Deke’s Techniques 277: Painting an Eye in Photoshop

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques video, Deke shows you how to create an eye—replete with iris, pupil, and jaunty highlight—from scratch in Photoshop. Using nothing but some custom brushes and some layer styles, you too, can create this striking effect:

Along the way, you’ll learn some very useful Photoshop skills, including:

  • Aligning two layers while keeping one stationary: the Align commands don’t allow you to choose a key object for reference as they do in InDesign or Illustrator, but Deke’s got a workaround for you.
  • Adjusting brush Angle and Roundness: See how to take an existing brush and alter its attributes.
  • Selecting, scaling, and rotating a custom brush: There are a bunch of brushes you already have access to inside Photoshop. See how to load them and adjust them for your project.
  • Painting with layer effects: Layer effects like outer and inner glow can quickly help give dimension to a flat object.
  • Locking transparency: Lock down your transparent pixels to keep your brush strokes confined to a particular location.

All this and more. And by more, I mean:...for members of, Deke’s got not one, but two, free follow-up movies this week. Both are dedicated to turning this simple eye into a full-fledged “fisheye” drawing, using some clever methods for smoothing straight brushstrokes and simulating the use of a pressure-sensitive tablet.

Fisheye drawing in Photoshop

Not a member? You can get a free week’s trial at Here’s looking at you…Blub.

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