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.
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.
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.
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.
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.