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How to draw a realistic eye

draw an eye step8
Posted by on April 18, 2012

Here is a quick tutorial on how to draw a realistic eye. 

Any pencil will work.  Make sure to have a high quality photo to reference.   To blow up the sample image below for a closer look, control click it to open it up in a new page.   From the new page a magnifying glass should appear when you mouse over the image.   Click again to zoom in.

1.  Start with a basic football shape.  The shape is very important.

2.  Add the outlines of the eyelid, pupil, and iris, leaving an empty spot for the reflection.  Sketch out the eyebrow shape.

3.  Fill in the eyebrow with small strokes.  Add the eye lashes with  small quick pencil strokes,  heavier on the top eyelid.  Curve them just a bit toward the outside of the eye.   The bottom lid should have fewer lashes, and they should be softer.

4.  Fill in the iris leaving the empty spots for the reflection.  With a shading tool, (paper stomp/q-tip or similar) begin shading in the eye lids.  Add detail to the pupil leaving it lighter where the iris and pupil meet.

5.  Use the same blending tool to shade in the pupil and the area between the eyebrow and eye lids.  Leave the pupils light for now.   Blend the eyebrow a little smoother with your shading tool.

6.  Darken up the eye lashes and add a little more shading to the outside of the eye up towards the eyebrow.  Darken the top of the pupil making sure you do not smudge the white spot in the iris or pupil.  Darken the inside corner of the eye.  Add a little shading to the edges of the whites of the eyes.

7.  Fill in the rest of the pupil, leaving it lighter at the bottom.

8.  Blend under the eyebrow some more, making it smooth.  Add a little detail to the eyebrow,  and sharpen/blur edges as needed.  Touch up any areas that may need it.

This is a real quick tutorial.  Let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything I can help you with.  I hope you enjoyed it and it helped with your sketches.  I would love to see how your drawings come out.  Please feel free to post your work!

Shane Burke,




3 Responses to How to draw a realistic eye

  1. Emma

    Good job

  2. rabipelais

    Awesome tutorial. But I think the pupil is the black spot in the middle of the eye and the iris the colored one around the pupil, and not the other way around. Cheers.

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