ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Feature Focus: Sculpting Eyes

Updated on February 9, 2017

The Windows to the Soul

Welcome to the first in a series of lenses about sculpting specific features. Eyes portray much of the emotion in a sculpture and are where you first focus when looking at a face. So come learn about the anatomy of the eye, sculpting, using glass eyes, and more.

Introduction to Sculpting Eyes

Eyes are such a big part of the expression of the face but they can be very difficult to sculpt. This lens gives an overview of various techniques for sculpting eyes in clay figures.

Here's a handy chart I put together on the size of eyes for various species of animals (including humans) and those sizes converted to common sculpting scales: 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, and 1/12.

Eye Size Chart

To the right is a chart of the parts of the eyeball.

I know it's a little icky but it's important to understand the anatomy of the eye and the muscles which surround it.

Eye Anatomy Video - Warning: It's a disection so it's a little icky.

Drawing Eyes

It's hard to find tutorials on sculpting eyes but there's plenty of resources around for drawing and painting eyes and those can be a great help.

Sculpting Eyes

You have two options when sculpting eyes in clay, sculpt them directly in clay or use an artificial eyeball and sculpt the eyelids around it.

Sculpting the Eye Directly in Clay

Typically either the eye area is sculpted and then the eye carved and modeled in that are or a ball of clay if pushed into a scooped out eye socket and more clay is layered over the ball as eyelids. How the eyeball is finished is up to the sculptor but common options are a smooth ball, scribed lines indicating the outline of the iris and/or pupil, carved out pupils with or without indication of the iris, carved out iris and pupil.

Using an Artificial Eye

Another popular way t sculpt eyes is to use a hard artificial eye instead of attempting to sculpt a smooth sphere in soft clay. The eyeball is inserted into a scooped out eye socket and the eyelids built up around it in clay. Care needs to be taken that each eye socket is of the same depth, on the same horizontal line, and equal distance away from the center line of the face, otherwise the eyes will be uneven and harder to correct than when sculpting directly in clay.

Options for eyes:

Glass eyes

Plastic Eyes

Handmade eyes

Glass beads


Ball bearings

Mark Alfrey's Sculpting the Human Head DVD

Mark Alfrey's Sculpting the Human Head
Mark Alfrey's Sculpting the Human Head
Wonderful video showing the process of sculpting an old man's face. Mark Alfrey does a great job explaining how he works.

Sculpting Videos

Portrait Sculpting: Anatomy and Expressions in Clay DVD

Anatomy and Expressions in Clay is one of the most complete and comprehensive sources on modeling the portrait in clay you'll find for the beginner and more advanced student. For the beginner, the step-by-step method provides a means to achieve fast results, as well as a solid foundation in the knowledge of anatomy. For the advanced artist, there is a wealth of information on such topics as the aging process, mechanics of expression, and advanced rubber mold making. Philippe shares his step-by-step method of construction, as well as a guide to catch and correct common mistakes in clay. This 89-minute DVD is for beginners, but it is complete enough to keep the interest of the most experienced sculptor.

Videos On Making Artificial Eyes

Leave a Comment

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I pinned this lens today so I can share it with others and refer back to it. Thanks for sharing this easy to understand guide.

    • Laniann profile image


      9 years ago

      Very good instructions for sculpting eyes. Have to admit that I couldn't watch the first video about the cow's eye dissection. I would have liked to see the second part of MY EYEBALL PROCESS PART 1.


    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)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)