round and never look back again, because there is only a sign of emptiness, anger and bitter resentment in them.

Looks familiar to you? The character!

So, what’s the difference between the children’s and adults’ eyes? 

The children’s eyes often seem bigger in size than those of a grown-up. But that’s actuallythe eye shape which makes them look bigger. As a child gets older, eyes change shapeand it seems like they ‘grow older’ as well.

But also, children’s eyes are usually wide open because their young life has already formed a certain character. All children look at this huge mysterious world with their big eyes open wide in surprise!

Retouch facilitating facts about eyes:

  • 1 Always save the customer’s identity and use the Liquify Tool very carefully. The eye shape must not be changed! If you want to make eyes visually wider, you can lift an upper lid a little bit upwards. This will give an illusion of a wider glance. By the way, the upper lid starts to hang over more and more with age, so this trick will also make your persona look younger.
  • 2 The eyes will look more expressive if you make the outer upper ciliary margindarker. This will create a voluminous eyelash effect.
  • 3 Another way to ‘open’ the eyes wider has something to do with an eye-brow line. You can lighten up an outer edge below the brow, so the brow will seem a bit more lifted up and this will produce a wider glance.
  • 4 You must definitely save natural eye color. Experiments with color changing contact lenses, for example, can make a person less recognizable. And that’s what often occurs during the color correction process – the eyes lose their natural color. So, natural eye color is something you should ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND!
  • 5 Because the eye bulb has ball shape rather than flat shape, it is dark on sides like any ball. This darkness on sides implies the volume which indicates that shape gets rounded. Unlike darkened sides, the eye bulb center is much lighter, and that’s where the light is reflected. Thus you should not lighten eye bulbs completely, but only the area where the whites of the eyes and the iris join together. The eyes will seemlarger and brighter this way.
  • 6 To make the whites of the eyes look natural, try not to remove blood vesselscompletely. Just reduce the saturation instead.
  • 7 Highlight flares on the iris. Why are there flares on the iris? That’s because the iris is the most convex area of eyes and it reflects most of the light outlining the eye whites’ shape. There are certain snap shots without any flare initially. Such shots seem ‘dead’ and you shouldn’t even process them. The actor is supposed to communicate with the audience through the eyes, through the reflection, that is the flare, to be more exact. It is indeed a magical but true statement! But if there is even the slightest flare, it makes the portrait alive at once! Opposite the flare you can often see the second smaller patch of light, which is not as bright as the main one. Such flares are always especially BEAUTIFUL!
  • Bags under eyes is another feature of a human. There might be sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller bags under someone’s eyes depending on how tired the person is or how much liquid there is in his or her organism at the moment. But on the whole,the relief is unique for each character, so you should not use Clone Stamp Tool forthe bags thusly changing the shape. You should just remove strong shadow andblue and purple hue indicating tiredness. This way your model will not only recognize herself, but will also get a FRESHER LOOK!

With delicate retouch facial relief and volume are saved! Curves are better than Clone Stamp Tool.

  • 9 As you might have heard, the size of a pupil depends on light intensity. The pupil is nearly twice as big in the darkness. So when we sometimes get too carried away by playing with the photo’s brightness, turning day into night and vice versa, it gives a sense of certain artificiality particularly because the pupil’s size does not fit the light intensity. Great artists had always adjusted the size of the pupil to the light they wanted to render.
  • 10 The distance between eyes equals the length of an eye. Of course, it can be slightly shorter or longer, but according to beauty standards, the eyes which meet those golden proportions are considered more beautiful (we will certainly touch upon this interesting subject in soon issued articles). This is the main reason why commercial photographers frequently retouch models adjusting them to those ‘golden proportion standards’. The closer to standards, the more beautiful the model is, and as a result, the more readers of the magazine will like this type of appearance! That’s nothing else but a simple sales gimmick, yet concerning artistic matters. But that’s what you should do only in case your photo shoot bears a TFT character, and your model is nothing more but a sort of ‘modeling clay’ for another nice picture!

Amazing fact of life!

Most inhabitants of our planet have brown eyes. Those with grey or blue eyes constitute a far smaller part, and only 2% have green eye color!

Did you know that there is a currently leading scientific theory which claims that initially on earth there were people with brown eyes only?

But one day our planet had been hit by a comet and the Ice Age had begun, which consequently changed not only weather conditions but also human survival skills, which led to mutations as a result. So, there appeared people with grey, green and blue eyes.

Nowadays, the most popular eye color in the world is still brown. Only 1-2% out of 7 billion living on our planet people have green eyes.

In its pure form green coloring is extremely rare, even among those belonging within two percent. Most common for eyes is the combination of brown and green.   

Most European children are born with light eye color, that is blue or dark blue. However, iris cells eventually start to produce more and more melanin, and a child’s eye color might change by the age of one, sometimes three, and less frequently, by ten or twelve years.


Studies have shown that the reason for such a small number of people with green eyes is among others the Inquisition, which was intended to fight against the ones who had green eyes, namely witches, burning them at the stake. They had to die only because they were born with green eyes. And because women make up 90% of green-eyed people, the reproduction obviously came to a stop and the number of the green-eyed continued to decrease.

An extremely interesting, but scary fact about the painting.

In 1992 a French artist René Charbonneau under the City Council order painted his famous work ‘Joan of Arc at the stake’. The artist’s model was a student with the same name, Joan. The next day after the painting was presented, chemicals in the laboratory exploded. Joan, who was there at that moment, couldn’t get out of the building and she was burned to death.

For the most responsible ones!

Your skills training will benefit more, if you ever try to draw eyes yourself, at least for once.

I’m sure you will quickly develop a habit of a deeper attitude to all aspects of the photography retouch and this will lead you to PERFECTION!

Knowledge of anatomy and the structure of the human body helps a lot with tricky retouch. Of course, there is no need for you to cut human bodies open to get this knowledge, just asLeonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo did. But those photographers who really strive forprofessional approach in their job must get acquainted with works of great artists.