Drawing Tips

How To Draw Eyes

How To Draw Eyes

When we look at some one’s face, we automatically focus on the eyes. The same is also true for drawings of people faces. The eyes, more than the nose or mouth, will get a lot of attention, so it is important that our drawings of the eyes are just right.

The eye is a very small part compare to the entire face, but it is also the most detailed element on the face. Therefore the key to drawing realistic looking eyes is to add in these little details. The more detail you get right, the better your eye drawing will look.

So first let’s familiarize ourselves with the different parts of the eye:

Theses are the essential elements of the eye and you must include them in every eye that you draw. Otherwise the picture will just look odd.

Now let’s take it to the next level and cover some subtleties about the eye that you might not have notice.

The Iris of the Eye

The iris will be a perfect circle if you are looking at the eye from a front view. However, most of the time you will be drawing the face of a person who might be looking in some other direction and in that case, the shape of the iris will change to an oval. The general rule here is that the further the iris move from the center, the narrower the oval will be come.

The Pupil Inside the Iris

When drawing the pupil (the dark circle inside the iris) you should add a smaller circle that sits halfway on the edge of the pupil. Then you should leave this smaller circle white as you shade the pupil and the iris around it.

The reason we add this little circle is because in real life there is always some light source that reflects off of the eye and give it a little twinkle. And the white circle that we add is suppose to depict that twinkle in the eye.

It might not sound like much, but trust me, this one little detail will make your eyes drawings look so much more realistic.

The Eyelids

Look at the picture above and notice how the upper and lower eyelids are covering part of the iris. As a result, we do not see the entire iris.

This is natural and should be depicted in your drawing. When the eye is in a natural position (not opening really wide) the iris will be partially covered.

Many beginner artist will draw a great looking eye, but then make the mistake of drawing a full circle to represent the iris. This has the effect of making the eye look like it is staring very intensely ahead, which is not what they were after. And they would scratch their head, wondering why their drawing does not look right.

Don’t make the same mistake.

The Eyelashes

And last but not least we have the eyelashes. Lot of people drawing eyelashes the wrong way. They tend to make all the lashes even in length and give the lashes the same thickness at the bottom as at the top. This is the wrong way to draw lashes:


Here is the correct way to draw eyelashes:

Notice how the different strains are of different height. And also each strains are thicker at the bottom and thinner at the top.

You can achieve this decreasing thickness affect by pressing firmly with your pencil at the start, then slowly release the pressure as you curve it toward the tip. Also, remember that eyelashes are curved not straight and that they are unevenly spaced.


Now that you have the essential elements of the eye handled and you know how to avoid the pitfalls that most artist make, you are well on your way to drawing realistic looking eyes. All that’s left for you now is to pull out some pencil and paper and practice. Have fun!

Remember to leave a comment down below and tell me what you think of this post. Helpful? Not helpful? I really appreciate the feedback.

Thanks for reading,

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