How to create an animal eye.


I choose to work on a high count, good quality fabric. I don’t pre wash the fabric because I need the sizing to assist with the ink. I’m not too sure how it works, but it seems to prevent the inks from bleeding.
In this photo I have traced the image onto the fabric with a mechanical pencil.


I outlined the image with a .5 black pigma ink pen.
You can see, I get a crisp line with no bleeding. The ink actually is dying the fabric, not sitting on the surface.


I used Derwent color pencils and just lightly formed a base for the eye.


I added a little orange


Dark green at the top, graduating down to a lime green. I could add more color but with the layers of pencil it gets a little waxy and I want to add pen on the top of the pencil so I kept the layers to a minimum.


I’ve added fine lines and dots with a .1 black pigma ink pen. (for those of you living in Australia,) I use a mitsubishi Uni pin pen, you can purchase them at office works.

finally I outline the eye with the .5 black pigma pen. It gives depth and a softness to the eye.


White Tsukineko all purpose ink adds the flash.


Thes are the pens and pencils I used….

I tried using watercolor pencils first, but I don’t have as much success, as soon as you add water to the fabric, it bleeds.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ruth B says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your technique for eyes with us! After seeing the pictures I think I could try it myself. That eye is amazing!! Do you also make bird eyes? When I applique birds I am lost at making a realistic eye. Any tips? I love your blog and subscribe so I keep up with all the posts. Your rhino blows me away. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. Pam says:

    Ruth You’re welcome… one day I will do a bird eye and a human eye.

  3. Robyn says:

    I second Ruth B! Your Rhino is awesome – I’ve been following it’s progress. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Glenda says:

    Pam this has been a wonderful journey of learning from the first sketch of the rhino, now this wonderful eye lecture. You are a VERY generous quilter. My morning always starts with your site. Thanks again for been so generous with our art & time Cheers Glenda

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