Drawing Details of the Eye

There are many details to the eye which must be incorporated into your drawing.  For instance, the color of the iris is implied by the different tones used. Brown eyes are conveyed with very dark values; hazel, dark blue and dark green with middle values; light blue, light green and gray eyes with light tones. There is almost always a highlight which appears overlapping a small portion of the pupil and iris representing light bouncing off the surface of the eye. This highlight helps to bring the face to life. As for the eyelids, it is important to note that they can vary in the extent to which they cover the eyeball, impacting the over all expression/mood of the person. That being said, it can be difficult to capture expression because the eyes tend to change their appearance rapidly. Therefore, choose the most frequent and typical expression of the subject when approaching their portrait, keeping in mind that the angle at which the eye is seen is highly suggestive. For example, if the eye is seen in profile it tends to suggest a calm, reflective quality. If seen from above, a feeling of melancholy and tenderness and if seen straight on, there is greater potential for a slightly confrontational air.

Below is a step-by-step guide to drawing eyes in a profile pose.

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Other pages of interest

Drawing facial poses
Drawing eyes
Eye details
How to draw eyebrows
How to draw eyelashes