By Sam Cooper in Art Tutorials > Drawing Tips
Hey everyone! In this tutorial, I’ll guide you through the process of drawing a realistic eye. If you prefer a more detailed video tutorial, simply click here to receive a notification when it’s available!
Recommended Drawing Tools
• General’s Charcoal Pencil 6B
• Mechanical Pencil with HB and 4B lead
• Tombow Mono Zero Eraser
• Posca Paint Pens (White 0.7mm)
• Old makeup brushes for blending
Step-by-Step Guide: Drawing a Realistic Eye
Step 1: Locate an Appropriate Reference Photo
To accurately depict a realistic eye, it’s crucial to have a high-quality reference photo. This allows you to determine the eye’s shape, size, and the correct placement of features and reflections.
Step 2: Begin with a Light Sketch
Start your drawing by lightly outlining the eye. I find it helpful to mark the starting and ending points with indicators on the left and right. Additionally, resize the reference photo to match the desired proportions for precise drawing.
Step 3: Outline Facial Features
Once the central part of the eye is sketched, proceed to outline the remaining features, such as the tear duct, eyelid, and eye bags.
Step 4: Render the Darkest Areas
Using a charcoal pencil, selectively shade the areas that should appear the darkest. Pay attention to the eyelid crease, the shadow beneath the eyelid, and the pupil and iris surroundings. Be cautious, as charcoal is challenging to erase once applied.
Step 5: Add Depth to the Whites of the Eyes
Shade the whites of the eyes by applying light shading techniques. Remember, the whites are never entirely white, as they possess shadows and three-dimensional characteristics. In this case, the tear duct area is slightly darker, and the opposite corner of the eye is even darker, casting a shadow due to the eyelashes.
Step 6: Define the Tear Duct and Enhance the Iris
Proceed to shade the tear duct, maintaining its dark nature while portraying its reflective quality. Simultaneously, add details to the iris, focusing on areas surrounding the pupil and the iris’s circumference.
Step 7: Bring the Iris to Life
To depict the iris realistically, draw various types of lines extending from the pupil—some curvy lines, others reaching the iris’s edge, and some starting and stopping at random points. Fill the majority of the space with these lines, incorporating black spots. Remember, there’s no specific formula for this, as every eye possesses unique characteristics that contribute to its appeal.
Step 8: Shade the Skin
Establish a base shade for the skin using an HB pencil. Begin lightly, gradually deepening the shadows with a 4B pencil. Pay specific attention to the eyelid crease, the edge of the eye, and the eye bags. To blend the shadows seamlessly, use a brush, tissue, or cotton bud.
Step 9: Draw Realistic Eyelashes
Using a 4B pencil, draw the eyelashes. Start from the root and flick the pencil lead off the page as you draw, creating lashes that are thickest at the root and thinnest at the tip. Consider the direction of the lashes, as they follow a specific pattern. In this case, the top lashes curve up towards the left and gradually curve up towards the right as they reach the edge of the eye.
Step 10: Add Texture and Highlights
To introduce skin texture and highlights, utilize a Tombow Mono Zero eraser. Apply highlights to the eyelid and tear duct, mimicking the way light naturally interacts with these areas.
Finally, use a white Posca paint pen to incorporate the brightest highlights. Focus on the eyelid, tear duct, and iris reflections. Utilize a stippling technique to simulate the look of skin with its tiny bumps and reflections.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this comprehensive tutorial. Don’t forget to sign up for a notification when the full video tutorial becomes available!
Special thanks to Sam Cooper (@justsomedrawingzz) for generously sharing this tutorial! For more of Sam’s incredible drawings, please visit instagram.com/justsomedrawingzz.
This post may contain affiliate links.