Simple Penned Eye Tutorial

I forgot how much I love drawing eyes!

Especially with pens ;)

Step 1 - Eye shape

Draw the top and bottom lids of the eye, leaving the bottom lid split in two, slightly curved lines. 

 Step 2 - Outer iris and pupil

Add the outer iris, imagining a full circle with the top hidden beneath the eyelid.

Then add the pupil, leaving an open-ended triangle on the top left part of the pupil (this will be a highlight later).

After that, draw the crease of the upper lid.

 Step 3 - Eyelashes

Draw some eyelashes! Start from the top of the eye and create some small, graceful lines that curve upward. Try to make them overlap the eye just a bit, to show that they grow out from the top lid.

Do the same for the shorter eyelashes on the lower lid.

 Step 4 - Pupil and highlight

Time to darken the pupil.

Here, I made the top three quarters of the pupil as bold as possible. Careful not to hit the highlight!

I left the bottom quarter of the pupil lighter than the rest, and added some very faint curved lines on either side of the pupil. This will act as the less-noticeable highlight in the eye. If I'm being too detailed, no worries. Just pen in the entire pupil and forget the highlight!
 Step 5 - Highlight

Draw the outline of the highlight as faintly as possible. Very simple. It's basically a curved rectangle
 Step 6 - The beautiful iris!

This part is different for every eye I've drawn. 

First, make sure you don't pen very much on the bottom right part of the eye!

Now that I've given you that warning, all you need to do is lightly pen some small zigzags randomly between the pupil and the outer iris. 
 Step 7 - Shadowing

Start at the top of the eye where the shadow will be darkest. Lighten your shading as you near the pupil. Leave the highlights completely white.
Step 8 - Eyebrow and finishing touches

Draw a fine eyebrow. The deepest part of the eyebrow is on the left, curved down to where the nose would be. The arc of the eyebrow sits over the rest of the eye, ending in a fine edge on the far right.

Add a bit of shading to the upper lid, and you're done!


  1. Eyes have always been hard for me to draw. Along with ears and noses...but this should help at least ONE part of my drawings to look good. ;) Thanks for the post!

    1. Ugh ears are still so difficult for me, haha.
      Aw you're welcome!

  2. Hello Livvie. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am glad to stop by your blog post to be blessed by your blog post. You are in true sense an artist. The painting of an eye is marvellous and an eye catching. I am truly blessed and feel privileged and honred to get connected with you as well as know you through your profile on the blogger and the blog post because of who you are in the Lord and your love for HIM. I love getting connected with the people of God around the globe to be encouraged,strengthened and praying for one another. I have been in the Pastoral ministry for last 37 yrs in the great city of Mumbai a city with a great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted. we also encourage young and the adults from the west to come to Mumbaiwith your friends to work with us during your vacation time. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. Looking forward to hear from you very soon. God's richest blessings on you, your family and friends. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede.

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