How to Paint Eyes on Dolls

Written by michelle epperly
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How to Paint Eyes on Dolls
Eyes are an important element in making a doll. (the small doll image by Serghei Velusceac from

It may look like just an eye to most people, but to a doll maker it is a tiny work of art. A great set of eyes painted on a doll's face can make all the difference in the look and personality of the doll being made. With a few simple techniques and painting supplies, a beautiful set of doll eyes can be created by almost anyone.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Doll head
  • Pencil
  • Paint (white, black, eye colour of choice)
  • Fine-tipped paint brushes
  • Top coat or glaze

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  1. 1

    Draw the eye. Using the pencil, draw the outer shape of the eye. If painting a porcelain doll, the eye will be apparent in the finished face. The shape of the eye is determined by how the doll face is to look when completed. For example, if the doll is a newborn, the eye will be small and squinty. If the doll is a young lady, the eye will be more open and rounded.

  2. 2

    Paint the entire inside of the eye outline white.

  3. 3

    Choose which direction the doll will be looking toward. Paint a black circle in the area of the eye where the doll will be looking. For example, if the doll is looking up and to the right, the black circles should be in the upper right of the whites of the eyes.

  4. 4

    Choose the eye colour of the doll and paint just inside the black circle, leaving just a rim of black on the outside of the colour. Highlight the coloured part or iris of the eye with darker and lighter shades of the eye colour for depth.

  5. 5

    Paint a black dot in the centre of the coloured part of the eye, followed by a white highlight dot on one side of the black centre for a light reflection on the eye.

  6. 6

    Line the upper lid with black paint and carefully paint the eyelashes. Line the lower lid with black or brown paint and add lower lashes, if desired.

  7. 7

    Apply a top coat or glaze to the eye.

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