ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Arts and Design»
  • Drawing»
  • Drawing Tutorials

How To Draw Realistic Eyes: Drawing Tutorial

Updated on November 12, 2011

Eyes are the most important part of a portrait. Eyes are the window to the soul. So in order to capture the essence of your subject, you have to get the eyes right. I love to draw eyes. They are my favorite part of a portrait. I love to capture every detail, every line, every shadow. I also love to add more reflective light in the eye. When I first started drawing realistic portraits, I encountered lots of frustration. It never seemed to come out perfect. Then I realized it doesn’t have to. So lets get to the eyes.

don’t think of drawing realistically as something complicated. Think of every thing you see as shadows and shapes. Drawing like anything you do takes practice.

Before you begin, you will need a good sketch pad. I like to use Canson sketch pad. You will also need a 2B, 4B, and a 6B pencil. You will need a blending stump, a white eraser, and a gum eraser.

I used a reference photo for this drawing. When drawing eyes, I like to start with the irises. I draw a simple circle with a 2B pencil. Make your initial lines with light strokes. This will prevent indents in your paper, and it will be easier to erase when you make mistakes.


Eyes are leaf shaped. So I draw a leaf around the circle, and draw the pupils.


I then draw the basic lines and shape of the eye. All of my shadows start out as lines. I later take my blending stump, and with circular strokes turn my lines into shadows. This makes for a more realistic appearance.


I use my 4B pencil for the darker lines. I use my blending stump to color in the lighter shades. The blending stump picks up the graphite from the pencil. If you get enough on the stump, you can draw soft shadows with it. I use a blending stump for the majority of my drawing,

I filled in the pupil with my 6B pencil


For the colored part of the eye, I simply used the blending stump. I apply varying amounts of pressure to get the desired shade.


I then came in with my 4B pencil, to draw the flecks of pigment in the eye. By this stage your eye will look very convincing.


Now I add more details to the eye. I draw the eyelashes using wispy strokes of my 4B pencil.


I go back and smudge the lines to give it a more realistic appearance.


Then I take my stretchy gum eraser and take away some of the graphite. I gently draw my highlights and light reflection with this eraser. You are going to want the reflection of the eyes to be the whitest part. Even if you outlined the reflections, it's good to go over with the corner of your eraser, just in case you smudged it.


And you should have an eye. You can apply these principles to any subject you’re drawing.

Happy drawing!






    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Mohit 3 years ago

      Posted on Do you people have a faoeocbk fan page? I looked for one on twitter but could not discover one, I would really like to become a fan!

    • profile image

      melissa 6 years ago

      I like this wonderful makes me encourage to draw...

    • OMGirdle profile image

      OMGirdle 6 years ago from United States

      Thank you for this article. It helped me a lot

    • Gabby G profile image

      Gabby G 6 years ago from USA

      Yeah carolus I plan to do one on hands.

    • Carolus profile image

      Carolus 6 years ago from USA /Portugal

      Very nice hub. Eyes are fun to draw. I always have problems with hands. Got any tutorials for those?

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Hi Gabby

      This hub is beautifully explained and I'm sure a great help to many. Writing it step by step has made it easy to understand. Definitely passing this hub on and sharing it with friends and followers here on HubPages and elsewhere.


    • nenytridiana profile image

      nenytridiana 6 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

      I love drawing! Thank you for the lesson. Interesting!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)