How to Draw Eyes

How to Draw Eyes

How to Draw Eyes? That is the question.


Whether you just want to draw cartoon eyes or realistic eyes learning how to draw eyes will help you give your faces a lot more character. Drawing eyes is my favorite part about drawing the face. If you just sit down and study the eye for a minute you’ll find that there is a lot more there than you probably realize.

The eye is like a an awesome mini dv cam but with a better picture. The eyes have been known forever as the windows to the soul, whether you believe that are not they do express the majority of the emotions on the face.

To capture this on paper it doesn’t hurt to have some basic knowledge of how the eye works and what makes it up.

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When drawing the eye you have to remember that the eye is a sphere shape. The eye lids cover most of the eye and really give its emotion and shape. The simplest way to start drawing an eye from any perspective is to start with a circle then decide what direction the eye will be looking.

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Draw the Iris and Pupil


The iris is the part of the eye that has all the color in it. You can easily just fill it in with a solid color or just shade it with some shadows from the eyelid and have a great looking eyes.


Tip: When I learned how to draw eyes there were a few key things that I realized that helped me.To add some realism and interest to the eye is quite simple. The outside of the pupil is kind of outlined with a faint dark circle.


From there, the iris, which if you look closely resembles the inside of a marble- the kind with the wild galaxy-like center. This linear pattern goes around the pupil as if fanned out.


This is the part of the eye you can make the most interesting and I could easily spend hours just in this area when drawing an eye myself.


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Next draw the eye lids over the eyeball leaving the exposed almond shaped part of the eye that we are most familiar with.

This way of drawing the eye helps give you a perspective of how much of the eye is actually not exposed. It also helps to show how the eyes work together and sit in their sockets.

If one eye is on the outside corner then the other will be in the inside corner unless you are drawing a wild eyed pug, then forget what I just said.

The other part of the eye to take a look at is the tear duct on the inside corners of both eyes. It's just a small curve in the eye but if you forget to add this your eye will defiantly look off.

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The Lashes and Lids

When drawing the lashes there is no set way. Really you could draw individual lashes all over the eye but they will look very childlike. Most of the time eye lashes are lumped together in small masses creating triangle shapes. If you see someone with individual lashes perfectly placed they will probably look quite odd.


When drawing the eye lids you have to take into consideration the curvature of the eye and how the skin sits over it. The top part of the brow just above the eye hangs over slightly when the lid is open. The eye lids are basically little covers stretched over the eye and bunch up when it is open. The eye lids are a little thick and create a small ridge along the upper and lower parts of the eye which lead into the tear duct on the inside corners.


Practice drawing one eye; then sets of eyes. Tear out magazine pictures and draw as many as you can.Eye-Compsimple drawing faces eyes

Use the Examples I have available. Look in the mirror. The more you look at how to draw eyes and become familiar with there shape and the way they work the better your eyes will get.drawing_eyes_finalsimple drawing faces

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Here are a few more examples of how to draw eyes created from the downloadable reference sheet. Again feel free to use the reference pictures for help with drawing eyes for your projects or however they can be helpful to you.


The pictures below were created from pieces I worked on in which I used the same reference photos provided on this page. I used the reference sheet as a quick guide for myself!


Hopefully they can give you a little more insight into what you can leave in and out to achieve the desired effect or style you are looking for.

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