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7. prosince 2007 v 13:51 | manga girl
Drawing Eyes
I get asked about drawing eyes a LOT. Why? because when you are drawing a person, if the front if their face is visible, the eyes are always the "focal point" (meaning the place people look first in an image). Even on pictures where a hat shadows the eyes people tend to look there first - they try to make eye contact with the person in the picture. Thus learning to draw eyes and make them look good is one of the first things someone drawing people tries. So... here's a tutorial on eyes - starting with some basic concepts that help you properly place the eyes, to several examples of specific types of eyes. (Example images in this tutorial created using Painter & Photoshop)

The eye "BALL"
There is a reason for the term "eyeball" - eyes are ball shaped. Look in a mirror, your eye is actually ball shaped, a full round ball - partly covered by the upper and lower lids of your eye. When you draw an eye keep the ball shape in mind, it will help you properly shade under the eye and the eyelid. In addition it's also good to think of the iris as a circle too, even though not all of it will be visible. On "realistic" eyes the iris will be a perfect circle (with only part of it showing). Tip: If you're having trouble getting perfect circle or getting the size of the iris in your two eyes to match try using a circle guide/stencil (or if you're drawing digitally use the circle selection tool).

Lining up the eyes
A very common problem is drawing one eye and not being able to get the second eye to "match". Unless your person is looking at you exactly straight on the eyes will NOT be exactly the same. So you will have to practice drawing them at angles - try looking at photos, or in a mirror to see how they look. A key point is to line up the eyes properly. Even if your face is at an angle so the eyes are not the same, there are some key spots that SHOULD line up. The top and bottom of the eyes should line up AND the center (pupil) of the eyes should always line up (unless the person has some really messed up eyes!).

Placing the eyes
Placing the eyes on the proper part of the head also matters a lot. A common mistake with eyes is to put too much space between them or too much on either side. With "real" people the following rules apply (with anime, cartoons, etc. you can stretch the rules, but still keep them in mind!):
  • Eyes are approximately halfway down the head
  • Eyes have about 1 eye width of space, or a little less between them.
  • The space between the eyes and the edge of the face is 1/2 to 1 eye (but not usually more!)
  • On most people the corners of the mouth are lined up with the middle of the eye

Example 1: Real Eyes
Here is a realistic eye being drawing step by step (assuming you'd already have the placement on the face figured out etc:
  1. Drawing in the upper lid
  2. Drawing in the lower lid & corner of the ye
  3. Adding more of lower lid (notice the lower lid has a "lip" to it!), placing the eyebrow
  4. Darkening/detailing the eyebrow, sketching in the iris
  5. Shading the eyebrow, refining shape of iris
  6. Placing the pupil in the iris
  7. Shading the iris (where the eyelid shadows it)
  8. More shading of the iris
  9. Shading the eyeball and eyelid
  10. Finishing the eye by adding the eyelashes and more shading around the eye. Notice that the eye lashes CURL, they are not straight. Also notice the placement of the light lower lashes.

Example 2: Anime Eyes
Here is an example of one style of "anime" eye (there are many):
  1. Drawing in the lids/shape of the eye and the Iris
  2. Defining the iris and lids more, adding the eyebrow
  3. Placing of the pupil in the eye
  4. Starting to shade the Iris
  5. More shading of the Iris (light is coming from the right)
  6. Shading the Iris is finished up
  7. More Highlights are added to the Iris
  8. Eyelids are more shaded, eyelashes added
  9. Finishing by shading the Eyeball and around the eye.

Example 3: Stylized Eyes
Developing your own style of eye isn't that hard once you know what real eyes look like. Here is an example of one of my styles eyes based around a triangle shape (good for sexy/evil characters):
  1. Drawing the shape of the eye in
  2. Refining the shape, adding some eyelashes and the eyebrow
  3. Placing the Iris.
  4. Placing the Pupil (notice that in this case the pupil is not round, but more triangle shaped - like a cat or vampire eye)
  5. Shading the Iris
  6. Adding highlights to the Iris
  7. Shading the eyeball
  8. Shading under the eye & highlighting corner of the eye
  9. More shading around the eye and finishing the eyebrow
  10. More shading under the eye
  11. Darkening shading under the eye and placing the scar
  12. Finishing with shading more around the eye, highlighting and blending in the scar.

More (Older) Examples...
Basic Anime Eyes


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