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How Draw a Realistic Eye From the Side

How to Draw a Realistic Eye From the SideHey, you’re reading a detailed step by step tutorial on how to draw a realistic eye from the side, QUARANTINE EDITION!


Since art supplies may be hard to come by during this time, use whatever tools you have or you can even make your own. I’m using a dollar store pencil, a tissue, a homemade blending stump and a kneadable eraser, which you can learn how to make in my other post: How to Make a Kneaded Eraser Putty!

Let’s get started!

Draw the Eyeball

Lightly draw or trace a circle for the eyeball. It doesn’t have to be perfect because we’re only going to use it minimally during the construction process of our eye and then we’ll erase it completely.

Just in case you’re wondering, my circle is 6cm in diameter.

Draw the Cornea

Draw a small bump or cornea in the direction you want the eye to face. I want mine to face the right, so I’ll draw my cornea on the right side.

In terms of sizing, the cornea’s length is roughly half of the eyeball’s diameter (or the length of the radius).

Draw the Iris and Pupil

Now draw the iris by creating a curve that touches the top and bottom of the cornea. Make sure your linework is very light, so you can make changes easily.

Erase part of the eyeball that crosses through the iris/cornea. Then inside the iris, draw a narrow oval for the pupil.

Draw the Eyelids

Now let’s draw the eyelids.

Starting roughly from the center of the eyeball, lightly draw a curved line for the top eyelid. It can cover part of your iris or expose it completely, then wrap the eyelid around the other side of your eyeball.

To draw the bottom lid, create a curve where the two eyelids meet and then continue your stroke toward the bottom of your iris.

Example of a narrow eye (the iris is more exposed at the bottom, rather than the top.

Usually, when our eyes are open, the iris is most exposed at the bottom rather than the top. So if you want to draw narrow eyes, keep that in mind:

Alright, moving on! Right above the top eyelid, draw the eyelid crease. You can use the eyelid shape as a reference or draw a more uniquely shaped crease. Connect that pencil stroke to the top eyelid using a slight curve.

To complete the bottom lid, I’m drawing a stroke that goes almost straight down, but you can angle it out or in if you want.

You can add wrinkles at the corner of the eye or at the end of the eyelid crease if you want.

Bulging eye example

Tip: If you wrap the eyelid skin very close to the eyeball, you can get a bulging eye effect:

Once you’re done, erase the circle guideline and parts of the iris that fall outside the eye-opening.

Eyebrow Placement

Now let’s figure out where to place the eyebrow.

Lines from left to right: Tail, arch, and beginning of eyebrow.

Draw a very faint line at the end of your eye, another line from the cornea’s edge, and then a line that angles out from the eye, similar to the picture above. These are for the tail, arch, and beginning of the eyebrow.

Eyebrows come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t worry too much about this part. They’re just rough guidelines.

Now that we have 3 guidelines in place, we can draw our eyebrow more easily – using them as rough guidelines/boundaries.

You can draw your eyebrow lower or higher than mine if you like, and you can draw it as thick as you want.

Keep your pencil strokes extremely light so that your outline won’t show through later – That would take away from the realistic effect that we’re going for.

Once you’re happy with the shape of your eyebrow, erase the 3 guidelines. We’ll add the eyebrow hairs later!

Draw the Highlight/Reflection

Let’s add some highlights in the eye. Highlights are the brightest area of a drawing.

A highlight can be from a nearby window or any light source. Here are a few example shapes:

These shapes are all curved because the eyeball is curved, so a rectangular window, for example, might take on more of a C-shape.

You can come up with your own shapes and stretch them across the eyeball, covering as much or as little space as you like.

If you want, you can add obstructions in the highlight like the silhouette of a person standing in front of the window or some curtains. You can even create a gradient across your highlight to indicate a difference in light intensity.

Anyway, once your highlights are drawn, erase any lines that cross through them, cleaning them up.

I like to use my kneaded eraser for this, by rolling the end till it’s pointy and then dabbing the graphite away. Here’s a closeup:

You can even flatten your eraser to work along an edge:

Throughout the drawing process, try to keep your highlights as clean as possible so that they can stand out.

Shade the Pupil

Time for some shading!

Let’s start with the pupil, shading it really dark, because it’s actually a hole in the iris.

Shade the Iris

Next, we’ll shade the iris. Remember to be very careful around the highlights because we want to keep their edges crisp. You can shade as light or as dark as you want, without going darker than the pupil.

I recommend blending the iris now, using a tissue or blending stump for example, so it looks more smooth before moving on to the next step, or you can skip the blending process if you want.

In the video for this tutorial, I blended my entire drawing at the very end to keep the video short. But I highly recommend blending as you go because it’s a lot easier that way and you can avoid smearing your work during the process.

Here’s the shading/blending process that I like to follow:

I shade the light values, blend it, then add shadows, I try to blend just the shadows so I don’t smear the darker graphite into the lighter areas. Then finally I add details. If I need to do any blending after the details are added, I blend around them, being very careful not to blur or smudge my detail work.

Once detail work is smudged, it may be difficult to recover:

Okay, moving on!

Exaggerated example

My imaginary light source comes from the top right, so I’m shading the top of my iris darker because the iris shape is concave, so the top of the iris is actually facing away from the light, whereas the bottom of the iris, faces toward the light.

As I work my way down, I apply less and less pressure to get a gradient, as the concave iris shape starts curving/facing toward the light.

Also, you can shade the very top of the iris even darker to account for cast shadows from the eyelid.

Something I like to do is shade the rim of my iris darker than the iris body to give it more contrast, but that’s completely up to you.

The large highlight is too overpowering for my liking, so I’m going to make it more subtle by shading a gradient across it, making it dark at the bottom and gradually lighter toward the top, just like the example I showed you earlier:

When you finish shading the iris, make sure that the outline of each highlight is no longer visible. If it still is, you may need to erase it slightly or shade the surrounding area a little darker so it blends in/disappears.

Okay, so that was the simple and quick version for shading an iris. If you want to add more detail, you can apply the following steps…

More Detailed Version of an Iris

This section is optional, but to make the iris look more interesting, you can add some fine detail such as lines that stretch outward from the center.

Use your pencil and eraser to render these lines. If you want to draw straight lines, you can flatten your kneaded eraser, and then just press and lift the graphite away or rub gently. If you curve your lines close to the pupil (the hole inside of the iris), you can make the iris look more 3d.

Try to angle or space out some of your lines randomly and vary the thickness to make them look more natural.

Squiggly lines example. You can use a kneaded eraser or solid eraser for this.

As an alternative, you can draw squiggly shapes if you prefer. I’m drawing this example on the same iris, but I recommend you select only one style or somehow merge the two.

A solid eraser will work too, just make sure that it’s pointy enough. You can cut the eraser to make it as pointy as you require. It’s good to overlap the squiggles too.

After that, use your pencil to darken some of the spaces in between your squiggles to add some depth and contrast.

These lines and squiggles are all part of the iris, so we’ll need to shade them similarly to how the iris was shaded before they were added. Remember we shaded the top of the iris? I’m doing that again, except this time, lighter.

Oh, and shade around the outside your pupil if you want the area to appear deeper.

Anyways, that’s the detailed version of an iris. You can of course stick with the simple version.

Shade the Eye Whites

Let’s shade the eye whites now.

They’re called eye whites, but they’re not exactly white, so don’t be afraid to shade them.

Refer to your light source again (mine’s in the top right) – Subtly shade the eyeball lightest where it faces the light and darker where it faces away from the light.

To shade very smoothly, try to keep pencil strokes close together to eliminate gaps.

Shade the top and bottom of your eye whites.

Now we’re going to shade the top and bottom of the eye whites. We’re shading the top because the eyelid sticks out and creates a cast shadow directly below it, and the bottom because the round eyeball curves away from the light source, putting it in shadow.

While we’re here, I’m just going to shade the iris rim to soften the edge.

You might wanna blend your eyeball before moving on to the next step…

You can add veins in the eyeball by sharpening your pencil and drawing them in very very faintly. Try to make your veins even lighter as they reach toward the iris.

Shade the Skin

Let’s shade the skin, starting with the top eyelid.

Right where the eyelid crease is, create a gradual value change from dark to light as we shade our way down. This will make the skin actually look as though it’s creased.

After that, let’s shade the lower section of the eyelid because the skin curves away from the main light source.

Now let’s shade the rest of the top eyelid, leaving the right side the lightest because it faces the imaginary light source directly.

Where the skin starts to curve away from the light, I’ll shade it the darkest.

If you want to learn more about shading and how light works, please refer to my shading tutorial.

I’m using strokes that follow the contour of the skin. This is called contour shading. If you vary your stroke pressure, making some strokes darker, you can give the skin a more realistic texture. You can even throw in a few subtle strokes that go in random directions to mimic the fine lines and wrinkles of the skin.

For the bottom eyelid, I’m shading along the top edge, while leaving a narrow space for the eyelid’s ledge.

To draw an eye pouch or bag under the eye, shade along the bottom of the eye bag to make it look as though the skin above it puffs outward.

For a subtle eye bag, make your shadows light.

Shade the Rest of the Skin

Let’s shade the rest of the skin and then we’ll move onto the eyelashes.

Starting at the eyelid crease, I’m going to shade lighter as I work away from it (as the skin curves and turns toward the light).

Tip: If your outlines are still visible after shading around the eye, try to lighten them up or darken your shading until the outlines disappear.

To shade the brow area, I’m going to again consider the light source in the top right and work out which areas of skin face the light directly and which areas face away. I’m shading the right side of the brow lighter than the left side because it faces the light directly.

You can shade the brow area however you want to define a brow shape that you prefer.

Draw the Eyelashes

Alright, it’s eyelash time. But before we draw any hair, I’d suggest that you blend your shading now because it’ll be quite difficult to blend around all the individual lashes.

To draw eyelashes, we’ll need to sharpen our pencil first. I’m working with a mechanical pencil, so It’s already quite sharp.

Practice drawing eyelash shapes until your strokes become pretty consistent. Your eyelashes can curve more or less. Just make sure the end of the eyelash is tapered. You can use flicking motions to achieve that effect. If you’re struggling with drawing smooth curves, it may help to rotate your sketchbook.

Let’s start at the top eyelid, creating lashes that grow out from the bottom edge.

Tip: Avoid drawing too many lashes that run parallel to each other. If you taper them together, you can create more natural-looking lashes that are less patterned:

There are a few things you can do to make your lashes look more unique and random. Such as vary the length, spacing, or amount they curve.

Continue along until you reach the corner of the eye. Lashes located near the corner of the eye are usually shorter, thinner, and therefore appear lighter. Don’t forget to add some lashes along the other side (far side) of the eyelid too.

Let’s move onto the bottom lid, sprinkling lashes along the ridgeline that we created earlier (Stagger them in a sort of random zig-zag pattern).

I like to draw these lashes much shorter and more spread out than compared to the top set of lashes. You can draw lighter than mine if you want a more subtle appearance.

Again, avoid obvious patterns. You can draw the lashes on their own, join them at the ends or cross them over one another.

You can also vary the hair spacing, length, and thickness.

Don’t forget to draw lashes along the other side (far side) of the eyelid too :)

Draw the Eyebrow

Once you’re satisfied, it’s time to work on the eyebrow. The hair growth pattern might seem confusing, but let’s break it down.

Drawing Eyebrow Hair BreakdownWe can draw a line through the eyebrow to separate it into two zones. I’ve drawn a line from the top right to the far left. This boundary line is different for everyone because there are so many different types of eyebrows.

In zone 1 (the bottom portion), we’re going to draw hairs that point up, and then as we work toward the left, they’ll point more toward the tail end of the eyebrow.

In zone 2 (the top portion), the hairs mostly point in a downward direction toward the tail of the eyebrow.

Where the hairs from both zones meet, I like to taper them together instead of cross them over one another, but you can do whatever you prefer.

Draw a boundary line through the eyebrow to separate it into 2 zones.

Okay, let’s draw a faint boundary line for our eyebrow to separate the 2 zones, using short, disconnected pencil strokes because we don’t want this line to show through in the end.

Then, using light strokes, roughly draw hairs in zone 1 while staying within the boundaries. As you work toward the left, curve, and angle the hairs so they point more toward the tail of your eyebrow. We’re going to blend this out in a second, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Then draw a few faint hairs in zone 2 without crossing over into zone 1.

I’m going to lightly blend the eyebrow out using a regular facial tissue wrapped around my finger. Blend from right to left, basically, in the general direction, all the hairs are pointing. After blending, we now have a base layer of cast shadows / subtle hair that we’ll draw on top of.

Now we’re going to draw the final hair which we won’t blend. I’m going to draw them dark, but you can adjust the pressure based on your preference.

As I draw, I’m tapering 2 or more hairs together so they don’t look bushy.

If you find these strokes difficult to draw, try rotating your sketchbook.

You can add some unruly hairs on the far right. I like to draw these ones lightly.

Once you’re done with zone 1, move up to zone 2, drawing hair that points down, toward the left.

Drawing Eyebrow Hair BreakdownAgain, where the hair from both zones meet, I like to taper them instead of crossing them over each other because I think when they cross over each other, it looks messy but feel free to experiment with both.

Try to avoid drawing straight lines and instead curve your strokes even just slightly. Also, try to feather out your pencil strokes along the top of the eyebrow.

Okay, next, we can actually get the eyebrow to look 3D by making specific hairs darker. This could be a whole topic of its own, so let’s keep it simple.

The hair right below zone 2 are covered in shadow because when they meet with the hair above, they curve outward and are therefore facing away from my light source.

Make the eyebrow more 3D by darkening the hairs right below zone 2.

If we shade them darker, we can give the eyebrow more dimension (depth). I’m just going along each and every hair and making them a bit darker.

Now there’s a clear difference in value between the two zones, making the hairs point out toward the viewer instead of appearing flat on the page.

By now, our faint eyebrow outline should no longer be visible. If it is, erase the outline carefully or draw additional hair until the outline disappears.

Let’s go around the edges and add some lighter hair and/or unruly hair. You can draw them all over and spread them out pretty far if you want the eyebrow to look unplucked.

I’m just gonna shade a slight cast shadow right below the eyebrow.

Okay, I think that’s enough for the eyebrow!

Make the Eye Look Wet

To make the eye look wet, we can add water along the bottom of our eyeball.

Grab your pointy solid eraser or kneaded eraser, flatten it, and erase a thin space along the eyeball, where it meets with the bottom eyelid.

If the line of water doesn’t show up well, shade around it slightly. The (increased) contrast will bring it out. Or you can use a white gel pen or correction fluid to introduce a bright white value.

Blend your Eye Drawing

If you’ve already blended your drawing throughout the tutorial or you’re not interested in blending, please skip to the section on how to make the drawing pop.

Shading Tips_Blending_Eliminate Gaps
Check that your shading is as smooth as possible.

Alright, before blending, we need to make sure our shading is as smooth as possible, so that means making sure there are no gaps between our strokes and that any blotchy areas are reduced to the best of our ability.

Before and after blending with a tissue and blending stump.

Blend one section of your eye at a time, using a clean blending stump, tissue paper, q-tip, or fine-haired paintbrush (whatever your preference is).

I like to blend from a light area into a dark area so I can avoid unwanted smear marks.

In large areas of my drawing, I wrapped a tissue around my finger and swiped gently from the lightest to the darkest area. Blend as much as you need to until the drawing becomes nice and smooth.

Be very careful when you blend around detail work like the eyelashes and eyebrows, making sure not to blur/smudge them. A pointy blending tool like a blending stump will work well for getting into tight spaces, blending precisely where you want it to. But you can also use a folded tissue paper:

Carefully blend around eyelashes with a pointy blending tool (I used a folded facial tissue).

As you blend, follow the direction of each eyelash, being careful not to smudge them.

If you’re using a tissue and there’s a tight spot you need to get into, fold your tissue paper using fewer layers, making it tighter, or you can blend the area with your sharpened pencil, basically filling in any white dots or valleys on the paper’s surface.

When the tissue becomes too dirty, fold your tissue again using a clean spot or just rotate it to a cleaner spot.

Tip: You can remove excess graphite by dabbing it with your kneaded putty eraser gently (learn how to make one here). This is how I get rid of blotchy areas to make the drawing look even smoother. Areas that don’t have enough graphite can be filled in using a dirty blending tool (this also blends the drawing at the same time).

Alright, side note! So we covered this earlier, but if you still have a visible outline around your cornea, and you can’t just erase it because it looks weird without the outline, you can make it blend in by shading the skin beyond it just enough to make the outline disappear.

Now the cornea’s outline is no longer visible since it has blended into the background.

Make the Drawing Pop

If your drawing doesn’t pop enough, try cleaning up the brightest parts of each highlight or using a white gel pen/correction fluid to make the highlight a bright white.

You can also shade the darkest areas of your drawing even darker.

Or you can add more detail to the iris to make it stand out more, like the example I showed earlier (In the section called “More Detailed Version of an Iris”).

I’ve also gone along and did more blending to make the drawing even smoother.

Extra Tip

If you want to draw fine wrinkles across the skin like I did here along the top eyelid, pinch your kneaded eraser flat and then press it gently along the eyelid, lifting very tiny amounts of graphite. Space them out somewhat randomly and change the angle.

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If you find yourself stuck on any of the steps in this tutorial, please refer to the video tutorial that goes along with this blog because it goes into way more detail. The video is very long (40 minutes), so feel free to forward it to the spot you need instead of watching from the beginning. I’ve provided you with timestamps below so you can easily and quickly find the section you need 😊.

⏰ Video Timestamps:

00:11 – Tools
00:29 – How to draw an eye from the side CONSTRUCTION
00:57 – Cornea
01:14 – Iris
01:26 – Pupil
01:39 – Eyelids
02:21 – Eyelid Crease
02:52 – Bulging Eye Example
03:23 – Eyebrow Placement
04:48 – Highlights

06:29 – Pupil Shading
06:43 – Iris Shading
10:26 – Iris Version 2 (more detailed vrsn)
12:45 – Eyeball Shading
15:22 – Eyelids
17:51 – Surrounding Skin

20:05 – Eyelashes
22:29 – Lower Lashes
24:27 – Eyebrows
29:24 – Make the Eyebrows 3D
31:08 – Wet Eye Effect
31:59 – Blend

38:54 – Make the Drawing POP!
39:19 – Extra Tip (how to draw fine wrinkles)
39:41 – Slideshow of the ENTIRE Process

I hope this tutorial was helpful! If you have any questions, leave them down below. I hope you guys stay safe and are doing well. Thanks for stopping by!

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How to Make a Kneaded Eraser | EASY

How to Make a Kneaded Eraser

This is my favorite type of eraser. It can be molded into any shape to erase even the tiniest detail in a drawing – you just need to dab and lift. No rubbing required.

Kneaded erasers are quite affordable, but since we’re all in Covid-19 lockdown right now, you may not even be able to buy one. So here’s how you can make it yourself, out of tools that you can probably find around your house.

How to Make a DIY Kneaded Eraser Putty At HomeYou can make a kneaded eraser out of pretty much any solid eraser that you have, even the one on the end of a pencil, just by rubbing it on a piece of paper to create crumbs and then kneading the crumbs together into a putty.

Make sure you knead the putty very well until it becomes one single piece that can be molded into different shapes.

But the results will be varied because some erasers just crumble instead of stick together no matter how hard you work it. But don’t worry, I will show you how to fix that!


I tested a total of 10 different erasers and they can all be turned into putty/kneaded erasers, some work better than others, though.

This white Paper Mate eraser (pictured below) was immediately usable after just a few seconds of kneading. It became a perfect eraser putty that held its shape well no matter how I molded it. If you also experience that with your eraser, you’re good to go! You can skip straight to the section titled “Extra Tips for Making a Kneaded Eraser”. If that’s not your experience, please continue reading…

How to Make a DIY Kneaded Eraser Putty At Home


How to Make Eraser Putty from a Super Crumbly Eraser

If your eraser is super crumbly no matter how much you knead the crumbs together, we can still make it work. We just need to add a few more steps to the process.

How to fix a crumbly eraser All you have to do is add something sticky to make the crumbs stay together. The best way to do this is to rub your eraser along the sticky side of masking tape, painter’s tape, or the sticky part of a sticky note.

Just rub your eraser along the sticky side until the sticky stuff or adhesive comes off and is incorporated into the eraser crumbs. This works well with tape that isn’t too sticky. Masking tape works perfectly. I wouldn’t use duct tape for this.

If the consistency is way too sticky for your liking, you can always add some dry eraser crumbs until the consistency is just right for you. A test that I like to do, is to see if I can easily roll the putty to a point and also flatten it down without it changing shape or crumbling.

Incorporating dry eraser crumbs into a sticky piece of putty

If you don’t have any tape, just go around the house looking for stickers that are easy to peel off like barcodes or labels that you don’t need. Some water bottles will have adhesive under the label!

I would not recommend using liquid school glue because once the glue dries, the eraser becomes totally solid and unusable. Glue sticks on the other hand will work okay, but it’s not as sticky as I’d like it to be.


If your crumbs DO stick together when you work them between your fingers, but the putty isn’t quite soft enough for your preference or it’s a little crumbly, you can either…

Method #1:

Use tape adhesive to make it softer.

Just rub your eraser along the adhesive a few times and then gather the softer putty and mix it with the hard or crumbly one.

Keep doing this until it’s soft enough for you. Here’s a comparison between a piece of putty before and after adding the adhesive. As you can see, it fixed our crumbly issue and it’s more pliable and more putty-like now.


Method #2:

The other solution is to try erasing a bunch of pencil scribble marks and then kneading your eraser to incorporate that graphite into it.

After a while, this will help the putty become softer, more pliable, and more effective at erasing.

It’s normal for the putty to become grey, as it takes on the color of the graphite particles. This is also how you can break in a brand new store-bought kneaded eraser.


Now, every eraser and adhesive will give you different results, so experiment with your own recipe to come up with something that works for you. Keep in mind that the more you erase with your newly made putty, the more effective and pliable it will become.


I prefer a fairly sticky eraser because it can easily pick up graphite with just the slightest touch, so I can work on very detailed areas of a drawing. Keep tweaking your eraser recipe and testing how well it can erase until you’re satisfied. Do keep in mind that some erasers work a lot better than others at picking up graphite. So I’d recommend trying this with a few different types of erasers.


What type of Solid Eraser Works Best?

I was able to convert ALL the erasers that I tested into actual working kneadable erasers.

Some worked perfectly right after I kneaded them, others required different amounts of adhesive added to them because they were either not soft enough, not sticky enough, or they were too crumbly to begin with.

Even extremely crumbly erasers like the Pink Pearl can be converted into a kneadable eraser.

The ones that I found worked best were these:

In putty form, they’re able to hold their shape when molded and pick up graphite easily using the dabbing technique.


Here are my RESULTS with each eraser that I tested:

Notes: I judge how good each eraser is by how well it erases (how many dabs it takes to erase something), how well it holds its shape when I mold it/when I use it to erase something. Erasers ranked as mediocre are still viable, they’re just less effective to work with (eg: it may require more effort to erase with)

1. Sakura Latex-Free, Non-PVC Eraser
Quick to knead. Doesn’t require adhesive. Makes a great kneaded eraser.

2. PaperMate PVC-Free Eraser
Quick to knead. Doesn’t need any adhesive. Makes a great kneaded eraser.

3. Tombow Mono Plastic Eraser
Quick to knead. Somewhat crumbly. Needs some adhesive or graphite to soften it up. Makes a great kneaded eraser. Will become stiff when it cools back down from the warmth of your fingers, so it requires kneading before use. You can use this to your advantage, though – using it as both a solid eraser and putty eraser. It can hold its shape extremely well for erasing the tiniest areas.

4. Pentel Hi-Polymer Eraser
Quick to knead. Somewhat crumbly putty. Needs some adhesive to fix crumbliness. Makes a good kneaded eraser.

5. Dixon HB Pencil from dollarstore, latex-free
Takes some effort to knead. Not crumbly, but feels drier than all the solid erasers listed above. Works better without adhesive, but it is quite stiff. Makes a good kneaded eraser after you mix it with some graphite.

6. Random white eraser from an old pencil case.
I probably haven’t used it in like 12 years (It was so stiff that it didn’t even feel like rubber. It still worked anyway. I was able to quickly form it into a putty without any adhesive. Makes a good kneaded eraser.

7 & 8. Paw Patrol Erasers from dollarstore
Quick to knead. Crumbly putty. Needs some adhesive. Makes a good kneaded eraser.

9. PaperMate Pink Pearl Latex/PVC-Free Eraser
Extremely crumbly. Needs a lot of adhesive to become putty. Makes a mediocre kneaded eraser because I need to dab many times to erase.

10. Studio HB Pencil from the dollar store
Extremely crumbly. Needs a lot of adhesive to become putty. Makes a mediocre kneaded eraser because it requires so much adhesive, that it becomes difficult to mold into certain shapes without sticking to my fingers. If you don’t need it to erase hairline marks, it will do a good job.


Extra Tips for Making a Kneaded Eraser

Tip #1:

As you erase more and more (incorporate more graphite into your putty), it will become softer and more effective at erasing. That’s a good way to soften a stiff piece of putty without having to add any adhesive. It’s also a good way to break in a brand new store-bought kneaded eraser. It’s normal for the putty to turn grey, as it takes on the color of the graphite particles.


Tip #2:

The more eraser crumbs you make, the bigger your eraser will be, of course, but it’ll take hours and a lot of hard work to turn a large eraser like this into a big pile of crumbs. A safe way you can speed up the process is by using a more textured surface to rub your eraser on. Here, I’m using the side of my textured mechanical pencil:

I’ve been asked many times if a cheese grater can be used. While you can use one, it can be very dangerous, so I don’t recommend that.

And that’s how you can make a kneaded eraser at home! Which by the way is my favorite type of eraser. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If ya did, please share it with your friends and leave a comment down below to let me know your results!


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Ep 2: How to Fix Asymmetrical Eyes – Fix My Drawing Series

Hey! You’re reading episode 2 of the “Fix my Drawing” series, where I take common drawing mistakes and walk through possible solutions with you.

In this episode, let’s look at how to fix eyes that were not drawn symmetrically, as suggested by Paulo Austria on Youtube.

Let’s hop right in!


How to Fix Eyes that were not Drawn Symmetrically

The first step is to pick your favorite eye so we can use it as a baseline. My favorite is the left eye, so I will be making changes to the right eye.

To fix this asymmetrical drawing, we’ll need a long straight object. You can use a pencil, a ruler or even another piece of paper.


Pencil Method

Let’s try doing it with a pencil first. This is the tool I recommend out of all 3 because I think it will help you develop your “seeing” skills a lot faster, but it may take a bit of practice to get a hang of.

The idea is to hold the pencil parallel to the paper’s edge. Hover your pencil in front of the drawing to see which areas of the drawing are not aligned with one another. Once we do this, mistakes will immediately become apparent.

For example, we can clearly see that the outer corner of each eye are not aligned with each other and we can see exactly how much we need to move it up or down so that they will match.

Move your pencil up and down along your drawing to check the horizontal alignment of other areas like the eyelid crease for example. It’s important when you’re doing this to make sure the pencil remains level or parallel to the paper’s edge. This is assuming that your subject is drawn straight on instead of at an angle.

Note: If your subject is drawn at an angle, you’ll need to hold your pencil at an angle too. In this case, it will be helpful to draw an actual reference line across the drawing, so you can keep your measurements consistent as you work.

Here we can see just how much higher the left eyelid crease is than compared to the one on the right (about 2mm apart). As you go along, checking the horizontal alignment of your drawing, make the appropriate changes.


It will take some practice to get used to using your pencil in this way. I currently have this drawing laid out flat on my desk because it’s the most comfortable way for me to draw while recording. But I recommend doing this with your drawing in an upright position so you can hold your arm out straight in front of you at eye level.

You can also hold the pencil vertically to check the vertical alignment of the different areas within your drawing.

Let’s switch back to the overhead view…

Again, hold your pencil as perfectly vertical as you can, so that your measurements are accurate. You can use the edge of your paper as a reference.

For this example, I’m checking to see where each eyebrow aligns with the eye below it. You can see that the left eyebrow extends about 3mm out from the corner of the eye.

But on the right, the eyebrow needs to be drawn much wider in order to match the other one:

Make the appropriate changes to your drawing as you go along, checking and re-checking the horizontal and vertical alignment of the various elements that make up your drawing.

You can measure and compare down to the tiniest detail if you want to improve your drawing symmetry, accuracy and “seeing” skills.


Ruler Method

You can also do this with a ruler. The ruler’s edge can be aligned directly to the edge of your paper for a more accurate placement.

A transparent one is extra helpful, allowing you to still see the entire drawing as you move the ruler up and down or right and left.


Paper Method

Another option is to use another piece of paper. A big piece will provide you with the highest level of accuracy because once you align its edge to your sketchbook, you’ll have a close to perfect horizontal or vertical line across the drawing.

If you want to watch all the changes drawn step by step, please watch the video version of this blog article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ2icsQkdFI


So far, I’ve only talked about how to fix a problem that has already happened. To prevent this from happening in the first place, make measurements and comparisons before drawing the second eye. It’s also important to double and triple check your work:


I hope this episode was helpful!

Let me know what topic you’d like to see next using the hashtag #fixMyDrawing. You can also send me a copy of the specific drawing problem you’re currently struggling with and we’ll tackle it step by step.




Ep 2: How to Fix Asymmetrical Eyes – Fix My Drawing Series Read More »

Ep 1: Drawing Masculine VS. Feminine Features – Fix My Drawing Series

Hey! You’re reading episode 1 of the “Fix my Drawing” series, where I take common drawing mistakes and walk through possible solutions with you.

How to fix a drawing that looks too feminine femaleIf you’ve ever tried to draw a male, but he ended up looking more like a female instead… or the other way around, don’t trash your drawing because there’s always a way to fix it!

Let’s go step by step and pinpoint which facial features make a drawing look more masculine or feminine. I have a drawing of a female face here that I’m going to gradually change into a masculine one, one facial feature at a time, so that if you’re working on a drawing right now, you can easily pinpoint which changes you want to apply to your own drawing.

This blog will be broken into 2 sections:

  1. Conversion of female to male
  2. Conversion of male to female

If you want to watch the narrated video version of this blog, click here to you to watch it on Youtube.

Let’s get started!


Male to Female Drawing


For the purpose of this tutorial, I’m going to keep my character bald, so you can see how powerful it is when you apply changes to only the facial features. It’s easy to plop a stereotypical feminine hairstyle on a drawing and call it a female, but that’s sort of a lazy approach that we don’t want to depend on.


Anyway, let’s move onto the first facial feature… the eyebrows. I’ll try to exaggerate the masculine features, so let’s create super thick eyebrows that are closer to the eyes and are less curved.

The function of eyebrows are to block sweat from entering the eyes, and men usually have larger, bushier eyebrows than women. You can add some additional stray eyebrow hairs around the eyebrow as well.



As you can see, her eyes are outlined very thickly to accentuate or bring attention to her eyelashes.

When drawing males, I like to put less emphasis on the outline of the eye so it doesn’t look like he’s wearing eye makeup. If your eyes are drawn very thick and you don’t want to completely redraw them, simply make your outlines thinner.

If that doesn’t do it for you, try making his eyes more narrow by erasing just the eyelids and bringing them closer together.

Along with narrowed eyes, I’ve also given him hooded eyelids. You can learn how to draw hooded eyelids in my eye tutorial – that’s where the skin below the brow bone droops down and folds over the eyelid crease. That part is optional of course, but I think it adds to his masculinity because it can make the brow bone look more prominent.

The more testosterone a male has, the stronger his bone structure. So areas such as the brow, nose, jawline, and chin will all be larger in size.


Let’s work on the nose next. I’ll darken the bridge of the nose to make it look taller and chiseled. I like to give the bridge bone a wider and more distinct shape. Instead of a smooth outline for the bridge, I’m introducing angles. You can make the cartilage around the nose tip more apparent by outlining the shape, giving it a shadow.

Men have larger noses, in general, to provide more oxygen to the muscles, so let’s make the nostrils larger. Don’t forget to make the sides of the nose wider as well (you can also make them more angular).


Brow Bone

Next, let’s make his brow bone stronger, and by that, I mean, make it stick out more. To do that, we’ll need to add some shadows around it so it no longer looks flat. If your light source comes from above your character, you can add a shadow under the eyebrow. Feel free to adjust the shadow length and darkness to your liking. The darker you shade, the deeper the eyes will sink in and the more prominent the brow bone will appear.

If you have light coming from the front of your character’s face, shade the sides of the head and forehead to help bring out that protruding brow bone.



Let’s work on the lower half of the face now.

Okay, so large, full lips can indicate high levels of estrogen in females, so I’m making them narrower and less plump-looking. Something very easy that you can do to make lips look less plump is reducing the thickness or darkness of the lip outline.


Chin and Jaw

Moving on to the chin…

We can make the chin wider, longer or more angular. Keep in mind that a slight change can make a very big difference!

I’m making mine slightly wider and more angular.

One of the most effective things you can do to make a character look more masculine is to widen the jaw and make it more angular as well.

Body fat is also linked to testosterone, the primary male sex hormone…

The more testosterone your character has, the less fat tissue you might want to give him. Adjust the level of fat tissue based on your preference.

Now there’s only so much fat you can trim when drawing the outline of the face. So to reduce fat further, try to add some shading around the chin, mouth and/or cheeks to make them appear hollow. Some light shading may be all that you need.



The last area to work on is the neck. Here we have a narrow, slender neck. You can see that it’s currently vertically aligned with the outside corner of the eye.

I’m going to align it with the outside of the eyebrow instead, making the neck thicker, more muscular. You can add some more muscle along the traps and shoulders by drawing them higher.

To add to his muscularity, I’m going to further define his neck muscles and lower the amount of fat tissue by darkening the shadows of the neck. Let’s draw an adam’s apple too!


Less Masculine Features

RFA How to fix a drawing that looks too MasculineA small note I want to add is that not everything has to be so squarish and angular. It really depends on what look you’re going for. For example, the chin could be rounded, giving the face a softer presence.

Same thing with the jawline.

If you’re going for a less masculine look for your character, soften up some of the harsh angles. You can also make the eyebrows smaller, soften up the nose bridge or reduce some of the shadows to indicate a higher level of body fat.

Just play around with each feature until you get a balance that you prefer


Male to Female Drawing

Now that we’ve covered how to fix a drawing that looks too feminine, let’s see how we can do the opposite. Let’s say you’ve drawn a character who’s supposed to be female, but looks more like a male instead.


I’m going to start with the nose this time. Let’s make it more narrow and smoothen out the outline of the nose bridge (reduce sharp angles), which will make the overall nose appear softer. You can also reduce the nostril size as well.


Let’s make the eyebrows more narrow and curvy. You can also play with the eyebrow height, drawing them higher to indicate higher levels of estrogen.


The average female has quite a bit of facial fat tissue, so let’s get rid of the shadows that make the cheeks look hollowed out.

Our character is starting to look quite androgynous at this point. Let’s see how many facial features we need to change before we tip the scale!



For females, I like to draw big lips and shade/outline the rim pretty dark so they appear plump and are more apparent. But of course, you can draw a female with narrow lips that are not at all plump.


Let’s make the neck look less muscular by making it more narrow. If you’re not sure how narrow to draw it, use the eye as a reference point. I’m aligning the neck to the end of the eye vertically.

Let’s lighten up the shadows of the neck to give the appearance of added fat tissue, making it look soft and supple. We’ll need to get rid of the adam’s apple as well.



Okay, for the jawline, I’m going to make it less wide and less angular. I’m trying to soften up all the features. If your character’s jawline and chin are still too strong, try making it even more narrow.


This shadow around the forehead makes her brow bone look very strong, so I’m going to erase these completely.



The shadows under her eyebrows make her eyes look deep-set. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the darker these shadows are, the stronger her brow bone will appear, which is a very strong masculine feature. Once I erase the shadow, you can see how much softer the eye area will look:

Now that the shadow is gone, the brow bone looks less prominent.


Let’s enlarge those eyes.

For a line drawing like this, I like to make the outline around the top lid quite think so it looks like she has some eye makeup on.


One last thing…

Women generally have more body fat than men, but if you want to make the face look slim, try shading around the cheeks very lightly and/or around the chin.


Here’s a look at the total transformation:

How to fix a drawing that looks too masculineI hope you found this episode helpful! If you want me to address a common drawing problem that you have in a future episode, please let me know down below in the comment section. To watch this tutorial on Youtube, please click here.



Ep 1: Drawing Masculine VS. Feminine Features – Fix My Drawing Series Read More »

Pencil Shading Techniques Intro

Pencil-Shading-Techniques-Intro-All ExamplesI’ve always found shading to be the quickest way to add realism and depth to my drawings, be it portraits, concept sketches or even a quick doodle.

In this tutorial, I want to share with you 4 simple shading techniques that can help you achieve realistic textures and effects that will enhance your drawings and bring them to the next level.

Table of Contents:
4 Shading Techniques and How to Use Them
Combine Shading Techniques
Practice Shading Techniques

4 Shading Techniques and How to Use Them

Pencil Shading Techniques Intro 11These techniques may look super simple, but that’s the beauty of it. Let’s see how they can be applied and how they can transform a drawing :)


This is done by drawing lines that run in parallel or side-by-side. Since the lines are uniformly patterned, it works very well for shading things like wood grain, brushed metals and fingernails, just to name a few. A sharp pencil works great for conveying metallic textures, while a blunt pencil can help you achieve smoother strokes that will also be more easy to blend.

Hatching Example_Sharp vs Dull PencilBe careful when using this shading technique on round objects. If the strokes are not blended together well enough, it can make a round drawing appear flat. Here’s an example:

Example of Bad Hatching Shading Technique_Flat ShadingThe straight lines take away from the drawing, making the viewer perceive the object as flat, instead of 3D.

Cross Hatching

This is where you draw lines that cross right through each other. They can go in any direction.

Shading techniques crosshatching example

It’s great for creating textures such as certain fabrics (predictable patterns) or even fine lines on the skin (random patterns).


Circulism Shading Technique ExampleThis shading technique consists of many overlapping circular shapes. I use it frequently to shade realistic skin. It works well for conveying soft or fuzzy surfaces. The more you overlap the circles, the smoother the texture.

The tricky part is trying to control pencil pressure so each circle is similar in value.

Contour Shading

This is where you create lines that follow the shape of the subject you’re trying to represent. Contour lines can go in any direction.

They’re great for shading things that already display lines running along the surface, no matter how subtle. For example apples, onions, and lips. In this example, the lines also double as lip wrinkles too.

Pencil Shading Techniques

For each shading technique, the more densely you shade, the smoother the shading will appear, and the harder you press down on your pencil, the darker your shading will appear, allowing you to achieve a sense of visual depth.

Combine Shading Techniques

All of these shading techniques can be used in combination wherever you see fit. I used all 4 to shade this wrinkly hand. The combination of these techniques helped me achieve various textures commonly seen in wrinkled skin.

Starting with just the outline of a hand, I applied circulism as a base layer to give it a consistent texture all throughout – A texture that resembles subtle fine lines on the skin.

Hatching and contouring were used to show stretched skin that wraps around/across the shape of the hand.

Examples of hatching and contour shading

Hatching also works very well for shading nails, as mentioned earlier. Especially nails that have prominent stripey patterns.

Example of cross hatchingCross-hatching was used very minimally to create realistic wrinkle patterns around the knuckles where the skin is thick. I varied my pressure to make some lines darker than others just to make it look more random and realistic.

You don’t have to stick to these 4 shading techniques exclusively because there are many others you can use, or just make up your own to create the texture and look that you want for your drawing. Here are a few examples:

Pencil Shading Techniques

Practice Shading Techniques!

Here are some fun exercises you can do to practice. I’ve attached a free printout at the bottom of this article for you to use.

Exercise #1:

Pencil Shading TechniquesDraw a row of squares or rectangles and shade them from left to right using your shading technique of choice. Remember that the more pressure you apply, the darker your shading will be and the more densely you shade, the smoother it’ll be.

Exercise #2:

Shading Common ObjectsSketch a variety of common objects and shade them in using shading techniques that best describe the texture.

For example, I want to shade the toy horse above so it looks wooden. The hatching technique looks similar to wood grain, especially the lines vary in darkness:

Shading Techniques Practice_Hatching Rocking HorseThe burlap sack below is made of thickly weaved material. Cross-hatching would work for this one, but I wanna make the bag appear more 3D, so I’m using a combination of cross-hatching and contouring called cross-contouring. In shadow areas, I apply more pressure on the pencil, creating darker lines.

Shading Techniques Practice_Cross Contouring Burlap Sack 2

Teddy bears are usually soft and fuzzy. Do you remember which of the 4 shading techniques creates a soft and fuzzy texture?

If you guessed circulism, you’re right!

The more circles I draw, the softer the texture becomes…

Shading Techniques Practice_Circulism Teddy Bear

To make your shading look even softer, use a blunt pencil and/or blend the shading out with a blending tool such as a tissue, for example. Feel free to experiment with a different shading technique to see how it changes the look and feel of your subject!

You can combine shading techniques or make up your very own:

Pencil Shading Techniques

Here are a few objects you can use for practice. For each one, sketch it out and choose one or several shading techniques that will best describe the texture. For example, the wooden toy could be a mixture of hatching, contouring, and dashes.

Click here to download the image above (link will open in a new tab).

The texture that you choose to give each object is completely up to you. Stretch your creative muscles and have some fun with it! Feel free to shade outside of the lines or get rid of the outlines altogether.

Pencil Shading Techniques

You can practice with the shading techniques introduced in this tutorial, or create your very own :)

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you liked it, please share it and leave a comment down below! Let me know if you have any suggestions for future tutorials!

To view this tutorial in more depth, please watch the fully narrated video on Youtube!

To learn more shading basics, please visit: How to Shade for Complete Beginners.

Pencil Shading Techniques Intro Read More »

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