So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to learn how to draw eyes correctly. After all, eye drawing is one of the most fundamental components of drawing, and it can easily be the most time consuming as well. What does it take to know how to draw the eye successfully and convincingly? As a follow up to my previous article on eye drawing, in this article I will point out the six most frequent mistakes that detract from the naturalness and realism of an eye drawing.
The first mistake I want to point out is an easy one to make, but often one that is very easy to get wrong. Most people make the mistake of using too many strong upper or lower lids during eye drawing, particularly when dark shading is involved. This often results in the blending of strong contrasting colors such as light blue and dark green, and a washed out appearance. To see why this is the case, imagine how easily this can be accomplished using only light shaded drawings. Dark shading helps to emphasize edges and smaller details, and while this can be accomplished using just two dark strokes, if done using a larger area of color, more than likely you will find that too much blending will be required to achieve the desired result.
The next mistake that I would like to point out happens quite often with the blending of lighter colors to dark ones. Usually people will blend in a large area of lighter color into a much darker one, perhaps even using the same solid color for the entire drawing, only to have the detail of the shadow or the background lose their quality and the illusion of lightness or darkness. When this occurs it is usually because of an incorrect application of sclera technique.
Applying the sclera technique correctly means that you should be applying one stroke of your selected color (usually a darker shade) at a time, usually from left to right. If you are right handed, applying your light strokes from the left to right side of the eyes will result in the light reflection on the right side of the eye being highlighted. Applying the sclera from the right to left side will result in the light reflection on the left side of the eye being emphasized. With practice and repetition, you will learn how to apply the schema correctly and without mistake.
Once you have learned how to draw the basic lines of the iris, you should know how to draw a thin line inside the iris, called the pupil. A pupil is simply the dark portion of the eye. It is the window to the soul. In eye drawing, a pupil should be deep and slightly curved, with a light reflection of light coming through. When you are learning how to draw the iris, you must remember that you should not be covering up the actual iris with your dark lines. This will result in the eye not having its proper expression.
When you finally learn how to draw the basic parts of the eye and the iris, you will probably want to know how to draw the eyebrows. The eyebrows are formed by the angle made between the lower part of the eye, known as the eyelid, and the uppermost part of the forehead, known as the eyebrow. It is imperative that you have a well-balanced look. You can create an over-the-top or under-the-top appearance if you draw the eyebrows too tight or too loose. The general rule is that the uppermost part of the eyebrow should be slightly higher than the lowermost part of the eye.
There are several other important elements that you should master if you are serious about learning how to draw eyes correctly. The next step is to learn how to draw the most popular eye-shape, the almond-shaped eyes. Almond shaped eyes are ideal for persons with an oval face, because their eyes are naturally wider at the almond than any other eye shape. When drawing the almond-shaped eyes, make sure that your head and shoulders line up so that the eyes are more or less parallel to each other.
In this last part of the tutorial, we will talk about some last minute tips that will help you make this eye drawing tutorial worth your time. As I mentioned in the introduction, it takes some practice before you get comfortable with the different steps. By now you should have an idea of some of the things that you need to keep in mind when drawing realistic eyes.