how to draw an eye

How to Draw an Eye – Drawing Turorials and Coloring Tips

Have you ever wondered how artists bring eyes to life on paper or canvas? Drawing realistic eyes may seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques and practice, anyone can master this skill. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist looking to refine your eye-drawing skills, this article will provide step-by-step tutorials and valuable tips to help you create stunning eyes in your artwork.

From the basic outline to shading and finishing touches, we will guide you through each stage of the eye-drawing process. Discover how to achieve depth and realism by mastering the inner circle, pupil and highlight, upper and lower eyelids, eyelashes, and shading. With these techniques, you’ll be able to capture the essence and expressiveness of the eyes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn step-by-step tutorials on how to draw an eye
  • Master the techniques of creating a realistic inner circle, pupil, and highlight
  • Understand how to draw the upper and lower eyelids and add depth with shading
  • Discover tips for drawing expressive eyelashes
  • Refine your eye-drawing skills through practice and experimentation

Step 1: Outline

The first step in drawing an eye is to create the basic almond-shaped outline. The outline serves as the foundation for the entire drawing, providing a structure to build upon. To achieve a realistic look, it’s important to pay attention to the shape and proportions of the eye.

Start by sketching the outer contour of the eye using light and loose lines. The shape should resemble an almond, with a slightly rounded upper curve and a sharper lower curve. Remember that the inner corner of the eye should be lower than the outer corner to create a natural and lifelike appearance.

Take your time in this step to ensure that the outline is accurate and matches your desired eye shape. You can use a reference image or visualize the eye shape you want to draw. Once you are satisfied with the outline, you can move on to the next steps to bring your eye drawing to life.

Step 2: Inner Circle

Now that you have created the outline of the eye, it’s time to draw the inner circle. This important step will serve as the foundation for the pupil and highlight, allowing you to bring more depth and realism to your drawing.

To draw the inner circle, start by visualizing it as the center of the eye. Place it slightly above the lower eyelid and in the middle of the eye, ensuring it is proportionate to the rest of the eye. This circle will represent the area where the pupil and highlight will be located.

Take your time to carefully draw the inner circle, making it a smooth and precise shape. Use light strokes as you work, ensuring that the circle is clean and well-defined. Remember, the inner circle is the focal point of the eye, so take extra care to get it right.

Once you’ve successfully drawn the inner circle, you can move on to the next step – adding the pupil and highlight. These elements will further enhance the realism of your eye drawing, so stay tuned for the next section!

eye drawing inner circle

Detailed Guide for Drawing the Inner Circle

  1. Visualize the inner circle as the center of the eye.
  2. Place the inner circle slightly above the lower eyelid and in the middle of the eye.
  3. Ensure the size of the inner circle is proportionate to the rest of the eye.
  4. Use light, clean strokes to draw a smooth and precise circle.

Step 3: Pupil and Highlight

Now that we have the basic outline and inner circle, it’s time to add the pupil and highlight to bring our eye drawing to life. The pupil is the dark center of the eye, while the highlight is the bright spot that reflects light.

Pro tip: Pay attention to the placement and size of the pupil and highlight, as they can greatly impact the overall look of the eye.

“The pupil and highlight are like the soul of the eye. They give depth and character to your drawing.” – Emily Thomas, professional artist

Start by drawing the highlight above the center of the inner circle. The highlight is usually an elongated oval shape that varies in size depending on the lighting and direction of the eye. Use a lighter pencil or leave the area blank to create a brighter effect.

Next, draw the pupil beneath the highlight. Remember to keep it centered within the inner circle. The pupil can be a small circle or a slightly elongated shape depending on the angle and focus of the eye.

Pro tip: To create a more realistic look, you can add a subtle reflection on the pupil by leaving a small area unshaded.

Take a look at the example below to see how the pupil and highlight are added:

Eye drawing with pupil and highlight

With the pupil and highlight in place, our eye drawing is starting to come together. In the next step, we will focus on filling in the pupil to create depth and contrast within the eye.

Step 4: Fill in the Pupil

Now that you have created the basic outline, inner circle, pupil, and highlight of the eye, it’s time to bring depth and intensity to the pupil. Using a dark pencil, such as a 6B or 8B, carefully fill in the pupil to achieve a deep black shade. This shading adds dimension and realism to the eye.

Begin by lightly shading the entire area of the pupil, gradually adding more layers of pencil to create a darker tone. Pay close attention to the shape of the pupil, ensuring it remains circular and well-defined.

For a more realistic look, consider adding subtle variations in shading to mimic the play of light and shadows within the eye. This can be achieved by applying slightly more pressure to the pencil in certain areas to create darker patches, and using a lighter touch in others to suggest highlights or reflections.

Remember to take your time and work patiently, gradually building up the darkness and depth of the pupil. A steady hand and attention to detail will greatly enhance the realism of your eye drawing.

Below is an example of how shading the pupil can transform the overall appearance of the eye:

eye drawing shading

Before Shading After Shading
eye drawing before shading eye drawing after shading

Step 5: Upper and Lower Eyelid

Now that we have outlined the basic structure of the eye, let’s move on to drawing the eyelids. The upper eyelid has a distinct crease that adds depth and definition to the eye, while the lower eyelid creates a subtle line under the eye.

To draw the crease of the upper eyelid, start by sketching a curved line just above the eyeball. This line should follow the natural contour of the eye and extend slightly towards the outer corner. The crease may vary in shape and prominence depending on the individual’s eye shape.

For the lower eyelid, draw a gentle curve slightly below the eyeball. This line should be soft and not as pronounced as the upper eyelid crease. Remember to keep it subtle to maintain a realistic appearance.

eye drawing eyelids

Upper Eyelid Lower Eyelid
A distinct crease Subtle line below the eye
Follows the natural contour of the eye Soft and gentle curve

Now that we have added the upper and lower eyelids, our eye drawing is starting to take shape. In the next section, we will continue to enhance the eye by adding eyelashes. Stay tuned!

Step 6: Begin Drawing the Eyelashes

Now that you have the basic outline of the eye and the essential elements in place, it’s time to add the finishing touch – the eyelashes. Eyelashes not only enhance the beauty of the eye but also add depth and realism to your drawing.

To begin, start with a few eyelashes to outline where the larger clumps of lashes will go. This creates a basic framework for drawing the lashes. You can use short, curved lines to mimic the shape of the lashes. Pay attention to the direction in which the lashes curve, as this will help you achieve a more natural look.

eye drawing eyelashes

Once you have the initial outline, you can gradually add more lashes, layering them to create depth and texture. Remember that eyelashes are not all uniform in length or thickness, so vary the size and shape as you go along.

For a more realistic effect, you can also incorporate some stray lashes that are not connected to the main clumps. These individual lashes can be drawn slightly curved or at different angles to add visual interest.

Step 7: Darken a Few Things Up

Now that you’ve established the basic elements of the eye, it’s time to add some depth and dimension by darkening certain areas. By strategically shading and darkening the inner circle, outline, and inner corner of the eye, you can create a more realistic and captivating drawing.

Start by using a darker pencil or shading tool to darken the inner circle of the eye. This will add depth and make the eye appear more three-dimensional. Be sure to blend the shading smoothly to achieve a seamless transition between the different tones.

Next, pay attention to the outline of the eye. Add some slightly heavier lines to define the shape and contour of the eye. This will give it a more defined and finished look.

Lastly, focus on the inner corner of the eye. Use short, light lines to represent the fine details and natural texture of the skin in that area. This will add realism and bring the eye to life.

Remember, shading is key when it comes to creating realistic drawings. Take your time and experiment with different techniques to achieve the desired effect. Practice makes perfect, so keep refining your skills with each drawing.

Take a look at the step-by-step visual guide below to see how shading can transform your eye drawing:

eye drawing shading

Step Description
1 Darken the inner circle to add depth and dimension.
2 Enhance the outline of the eye for a more defined look.
3 Add subtle lines in the inner corner to represent texture.


Drawing an eye is a skill that requires attention to detail and practice, but with these step-by-step tutorials and valuable tips, you can develop the techniques needed to create realistic and expressive eyes in your artwork. By following the outlined steps, from creating the almond-shaped outline to adding shading and finishing touches, you’ll be able to capture the intricacies of the human eye.

Remember, drawing is a journey, and as you continue to experiment and refine your skills, you’ll find your own unique style when it comes to depicting eyes. Don’t be afraid to explore different techniques and materials, as each artist has their preferences and methods. Whether you prefer a graphite pencil or colored pencils, the key is to keep practicing and pushing yourself to improve.

As you immerse yourself in eye drawing tutorials and learn from experienced artists, you’ll discover that the eyes hold incredible depth and emotion. They can truly bring a piece of artwork to life. So keep honing your eye-drawing skills using the techniques shared in this tutorial and let your imagination guide you to create captivating and realistic eyes that leave a lasting impression.


What is the first step in drawing an eye?

The first step is to create the basic almond-shaped outline of the eye.

How should I shape the almond-shaped outline?

The inner corner of the eye should be lower than the outer corner for a realistic look.

What is the next step after creating the outline?

The next step is to draw the inner circle of the eye, which will serve as the basis for the pupil and highlight.

Should I draw the highlight or the pupil first?

It is best to draw the highlight first, and then add the pupil beneath it. Make sure the pupil is centered within the circle.

What kind of pencil should I use for filling in the pupil?

It is recommended to use a dark pencil, such as a 6B or 8B, to fill in the pupil and aim for a deep black shade.

How can I represent the upper and lower eyelids?

You can draw the crease of the upper eyelid and the line under the eye to represent the lower eyelid.

What is the purpose of outlining a few eyelashes?

Outlining a few eyelashes helps create a basic framework for drawing the larger clumps of lashes.

How can I add depth and dimension to the eye?

You can darken the inner circle, outline of the eye, and add lines in the inner corner to add depth and dimension.

What are some tips for drawing realistic eyes?

Practice and experimentation are key to refining your skills. These step-by-step tutorials and tips will help you create realistic and expressive eyes in your artwork.

How can I develop my own unique style when drawing eyes?

By practicing and experimenting, you will develop your own unique style over time.

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