Eyes are a great subject for a picture, they combine many different materials and look like gems hidden in our body. They are also pretty hard to draw, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it! In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to draw a beautiful, realistic eye without the original image.
What will you need
- HB pencil
- Pencil 2B
- Pencil 4B
- Pencil 5B
- Pencil 7B or 8B
- Eraser (preferably soft)
- Sharpener for pencil
Take an HB pencil and roughly draw a very light oval. The line should be barely perceptible.
Draw two curves intersecting the oval that will create the eyelids.
The eyelids should have a certain thickness, so add an edge to them.
Draw a round iris, a pupil in the middle, a glare reflection shape, and also the corners of the eyes.
The eyebrow is the frame for the eyes, so don’t forget about it! Draw the eyebrow using straight lines to recreate the natural shape.
Before we start shading the eye, we need to understand its 3D shape. You can solve this by drawing guide lines. I described this technique in my lesson
Take your softest pencil (a 7B or 8B pencil works best) and then fill in the pupil, leaving an area for the reflective highlight. The darkness of the pupil will determine the contrast for the rest of the drawing.
Take the 2B pencil and then draw the supporting ligaments coming from the center of the iris. Walk around the highlight area. Tilt the pencil slightly so that the lines are soft.
Darken the edge of the iris and also draw a “ring” around the pupil.
Take a 2B pencil and then darken the edges even more. Shade the iris by adding more supporting ligaments or fibers, individual fibers should be darker than the rest.
Use the same pencil to shade the entire iris. Draw a penumbra around the ring, as well as small shadows between the fibers.
Take a 4B pencil, make sure it is well sharpened. Use this pencil to accentuate the shadows you drew earlier.
With the help of feathering, carefully align the contour of the iris. This is part of the eyeball, so the iris should not have a completely hard edge.
Take the 4B pencil to draw the shadow from the upper eyelid over the iris. Do not forget that the eye is not flat, and therefore the shadows should be curved.
Using the same pencil, draw the shadow of the eyelashes. The shadows will be most visible above the reflection area of the highlight.
Take a 5B pencil to correct the contrast of the eye. Darken the shadows to make the highlights stand out more.
Take an HB pencil and then create a gentle shading around the eyeball. During the shading process, remember that the eyeball is roughly a sphere, so don’t make the shadows flat.
Use a blender to soften the shadows. Don’t be afraid to combine them even further to the center.
Take an eraser to clean up the illuminated areas. The eye isn’t exactly smooth, so it will look even better if you break up the soft shadows with the hard edges of the eraser strokes.
Take the HB pencil and then draw the details of the lacrimal caruncle. This area is wet and shiny, so add the outlines of small highlights.
Gently shade the tear duct area.
Using the 2B pencil, shade the above area even more. Using the same pencil, add a gentle shadow under the lower eyelid. This will separate the eye from the eyelid.
Take an HB pencil to shade the edges of the eyelids. Don’t forget about the location of the light source!
Line up the shaded area with feathering.
Using the same technique, shade the rest of the skin around the eye. Draw with a slanted pencil to capture a large area at once and also avoid hard lines
Take a 2B pencil to add shadows where needed.
Use the 4B pencil to darken the shadows even more.
Finally, use the 5B pencil to further darken the crease of the upper eyelid.
Take an HB pencil to draw the direction of the eyebrow hairs.
Take the 2B pencil to draw the hairs one by one. The hairs don’t have to be sharp – their width will depend on the scale of your image. Tilt the pencil, if necessary, to achieve denser strokes.
Take a 4B pencil to thicken the front lower part of the brow.
Using the 2B pencil, outline the direction and shape of the lashes. However, before you begin, look in the mirror and try to understand what you see. Eyelashes are curved in nature, and their shape depends on the perspective. They fall slightly down, right from the edge of the upper eyelid, and then curve upward.
In the same way, add eyelashes to the lower eyelid.
Eyelashes tend to stick to each other, creating a tight tuft.
Using the 4B pencil, thicken the lashes by adding more hair between them. Eyelashes do not grow in one thin row! Also, adjust the width of the eyelashes according to the scale of the image.