Drawing Eye Expressions

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.6 instructor rating • 13 courses • 667,712 students

Lecture description

The eyes are the most important facial feature when it comes to expression. In this lecture we will be looking at real reference of different eye expressions and drawing them as stylized character eyes. By the end of this lecture you will have a strong understanding of how to draw different eye expressions.

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23:57:12 of on-demand video • Updated December 2019

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English [Auto] In this section, we're going to be learning a little bit more about facial expressions. We're going to be actually looking at some photograph examples so we can kind of have an understanding of what makes a different facial expressions. So in this lecture, we're going to be talking about the eye. So first off, I have a photograph here of an eye, and it's just kind of in a neutral state. So it's not really smiling or mad or angry or anything like that, just kind of neutral. And the thing that makes a neutral is kind of the eyebrow and the position of the iris. And so you'll see here. Let's go ahead and let's kind of draw a version of this. We can kind of stylized it a little bit. But first off, I notice that there's kind of a curve. Underneath right there. And if we pay attention to where the IRS is, it's just barely being covered by the island, so we want to kind of capture that and our version. So we kind of just get a slight curve like that. The top curve seems to be a little bit more. That will go ahead and draw the Emerson. So just barely covered by the top pilot and then just barely comes down and touches that bottom eyelid. You can go ahead and scheduling some islands. And then for the ibro. Kind of extends like right about here to where the tear ducts is. Can I ask hear here? Ben, go ahead. Kind of sketching those eyebrows like that and the pupil. You can also add a reflection, there's kind of a reflection right here in the eye, so we want to kind of mimic that. But of this is Stylize, I just turned it into a circle. So this might be kind of more of a realistic kind of comic book style. I. Let me go ahead and add some eyelashes, some of the thicken up this eyelash line. I'll just add three simple eyelashes like that. Maybe I'll add a fourth one, see, that looks kind of cool looking, so I'll keep that one as well. Even add some eyelashes down here on the bottom that. All right, cool. So there's just kind of a generic I the main things that kind of make it up is the position of the IRS. So if the IRS are showing the why of the above, it would look a little bit too surprised. So to get that relaxed, look, we just kind of want the upper eyelid to kind of relax over that a little bit. And we want the eyebrow. That's another important part of the expression is we don't want the eyebrow to be too arched or anything like that. We don't want it to be angled downwards like this because I don't look angry. We don't want it to be kind of angled up like that because the nail look kind of sad really quick. We could just sketch out a few more versions of this, like maybe another styles just kind of give you an idea. So let's say we're doing kind of a animation style that I kind of something like that. Thinking that I eyelash. Do an actual ILIT on their. And go ahead and draw on the iris. So we want the top of the iris to be slightly covered by the upper eyelid. Let me give it an eyebrow, so just kind of give it a nice arch up there like we have above. I'm just kind of simplify this just because of the style, so this is going to be kind of a swoop like that and a sweep like that. All right, cool. So that's just kind of a neutral guy, we're going to look at some other ones because, you know, there's there's obviously much more to this than just that new dry. So here you can see we have a smiling eye. Let's see if we can kind of pick up on what makes the eye look like it's smiling. First off, it's being squinted. So we want to pay attention to the shape. First off, the lines in the shape. Those are going to be the most important things to have an understanding of. As you can see, it kind of just kind of arcs like that so we can go ahead and kind of sketch out an eye like that. And you can see the island also gets kind of scrunched in there. And the top of the iris gets covered a lot by the top eyelid and the bottom eyelid, so all of that gets pretty covered. So we just kind of see the middle area of the iris. And put a reflection in there and go ahead and eyelash in. And then as for the eyebrow, the eyebrow stays kind of high above, it doesn't kind of come down like this. You could do that if you wanted, but that wouldn't give you kind of a smile and expression. So I would kind of keep it up a little bit higher. And so this would be the eye of somebody that's smiling very big and very genuinely when somebody is not actually smiling for real is like they're not actually feeling that emotion. You'll see it in their eyes. If their eyes don't squint up like this, it's because you're not actually feeling that they're not smiling. It's it's what people call a fake smile. And so when we do do a smile, a big smile, that is if we can kind of squint their eyes, it's going to make it look like they're really into that emotion. And depending on what style you're doing, you can kind of choose how much. Sort of detail you want to add in there, if you had too much detail, it's not going to look stylised or something like animation. So like right here, for example, in this eye, we don't want to start adding wrinkles and stuff like that underneath the eyes. So like with this one, for example, you see that on our photo, we have a bunch of wrinkles. But if we were to kind of draw that in here. Kind of starts to get a little bit too detailed for the simplified style we're going for, so we'll just kind of leave that out, go and shade this in. Right. So you could imagine if there was a smile there, just makes her I look like they're really smiling, we could shade in underneath the eye a little bit to kind of give it a little bit more of that smile. Look great. Let's go ahead and look at another eye. So right here we have an angry eye. So I'm guessing that a lot of you are probably at some point want to draw in your character. So let's go over this. So when we're drawing the angry, you can see that the brow just kind of basically hangs over the eyebrow and the brutes off the brow is kind of that flabby skin that hangs down over the eye. Both of those kind of push down the muscles, all push downwards to hang over the eye. And so that all kind of covers up the eye. What kind of look at a few examples of how we can kind of exaggerate those and stuff. OK, so let me bring my breast size down, so we're drawing that kind of I. Maybe we'll kind of stylized that a little bit more. So we kind of have a big a bigger rounder. I like that and then we can go ahead and draw the eyebrow in first. We want to kind of sketch in that angle like that. We can get kind of that brownie down over the I. So kind of just flattens out the top of the eyelid a little bit. And then in this case, when you have an angry eye, the brow hangs down really far over the iris. So that's another key point of drawing an angry eye, is you want a lot of the iris to be covered. The people should basically be touching the top of the upper eyelid. Had some eyelashes in there. Right, so there's kind of one version of an angry eye, if you wanted to look even angrier when it comes to character design, it's all about that exaggeration. So if you're doing something a little bit more cartoony or anime style, really almost any character design style, you can still do this even though it's very exaggerated. But you can just kind of bring that eyebrow down all the way over the eye. So what I mean by this is you can just go ahead and you can sketch out an eye brow. Let's start with the eyebrow. I think that. To go ahead and bring it the size of that, so it kind of matches the size of the rest of my eyes. And then you can just draw the iron like this. And so you see how it just basically comes down right over that I. To uncover the iris. That. Right. Another thing is, if you kind of darken underneath the eyelid, the bottom might look like that. It also kind of makes them look a little bit more angry. You know, that hasn't really happen in real life. It's just something that kind of shows up a lot in sort of anime animation style drawings of characters that when they're angry, you kind of add a darker sort of look underneath their eye. You can even kind of out of line like that. And you can see that the eyebrow also can get a little bit of a scrunch right there. If we wanted to kind of add that scrunch onto that as well, I'll leave it out on that one. But that's scrunching the brow can also show up. All right, great. Let's go ahead. Move on to the next day. Oops, apparently, I drew that on the wall, the wrong layer, so go ahead, I'm going to put that onto the right layer with all the other I's. All right, so for our next story, we have a surprised I so if you remember me talking about the surprised I the surprise I is going to typically be showing the why of the eyes and the eyebrows are going to be very high and very arched. So let's go ahead and give this a shot. So drone. I like this. All right, so we really accentuate that arch of the upper lid and the bottom, it also gets very accentuated. So that just means that we're kind of making a little bit more curved than it would be if I was in a neutral pose. Then we can also accentuate and exaggerate the eyelids so we might see a little bit more eyelid. And then the eyebrow. We can also go ahead and exaggerate that our. So meaning that the eyebrow can be really, really high. So even higher than it might be in reality. All right, and then when we add that Iverson again, we want to show the white of the eye at the top of the IRA. So right here in that area, we want to make sure that there's some white space. That. Going after Pupal, the people always being the center of the IRS and their reflection. Go ahead and add some eyelashes. All right, great. So there's a surprise. So really, the main thing with Drawn is surprised. Eye is you want to focus on that eyebrow and the white of the eye. So if you can get the white of the eye above the iris and you can really exaggerate the arch of that eyebrow and really raise it up higher than it should be, that's really going to make your character look like they're super surprised. You can see that we could kind of redraw the skin, maybe more of a cartoon sort of version. So even if I were to just kind of draw, let's say a cartoon just had a circle for an eye. If I were to draw their iron like this. Then I added a really, really high eyebrow like that, you can see that makes him look very surprised or scared or nervous, all of those kind of fall under this eye right here. All right. That brings us to the end of this lecture. So what I want you to do is go ahead and draw these eyes along with me, and then I want you to post them to the Q&A section of the course so that we can see your work. It's a great way to kind of track your progress and it's a great way to just kind of get some feedback from people. Thanks for watching this lecture and I'll see you in the next one.