As a personal preference, I, as a woman, have always loved blue eyes. Deep dark blue to bright crystal blue, I could gaze into those fascinating orbs in a man’s face all day. Followed at a close second with green/hazel eyes (especially when accompanied by rich, auburn hair–heavenly!). Brown eyes, however, I have never cared for–no offense to the majority of folks out there.
Yes, according to my research, brown eyes dominate our population, both male and female. So much so, that an article I just read–while researching eye color for my last novel,–suggests that in the not too distant future everyone might have brown eyes due to genetics.
But for now, we have variety. And I, as a romance writer, take full advantage of the range of colors available for me to make my heroes and heroines distinctive. Though I have a fondness for blue eyes, so far I only have one hero with sapphire blue eyes, Geoffrey Longford in my current WIP. Strangely, I have two heroes and a beta with brown eyes. You wouldn’t think that, since it’s not my favorite, but that’s how the characters were revealed to me–my muse must like brown eyes, then. J I do have one prospective hero who will have green eyes and blonde hair–and he’s going to be a handful!
My heroines are more varied–I’ve had crystal blue, warm brown, and steel-gray eyes for those ladies. Perhaps in my mind eye color is an indicator of character. I described another beta hero as having “moonlight blue” eyes, thinking pale and cool, because he is a cool customer.
I have had fun, trying to figure out different eye color descriptions–you can’t just say blue or brown all the time. So I’ve actually resorted to optometrist’s charts of contact lens
Some of them sound really cool, others have given me ideas about what color a character’s eyes could be. My favorite fanciful color is Caribbean Aqua (I had that color contacts at one point in my life!), although one chart had Romantic Violet. This chart is where I got the idea for “moonlight blue” for my beta. The color was perfect for him.
If you really want to get detailed oriented, you can figure out the probability of eye color within a family, if you’ve written your hero or heroine with a lot of siblings. You can find the Athro Eye Color Generator here if you want to play around with the combinations it takes to have various siblings with different colored eyes. I did this with my green-eyed soon-to-be hero, because everyone else in the family had brown eyes and I wanted to make sure green eyes were a possibility for him. (They were.) But did you know that two blue-eyed parents cannot produce a brown-eyed child? I’m using that little piece of knowledge in one of my works also. You wouldn’t think that eye-color genetics was such a goldmine for romance writers, would you?
So how do you come up with eye color for your characters? Does your muse dictate? Do they just spring forth, like Athena from Zeus’s head, eye and hair color already established? Do you use color charts like me? I’d love to know how you “catch their eye.”