How to draw a realistic eye

Using pencil, follow the step by step instructions to draw an eye
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 (1,994 ratings)
43,914 students
34min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

Draw a realistic eye using pencil
Use fine details to draw the details in the Iris
Draw eyelashes that look real
Create a white highlight that contrasts with the black pupil


  • You will need a 2B pencil and some paper for this course.
  • You will need to take a photo of an eye to draw from, or you can find one on the internet.


In this course "How to draw a realistic eye" you will learn the skills and techniques needed to draw and eye using pencil. We will cover sketching the eye, adding tone to make it look more 3D as well as adding in the fine details to make it look more realistic. If you would like to learn more about drawing then this is the course for you. No drawing experience needed. 

I suggest that you take a photograph of an eye using your phone or a camera and then have it beside you as you follow through the drawing course. You will want to check back with the photo constantly as you draw. Try and make sure it is a focussed photo and taken in good light so that you can see the details in the iris.

Who this course is for:

  • The course is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about drawing. Being a beginner is fine as long as you want to learn.


Artist - Illustrator - Teacher
Joe McMenamin
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 2,017 Reviews
  • 55,876 Students
  • 2 Courses

Joe McMenamin is a painter and printmaker and the flowing organic patterns that ripple through his works have won him a following throughout New Zealand. Joe has a bachelor of media arts from the Waikato Institute of Technology. He teaches Art part time at Naenae College in Lower Hutt, Wellington. Joe loves teaching Art, and gets lots of the ideas for his work through interactions with his classes. His students also experience first-hand the different processes involved in his prints, drawings and paintings.
In Joe’s latest series of nautical themed screen prints his detailed drawings are screen printed as a ship and anchor or a deep sea diver. Joe then carefully drops coloured powdered dye pigment in the midst of the image, and the colours splash across the print, making each one bright, exquisite and unique. He finishes the print with some hand drawn pattern to represent the water.
Joe’s recent paintings depict a range of subjects painted directly onto the medium of plywood - it is a natural medium that attracts him and he makes the frames for each piece by hand. He is interested in New Zealand native birds. Joe skilfully paints these birds directly onto the plywood, which gives them a raw quality and showcases his photorealistic painting technique. He often applies a layer of Danish oil overtop, which brings out the grain of the wood and the jewel-like paint colours.
At the end of 2015 Joe resealed the NZ Native Birds adult colouring book. It was a great success with the first edition of 500 books selling out in 2 weeks. The second edition is available in the shop. He has a number of exciting projects happening this year, including video drawing and painting courses on Udemy, a mural, the Christchurch Art show and many more.

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