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How to Draw Eyes

This drawing tutorial focuses on how to draw eyes step by step. This guide offers a straightforward and accessible approach, making it ideal for kids beginners.

This tutorial is one of the most important on my site, because drawing eyes is one of the most important skills in the process of creating a portrait of a person.

how to draw eyes
How to Draw eyes step by step

How to Draw Eyes: Basic information

Why is eyes drawing such an important skill for any artist?

Eyes are one of the most expressive parts of a person’s face, and by being able to draw them correctly, an artist can convey not only a person’s emotions but also his character.

If you look deep into the history of art, what do you see?

From ancient times to the present day, sculptors, painters, photographers and filmmakers have placed a very strong emphasis on the this part of the face. For example, in the Georgian era, artists even painted eyes on ivory and wore them on bracelets or rings.

Knowing how to draw eyes and outher details of the face, a young artist will be able to create portraits of a wide variety of people.

So, where to start the process of learning?

At first, young artists should learn to illustrate this part of the face. That is the outlines, eyelids, pupils, and eyelashes.

Then the artist should learn how to draw emotions. That is, to make the eyes kind, evil, sad, cheerful, etc.

Well, let’s get started!

Eyes Drawing Tutorial


  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • Coloring supplies (optional)

Time needed: 30 minutes

How to Draw Eyes

  1. Draw a horizontal guideline.

    Start by drawing a horizontal line across the center of the page. This line serves as a guide to ensure that both eyes are drawn symmetrically and at the same level. The line acts as the base for drawing both the eyes and their features, providing structure and balance.

    Drawing the horizontal line for the eyes

  2. Draw a second guideline a little higher.

    Add a second horizontal line slightly above the first one, running parallel to it. Then draw a vertical line down the center of the page, intersecting both horizontal lines. This creates a grid that divides the face into quadrants, helping to ensure symmetry between the left and right eyes.
    Drawing the vertical line for the eyes

  3. Illustrate the upper eyelids.

    Between the two horizontal guidelines, draw a curved line on each side of the vertical guideline, forming the upper eyelids. These lines should follow a gentle arch that mirrors the natural curve of an eye’s upper lid. Ensure that the curves are symmetrical, with their inner and outer ends aligned on both eyes.
    Drawing the upper eyelids

  4. Add the lower eyelids.

    Below the first curved lines, draw another curved lines on each side, mirroring the curves drawn for the upper eyelids. These lines complete the outline of the eyes, forming the almond-shaped design. Make sure these curves are symmetrical and consistent with the upper eyelids for a balanced appearance.

    adding the lower eyelids

  5. Illustrate the irises of the eyes.

    Inside each eye outline, draw a circular shape touching the bottom of the lower eyelid. This creates the irises, the colored part of the eyes. Ensure these circles are centered and symmetrical, with enough white space around them to show the sclera, or the whites of the eyes.

    illustrating the irises

  6. Add the pupils.

    Inside each iris, draw a smaller circle entirely contained within it. These circles represent the pupils, which are essential for giving the eyes a lifelike appearance. Make sure the pupils are centered and of equal size for consistency.

    Adding the pupils

  7. Sketch the eyebrows.

    Above each eye, draw an arched line following the natural curve of the eye shapes. This forms the base of the eyebrows. Add a parallel line beneath each arch to give the eyebrows more thickness. Connect the lines at their ends to create a full, arched shape.
    sketching the eyebrows

  8. Erase the guidelines and refine the drawing.

    Erase the guidelines, cleaning up the overall appearance. Darken the outlines of the eyes, irises, and pupils for a more defined look. You can also add subtle details around the eyes, such as slight wrinkles or eyelashes, to enhance realism and character.
    Finished eyes drawing

  9. Color the eyes.

    Finally, fill in the irises with a vibrant hue of your choice, such as blue, green, or brown. Shade the eyebrows with a natural color like brown or black. For the pupils, use solid black. You can subtle shading to the whites of the eyes and eyelids for a more realistic appearance, ensuring all elements blend harmoniously.
    how to draw eyes

Deep Study of Eyes Drawing

So, the eyes drawing lesson is over, what should you do next?

To take your skills to the next level, you need to practice a lot and perform the simple but very useful exercises described below.

  • First of all, try repeating all the steps several times, but each time adding new elements, or changing those presented in my steps. For example, try changing the position of the pupils or adding longer eyelashes.
  • You can also try to draw different emotions on the face by changing the shape of the eyebrows. Try to portray a more cheerful expression or a sadder one. This is exactly the process of conveying emotions through the correct drawing of eyes, which I spoke about above.
  • Next, you can try to draw the entire face, depicting the eyes from this lesson and adding elements such as the nose, lips, ears, hair, etc.

After you have completed all these exercises, I advise you to try to draw a more voluminous and realistic drawing. To achieve this, you need to add the right shadows, highlights and midtones. I talk about what light and shadow are and how to apply it in the drawing process in my article about light and shadow.

Supplementary Content

To use this step-by-step drawing guide and all additional materials at any time, even if you don’t have internet, you can download a completely free PDF that I created just for you.

What will you find in this free PDF file?

  • Eyes step-by-step drawing instruction
  • Coloring page
  • Tracing worksheet
  • Grid drawing worksheet

You can print this lesson and any additional materials and use it at home or school to make learning easier.

How to Draw Eyes: Alternative Methods

Now that you’ve learned the step-by-step approach to drawing eyes, let’s explore some alternative methods to expand your skills. In the following section, you’ll find techniques that allow for a range of styles, from cartoonish and abstract eyes to more freeform, intuitive approaches.

We’ll also explore different coloring techniques and how to use a variety of methods to achieve unique effects. By experimenting with these methods, you’ll diversify your drawing repertoire and enhance your ability to draw eyes in various contexts, enriching your overall artistic skills.

More Detailed Way to Draw Eyes

In this lesson, I’ll provide a detailed guide on how to draw eyes, particularly for beginners. The illustration depicts a woman’s eyes, which are wide open and elegantly shaped, with lush eyelashes adorning the lids. The result is an attractive and pleasing appearance.

how to draw eyes step by step

Drawing Eyes in Cartoon Style

Here, the eyes are drawn in a cartoon style, characterized by an oval shape. This shape is commonly found in many cartoon characters, providing them with a distinct and lively appearance. By mastering this lesson, you’ll gain the skills needed to not only draw eyes in this style but also to create entire faces for cartoon characters, enhancing your ability to bring them to life on the page.

how to draw cartoon eyes

Drawing Eyes in Realistic Style

Now let’s explore a more voluminous and realistic approach. In the example below, you’ll notice that the eyes take on a more lifelike quality, resembling real human eyes. This method involves additional steps and details, such as shading and accurate proportions, which contribute to a more natural and realistic appearance.

how to draw eyes step by step

Adding Realistic Shadows and Highlights

Even if you’re a novice artist with little experience, you can easily draw realistic eyes. This instruction is created specifically for beginners, providing clear and straightforward steps to follow. By breaking down each element, the tutorial makes it simple to replicate the key aspects of realistic eyes, allowing you to confidently develop and refine your drawing skills.

how to draw realistic eyes step by step

Simple Method of Illustrating Eyes

Now let’s learn an alternative method for drawing eyes. In previous instructions, we incorporated additional steps and auxiliary lines to guide the drawing process. This time, let’s skip those preliminary steps and focus on depicting this part of the human face by adding detail after detail. This approach encourages a more fluid and organic drawing style, allowing you to build the eyes gradually, while honing your observational skills.

alternative eyes sketching method

How to Draw Eyes: Conclusion

So, this was quite a long but very, very useful tutorial and I hope you enjoyed it.

What could you learn by reading the article from beginning to end?

First, of course, you learned how to draw and paint eyes. This is the most important thing this article was supposed to teach you.

In addition, the instructions and additional materials taught you to be more confident when you pick up a pencil and begin to create images of a person’s face on paper.

But this is just the beginning in the process of learning how to create portraits. The next, extremely important step is to learn how to draw a portrait using the knowledge from this article. To continue the learning process, go to the article on drawing a face.

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