If you want to learn how to draw eyes, you need to know about art’s technical and emotional side. Each set of eyes has a unique shape, color, and transparency. It takes practice and knowledge to master recreating them, as drawing eyes is an art form.
Why Is Drawing Eyes Important?
The eyes are known as the windows to the soul. It’s important to portray them well in a drawing so the viewers can connect with the character you’ve drawn.
The only parts of the eyes we see are the pupil, iris, and whites. The rest of the visible “eye” is the skin surrounding it – the eyelids. Not only is it essential to draw eyes, but it’s important to make the eyes seem real.
Even in a cartoon, eyes should exhibit emotions. Things such as symmetry within each eye can distract from this connection. No eye is symmetrical; each end tends to turn up.
Rules For Drawing Eyes
- Take it easy on the pupil – pupils are black, but if you don’t add lighting to them or shade too dark, then they won’t look real.
- Outline first – before you begin drawing irises or coloring anything in, you have to draw a faint outline.
- Look at real eyes – look at real eyes, not pictures. This will let you see the depth and curves of natural eyes.
- Draw eyelashes – you don’t need to draw the eyelashes one-by-one but take it slow and don’t forget them.
- Eyelids made shadows – the whites of the eyes will have shadows cast by the eyelids and lashes.
Common Mistakes When Drawing Eyes
It’s easy to mess up when learning how to draw eyes, and since they’re the first thing people notice, this can mean that eyes will control first impressions.
- Neglecting shadows – there are many small shadows on and in the eyes. Forgetting one of them can leave the eyes unbalanced.
- Forgetting the creases – eyelids leaves creases. Remember to add these creases by studying how actual wrinkles look.
- Using symmetry – eyes are not symmetrical. Neither the individual eye nor the eyes together are symmetrical.
- Ignoring the shape – each eye has a unique shape. Get a picture the first few times you draw eyes to replicate and practice different forms.
- Unrealistic eyelid depth – the top eyelid is easy to remember, but there is a bottom eyelid too. Remember to add it to give your eyes dimension.
- Not clumping eyelashes – natural eyelashes group together and clump. Add this effect to make the eyes look more realistic.
10 How To Draw Eyes: Easy Drawing Projects
There are many different types of eye art. When drawing parts of the face, realistic eyes are difficult to draw, while cartoon eyes are easier. But there are tutorials of any kind that even a beginner artist can follow.
1. How to Draw Anime Girl Eyes
Anime girl eyes are simple to draw, but there are dozens of ways to draw them. It starts with a simple outline, followed by the iris. From there, it’s just the details. Love2DrawManga has a simple tutorial that you can bookmark.
2. How to Draw Anime Boy Eyes
The main difference between anime girl eyes and anime boy eyes is the eyelashes. Male anime characters don’t have eyelashes. The eyes from Anime Outline’s guide can be applied to most male anime characters.
3. How to Draw Chibi Eyes
Chibi eyes are similar to anime eyes, but they are larger and brighter. Articco Drawing has an awesome chibi eye tutorial video.
4. How to Draw Realistic Eyes
Realistic eyes are hard to draw. Nina Blangstrup has a detailed tutorial on drawing realistic eyes that anyone can follow. Take your time on realistic eyes the first time you draw them.
5. How to Draw a Crying Eyes
A cartoon crying eye is easy to draw because all you have to do is draw tears below the eyes. But a realistic crying eye requires more effort. Naim Drawing Academy has a beautiful tutorial that takes you through the steps of how to draw eyes that are crying.
6. How to Draw Cartoon Eyes
There are dozens of animation types, so each tutorial will be different. The classic Looney Tunes style may be the easiest. Draw Cartoons has a good tutorial on this style of eye art.
7. How to Draw Eyeballs
Realistic eyeballs are extremely difficult to draw. But learning to draw a cartoon eyeball can help you learn about eye anatomy. How to Draw Funny Cartoons has a simple tutorial you can follow.
8. How to Draw Dog Eyes
Dog eyes are different from human eyes. You can’t see the whites, and the colors are dark enough to blend in with the pupil. A guide by Craftsy should get you through your first drawing of dog eyes.
9. How to Draw Horse Eyes
You may notice similarities between dog eyes and horse eyes, but it’s easy to tell which is which when you compare them. Art Ala Carte has a great how to draw horse eyes tutorial.
10. How to Draw Closed Eyes
Closed eyes are easier to draw than opened ones. It’s important to learn how to draw eyes that are closed at some point. RapidFireArt has a good tutorial that can help you.
How To Draw A Realistic Eye Step-By-Step
Realistic eyes are not easy to draw, so don’t be surprised if you need to follow tutorials multiple times before you get the hang of it.
Step 1: Outline
The first step to drawing almost anything is to draw a faint outline. When you draw a realistic eye outline, draw the eyelid, eyebrow, iris, and pupil.
This is also an excellent time to draw the light of the eye between the pupil and the iris.
Step 2: Darken Pupil
Darken the pupil but don’t push too hard with the pencil. A 6B should do the job as long as you don’t touch the light of the eye with it.
Step 3: Shade Iris
Irish shading is simple to do. Just feel in most of the eye with a light shading, and you can add the details next.
Step 4: Detail the Iris
This is when you draw the ridges of the iris. The ridges are darker and thicker in the center near the pupil and tend to fade out near the edges of the iris. Use a 4B pencil for this step.
Step 5: Blend
Use a blending stump to blend the details of the iris into the shaded part. Don’t push hard; just gently blend it out to look natural. Stay out of the light of the eye.
Step 6: Shade
Now it’s time to shade the eye. Use a 6B pencil to create shadows under the eyelids. Then, Use a 4B to create shading around it. This is the hardest part to learn, and it takes practice to understand.
Step 7: Add Hair
The last thing you should do is add hair. This included the hairs of the eyebrows and the eyelashes. If you add them before, then they may fade away with all of the blendings.
How To Draw Anime Eyes
Anime eyes come in many shapes and sizes. But for this tutorial on how to draw anime eyes, we will use the simple non-chibi female anime eye.
Step 1: Top Eyelid
The first thing you do to draw anime eyes is draw both top eyelids. This is a simple curve shape you decide on now.
Step 2: Bottom Eyelid
After the top eyelid, you add the bottom eyelid. The bottom eyelid connects to the top on both sides of realistic eyes, but not in anime eyes. The bottom eyelid should connect only to the outer side of the eyelid.
Step 3: Add Iris and Pupil
Next, add an iris and a pupil. The iris shouldn’t be a full circle like it is with real eyes. Instead, it should be more egg-shaped, with the eyelids covering the bottom.
Step 4: Add Highlights
Large areas where the light shines on the eyes give them depth. Remember to add at least two circles that you do not touch. One should connect the iris and pupil while the other has more freedom.
Step 5: Darken Pupil
Darken the pupil now, but this time, feel free to make it fully black. Fill it in but don’t touch the area where the light shines.
Step 6: Shade
It’s not complicated to shade anime eyes. The shading isn’t detailed, so imagine that there is a light in one corner of the paper, then depend on your shadows all being cast on the other side.
Step 7: Eyelashes
Anime girls always have eyelashes. Add these eyelashes now. Feel free to only add lashes to the corners, as this is a common look. But if you want to add them all the way across, you can, but don’t add individual lashes.
How To Draw Eyes Faq
Are Eyes Hard To Draw?
Eyes are not easy to draw. Cartoon eyes are the easiest, while realistic eyes are the most difficult.
What Do Eyes Symbolize In Art?
The eyes are the primary way to exhibit emotion and expressions in art. When not drawn on a living being, eyes often represent insight, knowledge, and spiritual perception.
What Does It Mean To Always Draw Eyes?
If you always draw eyes, it may mean something depending on the type of eyes you draw. Bright eyes may represent a desire for adventure and curiosity. Sleepy or closed eyes may indicate a need for inner peace. Wide, yet staring, eyes may mean that you feel uneasy.
It’s not easy to learn how to draw eyes. Some eyes are simple, but they still require knowledge to draw. To perfect any type of eye, you need to practice.
The more you practice, the better you’ll get at drawing that type of eye. After you learn the technical side of drawing eyes, you can practice displaying different emotions, which can take your art from mediocre to a masterpiece.