Hi, welcome to RapidFireArt! My name is Darlene and in this tutorial I’m going to teach you how to draw a realistic eye using easy step by step instructions. This is my first tutorial, so I hope you enjoy it!
UPDATE: For a while now, you guys have requested a tutorial on drawing a pair of eyes. Here it is, along with a super in-depth tutorial as well!
For this tutorial on drawing a realistic eye, I will be using the following tools:
– Mechanical Pencil with 0.5 mm HB and 4B Ain Leads
– Derwent Graphic 6B Pencil
– Kneaded Eraser
– Blending Stump (Learn how to use them here)
– Smooth Bristol Paper
Step 1: Outline the Shape of an Eye and Highlight
Let’s start off with an HB pencil to sketch the shape of the eye. This outline should not be too dark because you want to prevent it from showing through in the end. We just need the basic shapes outlined at this point. The square shape in the pupil is a glare from a window or similar shaped light source. You can use other shapes such as circles or ovals as well.
If you’re stuck on drawing a realistic eye shape, iris or eyebrow, visit the 3 pages below:
Step 2: Shade the Pupil
Using a 6B pencil, fill in the pupil. Avoid pressing too hard or else it will be hard for you to erase if you need to make corrections later on. You can go over the area again to achieve a darker shade. Make sure the highlights stay clean!
Step 3: Shade the Iris
On a separate sheet of paper, smear some graphite into a small area. Use the blender to rub the area until the graphite has transferred to the tip of the blender (learn how to use a blending stump here). You will now use that to fill in the outer area of the pupil. This step does not have to be done perfectly. Sloppy smudging will make it turn out better, as well as give the eye more depth.
Step 4: Draw Spokes
With a 4B pencil draw spokes going outward from the pupil. Overlap some of the spokes to create thicker lines. This will make the eye look more interesting. Leave some areas untouched as they will be filled in later.
If you’re enjoying this article, click here for another realistic eye tutorial!
Step 5: Blend the Iris
Use the blending stump to fill the white space in the iris. Carefully work around the highlight. Don’t press too hard. You should still be able to see the lines coming out of the pupil when done. If most of the lines have disappeared, you have either used the blender with too much force, or have not pressed hard enough when creating the spokes.
Step 6: Add Depth
Use the 6B pencil to create a shadow under the eye lid to give the eye more depth and roundness.
Step 7: Shade the Skin
Shade the eye whites as well as the skin around the eyes. Don’t leave the eyeball white or else it will appear unrealistic and lack depth. For a more detailed tutorial on shading eye whites and how to make eyeballs look round, click here.
Darken the creases using a 4B pencil. Use the kneaded eraser to make the highlights pop, as well as dab areas of the eye that need to be lightened. For example the eye whites, lower lash area, brow bone and the inner corner of the eye near the tear duct.
Want to improve your shading skills? Click here to read my shading tutorial!
Step 8: Draw Eyebrows and Eyelashes
Fill in the eyebrows as well as the eyelashes. Eyelashes should be drawn using curved lines, NOT straight lines. To create the eyebrows, use a thin HB pencil. For the eyelashes, go with something darker, like a 6B. Go over the drawing and darken areas such as the pupil, creases, shadows and clean the highlights to make your drawing POP!
Click here for a super detailed tutorial on how to draw eyelashes
Step 9: Touchups
I’ve added some eyelash reflections, some subtle blood vessels as well as darkened the overall drawing. Try to use as many shades as possible when drawing eyes. Most people are afraid to go dark. Look at the picture in step 8 and compare it to the last step. Going dark makes a huge difference! I used to stop at step 8 too, because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to erase if my hard work turned into a complete disaster. This fear left me unsatisfied with all my drawings because they lacked depth. So take it a step further and make use of your softer pencils!
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I hope you enjoyed this simple step-by-step tutorial on how to draw a realistic eye with pencil. If you have any questions or requests, let me know in the comments below!
So tell me… was that an easy eye drawing tutorial? Or does it need some improvement? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated :)
Want more eye tutorials?
How to draw a realistic PAIR of eyes
How to draw an eye from the side
Darlene created RFA In 2013 with the goal of sharing simple yet detailed drawing tutorials with other artists on the world wide web. She is a self taught pencil portrait artist and Youtuber.
thanks to this awesome tutorial, I drew the best eye I’ve ever drawn.
hey I just want to say that I love to draw and this is really inspiring.
Wow this is amazing! I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw realistically and your tutorials help ALOT. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!🖤🖤
This is Awesome! It elevated my artwork alot. Thanks so much. It was such a simple tutorial with such amazing results! I still can’t make it look as good as the images posted on this site, but it was really really really really helpful. Thanks again.
I tried this out and OMGOSH i did it FAR better than you did anyday!
-o- bet it looks like a puddle of oobleck smh
Wow! Where did you get your inspiration from? You have helped me so much with my art work! I can even now draw kind of realistically – thanks to your tutorials! :D
Darlene!!! You’ve helped my progression so much!! thank you for making these available!