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How to Draw Eyes

Eyes are said to be the windows to the soul. Drawing eyes that capture a person’s inner essence is vital to creating a lifelike image.


  • Step 1: Draw eyeballs Draw two identical circles for eyeballs, leaving a space between them equal to the width of the circles. Draw a horizontal line through the center of the circles to mark the location where you will draw pupils.
  • TIP: Eyeballs are spheres set into the skull. Capture the eyeball’s orbed shape in your drawing to give it a lifelike appearance.
  • Step 2: Add cornea and pupil Add round corneas with pupils inside. Their center points should lie along your horizontal line.
  • TIP: The pupils' size in your drawing reflects lighting levels. Pupils expand in dim light, contracting with greater levels of light.
  • Step 3: Add eyelids Draw gently curved lines over the upper lids, extending the lines to the edges of your original circles. Draw eye creases by creating arches over the upper lids. Draw the lower lids with a bowl shaped line connected to the upper lid at one end, and left slightly open at the other.
  • Step 4: Add eyelashes Add eyelashes with short, sweeping strokes, noting the direction in which they naturally grow.
  • Step 5: Block in shading Block in shading to create depth, remembering that shadowed areas will be darkest.
  • Step 6: Erase guidelines and add highlights Erase any guidelines detracting from the image. Use the eraser to create white highlights on the pupil. This gives sparkle to the eyes and demonstrates their power to reveal the secrets of our inner worlds.
  • FACT: Did you know? Ancient Egyptians commonly painted the eyes of the god Horus on coffins as a symbol of protection.

You Will Need

  • A graphite pencil
  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • Model (optional)

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