3 mistakes to avoid

when drawing eyes


3 mistakes to avoid when drawing eyes

Drawing eyes is so amazing, they are so expressive and fascinating and can change a drawing immediately into a strong and captivating experience.

But you can mess up the drawing and its amazing effect easily when you forget to avoid these 3 mistakes:  

#1 Highlights

Don't forget the highlights.

The eye is wet. Its surface creates reflections, so we absolutely have to keep in mind to integrate some highlights. As these highlights are also in one of the darkest parts of the portrait, the pupil and the iris, we need to think about them already in the draft and leave them out.  

When sketching the basic shapes of the eyeball & the eyelids as well as the iris, you can already mark the position of the highlight with fine outlines. It is much more difficult to create these highlights with an eraser, when you have already drawn dark graphite lines with a pencil - so define the place for the highlight before drawing the pupil. 

A clear and bright highlight is eye-catching and therefore very important to be integrated right from the beginning:

#2 Eyelashes 

Don’t draw the eyelashes too symmetrically.

Every single hair is unique and that's what we need to take into account when drawing the eyelashes. Some are short, some are long, some have a strong bow, some only a slight curve, ... 

For creating realistic eyelashes, keep therefore in mind to not draw the fine hair too similar. There are always some that break ranks - and that‘s what makes the eyelashes and eyebrows look realistically:

A helpful tip

When you are focused on drawing the perfect curve for each hair, you risk to lose the overview about the position of the eyelashes, so that the curve might not be the right one. 

Let's asume, that you start drawing eyelashes from the corner of the eye: it's important to change the bending when coming towards the middle of the eye. In order to know, when to change the bending of the bow, it is of great help to draw some „guiding lashes“ for changing steadily the curve:

#3 Shading

Don't overdo it.

Before you are blending the eye with the blending stick, it is of great help to always control on a separate paper, how much graphite is on the blending stick. Otherwise you risk to make smudges on the drawing. It’s better to be patient and to add one layer of graphite after the other. This allows you to better adjust the amount of graphite you are using. A realistic eye can’t be created all at once - it’s made out of several layers of graphite that are added gradually.  

Trying to add the entire shading all at once often ends in too strong and unbalanced shades. It’s a step by step process for fine tuning the perfect shading for the eye:

It's your turn.

I'd love to see your eye drawings - feel free to tag me on Instagram, when you post them so that I can give you feedback and a feature.

Or you can show us your sketches in our private creative group HERE on Facebook.

I've a class for you, where you'll learn lots of game-changing tips & methods
to draw powerful sketches with stunning eyes.

(eyes instantly capture the attention in a drawing,
it's a strong motif when you master its expression)

Eye Drawing Class by Barbara Baumann

Focus Class.

How to draw eyes

full of expression.

Realistic eye drawing studies and quick expressive cartoon-style sketches.
Including bonus material, individual feedback on the sketches & lifetime access to the class.

Enroll HERE

Interested in learning more details about the human face and the human body?

In my Figure Drawing Class I'll guide you through the entire figure drawing process with really simple but effective methods.

You'll only need to draw a few minutes a day to be able to draw expressive figures with ease soon!

All you need to learn about figure drawing is inside this class.

Barbara Baumann Illustration Figure Drawing Ebook

If you'd like to have a clearer idea about the class, you're welcome to join our Mini Drawing Class HERE.

It's free and it contains lots of precious tips & tricks how to add dynamic to a human body - and how to draw it in the correct proportions:

  • 3 x 15-minute-lessons
  • draw directly with me
  • step by step guidelines

We will start the class on Tuesday - you'll get a message from me, so that you don't miss out.

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Barbara Baumann Illustration

About the Author

Hallo, I'm an award-winning illustrator and drawing tutor from Austria. After great experiences in the Marketing and Database sector, I finally realised that I simply need to follow my enthusiasm and fascination for drawing and illustrating.  

What fascinates me most, is this way to communicate without using any words. So expressive, so global. And this leads me to my second fascination about drawing: the exchange with others, with you! In my drawing courses I simply love to see the enormous developments of each participant - initiated by exchange and practice. That's what I like to do here, too. 

The idea for this blog comes from the bottom of my heart: to get you close to drawing and to show you that you too can draw #drawinggang  It's all about learning to feel the drawing!

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