Wednesday, September 4, 2013

by Gina Welborn

A few weeks ago I was reading a romance where the heroine had sea-green eyes. Okay. Ponder with me for a moment sea-green eyes. Is it this shade . . . ?
Or this one . . . ?
Or this one . . . ?

I wasn't -- and still, aren't -- sure. Fortunately, the author further described the heroine's eyes as . . . "the most amazing shade of seafoam green."

Oh. Isn't that like defining a word with a word? Lemme google. According to one source, "Slightly darker than Surf Green, Sea Foam Green (also called Foam Green by Dupont) is a great choice for either a Strat or Tele style body. Originally seen on the '56 Buick it saw life with Fender from '60 to '69." Another source says, "Seafoam green is a "fresh, green pastel that establishes a light and airy mood in any bathroom. It offers a clean, crisp feeling that also works well with other darker greens." Here's a color swatch:

Is it humanly possible to have eyes that NATURALLY shade?

Sometimes I think we romance writers get so busy trying to one-up the next author in eye color description that we create impossible eye colors. Of my five children, they each have blue eyes that range from light blue to cornflower blue to gray-blue to greenish blue. Each with a darker outer ring. If you look close, one of my eyes is more green than blue. I never noticed. Hubby never noticed. Took a flamboyant Elizabeth Arden make-up artist to point it out. Who knew, but he was right.

Speaking of flamboyant characters . . . Val Kovalin at Obsidian Bookshelf compiled an amazing and thought-provoking list of eye colors, many of which have become cliched.(for list click here but be prewarned that Mr. Kovalin writes gay romance fiction) . Or you could just read what Wikipedia has to say about the various eye colors at

To see how realistic some of my favorite CBA romance authors describe eyes, I asked a few for snippets from their novels then I found eye pictures that I thought best represented their descriptions. Did I do a fair job or was totally off?

Geneva found herself looking straight into the bluest pair of eyes she’d ever seen. They were the blue of the open ocean off Ferguson Point after the morning fog burned off and the noon sun hung high overhead. Not a cloud diminished the hue of the vast, flat expanse of sea then, but its inky blue depths sparkled with a thousand lights and depths from the reflecting sun. ~Ruth Axtell Morren, Wild Rose, Love Inspired Historicals

When she looked up at him, her eyes were large, amber brown, and fringed with dark lashes. ~Julie Klassen, The Girl in The Gatehouse, Bethany House

And now that she had seen him up close, her curiosity had been assuaged and she could tell Hildy—his eyes were blue, deeper and darker than a woodland pool. ~Melanie Dickerson, The Healer's Apprentice, Zondervan

Tabitha had never seen a man with such beautiful eyes. The rich, deep brown of coffee, they sparkled with pinpoints of gold light behind a fringe of lashes that would have made them feminine if not for his strong cheekbones and firm jaw. ~Laurie Alice Eakes, Lady in the Mist, Revell

Non-Serious Question of the Day :: What eye color description have you read that literally made you stop and ponder, "Is this possible?"

Serious Question of the Day :: Actually, I don't have one. However, would anyone like to join me in singing, "My Father's Eyes?"  . . . eyes full of compassion, knowing what you're going through and feeling it the same . . .

This has been a re-post! I chose this due to its popularity, and it was created by Gina Welborn who has strikingly 'fine' eyes that seem to go with any hair color  :) 

But go ahead and answer her questions!
And I'll add one. Do you have a favorite eye color (and a story behind such a thought?)


  1. Eyes--the window to the soul. And yet, sometimes the descriptions we come up with border on the silly. I have a question for everyone. As a reader, do you prefer your characters to be described down to the last detail, or do you prefer a more general description that allows you to fill in the details?

  2. My cat Emily had sea green eyes. I guess "sea green" could be a lot of colors, but hers were this color:

    They were very beautiful. :)

    And, no, I don't like minute descriptions of characters. Tell me some basics (eye color, hair color, height, build) and let me fill in what I like. Give me the general "air" of the character, and that's enough.

  3. I entered a contest with a hero who had gray eyes and was amazed when the judge came back with the comment that there's no such eye colour. Huh???

    I used to laugh when an author used yellow or golden as an eye colour until I met our church's Youth Leader. She has reddish toned hair like her mom, but whereas her mom has green eyes, Noelle's are yellow/gold. Now I'm laughing at myself.

    Great post, Deb.

  4. As someone who has long dreamed of having any color other than BROWN (probably related to my dad's teasing "so full of poop your eyes are brown" ), I think writers aren't any guiltier than the makers of contact lenses in their attempt to create fresh and original eye color descriptions... like "perky brown" and "hippie chestnut" and "amethyst" and "turquoise" and "groovy green." Seriously.

  5. I will agree to the gray eyes. We have some crazy eye colors in our family. HAZEL - that seems to cover anything from bluish gray to bluish green to greenish gray to ugh!

    I wish I had a digital photo of my son's green eyes where 1/2 of on is brown. Other son has hazel eyes that look blue one day, gray the next , green the day after.
    I just with shades of green -very dependent on what I'm wearing and nothing like the greens above.

    more like evergreens - dark green but I'll be darned if I can tell.

    I do love amber eyes - that's so cool!

    And now you see why I loved this post and re-posted. There must be a hundred ways to describe eye color.
    hippie chestnut? wow!

  6. Thanks, Deb, for reposting this. Was a fun one to write. I keep telling myself I need to take a photo of my kids' eyes because all have blue eyes yet the shade is different. Niley's are really more grayish green than blue so I shouldn't say hers are blue.

    Last week some boy that Jerah (15) knows came up to her in the middle of class and said, "Your eyes are like a light shade of blue." Then he started talking to the guy sitting on the other side of her as if he hadn't said anything to her at all. She said it was weird. I said he's a boy.

  7. My eyes are bluey one day and greenish the next. The family has always teased that they can tell my mood from my eye colour.

    When Crystal was a preemie, we took her home at 3 wks but I really had problems bottle feeding her because she would stop breathing. I'd sit her up and start counting. I always said if I got to 10 and she hadn't started, I'd panic. Well, a few days later - on New Year's Eve, her little tongue pushed the nipple out of her mouth and out spewed her milk. We're talking projectile here. Then she went completely limp. I started counting... and got to 10... she didn't respond. She lay there with her eyes wide open and her arms flat out. And her normally blue eyes half back in her head and they were brown!

    I called 911 and they said to give her CPR while I waited for the ambulance. I did and heard gurgling in her tiny chest. I kept giving her CPR while standing in front of the living room window watching the ambulance lights get closer and closer on that dark, snowy night. And trying not to think of Crystal's non-response and her brown eyes.

    When the ambulance guys took over, I ran upstairs to change out of my jammies so I could go with them and while up there, I heard Crystal's angry wail. Oh my God what a beautiful sound!

    By the time I got back down, her eyes were blue again and no one would believe the eye color change. To this day, I keep thinking I must have imagined it, but sometimes you just know what you saw.

  8. One of the contestants on SYTYCD this year, Aaron, had very big and obviously amber colored eyes.

  9. I always laugh when I read a character has "violet" eyes because I think of the crayola crayon called violet, which is a deep (true) purple. And that eye color doesn't exist in nature. The other one that gets me is "golden" eyes in books. I always picture something metallic...

    I have green eyes -- but more on the olive/jade spectrum than those pictured here.

  10. CJ, I always thought the press was exaggerating when they talked about Elizabeth Taylor's violet eyes, and yet the first time I saw them up close, I was astounded by their beauty. Truly an exceptional color.

    And so sorry Gina, I told Deb earlier that this was a great post without realizing that she popped it up for you when you were indisposed. So, great post, Gina. :D


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