How to draw eye with pencil? We can all probably draw the human eye. It is just about to draw the oval shape with the iris and pupil. We’ll show the techniques on how to draw realistic eye with pencil fast and with no special skills. Using this tutorial you will be able to understand how to draw a crying eye with pencil, but it will be much easier if you know what you are drawing first.
How to draw realistic eye with pencil
1. 2h wood cased pencil
2, 2b 0.5 Mechanical Pencil
3. Kneaded Eraser
4. Color Blender
5. Smooth Bristol Paper
Before you draw a realistic eye, you must first study what it really is. We all have eyes, but we are sure that most of us haven’t really paid attention to what it actually looks like up close.
Well, here it is.
How to draw a realistic eye with only pencil?
Well, we will start with drawing the outline, this can be a fast sketch, but detailed enough to show the shape. We used 2b 0.5mm mechanical pencil. Make sure you don’t make the outline too dark or you will have an overview in the end. The 3 spherical circles near the pupil will be light source reflections.
Start by filling in the pupil using the 6b Progresso pencil. Make sure not to press too hard. Alternatively you may not be able to erase it quickly if you wish to. One good way to get really dark is to layer it. Start off by lightly going over with the Progresso pencil and then use the color blender to blend it. Add another layer of the pencil with Progresso and do the same with the blender. Keep on doing this until you are satisfied with it.
Put down some graphite on a separate piece of paper, using your 4b Progresso pencil. Get it as dark as possible, then together with your color blender gently rub that space. Now if you look at the tip of blender you will see that it has some graphite. Now rub the area around the wobbly circle. If you don’t a have a colour blender, you can use a tortillon/shading stump. We would suggest you to have both of these tools. They will be helpful in getting different effects.
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Using your mechanical pencil to draw the lines that you see around the space that was shaded previously, try to create them fast and light. If they are random, it would be much better. These lines will serve as a guide to the highlights and shadows that the iris has You can see that the iris is full of highlights and shadows. Look at the reference picture of the eye above.
Using your mechanical pencil, lightly fill in the area around the pupil. Then blend from the center of the pupil out with the blender. This will also pull some darks from the center of the pupil, giving that area some shadows.
Adding these shadows makes the iris much deeper. The area outside of the iris is layered under the rest of the iris. Lightly draw them underneath and blend them with the rest of the dark space. You don’t have to put shadows all the way around, just in random areas.
Using your blender, pull from the sting of the inner space outside. This will give a beautiful pattern and will be a guide for the highlights and shadows on the outer area. Make certain you don’t shade the highlights or you may lose them. You can always erase those areas, so they won’t be as bright.
You will currently begin to visualize the eye come to life, layering is a huge part of pencil drawing and learning what goes on top and bottom is vital. It might take a while to go through all these steps, but the time pays off in the end. After practicing, it'll become a lot easier with each one.
Draw around the whole iris with the 4b Progresso pencil, don’t press too hard. This will outline the whole iris. Take your kneaded implement between your forefinger and your thumb then squeeze. This will give the kneaded eraser an excellent edge. You can use it to drag some highlight from the area outside of the pupil.
Make the highlights, don’t add too many, just enough that they stand out going around the area. If you pull an excessive amount of graphite, only add more with the pencil, mix it with blender and use kneaded eraser once more. Due to the fact it will stick to the side, you will probably need to make the new edge on eraser after every time you pull graphite. If you don’t, next time you try to make a highlight it will not remove as much graphite. These little erasers are fantastic, and all pencil artists should have them in their tools.
Now mix the area that you just outlined on the previous step. If it’s not dark enough just put down more pencil and mix it, it should look like the image above. On the last step, we pulled out some highlights with the kneaded eraser.
Now, using your mechanical pencil, randomly darken the area between some of those highlights. It can bring out the highlights far more and will additionally add some shadows. Outline the edges of that area. This will make it stand out. Using your blender, blend the edge of the pupil with the area outside. Don’t mix it too much, just enough so the end of the highlights blends out nicely.
Draw out that shape that you see in the above image. It should not be random, but it doesn’t have to look exact. Don’t draw the define line too dark, just enough for you to visualize it. Darken the area below that outline. Be careful not to make it too dark. It can stand out too much from the rest of the iris. Blend it just a little in some areas, so it blends a bit into the remainder of the iris.
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Add some highlights around the outer iris using your kneaded eraser. These highlights will be larger than the ones in the center. You can also make some that start from the outer edge of the pupil to the end of the iris, but don’t make too many of these.
On the previous step, we added highlights going straight down, here you will add highlights with kneaded eraser in an angle. You’ll be making “W” shaped highlights, just make enough that it will give the iris some texture. After making these highlights, you will add some shadows under some of these highlights. In the image above you can see a very bright “W”, below that you can see a darker area, this will be the shadow for this highlight.
Add these shadows to some of the highlights around the iris, not all of them, make it as random as possible. Using your color blender, blend the ends of these highlights, so they don’t look like white lines. In this step, we will also start working on the sclera, which is the white part of the eye. The tip of the color blender should still have some graphite, so use that to put down some graphite around the sclera like on the image above. The two circles that you see on the right side will be highlights that suggest wetness.
Darken the shadows around the edge of the iris, using your mechanical pencil. Add some dark lines between the highlights so they can jump out more. In this step, you can also experiment with highlights, add more or take away.
We now have the basic design for the iris, from now on we can start darkening the whole iris by adding light layers of graphite using the 2h pencil. You will leave it like this if you’re drawing an eye that is green, light or blue color. We also shaded the fold that’s under the eyebrow and above the eyelash. Using your kneaded eraser, you can erase between the glare spots to blend them together.
Here we will darken the iris. Before we do that we will add some eyelash reflections, you don’t have to add this to all your drawings, but if the picture is big enough, you can. Over the three glare spots, you can draw some eyelash reflections. The reflection from eyelashes would be reflected on the surface of the eye since the glare spots are at the top and are white you can draw over them the tips of the eyelashes.
When it is done, using the 2h pencil you lightly put down a layer over the whole iris. This will darken the highlights, darken the top section of the iris a bit more because this part will be a bit darker because of shadows of the upper part of the eye and eyelashes. We added some other details like the reflections on the corner of the eyes. We also added some light blood vessels that run out from the corners of the eye with the 2h pencil.
Drawing a realistic eye using these little details make a big difference. Look at the reference photo at the beginning so you can see those blood vessels. The white part of the eye, especially the corners need to be darken a bit with the blender. This will give the eye more depth and realism with the subtle blood vessels.
The eyelashes are added. Take a look at the angle that they are drawn. They are not drawn straight down, except for the ones in the center. These are drawn last because they are on top of the other features.
Using your kneaded eraser, you can add some highlights, which would become some hairs reflecting some light. You can play around with them to get some realism. Just make sure to curve them as they are not straight. The ones in the center don’t have much of a curve because you’re looking straight at them.
We will add now the lower eyelashes. These should be a bit lighter so you can use a 2h pencil to draw them or use the mechanical pencil and then use an edged kneaded eraser to tap along the hair to remove some graphite. Like the top eyelashes, the center ones curve down, and you go either left or right, so you start to see the curve on the hair.
Well that is about it, it might seem long, but with time you will be drawing them with ease. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out right the first time, keep practicing, and you will see results. The more you draw it, the more you will understand each step, and it will become much easier. Don’t be scared to experiment, study the reference eye and look at the features. Try different ways to put down those details, using the same tools that we've used. Be creative with the process.
This tutorial should only be the first step. One thing we can tell you for sure - the more you draw, the better you will get. We won’t stop reminding that you should study whatever you’re drawing. Understanding what you are drawing is so helpful and the end results will show the preparation. Hopefully, this pencil drawings step by step on how to draw eyes is helpful for you.
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