DRAWING EYES: STEP BY STEP TUTORIAL

In this article, I am going to explain how to draw beautiful eyes with an easy and fast technique. First, I am going to show you how to place eyes. Moreover, you will learn how to change the ethnicity of your model by altering eye shape. In the second part, I will show you how size, location, and distance can affect an overall stylistic look of your sketch.

Eyes are usually located on the middle horizontal line of a head or slightly above it. Check out face drawing tutorial if you need any help with illustrating a fashion figure’s head.

The width of an eye is often equal to 1/4 of the total width of a face. So, if your face width is equal to 2 cm then the eye width is going to be 0.5 cm.

drawing eyes explanation image

The distance between eyes is equal to the eye width (look at the picture above). The distance from the outer corner of an eye to the facial contour is equal to the half-width of the eye.

It is important to note that the outer corner of the eye is usually higher than the inner corner.

Here are three eye shapes that I often utilize when drawing models of Caucasian, Asian and African origins. The examples shown below are schematic, so try to make them curvier in your drawings.

drawing eyes explanation image

In the first example, I start with a diagonal line going up until the middle of the eye. Then with a curve, I connect it with the outer corner. Next,  I draw a diagonal line down stretching to 1/3 of the eye and close everything with a straight line. Note that the eye is not wide-open.

  1. The second example is similar to the first one. The difference is that I connect the inner and the outer corners with a single curve. To get stereotypical Asian look I don’t draw eyelids (shown with blue on the second row).
  2. The third eye type is more wide-open and resembles a parallelogram. Its upper lines are reflecting its lower lines.

Avoid the “dead eyes” drawing the whole circle of an iris. Hide 1/3 of it under an upper eyelid. The bottom of an iris is touching the lower eye line unless she/he is looking up or down. 

If you have eyes big enough to add shadows, then go for it. Below I added shadows with Cool Grey 2 Promarker. Usually, I draw relatively small heads with very small eyes and I don’t add shadows. Facecharts and bigger eyes might look more believable with a line of shadow below the eyelashes.

drawing eyes easy technique

Next, color the iris with a lighter value of a chosen color. In my case, it is Pastel Blue Promarker.  Add a bit of mid-tone around the eye’s pupil and along the perimeter of the iris as shown in the first picture below. I used Sky Blue Promarker as a mid-tone. Afterwards, add highlights with a correction pen as two white spots next to the upper eye-line.

When drawing eyelashes it is important to draw curves, not straight lines. Those curves should be drawn loosely and fast so their base is thick and the tip is thin.

When applying eye-shadows, make one solid layer and then darken the crease and the area above the outer corner.

You can show liquid eyeshadows by applying opaque white along the crease and between eyelashes in the most prominent central area. You can do it using a simple office correction pen or opaque white pigment.

You can also show glitter by applying white dots mostly above the outer edge of the crease. For that, I usually use a white ink gel pen. Since the pen is not that thick in pigment, it gives me a various intensity of light (from super white to transparent dots) which works well for glittery eyeshadows. 

DRAWING EYES FROM A REFERENCE

You can use a reference image to draw different shapes of eyes. So instead of continuously drawing the same 3 eye types, you can try something new. In this case, you will follow individual shapes of the upper and lower eye lines. In the example above, those are much curvier lines. Besides that, I followed the same steps described before.

Try experimenting with eyelashes too 😉

Here is how I usually add eyeliner. I just continue the lower eye line on its outer edge I draw a stripe on the top of the upper eye-line that is thinning towards the inner corner of the eye.


 

DRAWING EYES: THINGS TO CONSIDER

NUMBER 1!

SHAPE

Usually, I draw the shape of the eye that reminds almond or fish. Sometimes I adjust the slope, making them look more “cattish”(as I did in the second example below). I avoid drawing the eyes wide open. Instead, I prefer drawing the pupils half-hidden under upper eyelids. That adds drama 😉

drawing-eyes-shape

NUMBER 2!

EYELASHES

I have several tips for drawing sexy long volumized eyelashes. Draw them with curved lines, not straight ones.  Start each eyelash a bit lower than the upper waterline. Start with a thick line that becomes thinner on its way to the tip. Draw long and short eyelashes alternatively.

drawing-eyes-eyelashes

NUMBER 3!

LOCATION

As you can see from the example below the location of the eyes makes significant difference. I did not change the shape of the face nor I changed the distance between the eyes (here it is the same as the width of one eye). The only difference is that in the first example the eyes are located right on the middle line (the most natural look), on the second drawing – they are below the middle line, and on the third one – the eyes are located much higher than the central line.

drawing-eyes-the-location

Number 4!

DISTANCE

Just take a look at how the distance between eyes changes the whole look and the mood of the sketch.

drawing-eyes-the-distance

NUMBER 5!

SIZE

You may be keen to draw big eyes since conventionally big eyes considered more attractive – all those kids, anime characters, puppies, etc. However, small eyes might look fantastically beautiful too! Take a look at these two examples below and try to figure out which size you prefer more.

drawing-eyes-size

Here we are. Hope now you are experimenting with your fashion sketches, trying on different variations of eye shapes, locations, sizes, colors, etc. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share in the comment section below.

Comments: 4

  • sarah

    amazing

  • Roberto GMartínez

    Excellent, I love it!

  • Ebtehal Alhmoudi

    i love you, you are my inspiration, you are my idol
    i hope one day be like you <3

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