Learn to Draw People - Shading the eye




Shading the eye

Click the image to see both eyes

Shading above the eyes

Before we shade in the iris we'll shade the skin. When shading, start lightly because you can always go back and darken shadows. It's much harder and messier to try and lighten really dark shadows.

I start shading at right above the tear duct because it's usually one of the darker areas around the eye. Start laying graphite down in that area and go all the way to the far end of the eyebrow. See that the lid is creating a really light ridge around the eye? Don't shade that. As you shade, shade in the direction of the shadow: start at the tear duct and shade toward the outside corner of the eye. See that the shadow isn't uniform under the eyebrow, there's a lighter spot just below the eyebrow that isn't as light at the upper lid. When you're done in the area between the eye and the eyebrow, go ahead and shade the same area of the other eye. Notice that those shadows are a bit lighter than the ones on the first eye?

Go ahead and fill in the eyebrows noticing that they're not all an even tone, they're a bit lighter closer to the bridge of the nose. Shade in the direction of the hairs of the eyebrow. You may want to erase the contours you drew, but if you do, don't forget where the eyebrows go.

Shading in the eyebrows

When you're done with the eyebrows, shade below the eyes. You see that the lower lid is also very bright similar to the upper lid? Don't shade that. If there were wrinkles below the eyes, would you be able to draw them? That's later....

Now the lashes. Draw the lashes and as a clump, just make a line that gradually thickens as it gets to the outside corner of the eye. Drawing the lashes as individual lines looks amateurish and childlike.

The finished eyes

The eyeball is last. The pupil can be drawn as a crescent moon shape to allow for the highlight. Or you can draw the pupil fully in and then erase out the highlight. The iris is a concave bowl inside the eyeball. Because of the way it's shaped, the colored area of the eye is brighter at the bottom than the top. This is assuming that the light is coming from the top. Since the iris is concave, the light bounces off the bottom of the "bowl" of the iris and the top part of the "bowl" is in shadow. These eyes that we're drawing look pretty uniform in the colored area, so shade it that way. Allow for the second highlight in the eye as you shade in the colored area. The whites of the eyes aren't really white. Can you see the shadows in the corners of the eyes? Lightly draw them in.

Try drawing these eyes

Your assignment: draw eyes. Try these eyes. They will be a totally different problem than the female eyes we just drew. Try and draw the glasses, draw the many wrinkles, and the eyebrows are bushier. After you finish with these eyes, sit in front of a mirror with your lap desk and try and draw your own eyes.

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