How to Draw an Eye: A Beginner’s Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions

When it comes to drawing, one of the most challenging things to master is creating a realistic eye. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a beginner looking to improve your skills, you may find yourself struggling to get the proportions and shading just right. Drawing an eye can be intimidating, but with the right techniques and plenty of practice, anyone can learn how to do it. In this blog post, we’ll walk through the step-by-step process of drawing a basic eye, so you can create your own stunning artwork. We’ll also provide some tips for achieving a more realistic look and avoiding common mistakes. So, grab your pencils and paper, and let’s get started!


Drawing an eye can seem like a daunting task, especially for beginners. However, with the right guidance, anyone can create a stunning and realistic eye drawing. In this beginner’s guide, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to draw an eye. By following these instructions, you’ll be able to create a beautiful eye drawing that is sure to impress.

Whether you’re an aspiring artist or someone who just wants to learn how to draw, this guide is perfect for you. We will start with the basics of eye anatomy and walk you through each step of the drawing process. You don’t need any special skills or equipment to get started – just a pencil, eraser, paper, and blending tool.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when drawing an eye is to take it step-by-step. Don’t try to rush the process or get too caught up in the details too quickly. Instead, focus on getting the basic shape and proportions right before moving on to the next step. This will help ensure that your final drawing is well-balanced and realistic.

In this guide, we won’t just tell you what to do. We’ll also explain why each step is important and give you tips and tricks along the way. Drawing an eye can be a rewarding experience, and with this beginner’s guide, you’ll have all the tools you need to get started. So grab your pencil and let’s begin!

Materials Needed

When it comes to drawing an eye, having the right materials is critical to achieving a realistic and detailed result. Here are the essential materials you’ll need to get started:


A good quality pencil is a must-have for any artist. When selecting a pencil for your eye drawing, choose one that has a soft lead. This will allow you to create smooth, even lines without having to press too hard on the paper. A 2B or 4B pencil is ideal for this task.


An eraser is an essential tool for any artist. It allows you to correct mistakes and make changes to your drawing as you go along. When selecting an eraser for your eye drawing, look for one that is soft and pliable, rather than hard and stiff. This will enable you to easily remove any unwanted lines or smudges without damaging the paper.


Choosing the right paper for your eye drawing is important, as it can affect the overall look and feel of your artwork. For a realistic and professional-looking result, opt for a high-quality drawing paper that is smooth and sturdy. A paper with a weight between 80-100 lb (120-160gsm) is recommended, as it won’t tear easily and can handle multiple layers of shading.

Blending Tool

A blending tool is an optional but helpful addition to your eye drawing toolkit. It can help you to achieve a smoother and more natural-looking result by blending different shades of pencil together. You can use your finger, a cotton swab, or a specialized blending stump to achieve this effect.

By having these essential materials on hand, you’ll be well-equipped to start drawing a realistic and detailed eye. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try new techniques along the way!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Draw the Basic Shape of the Eye

When it comes to drawing an eye, the basic shape is the foundation upon which all other details are built. Getting the outline right is crucial in creating a realistic and proportionate eye that captures the viewer’s attention.

To begin with, start by drawing a simple oval shape on your paper. This will serve as the overall shape of the eye. Next, divide the oval into three parts: the upper lid, lower lid, and iris. The iris should be roughly the same size as the upper lid, while the lower lid should be slightly shorter.

When drawing each part, pay close attention to the proportions. Make sure that the distance between the upper lid and the bottom of the iris is equal to the distance between the bottom of the iris and the lower lid. This will create a well-proportioned eye that looks realistic.

It’s important to keep in mind that every eye is different, so it’s okay if your first attempt doesn’t look perfect. With practice and observation, you’ll be able to fine-tune your skills and create eyes that are unique and captivating.

For example, consider observing real-life eyes or photographs for reference. Notice how the shape and proportions differ from person to person. Use this knowledge to inform your own drawings and develop your own style.

In summary, drawing the basic shape of the eye requires careful attention to detail and proportion. By practicing and observing real-life examples, you’ll be able to create eyes that are realistic and visually striking.

Step 2: Add the Iris and Pupil

Step 2: Add the Iris and Pupil

Once you have the basic shape of the eye drawn out, it’s time to add the iris and pupil. The size and placement of these elements are crucial for creating a realistic looking eye.

Firstly, let’s talk about size. The iris should be slightly larger than the pupil, but not too much. If the iris is too big, it can make the eye look unnatural. On the other hand, if the iris is too small, it can make the eye appear flat. A good rule of thumb is to make the diameter of the iris roughly two-thirds that of the pupil.

Next, let’s discuss placement. The position of the iris and pupil can vary depending on the angle of the eye, the direction of the gaze, and the lighting conditions. Typically, the pupil should be placed in the center of the iris. However, if the light source is coming from a particular direction, the pupil may appear off-center towards the light.

When placing the iris and pupil, it’s important to keep in mind the overall proportions of the eye. If the iris is too high or too low, it can throw off the entire drawing. Similarly, if the pupil is too large or too small, it can make the eye look unrealistic.

To get a better sense of how to place the iris and pupil correctly, it can be helpful to study photographs of real eyes. Pay attention to how the light reflects off the surface of the eye, and how the size and placement of the iris and pupil affect the overall appearance.

In summary, when adding the iris and pupil to your eye drawing, remember to consider the size and placement carefully. Take into account the proportions of the eye and the lighting conditions to ensure a realistic-looking result.

Step 3: Draw the Eyelashes

Drawing eyelashes can seem intimidating, but with the right techniques and tools, you can create beautiful and realistic lashes that add depth and dimension to your eye drawing.

When it comes to length, eyelashes vary in size and shape depending on the individual. Generally, longer lashes are seen as more feminine and delicate. However, keep in mind that lashes should not overpower the eye or look fake. A good rule of thumb is to make the longest lashes about one-third the width of the eye.

Thickness is another important factor to consider when drawing eyelashes. Thicker lashes tend to be associated with a bolder and more dramatic look, while thinner lashes can create a softer and more natural appearance. Mixing up the thickness of the lashes can also add interest to your drawing.

To create smooth and natural-looking eyelashes, use a fine-tipped pencil or brush. Start at the base of the eyelid and draw small strokes outward, gradually increasing the length and thickness of the lashes as you move toward the outer corner of the eye. Don’t forget to leave some gaps between the lashes to make them appear more realistic.

Another method for creating eyelashes is to use a blending tool, such as a tortillon or a Q-tip. Dip the tool into your drawing medium and gently smudge it along the lash line. This technique can help soften the edges of the lashes and give them a more natural appearance.

Remember to observe real-life examples of eyelashes to get a better understanding of their shapes and sizes. Practice drawing different types of lashes to find the style that works best for your eye drawing. Whether you choose to go bold or subtle, well-drawn eyelashes can bring your eye drawing to life.

Step 4: Shade the Eye

Step 4: Shade the Eye

Shading is an essential part of creating a realistic eye drawing. It adds depth and dimension to the eye, making it look more lifelike. To shade the eye effectively, you need to understand how light interacts with objects and how to create gradation.

Light Source

Before you start shading, you need to determine the direction of the light source. This will help you create realistic shadows and highlights. Imagine that the light is coming from a particular direction, and shade the eye accordingly. If the light is coming from the right side, for example, the right side of the eye should be lighter than the left side.


Gradation refers to the gradual transition between light and shadow. To create gradation, you need to use different levels of pressure when shading. Start with light pressure and gradually increase it as you move towards the darker areas. This will create a smooth transition and make the shading look more natural.

When shading the eye, it’s important to pay attention to the different parts of the eye, such as the iris, pupil, and creases. Each part requires different levels of shading and gradation to create a realistic effect. For example, the iris should be shaded lightly towards the center and darker towards the edges, while the pupil should be the darkest part of the eye.

In conclusion, shading is an essential part of creating a realistic eye drawing. By understanding the direction of the light source and creating gradation, you can add depth and dimensionality to your artwork. Practice shading using different techniques to find the one that works best for you, and don’t forget to pay attention to the details!

Tips for Realistic Eye Drawings

Tips for Realistic Eye Drawings

Drawing a realistic eye takes practice, but it is definitely possible with the right techniques. Here are some tips to help you create more lifelike eyes in your drawings:

1. Observe Real Eyes

One of the best ways to improve your eye drawing skills is to observe real eyes. Look at people’s eyes closely and notice the subtle details such as the shape of the eyelids, the thickness of the eyelashes, and the reflections in the iris. Paying attention to these small details will help you create more realistic eyes in your artwork.

2. Practice Consistently

Practice makes perfect, and this is especially true when it comes to drawing. Set aside time each day to practice drawing eyes or other facial features. Don’t be afraid to try different styles or techniques until you find what works best for you. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become in your abilities.

3. Pay Attention to Details

To make your eye drawings look more realistic, pay attention to the small details. For example, the iris should not be a solid color, but instead have variations of shading and highlights. The edge of the iris should also blend into the white of the eye. Additionally, the eyelashes should not be drawn as a uniform line but rather as individual hairs with varying lengths and thicknesses.

4. Use References

Don’t be afraid to use references when drawing eyes. Look at photographs or other artwork that features realistic eyes to get inspiration and guidance. Anatomical diagrams can also be helpful in understanding the structure and proportions of the eye.

5. Experiment with Lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in how an eye looks in a drawing. Try experimenting with different lighting scenarios to see how they affect the look of the eye. For example, a direct light source may cause a highlight on the iris and a shadow under the eyelid.

In conclusion, by observing real eyes, practicing consistently, paying attention to details, using references, and experimenting with lighting, you can create realistic eye drawings that truly capture the essence of the human eye. Keep in mind that it takes time and dedication to hone your skills, so don’t get discouraged if your first attempts aren’t perfect.



Drawing an eye can seem intimidating, but with this beginner’s guide and step-by-step instructions, anyone can create a realistic drawing. Remember to start with the basic shape of the eye, add the iris and pupil, draw the eyelashes, and shade the eye for a more life-like look.

One important tip to keep in mind while drawing is to observe real eyes closely. Notice the subtle curves and details that make each eye unique. This attention to detail will help you create a more realistic drawing.

Practice is key to mastering any skill, including eye drawing. Take your time, be patient, and don’t get discouraged if your initial attempts don’t turn out perfectly. With practice, you’ll soon be able to create stunning eye drawings.

In conclusion, this beginner’s guide has provided valuable insights and tips for drawing a realistic eye. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or just looking for a new hobby, learning how to draw an eye can be a rewarding experience. So grab your pencil, eraser, paper, and blending tool, and give it a try!
As you can see, drawing an eye may seem daunting at first, but with practice and patience, anyone can create a beautiful and realistic eye drawing. Remember to observe the details and proportions carefully, and don’t be afraid to experiment with shading and different techniques. By following these step-by-step instructions and utilizing the tips provided, you will be well on your way to creating stunning eye drawings. Whether it’s for personal enjoyment or professional reasons, the ability to draw eyes is a valuable skill that can be honed over time. So grab your pencils and start drawing!

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