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How to Draw a Realistic-Looking Eye

Learn how to draw a realistic eye from professional artist Kevin Kobasic in this illustration and drawing tips video from Howcast.


The misconception is that an eye is just shaped like a football with that eyeball in the center, but of course, it's much more complicated than that. Imagine this is the center of my face, here. There's a point here in the middle, so you have this diagonal line and then another diagonal that comes down, and then the bottom, I usually think of as a curve shape, a little like that football shape. Having this shape is what really makes it look like a real eye.

There's usually this little fold of skin over the eyelid. It doesn't just go over the top of the eye like that. It's usually drifts a little more to the center, so it catches the eye on the outside, and then, just in the center like that.

That's one thing that really differentiates different people's faces, is some people have very little, the fold is not very noticeable over the top of their eyes and then other people have a very noticeable fold above their eyes.

I tend to think about the bottom part of the eye socket and how that creates the folds of the lower lid. It's usually this, kind of a line about that like. I don't know, some people it's very subtle. Some people it's very noticeable. But there's this fold that creates the shape of the lower lid. There's always this shape here where the eyes meets the nose and flows down.

I tend to think of breaking things down to their simplest shapes and the eyelashes can be bunched into a single mass. If you can really really learn these shapes, how the eye sockets flows into the bridge of the nose, it really helps your characters look realistic.

It's also good to really think about the actual eyeball having a roundness to it, because it's really just a ball shape. Next, I'll show you the eye from a side view. I'm imagining that my person is looking this way. It angles forward like this, then you draw a triangle shape.

You notice I'm just changing some of these lines as I go. A big part of drawing is finding the shape as you go and that's what all this sketching is for. I would love it if I could just always draw a perfect face the first time out, but usually I have to sketch around a little bit and play with it and find what I want to draw.

And right now I'm just thinking of the center of the eye socket flows into the side of the nose.

There's this little lip right here on the lower eyelid. That's where the lower lashes are.

As with all things, you're going to get better the more you do it, so just keep drawing and draw everything around you and really learn how things look for yourself.

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