Hey guys! Today, I’m going to show you how to draw eyelashes and also how not to draw them. The format of this tutorial will be: examples with explanations and then application in step by step format. Enjoy!
Drawing random, quick strokes won’t result natural looking lashes. It’s very important to plan each stroke carefully. We’re just going to focus on natural lashes (no extensions and no mascara).
Eyelashes are thickest at the base and come to a point at the end. So you want to make sure to lift your pencil up swiftly at the end of each stroke. It’s hard to lift your pencil as you curve it. So practice lifting after the curve.
If the end of your stroke looks too blunt, that’s okay! Draw a pointy tip on the end of the hair using the sharpest side of your mechanical pencil. If there are any inconsistencies in value, pinch your kneaded eraser to a fine tip and dab some graphite away.
When you apply a lot of pressure, do your strokes look crooked? The method below may work better for you, because you might find it easier to draw smooth curves when using less pressure.
An eyelash does not need to be drawn in one stroke. If you have trouble drawing eyelashes with single strokes, use a sharp H pencil to lightly plan out the shape of the lash and then follow that guideline using a mechanical pencil with darker lead.
If you’re doing this method, you may find it easier to flip the drawing around after the first step. I’m right handed and it feels a lot more natural for me to draw this upside down.
Let’s talk about the roots. No matter what angle you’re drawing an eyelash, make sure each lash looks like it’s growing out properly. What do I mean?
Here’s an example of how to draw eyelashes correctly:
If you look at the diagram on the left, the eyelashes grow in towards the opening of the eye to protect the eyeball from dust and debris. In the image on the right, the eyelashes clearly grow out in a similar direction.
Here’s an example of the incorrect way:
I’ve seen this done many times before. So I made sure to include it in the tutorial :) If you draw your eyelashes like the image on the right, the diagram on the left shows you how the roots would grow in reality. The diagram shows lashes growing away from the opening of the eye – a highly unnatural occurrence.
Since the eyelid wraps around a curved object (the eyeball), you’ll need to draw a range of eyelashes at different angles. This is the thing that will make your drawing most realistic.
Practice drawing a range of eyelashes. Below are the 3 main ones.
Front facing, 3/4 facing and side facing
Types of Lashes
Try to introduce some randomness into your drawing to make it look even more realistic. Here are a few ideas you can use:
Vary the Length
Instead of drawing all your lashes the same length, come up with 3 different lengths and use them throughout.
- Long lashes: Generally the same length. Use few of them, but make each one count.
- Medium lashes: The bulk of it all
- Short lashes: These are generally the thinnest and lightest. Can be used as fillers.
Grouping and Overlapping
Group some lashes together by their ends. This works very well with long lashes that look a little odd on their own.
Overlap lashes that look boring on their own, or just to make things look a little more interesting.
Vary Line Thickness
Vary the pressure of your pencil to draw super light and thin eyelashes in random areas, but especially in areas closest to the tear duct. Don’t be afraid to draw thick lashes either.
How to Draw Eyelashes Step by Step
Let’s take all the information above and apply it to a drawing. Before we begin, draw an eye and finish all your shading and blending before you add the lashes on.
Step 1: Plan the hair direction
Figure out what angle the eye is facing you so you can apply the right amount of curvature to each eyelash stroke.
Using a sharp H pencil, lightly draw the front, side and/or the 3/4 facing lashes first. Then use your mechanical 4B pencil to go over those strokes with a much darker value.
Keep in mind that lower lashes are much thinner and therefore lighter than the upper ones.
For the next few steps, we’re going to fill in all the other eyelashes. This is going to be a lot of fun!!
Step 2: Fill lashes in by section
It’s up to you where you want to start. I’m going from left to right.
Note: Use a clean sheet of paper to place under your hand so you don’t smear your drawing. We need these lashes to look nice and sharp!
Use your H pencil to draw light lashes so you can use them as general guidelines. What we want to do here is we want to draw lashes that gradually transition from side facing or 3/4 facing lashes to front facing lashes. It doesn’t have to be a perfect transition – randomness will make it look more realistic.
Step 3: Add unique lashes
Continue to draw more lashes. Make some of them overlap each other and play around with the length. Drawing lashes that are all the same length will look artificial.
Step 4: Spread lashes out
Spread those eyelashes out. It looks sparse right now, but don’t worry about it. We’re going to fill in the gaps later!
For now, focus on the overall shape you’re giving the eye by adjusting the length/reach of every lash. My lashes follow the general shape of the upper eyelid fold. I like the shape that they have now. So I’ll leave it at that and move on to the next step.
Step 5: Introduce a new layer
Eyelashes don’t just grow in a single, boring row. On the upper eyelid, I’m adding an additional row of lashes beneath the ones I just drew. Layering will make the drawing look more detailed and realistic.
Step 6: Add random lashes
Having fun?! I am! This part looks complicated, but all I did was add additional hairs beside existing lashes. Some are extra curvy, others might be super thin and barely noticeable (drawn with a sharp HB pencil to maintain their lightness).
Step 7: Add some shading
If you’re happy with the amount of eyelashes you’ve drawn, it’s time for some shading. Why? Because eyelashes have shadows of course!
I’ve shaded areas of the skin behind the top lashes, the area of skin below the bottom lashes, the right side of the eyeball and the right ledge of the bottom eyelid.
I also shaded around the base of each eyelash on the bottom lid to give the surface a more bumpy and realistic texture.
Step 8: Details! Add some reflections
Add some subtle eyelash reflections in the eye and we’re all done!
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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.