Hey, I’m Darlene and in this tutorial, I’ll break down how to draw a realistic male eyebrow into simple steps.
Tools I Used
I’m going to use a cheap 2B dollar store pencil, but you can use an HB pencil if you prefer, I’m also using a kneaded eraser, which you can learn how to make here and I’ll use a regular, soft facial tissue for blending.
- 0.5mm 2B Lead Dollarstore Mechanical Pencil (Studio brand)
- Facial Tissue by Scotties
- Prismacolor Kneadable Eraser
Note: If you get stuck on any of the steps, you can refer to the video version of this tutorial.
If you also want to draw the eye that I’m using for this tutorial, you can follow my detailed Youtube tutorial here.
Okay, let’s get started!
Decide on Eyebrow Height
We first need to figure out where to draw the eyebrow above our eye. I’m going to place mine close to the eye, but you can play around with the height to see what you prefer.
For males, I like to draw the eyebrow closer to the eye. Above is an example of a masculine and feminine eye with different eyebrow heights for reference.
Outline the Eyebrow
Once you’ve decided on the eyebrow height, let’s create a few rough guidelines to help us construct the eyebrow outline. These don’t need to be exact.
Navigate a small distance outside the left of the eye, move your pencil straight up and draw a very light tick to mark the spot. This is roughly where your eyebrow will begin.
Navigate to the right corner of the eye, go straight up, add a light tick mark. That will be the point where the eyebrow arches.
Angle outward from the right corner of the eye for the tail of your eyebrow.
Okay, now that we have some guidelines in place, we can outline the shape of our eyebrow:
You can create a number of shapes using the guidelines that we just drew to help you. I’m going to go with something quite angular, not too curvy to make the eye look more masculine (Example C).
Instead of drawing a solid outline, use tiny pencil strokes that flow in the same direction that our eyebrow hairs point, that way, they’ll blend in and just disappear as we continue to draw.
Use small, light strokes. Don’t worry too much about how they look, we mainly want to focus on the eyebrow shape that we’re making.
Tweak the shape however you’d like before moving on to the next step.
Understanding Eyebrow Hair Direction
To simplify the rest of the eyebrow drawing process, I’m dividing the eyebrow into two zones. Let’s call the bottom half zone 1 and the top half, zone 2.
In zone 1, the hair mostly points up and toward the tail of the eyebrow. At the beginning of the eyebrow, they can even point the opposite way.
Zone 2 is simple, they mostly point down toward the tail of the eyebrow.
In the middle section (between the two zones), they’ll point toward the tail of the eyebrow while following the same path as the boundary line.
Let’s keep that in mind as we draw.
You can draw a boundary line between zone 1 and 2 using hair-like strokes starting from the top left to the bottom right. Since everyone’s eyebrow is different, your boundary line can look way different from mine:
Search up some eyebrow pictures on Google and you might find a distinct line that runs through the eyebrow, separating it into two zones like example A which I find quite common, like example B where zone 1 is most prominent, or even one like example C where zone 2 is most prominent.
ZONE 1: Draw the Bottom Half of the Eyebrow
Here are some tips before we start actually drawing the eyebrow.
To make the eyebrow look as natural as possible, make sure not to draw the hair in a perfectly straight path and instead stagger them, creating a more random pattern.
Another thing to remember is to avoid drawing them all straight and parallel to each other, and instead, slightly change the angle or the curve. The example above is a little exaggerated.
The last thing to remember is to keep your pencil sharp at all times to make sure each hair is thin. Flick your pencil up at the end of each stroke to feather it out.
Let’s start drawing the hair in zone 1, creating a row along the very bottom. If you make a mistake, just pinch your kneaded eraser to a fine point and dab the mistake away gently.
Once you finish the first row of hair, move up slightly and add a second row, then a third, and so on.
Keep doing this until you reach the boundary line. As you get closer to the boundary line, you’ll want to start angling your hairs or curving them until they’re pointing in the same direction as the hairs we drew along the boundary of zone 1 and 2.
Draw more or less hair depending on how full or sparse you want your eyebrow to appear. Fill any areas that look too bare.
Try to avoid drawing stray hair unruly hair for now because we’re going to blend our drawing slightly later on.
ZONE 2: Draw the Top Half of the Eyebrow
Now that you have some experience drawing the bottom hairs, it’ll be easier to do the ones up top.
Again, you can cross some hairs over each other to make them look natural instead of drawing them parallel to each other.
So for zone 2, we’re going to draw the first row of hair very lightly using very thin strokes.
Then for the next row down, we can darken our strokes some more. Keep going row by row until the full eyebrow is drawn in.
Along the boundary line between our two eyebrow zones, I want the hair to look like they’re affected by each other like they’re interacting with each other.
I can do that by tapering some of the top and bottom hairs together like in example G. You can also draw them like example H where they cross over each other, but I think too much of that can create a very unnatural-looking crisscross pattern as shown in example I. So it’s up to you and your creative decision and how you want to go about it.
Experiment with tapering or crisscrossing hair to see what you prefer.
If your eyebrow is looking too patterned or stiff, make sure your strokes are slightly curved and relaxed instead of straight and stiff, and remember to flick your pencil up at the end of each stroke.
Blend Your Eyebrow
Next, I’m going to slightly blend the eyebrow to make it look more full and give it some shadow.
If you’re unsure about this step, you can test it on a separate sheet of paper before applying it to your drawing and do it as lightly as you can.
If you’re still unsure, you can instead just lightly shade over your eyebrow, making sure the edges are the lightest and make sure the smoothness of your shading matches the rest of your drawing.
To blend, I’m just using a regular, soft facial tissue wrapped around my finger. Try to avoid the outer edges of your eyebrow and any stray hairs that you’ve drawn. Very gently smudge your eyebrow following the direction of the hair, using a swift motion, lifting your finger up at the end of each swipe.
The lighter you press, the less you’ll smudge and vice versa, so do what feels comfortable to you. If you need to do it a few times to blend the entire eyebrow, use a clean spot on the tissue each time.
Here’s a before and after so you can see how much I blended mine. You absolutely don’t have to blend yours as much!
It doesn’t look pretty right now and it’s not supposed to because we’re going to work the drawing even more. The smudges act as cast shadows and it makes the eyebrow look bushier without having to draw an overwhelming amount of hair.
Let’s take a break from the main body of our eyebrow for now and finally draw some stray hair. The reason I’m drawing the stray hair now is that I want these pencil strokes to appear as sharp/clean as possible.
Draw Stray Eyebrow Hair
You can skip this section if you want your eyebrow to look well-groomed and plucked.
I’m just sort of expanding the eyebrow in a very subtle way, drawing very light hairs that are shorter than the others that we’ve drawn so far. I like to draw them even lighter the further they are from the main part of the eyebrow.
Try to spread them out, so they’re not too close to each other.
Along the top of your eyebrow, draw your pencil strokes especially thin.
Add more stray hair if you want your eyebrow drawing to appear bushy.
By now, you can probably tell that I’ve expanded my eyebrow past the original outline that I made, and that’s completely fine. Because it was meant to be a rough outline – something to help us during the initial drawing phase. So don’t feel like you need to strictly stick to that original shape!
Darken and Sharpen Your Eyebrow Drawing
If you think your eyebrow lacks that 3D feeling, you can darken hairs that face away from the light.
Here’s an example of what I mean using a diagram of the eyebrow from the profile view:
My imaginary light source comes from the top, so the lightest hair will be the ones along the top (zone 2), because those hairs face the light more directly, while the hair along the bottom (zone 1) are facing away from the light, making them appear darker.
So simply darkening the hair along the shadowy side of your eyebrow, can make it look more 3D.
Okay, so earlier we used a tissue to smudge our eyebrow in order to give it cast shadows and make it look more filled in.
This process made it a little blurry.
We want to give it back some definition. In other words, I’m redrawing some of the hair so that they are more apparent and appear sharper.
You don’t have to redraw every hair, just pick a select few and try not to favor one section of the eyebrow over another. I’m just redrawing every other one or so, allowing the others to act as fillers.
Try to keep your pencil very sharp throughout the process.
If you like the hair color/shade of your eyebrow currently, just focus on making the hair look sharper, but if you’re like me and want to darken your eyebrow more to make the drawing POP, you can go ahead and darken them at the same time by pressing harder with your pencil as you draw each stroke.
As I’m doing this, I find myself doing some touch-ups like elongating some hair or even adding some new ones where there appears to be an odd gap. Just do what you think looks good for your specific drawing.
As you go along, step back from your drawing every so often to make sure you like how it’s coming along.
If you need to remove some hair, pinch your kneaded eraser to a fine tip and dab the hair away gently instead of rubbing out an entire area of your drawing.
And that’s how I draw a bushy, male eyebrow from scratch!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Happy drawing :)
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.