How to Draw an Eye for Beginners

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I have been getting LOTS of “repins” and “tried Pins” on Pintrest on how to draw an eye. The last one someone had tried she was asking for advice. She is new to drawing and didn’t know what she was doing wrong if anything. I have been drawing since before I could remember and oil painting for 24 years. I have a BS in Media Art so I felt I had the experience to help. Hopefully. I personally have never put my art work out in public because I lack confidence in myself but here goes nothing. *scared right now* LOL

This is my travel drawing box. I feel this is everything you would need to draw anything. charcoal, pastels, pens, pencils, 2 different sharpeners, 3 different types of erasers, shading pencils and of course the sketch pad.

To go drawing box

Now, like I promised I will not be using ANY of these things to make this eye. I realize as a beginning artist you may not have all this and I 1. don’t want you going to spend a ton of money and 2. want you to understand that, although all these thing can make it easier, they are not necessary to accomplish a drawing. the main thing is that you draw, draw, draw. Practice REALLY makes perfect.

This is what I will use: paper, #2 pencil, eraser (which I actually didn’t use, I used the one on the pencil), Q tips, and sharpener.


  1. Very lightly get the shape of your eye (image 1) then if you could imagine putting a cross on your eye place the tear duct just below the horizontal line. (image 2)

2. Draw the inner eye lids (image 1) then the outer eye lids (image 2)

3. Next draw in a rough circle for the iris and finish the circle of the eye near the tear duct (image 1). When you get a circle you like darken the outer ring a little.(image 2)  TIP: If you turn the paper sideways and upside down you will see if your circle is lopsided. Different angles show different results.

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4. Draw the pupil (image 1) then where you think the reflection of light will hit your eye draw in shapes. This is where it will stay white. It will just help remind you NOT to touch or blend these areas (image 2). It is important to always think of the direction of light no matter what you are drawing. If the light is coming from the left ALL the shadows have to stay on the right. For the most part.

5. Now the fun part starts (and the harder part) Shading 🙂 Shade in the pupil, a little bit on the eye lids and in the tear duct making sure to stay out of the white (refection) areas. img_5672.jpg

6. Now we get to blend what we just did! 🙂 This is what makes it start to look real. Like I promised, I am going to stick with only using a Q tip (image1) but if you are serious about drawing a blender pencil might be worth looking into. (image 2) Start with the lighter areas before moving on to the darker ones. The Q tip will pick up graphite and will make your eye darker in places you don’t want.

7. Now I know this might sound repetitive but until you learn all the steps (basics) you can’t skip anything. The reason for doing step 6 is to establish a background or what is known as depth of field. Not everything in the eye is a solid crisp line. In order to make them you have to create layers. Step 6 was layer one. Step 7 is layer 2. Hope that makes sence?

Now we will repeat step 6 but make the iris darker. Then LIGHTY blend the iris in the direction of the lines (so from the center outward). Also darken the outer edge of the iris creating more of a dramatic effect.

8. Adding the eyelashes. Add a few first so you learn the direction, curve and length your lashes will be (image 1). Once you are happy with that fill in HALF of the lashes. (image 2) We will do the same layering technique we did with the iris.

9. Lightly blend the lashes in the direction they go. This is where I would pull out my blender pencil so I don’t over blend the lashes but I promised not to get  fancy so what I will do is make my own that will do out of a paper towel. Just roll it to a point.

10.  Go back over the lashes darkening the base of them more and you’re done. 

How did I do? Did I help at all? If I didn’t I am sorry. Hopefully I helped encourage you to keep drawing at least.

If you try it please let us know how it went. If you have any questions or comments please ask. We read every comment and love hearing from all of you!

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What have you made today?!

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