Make Realistic Doll Eyes

By Aimee Jeffries

Page Three

Misty Moon Creations

Learn how to make realistic doll eyes that look like glass! Tutorial by Aimee Jeffries of Misty Moon Creations. PAGE THREE.

make realistic doll eyes

Pictures 15 and 16: When I make realistic doll eyes I prefer working with acrylic paints. They flow better, can be easily mixed, and really...I didn't notice any difference in the final product between the acrylic and Genesis. I made a little paint pallet by taping a piece of Freezer Paper to my table. Experiment with colors and have fun! In picture 15 I'm showing the Metallics by DecoArt in Bronze. I like the way this looked as an over coat or mix in with the brown, creating an orange sparkle effect.

When I make realistic doll eyes I use a tiny paint brush to color the iris, painted two coats drying in between. You can either paint your darker color first, then go over again with the lighter/accent color...or if you have steady hands you can paint the lighter color, and paint the darker ring around the edge after it is dry. I find a needle tool, or awl is easier for this. Wipe it off often and reload, when you paint the edge, think of painting eyebrows on a mouse- tiny little strokes. It's hard to see, but my needle tool has dark blue paint on the tip!

make realistic doll eyes

Pictures 17 and 18: If you make a mistake, wait until after the paint has dried and you can scrape it off with a needle or your finger nail. If you try to wipe it off wet, it tends to smudge and stain the whites of the eyes. I just scrape my nail across the top to get rid of any excess.

Now use a clean dry paintbrush to get rid of any dry paint that has been removed.

To make realistic doll eyes we need a Pupil! Use a small stylus, or needle, or toothpick etc. I like to drag my little puddle of black paint a little...so I have an even littler puddle, not as deep if you will. It's easier to control the amount of paint you pick up this way. I dip the stylus in the black paint, take a deep breath, exhale, then dot the center of the eye. Wipe off tip of stylus, remember to inhale, and repeat. It's not frustrating, it's Zen...don't forget this.

Once your paints are dry, it's time to gloss the whites of the eyes. I used an old (but clean) small paint brush, and poured some of the Liquid Fimo on a clean piece of Freezer Paper. Don't be tempted to fill in the iris, not just yet. Heat set this layer first.

You can pop them in the oven for a couple minutes, or use your heat gun. It happens pretty quickly, be careful not to burn them...keep at least 3 inches away. They will start look dull, or frosted/hazy on the whites, then they will get glossy. As soon as this happens take the heat away.

I tried to do the cornea and the eye white gloss at the same time and it tends to run...something about surface tension here. Doing it this way makes the pupil dome stay put better. Notice I have another (12x12 marble) tile under my ceramic tile so my counter top doesn't get hot- Warning: the smaller tile will be HOT, even after only a couple minutes. I wipe the excess liquid clay from the paintbrush then clean with rubbing alcohol.

make realistic doll eyes

Pictures 19 and 20: Now we're going to fill the iris. Using a toothpick or preferred tool, drop some Liquid Fimo into the iris. To make realistic doll eyes they need to be the same size. Look at them from the side to make sure they are fairly similar in the height of the dome. Let them sit a minute (no fans, cats, kids etc). Let the oven heat up (turn off the convection/fan option!) and grab a cup of tea. We're giving all those pesky potential bubbles a minute to show themselves.

When you come back you might notice a few bubbles. Use a toothpick to gently pop them. Turn the toothpick around and use the other end to pop the next one. A dry toothpick works better, again....something about surface tension. Now carefully place the tile in the oven and bake them for 5 minutes. If your oven is far away from where you are making your eyes, you might want to plan ahead for this step so you don't have to carry them as far, and fill them near the oven.

Once the tile is cool enough to pick up, bring it back to your work station. They will be slightly foggy at this point. Now here's where the magic happens. Turn on your heat gun, let it warm up a few seconds, then hold it over each eye for 5 seconds or less. Presto! Nice and glossy! Despite my best efforts, sometimes those pesky bubbles are more clever than I. So it's a good idea to make a few of the same color just in case a couple don't pass inspection.

Wait until they are no longer hot, but still warm to remove them from the tile. They will pop right off. Now they are ready to use! When you go to use them in a sculpt and you've been working with raw clay, wash your hands before you place them in the head. The clay on your hands will stick to the eye and make it look hazy. This might happen anyway, just make sure you wipe them off before you bake the head/sculpt.

There you have it! You have just learnt how to make realistic doll eyes- the Aimee way!

make realistic doll eyes

Aimee has created a Second Edition of this tutorial with new techniques! It can be viewed on her blog by clicking HERE.


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This "How to Make Realistic Doll Eyes" tutorial was written by Aimee Jeffries with only some editing by Amanda Day for SEO. This tutorial was republished to Doll Makers Dream with permission. All content and photos remain the copyright of Aimee Jeffries. It is not to be republished without direct consent.

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