Learn How to Draw Eyes


Learn how to draw eyes to create realistic portraits!

Most people know how to draw a simple eye. However, there are a few tricks you can use to make your drawings look like the real thing. The following tips reveal that the big secret to drawing life-like eyes is in the details!

how to draw eyes, human eye


When drawing an eye, try to include some of these details:

1. Lashes can be drawn as jagged little lines or scribbles. Lashes usually can't be seen at the very top and inside corner of the eye when viewed head on. Instead, they blend together to create a dark line. The outer edges of the eye are usually where we can see the lashes.

Here are some tips by our affiliate Christoper Sia on how to draw eyelashes correctly: Drawing Eyelashes PDF.

2. The tallest part of a natural eyebrow is usually off center and towards the outside corner of the eye.

3. Eyelid crease above the eye - If the eyes are open you will still be able to see this crease at the very corners of the eye socket, usually.

4. Little pink triangle at inside corner of eye - Notice the inside corner of the eye, there is usually a little notched triangle here. Avoid drawing football shaped eyes by including this little notch!

5. Highlights in the middle - there are usually one or more bright highlights in the center of the eye - just take a look at any photograph of an eye! These highlights are the final touch that make any eye drawing look more realistic.

6. Small space between the eyeball and the lashes - If you take a look in the mirror, you'll see that the lashes are not immediately next to the eyeball. Instead, you'll see a thin strip of skin between the lashes and the eye. Women sometimes apply eyeliner to this thin space!

Also look at what's going on in the area surrounding the eye:

7. Highlights and shadows surrounding the eye - These will change depending on the light so you'll have to use your powers of observation and adjust accordingly.

Finally, notice how the eye relates to other parts of the face:

8. One eye space between the eyes - If there is more than one eye space between the eyes your person might end up looking more like ET and if there is less than one eye width your portrait might end up looking, perhaps silly? This rule is one of the easiest to miss so it's important to measure before you start drawing in the details. Once you've added all your shadows and highlights you won't want to erase one eye just because they are too close together or too far apart!

And...

9. How to draw eyes in relation to the nose and lips. The inside corner of the eye usually lines up with the outside edge of the nose. The inner edge of the iris (almost the center of the eye!) usually lines up with the outside corners of the mouth. Learn how to draw eyes correctly by following the rules loosely and using your own judgment. Remember that these measurements will not always be exact. They are simply guidelines that can help you create more realistic looking drawings. Use your own observation and measurements when creating your portraits!

Watch how to draw eyes and the face using Charcoal media

Return to the Portrait Drawing to Online Drawing Lessons