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Art & Design

20 Amazing Eye Drawing Tutorials & Ideas

As with any piece of detailed drawing, eyes can prove difficult at times. There are so many facets to consider and it can seem an insurmountable task. Don’t fret, it isn’t really. You just have to break the whole process down to a series of relatively simple tasks.

The first thing to do is to look past the eye, to the shapes and tones. It is these that will create both realism and emotion in your drawings. All of us need inspiration at times. My first piece of advice would be to collect as many sketches and drawings of different eyes as you can.

Here are 20 amazing eye drawing ideas for inspiration, with some ideas to try and help you and some talk of the lessons I have learnt myself.


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Drawing Tips

You can see from the series of sketches above, the final drawing seems complex and very detailed. Instead of looking at the whole image, start to separate it off into any basic shapes you can see. I was once told by an old art teacher to turn the picture I was trying to paint upside down to try and see beyond the image itself. It worked remarkably well for me, it may do for you too.

#2 HB Wood-Cased Pencils – Set of 12

Breaking Down The Image

Feel free to start anywhere, but here you can see the overall shape of the opening is used to start. This is just a preparatory sketch for now so don’t worry about mistakes. Once you are happy with the curves that form the shape of the opening, look at how the circular shape of the iris fits into those curves.

Also, you can begin to create some depth by emphasizing the curvature of the eye with light shading. You may see the vague shape of the pupil. Its dark colour means that reflections will often dominate the central area. These can be quite random in shape, so pick out those shapes and look at the way the lines of colour radiate across the iris. Pick out the darkest areas first and as you work you can gradually overlay more areas of shading.


Keep it simple. Building up the shading to create the shape of any reflections, the lip of the eyelid and also the curvature of the eyeball itself. Introducing the curves and lines of any folds of skin around the eye will give you chance to experiment with expression too. Always look at how the light creates shape with shadow. Doing this will give you the depth of expression within the eye.

Lastly, you can add the eye-lashes. Remember that you can add any final shading around the eye. If you imagine a ball sat in a shallow hole, wherever the light source is the shape is created by the shadows. Use those shadows, they are your friends.


You can see that at times that I have used a very sharp pencil to emphasise the shape of certain parts of the image, like the eye-lashes. As the picture develops I often use a much rounder (more blunt) pencil tip. I do this to soften the image and create depth – using different pencil grades can help with this.

In general I start with a fairly sharp HB grade and use a 3B to emphasise the darkest areas. I would recommend using a very sharp HB for detail like the eye-lashes. Then a much rounder tip HB and 2B to soften the image, create the gradient of tones within the shaded areas.

You will be amazed at the subtle differences in shape and tone that can help you create expression.

Look at and draw different eyes from the reference material you have collected. You will begin to see how those shapes can help you create more lifelike and expressive drawings. Doing this will bring your artwork to life. The eyes are the windows to the soul, and time spent here can make any drawing a pleasure.

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  • Suprita Sarkar

    So nice

  • Prachi yadav

    Thanks , it helped a lot , would be looking forward for more of these articles .

  • Zara Mirza

    So nice and great amazing drawings

  • Kai

    I’m not very good at getting the shape of the eye, any tips?

    • Riham Ahmed

      If you don’t know how, copy it off a computer it’s easier

  • lex

    I`m not very good at drawing but looking at the steps makes me really confident that I can get better thanks for this .

  • Praharshitha.V

    Really helpful for a middle-aged artist like me to improve my drawing. Thank you so much!!

  • Maggie cotant

    Thank you so much for sharing you talent. I am a mosaic artist. I could never draw or paint so until I tried this medium @ age 31, I thought I was not “creative” in this way. To my shock, I could make things out of smalti & broken pieces of anything that I could NEVER draw. Still-there are times when the trained eye of an artist who understands the intricacies of how to make an eye or a hand come alive takes my work to a new level & gives my clients so much more of what they were telling me they wanted. It is delightful to me that someone working in “2 dimensions” gives my, by default, “3 dimensional work” depth it was lacking & brings my piece to life! It takes just the right person to “teach” me, tho. I can make a mosaic quilt look as if it’s rippling-it’s the human features where I get lost. Thank goodness the Universe gives us all such nuanced gifts-&, for artists like you, a willingness to patiently share. How can ANYONE not understand that art is vital to humanity. Love & thanks. The divine in me sees the divine in you.

  • Julie Bolex


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