Drawing an eye - Step by Step

Jaysen Batchelor
A free video tutorial from Jaysen Batchelor
Illustrator & Designer
4.5 instructor rating • 13 courses • 659,765 students

Lecture description

To start this courses first project off you are going to be drawing a realistic human eye. This may be a more advanced drawing but we are going to do it so we can test your drawing skills. Your first attempt may not look very good but at the end of the course you are going to redraw the same eye. When you compare the two you will notice a big difference after fully taking this course and doing the assignments. 

Learn more from the full course

The Ultimate Drawing Course - Beginner to Advanced

Learn the #1 most important building block of all art

11:07:03 of on-demand video • Updated January 2019

  • Draw objects out of your head
  • Draw realistic light and shadow
  • Understand the fundamentals of art
  • Draw perspective drawings
  • Draw the human face and figure
English [Auto] Caught in this lecture, we're going to go ahead and draw an eye. Now, the reason why we're going to start off with something so advanced is because we want to test out your drawing skills. The reason why we're doing this is because I want you to draw the eye now before you've gone through the course. And then at the end of the course, what I want you to do is I want you to draw the same eye and you're going to find that you're drawing skills go up by a lot as long as you do all the assignments and go through the entire course. So let's go ahead and get started. So the first thing we're going to do is we're going to start by drawing the shapes and lines that will make up our eye. Now, in any piece of artwork, in any painting or digital piece of artwork, it always starts out with the drawing. That's the base. And if the drawing isn't good, then the rest of the artwork is not going to matter and it's not going to look good at all. So we want to make sure that we focus really well on the eye before we start adding in all of our detail. So let's start with the main shape of the eye, which is sort of the football shape. Now, it's not shaped exactly like a football, but it's pretty similar to the thing you want to take into account is that it's usually more angled. So rather than having a football where it one corner to the other corner of the football shape is on a horizontal line. It's going to be more at a diagonal line. So it might be something like so. And then we can maybe bring that side down a little bit more than down here, we're going to have the Courneya. All right. So now we have sort of that basic shape for the eye. The next thing we want to do is we want to add in the basic shape for the actual colored part of the eye. So let's go ahead and draw that in. It's basically just going to be a circle right in the center of our eye. And you'll notice, too, that I'm drawing very lightly the way I do that is just by not pressing very hard with my pencil, but this way I can always go back and erase if I mess something up. And I can also do a build up of highlights and values on top of this by doing it lightly. The next shape we want to add in there as we want to add in our eyebrow. So I'm going to start it right about there and then I'm going to go ahead and bring it over like so and then it's going to taper off in a down direction. Just like so perfect, now I'm going to play with the shape of my eye just a little bit more, so I might bring that up to their bring that down a little bit more and I might start this a little bit further out. So like I said, making sure that you have your shape right is very important when you're creating your drawings. So you can also use your razor, like I said, to erase away areas that you don't want any longer. Perfect. Next, I'm going to go ahead and add in the eyelid. So that's just going to be a line that starts out like so. So there's a straight line at the top, a little curved, and then it's going to come down like so and follow the shape of my eye. And then over here, it's going to taper a little bit towards the edge of my eyelid. The next thing we want to do is we want to add in our pupil. So the pupils, just the black hole in the center of your eye. So we want to sketch that in. We're going to make her pupil pretty small. So something like that should be good next, let's go ahead and Mark, where we want the bottom to be and the edge of our island. So on this top area, we're looking straight onto the island. And so we're not going to see the actual edge of the island. But down here, we're going to actually see the top part of the island. So we want to mark where we want that to be and where we want it to start. So that's going to be the top surface of our island and this will be the actual bottom part underneath the eye. Now let's go ahead and start adding in some detail. So the way we want to add in detail is we want to start out by shading very lightly. So I'm going to start with this top part of the eye so slowly, I'm just going to darken it and thicken the line. And because this is a girl, I'm going to add a little bit of an eyelash off that edge. Remember, don't push too hard the further you get into your drawing, the more refined it'll become and towards the end of your drawing you'll be able to add in some really dark lines. But for now, you want to make sure that you're staying very light. Then I'm going to sort of blend this into this edge like so so that way it's not such a hard line and it'll be look more like a soft shadow on the top of our eye. Then I'm going to start bringing in some light shadow onto the light of my eye, so about there and then I'm going to add a little bit of shadow along this edge. Just like so now this area right here is being left whiter because it's called a bounce light. Now I want to explain too much about it, but it gives our eye more of a wet look when we leave that highlight on that edge. Then we can add a little bit more of a dark edge along this edge. We don't want it to be too dark, but we want it to be dark enough that it stands out. And then I'm just going to continue to thicken this line now, I want the top edge of my line to be pretty hard, but this bottom edge can stay pretty soft. Then I'm going to go ahead and add in a little bit of shadow into the corner of my eye. And then we can also add some darker shadow along this edge of our island, since that's where our eyelashes are going to begin. And we can also add a little bit of a shadow underneath this edge, because this top part of the island is actually going to be hanging over this bottom part. And so there's going to be a little bit of a shadow being cast over that. So we'll add that shadow in right now. And I'm just going to continue to layer in my shadows. Now, you may be a little bit confused of why these shadows are being cast where they are. Don't worry too much later in the course, we're going to go ahead and learn all about this shadowing and highlight and values. But for now, just follow along and try to do exactly what I'm doing next. Let's go ahead and start adding a darker edge around our eye shape. Then we can start darkening this part of the eye, the pupil, and we want to kind of leave this top edge out because we're going to put a highlight over that or a reflection, if you want to call it. But we're going to go ahead and start darkening that in and then we can start darkening this outer edge a little bit more. Then let's go ahead and start adding some shadow and highlight to our island, so this top part is going to be getting hit by the most light. So we're going to leave that bright white and then all of these edges, we're going to darken it just a little bit. Same on this edge. And then we want to add a dark shadow along this edge of the eyelid, so that way it stands out. Now, this is being this dark edge being created by shadow, and it's a very thin because you're barely seen into that shadowed area between the eyelid and this part of the eye, the brow area. But it's still creating that tiny little crease and crevice. And that's why we're adding in that dark edged shadow. Next, let's go ahead and start adding in some more shading up into this area. And this is going to start adding form into the brow of our eye. So we want to make sure that we add in this edge over here so that add some form over here. And then we're also going to add a little bit of form over here. And what we want is we want this edge to be a hard edge and the edge on top. We want it to be a soft edge that slowly blends in to the top part of the brow. Next, we can go ahead and start shedding a little bit more on this top area. As you're working on your artwork, you want to make sure that you move around very quickly from place to place, because if you spend too much time working on one area, you're going to overwork that area and you're going to forget about everything else. And then next thing you know, your piece is not going to look correct. So you want to make sure that you are jumping from place to place. So as you're working up here, if you see something down here that needs to be fixed, come down and fix it. Drawing is not necessarily about focusing on one area. It's about focusing on everything at the same time. Now, this can be a little bit difficult, but the more you practice drawing, the easier this is going to become. And eventually it's going to become second nature and you won't even have to think about it. Next, I'm going to go ahead and start adding in some darker shadow along this top area, and I'm going to leave out an area up here because this is going to be my highlight or my reflection on my eye. And I can sort of start to sketch that out a little bit. I can also start to add a little bit of detail onto the eye. So this part of the eye is an actual muscle that pulls your pupil open and closes it. And so that's what these lines are, is it's just part of the muscle. Now, I'm not going to get too detailed with this muscle area, but we can add a few lines in there just to make it look a little bit more realistic. And we'll come back later and have even more detail to that to make it look better. Next, let's go ahead and add in a little bit of detail onto the eyebrow. So I'm going to do is I'm just going to dark in that area that we have there. So that's all I'm going to do for now. Later, we'll come back and add a lot more detail. Now I'm noticing that it's not very dark right here, so I want to darken that a little bit more because it'd be a lot more shadow there. And I'm also going to blend it in a little bit more on that edge and then we can go ahead and add a little bit of shadow along this. And then we can also add some shadow along this bottom edge because our eye is on top of this plane, the surface. And so it's going to be casting a shadow down here. So we'll just add that in like, so what a dork in this area a little bit more. All right, so it's looking pretty good in the next lecture, we're going to go ahead and we're going to further detail this, make it look really realistic and also add a lot more value in there. We'll add those little details like the hairs on the eyebrows, the eyelashes and more detail into the cornea of the eye. Thanks for watching this lecture, and I look forward to seeing you in the next one.