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How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners

Easy, step by step Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing tutorial
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"To have beautiful lips, say beautiful things. To have beautiful eyes, look at people and see the good in them."
- Audrey Hepburn, American actress

The eyes are one of the most important aspects of a sketch or character. Eyes are extremely expressive of emotion. Even if the rest of the face is not visible, the shape of the eyes can convey happiness, sadness, excitement, fear, or anger.

Sleepless eyes can be red and bloodshot, or have dark "bags" underneath. Sad eyes may emit tears.

It is because of their expressive nature that eyes are considered the "windows to the soul" in poetry, literature, and modern Japanese animation.

This is one reason why anime eyes are so large, dominating the face. Dramatic closeups of the eyes are common in film and television.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

Would you like to draw realistic cartoon eyes? This easy, step-by-step beginner's cartoon drawing tutorial is here to show you how. If you're learning to draw realistic people, this tutorial can help you to master the important and challenging eye.

All you will need is a pencil, pen, or marker and a sheet of paper. You may also wish to color your finished drawing.

If you liked this tutorial, see also the following drawing guides: Tears, Anime Eyes, and Eyes.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Drawing a Realistic Eye for Beginners

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 1
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 01

1. Begin by drawing a small circle inside a larger circle. This outlines the iris and pupil of the eye.

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 2
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 02

2. Draw a pair of roughly parallel curved lines across the top of the large circle. These will help form the upper lid and overall shape of the eye.

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 3
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 03

3. Draw another pair of curved lines below the iris, forming the lower lid. These lines should converge before meeting the corners of the upper lid.

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 4
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 04

4. Draw a long curved line above the eye, and another below it. These contour the skin around the eye.

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 5
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 05

5. Draw a series of curved lines at the inner corner of the eye. Then, detail the iris. Shade small dots at the edge of the pupil, and draw short lines of different lengths in a starburst pattern around it.

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 6
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 06

6. Draw thick curved lines across the upper lid, indicating the eyelashes. Draw short curved lines below the bottom lid, creating the lower lashes.

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 7
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 07

7. Continue to draw thick curved lines extending from the upper lid until the eyelashes are complete.

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 8
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 08

8. Draw the eyebrow above the eye. Draw a series of thick curved lines to create the curved shape. Allow some of the lines to overlap.

Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing - step 9
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 09

9. Thicken the eyebrow with a second layer of short curved lines.

Complete Realistic Eye for Beginners drawing
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step 10

Color your realistic cartoon eye. Common human eye colors include brown, blue, green, and grey.

Now that you've mastered the human eye, you can expand your skills and your drawing at hand. Finish the face by drawing the ears, nose, and lips.

Scroll down for a downloadable PDF of this tutorial.

The Complete Realistic Eye for Beginners Drawing Tutorial in One Image

How to draw: Realistic Eye for Beginners - all drawing steps
How to Draw a Realistic Eye for Beginners Step by Step Tutorial Image

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