People commonly say the eyes are the window to the soul, so if you are drawing a person, it is vital you get the eyes right. The good news is, while the details of the eyes may seem challenging, with the right tutorial the task doesn’t have to be complicated. The following is a quick guide to drawing eyes that you can then build off as you grasp the basic concept and learn to add in your own details.
Gather Your Supplies
The first thing you need to do is gather the art supplies you will need to draw eyes. The list is small though, so you should be able to find most of these in your art box. To get started, you will need a mechanical pencil with a .5mm HB lead, a kneaded eraser, and a blending stump. You’ll also want a 6B pencil or equivalent, and some smooth Bristol paper to draw the eye on.
Create the Shape of the Eye
To get started, you will use the HB pencil to create a basic sketch an outline of the eye. You want to keep your outline light because you will be darkening around it and the shape may change a bit by the end. Create a square shape in the pupil to represent the natural glare in an eye, and then draw a pointed oval to encase the eye inside. Add in two small circles, the pupil and the iris, and then gently outline a wavy eyebrow overtop.
Shade in the Pupil
Next, take your 6B pencil and gently fill in the pupil taking time to maintain your circular shape as you do so. You don’t want to press too hard, because it will be hard to erase if you make an error, or need to move the pupil a bit more to correct the shape later. Remember, you can always go back later and darken if you need too but erasing now will be a bit more difficult.
Shade the Iris
Take some graphite and smear it on another scrap piece of paper to make a lighter area. Now take the blender and absorb some of the smeared graphite so that you can use the tip and fill in the iris. This does not have to be perfect, as imperfect smudging will actually add to the depth of the eye.
Add Some Definition to the Iris
Now that the iris is shaded, you need to go back and add a bit more definition by adding spokes and intricate details. To do this, take your 4B pencil and draw spokes that are reaching outward from the inside of the pupil. To make thicker lines and a more accurate image, overlap some of the spokes that are coming out from around the eye. You don’t need to fill in the entire eye, just vary your spokes in an irregular pattern.
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6. Blend the Iris
Now take the blending stump and carefully fill in the white space that makes up the iris. To do this, you need to be ginger while working your way around the highlight. Resist the urge to press too hard. Your goal will be to still see the lines coming out around the pupil. If you cover up the lines, this is an indication that you are using the blender a bit too forcefully.
Go Back and Add Depth
At this point, you should really see your eye taking shape on the paper, but you are not quite done yet. Grab your 6B pencil again and add some shadow under the eyelid so that the eye becomes rounder. This shadow will also make the eye look more lifelike as everyone naturally has some shadow under their eyelids.
Create the Skin
Now you want to bring the eye out of its socket on the skin, which you can do by taking a few quick and easy steps. Shade the eye whites and the skin that is around the eyes to add some a more natural feel to the eye. A lot of people are tempted to leave the eyeball completely white. Avoid this temptation, because it will ruin the illusion of depth, and is not very realistic. Everyone has some cast of gray to their eyeballs. A quick look in the mirror will show you this. Thene go back and darken the creases around the eye with a 4B pencil.
Add on Eyelashes and Eyebrows
At this point, you are almost done, and just need to add a few finishing touches. Fill the eyebrows in with a light color making sure to leave plenty of fine lines on the outer and inner edges. Now, attack the eyebrows using a thin HB pencil. As a general rule of thumb, eyelashes should always be drawn with curved lines, and never straight lines. You will want to choose a darker color for the eyelashes so that they stick out, like a 6B pencil.
At this point, the only thing you have left do to is add on your finishing touches. Go back over your drawing and darken in some of the naturally dark areas like the shadows, pupil, creases, and clean up your highlights. You may want to add in some blood vessels if you are feeling adventurous and add a few more shades to the eye to add more depth.