Our eyes are how we recognize each other, establish intent and empathies with one another. As in real life, eye contact in art helps us to connect with a piece and is often what will catch our attention first. There are few things harder to portray, as humans are so good at recognizing and reading faces, particularly eyes and when they are missing something or are wrong in some way it is easily picked up on. What does it take to create a piece that can breach that uncanny valley successfully? The ‘uncanny valley’ is a concept where a non-human creation, for example, a CGI character or robot reaches a point where instead of being appealing and recognizable, it becomes unsettling, weird and distracting. We have evolved to be good at recognizing facial tells in each other as highly social beings to empathize with others’ emotions as a necessary part of our survival. So, when key features of the face particularly the eyes and mouth fail to match the same energy and movements we associate with them, this feeling of unease and wrongness kicks in.
Essentially, it can activate our fight or flight response. If you’ve ever tried to sketch a person, you’ll notice that everything gets a lot harder once you get to depicting the face and especially the eyes and capturing that energy that all living things have takes true skill in itself. It is no easy task to capture the essence of life, to give attitude and spirit in a piece be it human or animal. It will be the first thing we are drawn to when viewing an artwork and one of the first things to come under scrutiny. When we see eyes and faces depicted, we often cannot help but hold the gaze, often in order to decipher meaning in the piece such as the subject’s emotional or a deeper message the artist may be communicating. So much can be communicated in a piece simply by where both the subject’s eyes are focused, and where the viewer’s eyes are being directed.
India-based artist Amrita Paryani expertly sketches the DIGITAL Version of human eye, capturing every minute detail. From the wispy hairs of one’s eyelashes and the wrinkled creases under the eye to the entrancing texture of the iris, the artist is able to execute hyperrealistic renditions of soulful eyes.
Her collection of eye drawings present a captivating, up-close look at a variety of glistening eyes.
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