http://drawsketch.about.com/od/ drawingportraits/ss/draweyes How to Draw Eyes By Helen South, About.com GuideHelen South
How to Draw Eyes - Observing the Eye When you learn to draw eyes, it is useful to think about the anatomy of the eye. Watch a friend's eyes as they look from side to side. You can see that the eyeball is not a perfect sphere. The cornea bulges out in front of the iris (the colored part), so that the while the iris looks flat, reflections from the front of the eye show a curved surface. Note that when viewed from an angle, the pupil sits in the plane of the iris, and being in perspective is oval rather than circular.
The Eye Socket When drawing, look for the signs of underlying structure that the eye is placed within. Observe the bones and muscles of the face. Depending on a person's age and build, they may be more or less visible, but they are still there. An awareness of the shape of the eye socket and the bands of muscle around the eye will help you identify and model changes of planes around the eye.
Observe the Eye in Detail To draw a realistic eye, it is important to observe it very closely. Notice that the iris is not a solid tone, but has streaks of color, dark around the edge. Observe your subject carefully to identify the patterns of their iris, and note highlights and reflections on the surface of the eye, which alter their appearance. At this angle, the inside rim of the lower eyelid is visible, and part of the upper. Often a broken line is used when drawing the lower eyelid, to indicate this lightness, or in a tonal drawing, there may be a highlight. The 'whites' aren't really white. They have slight color and often visible blood vessels, and are frequently shadowed. Reserve pure white for highlights.
The Shape of the Eyes We often draw the eyes as symmetrical ovals, and think of them as being mirror images of each other. But as you know, the human face is not symmetrical, nor is the eye itself. Eye shapes vary a great deal, and the shape of the lids will change as the eye moves. When gazing to one side, they can change dramatically. Add a slight turn of the head or move your viewpoint from the center, and the eyes can look very different indeed.
Observing Expression Expressions can drastically alter the shape of the eye. Pay attention to the planes, lines and wrinkles around the eye, not just the lids themselves, otherwise the eyes will just look misshapen. A smile pushes the muscles on the face upwards, making the lids bulge a little, sometimes making laugh-lines. Models practice an artificial smile that doesn't reach the eyes, but most subjects have smiles that affect their whole face.
Placement of the Eyes Pay careful attention to placement of the eyes. If drawing without any aids, refer to the key 'landmarks' of the face, checking the angle and distance of the inner and outer points of the eyes in relation to the ears and nose. When you sketch a straight line through the eyes, base of the nose, mouth and brows, you'll find that they are in correct perspective or parallel. When I begin drawing a portrait, I use construction lines to indicate the planes of the face, place the pupils and draw in main lines of the lids and brows. Including wrinkles and lines at this point can help provide reference points.
Drawing Eyes in Portraiture When drawing a portrait, I don't usually get too detailed at first, but work up the whole face, adding further reference points and ensuring that everything fits together. Some people prefer to focus on a single area at a time. Whichever approach you choose, careful observation is the key. Observing the tiny details of light and shade in the eyes will bring the subject to life. This is true whether you are doing a detailed portrait, or a quick sketch. Often, you may 'abbreviate' or suggest the details that you've observed, but the visual information that you've gathered will make your sketched 'abbreviations' accurate ones that make sense, so the drawing will be much stronger than when you've only guessed at what it should look like.
How to Draw Eyes - Tips Sometimes a little artist's license is needed if light is poor or when working from a photo. Adding a little curved highlight cutting across the pupil and iris, a shadow under the lid, or detail to the iris, can brighten flat eyes. Don't automatically outline the lower lid - often the lower rim is highlighted and needs to be lightly indicated. Draw the subtle changes in tone which indicate the eye socket, and the planes of the nose and brows, which help to sit the eyes into the face. If using line, you can use broken or implied line.