Making a Beautiful Pair of Fantasy Eyes

I think some of you may have seen the artworks on Fantasy Eyes theme on deviantART, Behance or other design portals. There is also a huge collection of Eyes Fan Club here. Today we shall explore the basics on how we can create such effects in Photoshop.
Image sources from FanPop
Preview of Final Image
We will need a pair of eyes for this tutorial. I have found a beautiful pair from Maria Gao here. Download the image and open up in Photoshop.
Let us start off with glowing the eyes. Make selections around the 2 black eyes with the Elliptical Marquee tool. Go to Select > Modify > Feather. Set the Radius to 20px.
Press Ctrl+C (to copy) and Ctrl+V (to paste). You will get a new layer with just the selected area. Rename this new layer as “Eyes Glow”. Set the Blend Mode of this layer to Screen. Then duplicate the “Eyes Glow” layer for another 3 times and you will get something similar to mine below.
Create a Curves Adjustment Layer. Go to the Green and Blue channels and set the curves to the ones below.
Create a Levels Adjustment Layer and set the values to 20, 0.84, 255.
Create a new layer and name it as “Face Color”. Set the foreground color to #45ADCA. Using the Soft Rounded Brush with size 200px, paint the face below both eyes. Set the Blend Mode of this layer to Soft Light when you are done.
Open up the Brush panel and key in the settings as shown below.
Create a new layer and name it as “Glitter”. Using the Brush tool with size 3px and color #FFFFFF, brush around the bluish area to add the glittering effect. Right-click on the “Glitter” layer and go to Blending Options. Choose Outer Glow with its default settings.
Repeat the earlier step for the border around the big pair of eyes.
This step is really random. You can start designing how you want to add some patterns to the face. For mine, I downloaded the Swirl Curls from CreateSk8. Place the floral patterns around the eyes area.
Merge all the pattern together in a single area. Go to Image > Adjustment > Hue/Saturation. Make the Lightness to -100. This will turn the pattern in to black. Set the Blend Mode of this layer to Soft Light. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 2px.
Create an Exposure Adjustment Layer and key in the settings below.
Create a Levels Adjustment Layer and set the values to 15, 1, 255.
And there you have it! This is a pretty simple one and I am sure you will do it better than mine with some more tries. Thanks for reading.

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100 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Maritza Andrade says:

    Amazing tutorial. I made my own colors and glitters and brushes as from the tutorial not fit to my picture. I learned how to give bright at the eyes. thanks for the tutorial.

  2. Horacio says:

    Great… thanks for the tutorial I learned a lot of things.

  3. Free2Run says:

    I really like the concept behind the tutorial however i wish i could see your layers because at some points i got confused and lost. I was especially confused about the part of the brush panel. I think this step could use some more explanation.

  4. Grafikerler says:

    Wonderfull !! Very good !!

  5. Yuki-Chan says:

    This was awesome! I managed to do almost everything using PS elements 7.0! 😀
    Now I can try and make my own fantasy eyes c: Thanks!

  6. Yarrow says:

    I’m having a problem with this tutorial. When I get to step three, the brightening of the eyes works the first time. The next times however, it does not. It doesn’t make the eyes brighter, it makes a slightly blurry duplicate of the eyes, above the originals. Why is it doing this? Perhaps I have a setting wrong? Please help XP

  7. fatih says:

    arkadaşlar bu blending ayarlarını nasıl yapıcaz anlatılmamış yardım edebilecek arkadaşlar varmı?

    How we going to do this blending settings untold friends Do you have friends who can help?

  8. watzki says:

    awesome johnson!!! i am biginner in photo manapulation when see you site in 2008… i see you very good in your manupalation in your age your guru……tnx for share your tutorial…

  9. Adrita Rahman says:

    You tell us to select the eyes with a marquee tool and then create that and blend it to screen and then duplicate that layer 3x to get the glowy eyes. I tried it several times but nothing happens at that point.

    • djbutter22 says:

      Are you setting the layer blend modes to screen? Also make sure the copied layers are on top of the original layer

  10. Mariana says:

    Well, when I put Feather Radius at 20px it says “Warning: No pixels are morethan 50% selected. The selection edges will not be visible” – why? :S

    • djbutter22 says:

      Try changing the feather to 10 or less. This is happening (I believe) because the resolution of your image is not high enough. I have mine set to 8 pixel feather and it looks great.

  11. Natalie Doroshuk says:

    How can I download this so I can edit pictures of eyes to? Please help! >,< Thanks! ^^)

    • djbutter22 says:

      He gives you the link to the image, just get it and start editing. If you can’t get that image, there are lots of other ones on the web that will work

  12. edyna says:

    i’m loving it
    thank you. i’m french and your tuto is great
    my version :

  13. Khanh Luong says:

    how can I get the illustrator like urs :(( Plz help!

  14. paul says:

    yeah very nice dude… that’s the real talent 😛

  15. MysticAngel says:

    Thank you! I really like it and it’s so simple if you put it like this.
    My outcome:
    As you can see I put some things in it of my own ^^.

  16. martina says:

    absolutely stunning tutorial and the whole web site is just absolute nr1,thank you for creating it and sharing love it

  17. Dennis says:

    I found some PS brushes that are similar. Very nice effect! Thanks so much. I’ve been practicing with some other photos but I’m having issues. When I putr the swirls to soft light they pretty much dissappear. I would really love to see a screenshot of your layers panel. 🙂

  18. Dennis says:

    How do you get the swirly curls into PhotoShop? All I get is an Illustrator file. I’m using CS3

  19. karno says:


  20. Kiyoshi says:

    Great tut! However, I cant seem to find those brushes you used in step 6, those Swirl curls, I only found Illustrator brushes and Im needing Photoshop cs3 brushes…could you help me?

  21. Liza says:

    this is an amayzing lesson
    all the website is great
    but i have a big problem with the website
    every page finish downloading with wrongs so i can’t save the page.
    what should i do?

  22. glad says:

    it can be done in cs?

  23. Chelsea says:

    I love looking at all the eyes on DeviantArt and have wondered how they do that. This tut was really easy and fun to follow, and I think it will give me a good foundation on how to do some awesome fantasy eyes.

    Thanks so much!

  24. fwinterb says:


    really great work. – Just tried it with another picture and it works fine for me. Perhaps you could mention, that you take Shapes for the patterns and not brushes – i had to search for my mistake for a while.

    Best regards,


  25. ali says:

    it is wonderfull idea

  26. Astro1derboy says:

    This is amazing work! Thank you.

  27. Amine says:

    thank u 4 your beautiful tutorial, but it was difficult for me to understand this tutorial, because it is hard for me to read and understand the english languege.
    and this is my version

  28. Radwanullah Kakar says:

    Great idea Keep The Ball Rolling

  29. idalia says:

    i love that picture wonderfuuuullll!

  30. idalia says:

    wonderful!!!i hope that i could do that with my own picture it looks so beautiul.

  31. amydeanne says:

    thanks! much appreciated. Going to try it out and see if I can get it to work in pspx

  32. Well explained tutorial. Nice final touch. Love to use this tut in my blog. Thanks to sharing this great tutorial.

  33. maura says:


  34. Glosh says:

    thank you is a beutiful way of learning how to use the photoshop resources …. 😉

  35. karina says:

    I can’t get the blocks from the face to move.. I am cutting my path and not the pixels 🙁

  36. Kaïm Merali says:

    Hi !
    I need help : I don’t know how to do this step :
    “Open up the Brush panel and key in the settings as shown below.”

  37. Kaïm Merali says:

    Wow ! Very nice 🙂
    But I need help, I don’t know how to Open up the Brush panel and key 🙁
    Can someone help me please ?

    • Anna says:

      hi I am having the same trouble i can’t seem to get the brush panel to look like they do on the page.

  38. nihat says:

    very nicee ! thanks

  39. Steele says:

    The top image inspired me to do one like it, What do you think?

  40. zorba says:

    fantabulas….really nice i loved it,,, and i did it

  41. Panji says:

    what kind of photoshop is used to make this eye design?

  42. Tony says:

    Fantastic tutorial again!! Thank you so much =D

  43. Smykel says:

    How can I do this with picture from my fotocamera. I dont have very good photocamera. It’s a Sony Cyber-shot. When I’m doing zoom, i have lots of pixels. How can I do pictures like this used in this tutorial.
    Thanks for any help.

  44. jongjong villaluz says:

    i was impressed this very beautiful work, thanks

  45. Johnson Koh says:

    Thanks guys!
    @Enrique: It’s a surprise to see you here 😀

  46. Ramendri says:

    hai, thanks..its good tutorial, I lovet it hehehe…

  47. Faheem baig says:

    really cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool 🙂

    thanks and keep going thats a nice and simple one 🙂

  48. Impressive! How do you come up with such beautiful tutorials?

  49. Mars / Kulot says:

    wow, that totally nice, i will try this tutorial using my wife’s image

  50. Mark says:

    Used the technique for lightening the eyes for a faux fashion ad, added to the flickr group. Thanx!

  51. Jody Meyer says:

    this is a great Tut. Keep it up!…

  52. Garry says:

    i must try doing it myself! fantastic!

  53. Dicky says:

    Great tutorial! I like the white dots effect and the blue-green face. 🙂

  54. NSANECHICK says:

    I love it! I’m def. about to *attempt* this!!! Your website is amazing!

  55. Johnson Koh says:

    Thanks guys! 😀
    @Sadhu: Come back to Singapore, now!

  56. sadhu says:

    i felt a bit scary… haha….

  57. Ah, beauty – I though will not so far in steps and stay with just those two brilliant eyes 🙂

  58. strawberrylynn says:

    wow! u given a sexy makeup to the photo 😀 i luv it!

  59. Marc says:

    Wonderful work, Koh! The pair of eyes look gorgeous.

  60. bellering says:

    Beautiful tutorial! Keep it up 🙂

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