Learn how to draw eyes with these eye drawing tutorials and references.
I've rounded up 18 eye drawing sketch ideas for you to use for inspiration.
*I've included a FREE Artist Study printable at the bottom of this post!
You may be wondering why you should even sketch in the first place.
Have you ever heard someone say that when you're writing a first draft, you shouldn't worry about spelling and grammar errors?
That the first draft is just for getting your thoughts out?
The same concept applies to sketching.
Sketching your ideas is the first step in the design process, and is something that every artist should do.
When you sketch, it doesn't have to be perfect. The purpose of your sketches is to get your ideas out quickly.
Don't worry about erasing, or trying to make sure that everything is just right.
Your main focus should be getting your ideas out uninterrupted.
Let's Gather Our Supplies
- Drawing Kit: I love the Castle Art Supplies kit for all of my drawing needs! Buy on Amazon
- Sketch Book When it comes to sketching, you can't go wrong with 300 Series Strathmore. Buy on Amazon
- Colored Pens: These are the colored pens I use whenever I add color to my drawings. I love them! Buy on Amazon
Eye Drawing Tutorials and Ideas
Check out these eye drawing tutorials and references sure to inspire you and help you with your art.
Choosing Your Pencils
Before you begin your drawing, it's important that you choose the right pencil.
If you're new to sketching and aren't sure what pencil grade to start with, I recommend starting your sketch with a pencil on the H scale.
You can finish off your drawing with a darker pencil grade, such as a pencil on the B scale.
I love this tutorial because it shows you how to you easily draw eye step-by-step.
This is a great reference to use if you're learning how to draw eyes.
Don't Blend with Your Fingers
Once it's time to blend, try not to blend with your fingers.
When you blend with your fingers, the oils from your skin will transfer to the paper and may affect the look of your drawing.
I recommend blending stumps for blending your work.
Here's another great tutorial that shows you how to draw eyes in steps.
This sketch may seem a bit advanced for beginners, but if you're willing to take the time, you can totally draw these eyes.
Eyes Are Not Perfectly Symmetrical
On a typical adult face, you'll notice that the eyes are in the middle of the face.
Additionally, you'll see that the pupils are sitting on a vertical middle line.
From the front view, our eyes are one eye apart.
Keeping these things in mind, you'll see why eyes can be used to measure face proportions.
When drawing eyes, don't worry about making them perfectly symmetrical. As humans, our faces are not perfectly balanced.
Practice Sketching Daily
If you want to get better at sketching, the best thing you can do is practice daily.
I recommend setting aside an hour every day to sketch. Don't worry about your work being perfect. It will get better naturally the more you practice.
Use a Blending Stump
It can be difficult to get a good blend with pencils. However, you can create a smooth bleeding effect by using a blending stump.
Blending stumps are great for smudging graphite and charcoal.
Step-by-Step with Instructions
What I like about this tutorial is that it's not only pictures, but written instructions telling you how to draw the eye. This is so helpful.
Play Around With the Placement
Our eyes have a wide variety of shapes. Remember, the eyes should not be perfectly symmetrical.
Play around with the shape and placement of the eye and pupils, or the eyelashes and eyebrows.
If you're drawing someone older, keep in mind that our eyes get droopier as we age, and we have more wrinkles.
Try Not to Smudge
If you can, avoid smudging your drawing. You can place a piece of paper underneath your hand to minimize how much your hand smudges your drawing.
This will help ensure you have a clean looking drawing once it's complete.
Remember, you can use smudging to your advantage to smooth out your shading.
Anime Eye Drawing
If you're drawing anime style eyes, you should find this quick visual tutorial really helpful. I love how simple it is to draw these eyes.
Think About What You Need
Simple eyes will work great for animations. Close-ups on eyes may require you to add more detail.
It's good to think about these things as you go into drawing the eyes.
I advise you not to spend too much time on this so that you can give other parts of the body attention as well.
However, if you're drawing an emotional picture, it's understandable to give special attention to the eyes.
What I love about this sketch is how it shows you how to draw eyes that are looking in different directions.
This is a great visual tutorial that's easy to understand.
Practice Blind Contour Drawing
Blind contour drawing is the practice of drawing the contour of a subject without looking down at the paper.
Blind contour drawing is helpful because it trains the eyes and hand to work as a team.
It always helps the artist see all the details of the subject.
Coloring the Eyes
When coloring the eyes, you'll want to consider the lighting and the overall style you're going for.
If you make the white part of the eye darker, it'll make the highlights stand out.
Play around with different color accents and drawing softer or harder edges for the iris of the eye.
Eye, Nose, Lip Tutorial
If you need practice drawing more than just the eyes, you'll love this simple tutorial for drawing the eyes, nose, and lips.
I love how the elements come together to form the face at the bottom.
Adding color to your drawing can be a great way to make your drawing stand out.
You can use colored pencils, pastels, or even watercolor paint to add some color to your drawing.
Draw Your Own Eyes
A great way to practice drawing realistic eyes is to draw your own eyes.
Take a picture of your eye up close and draw what you see.
Pay attention to your eye's shape, the placement of your pupil, the shape of your eyelashes, etc.
45 Minute Tutorial
Artists have told me that this took a lot longer than 45 minutes.
Even so, they still really enjoyed following the reference.
So while this may take you longer than 45 minutes, I still think you'll enjoy drawing this eye.
Use the Grid Method
The grid method involves drawing a grid over your reference photo and then lightlhy drawing the grid on your drawing paper to scale.
The grid method will help with the placement of your drawing. It will give you a reference point between the photo and your canvas.
Be Light With Your Pencil
Even though the pupil is the eye's dark area, don't press down too hard on this part of the eye.
If you need to do any erasing, it'll be a bit more difficult if you've been heavy-handed in this area.
Be light with your pencil in this area, and use a blending stick when needed.
This tutorial shows you how to draw cartoon style eyes in four easy steps.
I've followed this tutorial and had so much fun drawing these eyes. I think you'll enjoy drawing these eyes too.
I love the different expressions being made with these eye drawings.
Not only that, but this is great to use if you're practicing drawing eyebrows too.
I hope you were able to find some inspiration with the tutorials and references in this post.
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Bonus Free Printable
Study your favorite artists with this free Artist Study printable. Click the image to download.