“Eye-Catching” Oil Paintings Capture the Power of a Gaze

Eye Paintings by Maldha Mohamed

Whether we are angry, sad, or happy, our emotions are often reflected in our eyes. Artist Maldha Mohamed explores this range of feelings in her ongoing series of eye paintings. Rendered completely in oil, these expressive works center one or more eyes on the canvas, letting the captivating qualities of a gaze shine through.

Each of Mohamed's canvases is an immersive depiction of human eyes. Although they vary in color and appearance, they share many similarities as well. There is a particular likeness in the thick impasto brushstrokes that Mohamed uses to sculpt the skin around the eye, itself. This mesmerizing texture provides contrast with the iris, which is comparatively smooth and more ethereal-looking as a result of this difference.

Mohamed's aim in these close-up images is to convey a story or a feeling that the viewer must figure out. Of course, because we are observing the eyes separated from the rest of the face, we are also trapped in a bit of a mystery that allows for numerous interpretations. To some, the eyes may look sad or melancholic, but others may find another emotion that rings just as true, highlighting the narrative potential of these enchanting paintings.

Scroll down to see more examples of Mohamed's incredible eye paintings, and follow the artist on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest creations. You can also purchase original paintings and limited edition prints of Mohamed's work via Guy Hepner Editions and Return on Art.

Self-taught artist Maldha Mohamed renders human eyes in oil paint.

Eye Paintings by Maldha MohamedEye Paintings by Maldha Mohamed

Her artwork examines the emotional qualities of the human gaze.

Eye Paintings by Maldha Mohamed

Each painting features a close-up view of one or more eyes.

Eye Paintings by Maldha MohamedEye Paintings by Maldha Mohamed

These expressive paintings invite the viewer to find the emotional qualities laden within the textured brushstrokes.

Eye Paintings by Maldha MohamedEye Paintings by Maldha MohamedEye Paintings by Maldha MohamedEye Paintings by Maldha MohamedEye Paintings by Maldha MohamedEye Paintings by Maldha MohamedEye Paintings by Maldha MohamedMaldha Mohamed: Store | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Maldha Mohammed.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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