In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to draw 6 different eye shapes: almond, round, monolid, hooded, upturned and downturned.
You’ll get a chance to look at different types of eyes being drawn at the same time. I don’t encourage you to draw them all at once, so pick only one and follow it throughout the tutorial.
Feel free to mix and match as you get comfortable on your next run-through.
Since I couldn’t fit all 6 eyes in every step, the last 2 have been pushed into a bonus section at the end of the article.
- HB pencil
- Japanese Tombow Eraser (What I use for erasing large areas of work)
Step 1: Draw a Circle
Using an HB pencil, let’s start by drawing a circle. This circle represents the eyeball.
Step 2: Pick an Angle
How slanted do you want the eye to be? Draw a line going through the circle with the angle you prefer. Feel free to deviate from the examples above.
Note: the left side of each circle is the inner side of the eye
This method is awesome if you’re drawing a set of eyes on the same face.
Step 3: Draw the Inner Corner of the Eye
Time to draw the inner corner of the eye. You can use several shapes. Angular, pointy or rounded ones like the examples above and in the bonus section. For small or shallow corners, stay very close to the circle. For deep and large corners, place it well outside the circle.
Step 4: Draw the Top Lid
Draw the upper eyelid while staying within the boundary of the circle. Imagine that the eyelid is wrapping around a sphere. The last example shows the right side of the lid wrapping around the eyeball with a big steep curve.
For almond shaped eyes, you’ll want to stick to a slim football shaped curve and the deepest part of the arc should be located at the middle of the lid.
Step 5: Draw the Bottom Lid
Now draw the lower lid. Make sure to draw a slight bump near the inner corner of the eye and avoid drawing the lid too far away from the line you created in step 2.
For almond shaped eyes, the arc of the top and bottom lids are very closely aligned vertically.
Step 6: Add a Crease
Draw the fold above the eye starting from the inner corner and working your way out. The thicker the space between this line and the eye, the thicker the fold will look. You can loosely mimic the curve of the top lid.
This crease should not go past the line you created in step 2 unless you’re drawing wrinkles.
For the hooded eye, you’ll want to bring the crease as close to the top lid as possible. You can even overlap them or cut through a portion of the top lid.
When drawing the crease, keep your lines fairly light. A dark crease will look really deep.
Step 7: Erase Outlines
Carefully erase your outlines. I used a hard tombow eraser to save time.
Step 8: Add Some Details
At the inner corner of the eye, draw a curve or two to separate the eyeball from the soft pink caruncula.
For Iris sizing, a good rule of thumb is for the iris to take up about 2/4’s of the eyeball (horizontally). Examples below:
If you want to draw a perfectly shaped iris, draw a full circle and then erase parts of the circle that go outside of the eyeball. This step should be done very lightly. Once you have the position and size you want, darken the iris outline.
Step 9: Shade Your Eye
To shade and add more details, you can refer to the tutorials below:
- How to draw an eye
- How to shade an eyeball
- How to draw eyelashes
- How to draw eyebrows
- How to shade a face
Monolid: You can draw a monolid eye by excluding the crease or giving a small hint of it at the end of the eye.
Downturned: Try not to angle your line too much when drawing downturned eyes. In fact, the one I drew is pretty extreme already. Actually, you know what? Just do what you feel like. Experiment and have fun!
Click here to learn how to draw a pair of eyes!
I hope you got a lot of value out of this tutorial! If you didn’t, let me know why in the comments below and I’ll do my best to make it right for you.
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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.
I was never taught how to draw at school although I always wanted to learn. Since retiring last year I promised myself that I would finally learn to draw.
Thank you Darlene for your amazing videos and tutorials. You have just become my #1 teacher ;-)
Very helpful fro the nuances of different types of eyes
At 67 years young I am finally learning to draw and paint. I’ve always been a technical person and
appreciate your step by step, easy to follow methods. Thank you so much for sharing.
Really your tutorials more than enough. No need of any special classes for it. Thank you ver much darlene
Your tutorial is better then good, short and clearly, please show also how to draw whole people.
Mighty fine tutorial! It really helps me out.
First at all my english is not goog.I am from argentina.I like so much your tutorials.i am a beginer but like very much draw.i work hard to learn draw by your tutorials.thank’s.the better for you.
Your tutorials are very easy to follow. I can see patterns from diferrent tutorials and apply to my sketching