Painting an Eye in Watercolor

In this video, watercolor artist Larry Lombardo shows you how to paint an eye in watercolor step by step.

“The first thing we do when we see a person is look them in the eyes,” says Larry Lombardo. “The same is true when we do a painting of a person; we are drawn right to the eyes. Your job as the artist is to capture the person and their story through their eyes. To help share some of the basic concerns and techniques for painting an eye, I made a simple video (above) focusing on this key feature.

figure painting
“Images inside his head look like mine” (watercolor, 24 x 20 in.)

“Over the years, I’ve had many requests to post the progress of my paintings on social media. After posting my most recent painting in progress (“Remember when you were young, you shine like the sun”), I had several people comment that they knew who the model was just from the eyes.”

painting eyes
“Remember when you were young, you shine like the sun” in progress
painting eyes
“Remember when you were young, you shine like the sun” (watercolor, 28 X 14.5 in.)


painting of eyes
“Can’t get it out of my head” in progress
figure painting
“Can’t get it out of my head” (watercolor, 29 x 21 in.)


painting eyes
“If you can only see through my eyes” in progress
painting of eyes
“If you can only see through my eyes” (watercolor, 24.5 x 17 in.)

Larry Lombardo is a watercolor artist who resides in Central Pennsylvania. He is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society and a member of the International Guild of Realism. His art has won numerous International awards including several best of show awards. Larry Lombardo’s watercolor paintings have been published in magazines, books and seen on TV programs. Lombardo has been on the board of many art organizations. He enjoys teaching his unique watercolor style throughout the United States. Lombardo is best known for painting human culture in a unique realism style which miraculously brings his figures to life.


  1. Thank you so much for posting the video of painting an eye. I am starting to try to do portraits more and I
    found this extremely interesting and helpful. Also enjoy seeing how the watercolor paintings started with the
    eyes and progressed. Love your work

  2. I’m not an artist, however I appreciate Larry’s paintings. I have several of his water paintings, I love all the comments from people that look at them in amazement. I have an oil painting of a dream sequence of a ballerina, that Larry did years ago. I find it to be a real conversation piece…it’s an exceptional piece that I cherish. Larry gave it to me just because I admired it, as I do all of his work.

  3. Thank you Mr. Lombardo for sharing your knowledge with us, it’s very helpful to see your technique step by step. Now to give it a try. Your work is gorgeous. Thanks again. Linda

  4. Thank you for this posting. I have taken one of Larry’s workshops, it was extremely helpful. I can highly recommend it for all levels and mediums. His talent as an Artist and his paintings are awe-inspiring.

  5. Thanks for doing this video Larry! I think you are a fantastic artist, I also liked the stop action style. I’m going to search out more of your work online.

  6. Good information, but…Please, please, please do not use background music, especially when it is rivals how loud your voice is and makes it unnecessarily hard to hear you. After all, that’s why we’re listening, for instruction, not music.


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