how to shade an eye

How to Shade an Eye

Step 1.

The first thing you will need to do is sketch out the shape of an eye. You can choose to make two eyes, or just draw one. The top lid line thickens as your line gets to the back part of the eye. As you can see the line will end up looking like a flat looking stroke.

Step 2.

The next thing we will do is lightly sketch out the bottom part of the brow. This is where the eye gets the depth from. Sketch in the bottom lid line which is also known as the water line. When you are finished with that, you can sketch out some of the creases under the eye.

Step 3.

Before we begin adding shading to the eye, we have to first draw in the iris and color in the pupil. Sketch in the veins lines within the eyeball, then you can add minor definition before.

Step 4.

After you've sketched down the steps previously, you should have a very basic preliminary sketch. Be sure you've drawn the lines lightly, the shadows and highlights will depend on how lightly you've drawn your lines.

Step 5.

Next, take a 4B pencil, and lightly shade a boundary within the iris and the outside of the scerla. Don't forget to shade a bit inside of the tear duct too. The reason we're laying down the light shadows is because we're going to blend them in later on.

Step 6.

Here's a simple technique used when I shade the dark parts of the drawing. 1. labels the common way to shade. I use this more commonly and trail from 'light to dark'. The closer the base of the shadow, the darkest it will be. 2. Is a basic technique used called 'crosshatching'. It allows you to cover more white space and also, add dimension if you use it right. Use these two techs carefully and try not to over shade your drawing.

Step 7.

This is an example of the stroke of shading and how it looks as it transforms from a very light stroke, to a very dark, and bold stroke. Use this technique within your sketches, the art will eventually pop depending on how skillfully you use hatching and where you place shadows.

Step 8.

Now, using the same technique as above, start shading base shadows on the eye lids and the creases surrounding the lower lid.

Step 9.

Then, taking a blending stump or tissue, blend in the shadows so it creates a smooth - even layer of shadow.

Step 10.

Next, repeat the technique provided previously, by taking an even smoother graphite like 8B and start sketching in darker shadows that will define the eye even more. Don't forget to darken that corner of the eyelid, and the region above the eye, which looks similar to the lower lid. Etch in shadows that will add character to the iris. Once you've sketched dark shadows with your pencil, get a blender and start blending the shadows. You should have something like this.

Step 11.

Now, it's time for the highlights. With white acrylics (or even whiteout), add a base layer of highlights over the shiniest parts which create a liquid effect over the iris and scerla. Be careful, DO NOT over-do the highlights, it will weigh down the shadows, and create an imbalance between the shadows and highlights. Basically, use highlights sparingly.

Step 12.

Next, ALWAYS sketch the eyelashes last. I do this because, if you drew the lashes before the shading process, it would have been nearly impossible to have consistent shading throughout the drawing. With that being said, drawing the eyelashes should be much easier with the hey still looking consistent in tones.

Step 13.

Wither further work, your eye should look like this. I spent another 30 minutes on mine to make it look semi-realistic. I hope you guys enjoyed this realism lesson. I had so much fun working on this one, so be prepared to see more like these in the future!

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Uploaded: January 12, 2018
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Novice  Novice Skill Level
Steps: 13
Updated: February 9, 2013
P.O.V: Front
Favourited: 37 times
Artist comments

Since I have been having lots of fun with this new drawing program, making these sketch tutorials is getting easier and easier. I figured I would try out the tool and make a lesson on "how to shade an eye", step by step. I will do my best explaining how you can achieve the ultimate eye as well as shading it the same time. Drawing eyes can be challenging at times, but there is one true thing when it comes to making eyes, when you get the hang of it you never want to stop. I do hope you enjoy, and learn something new when you tackle the task of shading an eye. Adios mi amigos, and good luck.