Eyes are the windows to the soul. There’s no person in the world who doesn’t know this common wisdom, which is actually quite true. Eyes are the most expressive part of the human face, they reveal our feelings and our state of spirit. If we tell lies, eyes can reveal the truth, if we feel happy, eyes start to glow. Besides the myriad of idioms, poems, songs dedicated to the beautiful human eyes, visual arts have been focused on reproducing them for centuries.
Ever since the cave drawings, eyes were the inevitable detail, but human eye went into focus with the eye of Horus, so popular today in the mystical corners of pop culture.
Just like any of the human body parts, drawing an eye requires substantial skill gotten through meticulous practice. There are so many details in one eye, and to make a realistic drawing, it’s important to render them all.
The simplest way to draw an eye is to outline an almond or oval shape and add the iris and the pupil. However, more elaborate eye drawings require more studying of its parts, for which a close-up photograph can be of great help. It’s also advised to look closely into a mirror, as we all have eyes, and use them for visual arts. Basic eye parts are pupil – the black circle in the center, iris – the colored area around the pupil. Iris is also the most interesting part of an eye, as it’s made of combinations of lines and colors, lighter and darker areas and even two colors, giving each eye that individual appeal, depth, and beauty. Eyelids and eyelashes surround the sclera, and they determine the final shape of the eye. Every eye is different, some are rounder, some more almond-shaped, some have thicker eyelids and lashes, some are quite plain. Playing with these elements can give out countless solutions to eye drawings, depicting particularly interesting and beautiful eye examples. Eye sclera, iris and pupil reflect the light, which is usually signified by a white dot. Subtle shading of the white part will give your drawing volume and realistic shape, as the eye should be spherical and not flat.
Adding all the elements, third dimension and defining the shape with thin, light pencil strokes will produce a great drawing of human eye.
Drawings of Eyes
Isaiah-Stephens – Emotional eyes drawing draws attention to the sad expression and story, all important elements of the final work.
Eye of Horus is the ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, good health and royal power.
Renaissance eye drawing – simple and realistic. Note the drawing of eyes did not change much since that era.
Iris and pupil – some varieties of the inner and the most important parts of the human eye.
Simple eye drawings depicting ways in which the gaze can be directed, from the shut lids, to the wide open eye.
Michelangelo – Cleopatra – The drawing of the ancient queen Cleopatra by the great Renaissance artist shows the way in which Michelangelo drew human eyes: round, simple and melancholic.
Andlastly – eye from half-profile. Note how the artist shaded the eye making it very spherical and realistic.
Mike Lopez – This drawing is a good example of light and dark shading and the expression it gives to the upward gazing eye.
Eye with a tear – This beautiful drawing is subtly shaded, which makes the eye more appealing and soft.
Charcoal eye drawing – Charcoal allows for better transitions and more pictorial volume when drawing eyes.
Wide eye – Note how the highlights make the drawing more realistic putting the reflection into the eye.
Fringed – Combining the drawing with hair and freckles of the cheek makes the drawing deeper.
Three ways of gaze or expression in three pairs of female eyes.
Polaara – Subtly colored eye drawing. Note how the iris is two-colored.
Marcello Barenghi – Very elaborate colored eye drawing, with contrasts of pink and blue.
HaleyXH – Lovely drawing of a blue eye. Pencil traces are still visible, but this does not take away from the final outcome.
Jose Vergara – The young artist from Texas is probably one of the best in drawing hyper-realistic eyes with colored pencils alone.
Ileana Hunter – When drawing both eyes, pay attention to the gaze. Shading is crucial, in order not to make eyes seem googly.
Rebecca Hrader – Forward looking, clear and well done drawing of female eyes.
Combining the drawing of eyes with nose and the rest of the face depicts full expression. Note the short, light strokes that build the drawing.
Eyes in a reflection – this is a bit complicated to achieve, as the reversed gaze needs to be created.
Kim Ji Hoon – Eyes are still eyes, even when shut. This is a wonderful example of shut eyes drawing, depicting the surrounding skin and features.
Anime eyes – Drawing of anime/manga eyes is much simpler, and these are some examples.
Huge, piercing and done in a couple of strokes – manga eyes are expressive, but not realistic at all.
When colored, manga eyes can even seem odd or otherworldly.
Watercolor drawing of eyes puts a pair of brown eyes in the middle of a complete artwork.
Back to basics – this would be the perfect start to begin drawing eyes.
Rene Magritte – The False Mirror, 1928 – This masterpiece by the Belgian Surrealist is one of the best known paintings of an eye in the world, but it doesn’t depict a realistic eye, but its conceptual nature. Something to strive towards when learning how to draw.
Megan Louise – A fantastic eye drawing by UK based young artisrt.
Svenja Jödicke – Mind blowing eye art by the German artist with different mediums such as watercolor, acrylics, etc.
eye of hope