How to

How to Draw Eyes


Drawing realistic eyes can be a rewarding and enjoyable artistic endeavor. This article will guide you through the process of drawing eyes with graphite pencils, focusing on techniques that bring out the realism in your artwork. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, this step-by-step tutorial will help you master the art of capturing the intricate details of the eyes.

Understanding the Medium

Different mediums require different approaches to drawing eyes. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the techniques specific to graphite pencils. However, if you’re interested in learning how to draw eyes with colored pencils, pastels, or oils, feel free to check out our related lessons.

Step 1 – Outlining the Eye’s Contours

To start the drawing, lightly sketch the upper and lower contours of the eye shape, leaving room for the tear duct. Use an “H” pencil with gentle pressure to create a basic outline. It’s important to focus on capturing the shape of the eye accurately at this stage.

Step 2 – Shading the Iris and Pupil

Next, we’ll begin layering values, starting with the darkest tones within the pupil. Be mindful of preserving the highlight, as it adds a realistic wet look to the eye. Gradually layer darker applications to control the values and avoid graphite shine. Pay attention to the radiating lines within the iris, gradually adjusting values to create a three-dimensional appearance. Use a blending stump to soften the textures and restore lost contrast if necessary.

Step 3 – Adding Details to the Whites, Tear Duct, and Eyelid

Now, shift your focus to shading the whites of the eye. Use an “H” pencil to create a sphere-like effect, with slightly darker values on the edges. Darken the tear duct area, leaving hints of lighter value for added realism. Pay attention to the overlapping of the top eyelid and the cast shadow it creates. Layer graphite applications gradually, blending with a stump to soften the textures.

Step 4 – Developing Skin Texture

Add wrinkles and subtle areas of lighter value to create texture on the upper eyelid crease and the skin below the eye. Gradually darken the shapes with softer graphite pencils to enhance contrast and create a more realistic skin texture. This step adds depth and further differentiates the eye from the surrounding skin.

Step 5 – Drawing Eyelashes

With the foundational graphite applications in place, it’s time to draw the eyelashes. Use a sharpened “HB” pencil to create bold lines that curve down and up for the top eyelashes. For the bottom lashes, draw lines that go upward and then down, with less concentration than the top lid lashes. The unpredictable nature of the lashes adds character and realism to the eye.


Drawing realistic eyes requires patience, attention to detail, and practice. By following these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to create stunning eye drawings that capture the essence of realism. Remember to embrace imperfections and have fun with the process. With time and dedication, you’ll master the art of drawing eyes.

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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