Drawing eye

It is very possible that I checked my eyes’ patterns few years ago for the first time while studying eye; then I realised its color is not flat brown. There were tiny black scratches in dark brown.

Those fellas below are my old eye drawings from 2015 February.

eye drawings 2015 feb
February 2015

-(Inner voice in 2015)Hey (to myself), did you see what you just did there! 😛

So let’s start with a section and study eye anatomy a bit; not detailed, just to get the shape and…

simple eye anatomy section drawing…where the eyelashes are, the form of cornea and how it applies when we draw an eye from side etc.

I suggest you to draw an eye wih your existent knowledge already and then come back and compare it with here, add new tips to yourself if anything new here!

So now let’s draw an eye step by step to the end.

eye drawing step by step

Some people starts drawing with iris directly, but I don’t suggest that. It is better to start with that main eye shape (1st step in the drawing) to see if they fit the face according to your portrait reference. So at first draw a shape like the first part in the image. There are also variations about that curves of the shape; I also mention it in this post, so let’s moving on!

After drawing that main eye shape here comes our iris circle. You may draw it so softly until you find a good circle and go drawing over it with a darker pencil. If we draw the iris from front we see it as a circle; but in the other position of head iris appears as an oval; I mention that too in this post.

One more point about iris that in cases of fear or excitement when the eyes are wide opened we may see the whole iris; but in general eyelid covers it a bit.

In the third step draw one more circle called pupil; located right in the middle of iris and have different sizes according to light and some emotions (it is like they are small with much light around or a person feels negative emotions; they are big in the dark or with excitement – Poker players may reveal a lot with dilated pupils- opps!)

In the next step we add eyelids to up and skin thickness to below. That thickness part below is very thin from one edge to the other but I realized that that area is a bit wider at the out edges and thinner while going to the inner corner called caruncle

Then it is time for lashes; they are curvy lines; thicker and longer at the out edges.

Next step is details finally like coruncle, pattern of iris, shading eye and around and highlights as well. In the end you can add an eyebrow like how you want; but I don’t examine it in here; it is going to be the next post’s topic. So you can leave eyebrows for now.

eye shape curves

Artists generally complain about drawing the ‘other eye‘, mirroring might be hard, yes, I used to think it is hard; but when you clearly see those curves, it is just okay to do the other. So, set the distance well between the eyes; watch the shape of the both eyes -see its curves, decide if they are upturned or hooded eyes -maybe somewhere between- then draw that main shape/part and for the rest all should go well with the drawing. After drawing that main part start adding details and shadings.

Above in the image you can see the arrows and understand what I meant with curve; also those curve’s directions as the way those arrow points. Also pay attention to the top points of those curves; if that top point is right in the middle of the eye or more at the edge; maybe that curve is not that curvy at all -more like straight.

Another fact is that above -see the thin red line or red like line- both edges are at the same level; one of them might be lower or higher like in the orange and yellow lines. Comparing edges if they are higher or lower or whatever is an another good tip to follow during drawing.

iris position eye

Another point is that how eyes appear in different head positions.

The first one is drawn from front, so the iris is a circle. In the second one iris turns into oval than circle and in the third one it is from side so easier to see that oval; and how cornea looks curvy, If you scroll up and take a look at cornea in the simple anatomy section.

different angles eye drawings

Some works here. I took (from left up to right and then down) Adrien Brody, Jake Gyllenhaal and Liu Wen as reference. The one in the middle down is me.

You can watch the highlighted areas.

eye drawing 1

Sphere form of the eye, veins, highlights…

What about coloring those eyes?

Well, years ago when I found out that light red and pink is used at the edges of the eye and at the caruncle, too, I was quite suprised because all I had expected wasn’t more than tones of green, brown and blue (and white and black).

Now let’s see some pupil textures:

drawing of iris patterns

2 of them with veins around. I used tones of green, yellow, brown, grey colored pencils and white derwent pencil.

I had them photoshoped a bit:

eyes in different colors

And really enjoyed it!

iris in different colors

You can study this with orange color pencils; can’t decide it is whether cute, interesting or creepy!

So in a nutshell:
-Draw the eye shape minding its curves, curve direction and top point of the curve,
-Iris and pupil in the middle of iris; pupil is black,
-Eyelid which possibly covers some of iris,
-That skin thickness at the down part and thin eyelashes at the edges of it (thin -in compared to up),
-Eyelashes; thicker, longer and dense at the edges,
-Details like caruncle, iris texture,
-Shadows and higlights.

Until today the most specific eye movie I watched was ‘I Origins‘ I guess. It was good. Requiem for a dream has a big blue eye in its poster (though don’t know if it has anything to do with eyes), I couldn’t dare to watch that movie, looked too dark.

A memory: me and my cousin like 12, 13 years of age, those old days we used to rent CDs to watch movies, and we rented a movie called ‘The Eye‘, in which after an eye operation the main character starts seeing souls or deads whatever. It stuck to parent dedector! We had to change the CD and changed it to one of a Nicolas Cage movie 😀

So that’s all this week as much as I can remember and say about eye. Hope it was helpful.
Happy sketching! Enjoy!

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