How to Color Anime Eyes Digitally

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STEP 1. So, to start ourselves off with coloring anime eyes, you must always lay down a foundation base color that is basically a darker version of the highlight colors you will be layering onto the shadows. I always create a new layer, and lock it so I cannot color outside of the lines. You can do the same layer properties with Photoshop, GIMP, Sai, or Corel Painter.   STEP 2. I'd like you to get familiar with the 'Layer Lock' feature, which prevents you from coloring 'outside the lines'. Understand, when you make a new layer, and you color or draw on it, that you have the ability to 'Lock' the transparency of the layer, allowing you to only manipulate whatever was drawn on that layer. Here I show you two of the most commonly used programs that have the 'Lock Layer' feature. There is Sai (left) and Photoshop CS6 (right).   STEP 3. Now that I have my base color for the eyes planted, I go and select a more saturated and lighter brown to accent the darkness of the lines. This little fuzz just adds the blueprint for where the highlights will be places, to sort of add a 'pop' effect to them.   STEP 4. Then, creating a new layer (which I call 'PupilColor'), I select a darker color than my previous base, and draw two pupils that inset the eye.   STEP 5. Before we enter the highlighting process, here are a few examples to remember to create a contrasting and bright look to your anime eyes. When I select colors for the eyes, I chose colors that contrast with one another, though remaining complimentary to one another. I don't use too much of an opposing color, because I do not want to overpower the viewer. Experiment with various combinations of colors!   STEP 6. Next, the first step to highlighting, I go ahead and take an even more saturated and lighter color than the previous base, slowly working up the complimentary color wheel with each highlight stroke. I lay this color lightly around the pupil, leaving a little bit of space between the base color and pupil.   STEP 7. Then, taking a slightly yellower brown, I add a small bit of highlight within the first layer of highlight. Do not add too much, you want to be able to see the previous layer of highlight.   STEP 8. Then, I lock my 'PupilColors' layer and start adding slight depth to the pupil to add an extra pop to the entire eye.   STEP 9. Lastly, I create a new layer on top of everything else and add a few white shimmer highlights to the darkest parts of the eye. You want to add these whites to the dark spots so they contrast real well. Well, I hope you guys enjoyed this lesson! I had so many people asking me how to color anime eyes, so here it is. Let me know in the comments if this helped you at all!   Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. Step 4. Step 5. Step 6. Step 7. Step 8. Step 9.