My tips for drawing eyes…

Nope, sorry… I got nothing. 😛

Wait, yes I do.

  1. Don’t let me do it, I have discovered I am rather bad at it.
  2. Go watch TimVon Rueden’s tutorials on Concept Cookie, he on the other hand is very good at it.

Tim does an awesome job showing how he creates concept art. I have really enjoyed his tutorials. And he even features drawing exercises where he encourages you to try to draw different features. Usually there are links on the exercise page to tutorials he has recorded that will give you a good idea of how to get started.

Which would be how I ended up trying to draw Eyes.


I had watched all the eye tutorials, including the section on eyes from of the Natalia concept series (I actually watched that one several times.) Tim explained the process well and it looked rather easy compared to other parts of the body, most of which look seriously complicated to someone like me. 😛

Due to limited time that week, I didn’t even get started on my “eye project” until the day the exercise review was posted. Yeah, shame on me, but I got to see his timelapse. So another mini tutorial for me before I started, score!!!!!

Tim suggested that we take a photo of our own eyes to work from, citing that it was a good way to practice as we would always have reference close to hand. Sounded reasonable. Right up until I actually tried to take a photo of my own eyes. I had managed to forget that I don’t photograph particularly well. And I discovered that taking photos of myself was frustrating to say the least. In most of the photos either I looked pissed off (I was focusing really hard on trying to just take the photo) or I looked stoned because I blinked. Finally I managed to get a photo that only looked slightly horrible or it’s possible I was just tired of trying to take my own photo. 😛

So now I have my photo. I opened it in GIMP and got everything all set up. Just one thing left to do before I get started.

Once upon a very long time ago, I used to draw quite a bit. But like most things in life, if you don’t do it for any length of time, you get very rusty. In trying to take up drawing/sketching again, I have discovered that I seem to be suffering from a breakdown in communication between my brain and my drawing hand.

So I decided that I needed to get my brain and hand communicating and back on the same page again. I sat them both down and sadly enough, it went something like this.

brain: so we are going to draw eyes just like we saw in those videos

hand: huh? what videos

brain: the videos from Concept Cookie , by TimVon Rueden

hand: from where??? by who???

brain: never mind… we are going to draw eyes today… just do what I tell you

hand: shrug… whatever

brain: we are going to use this photo as reference

hand: OMG! That is one bad photo!

brain: shhhh, not so loud. We will fix it when we draw it

hand: yeah right, what world are you living in, we are not THAT good (snicker…snicker…)

brain: grab the stylus

hand: what’s a stylus?   just kidding …. got it

brain: okay we are going to lay down color first and to kind of block in the upper face, so we have a place to put the eyes

hand: we’re gonna what???

brain: paint color there…  not there… THERE….. good now add some lighter color there, darker color over there and blend….add a bit of lighter color there, a tad of darker color over here and blend…..add some more  lighter color here, and a bare touch darker color over there and blend

hand: OMG! would you make up your mind.. I’m painting over what I already did here… grumble… grumble (and brain thinks I am the confused one….)

3 hours later

brain/hand: hey that almost looks good!!!

brain: now we start the eyes… draw a smooth curving line in that dark area

hand: bah abah bah abah…..

brain: hello… smooth curving line

hand: huh, oh yeah…. drawing line….

brain: NOOOO! curving CURVING!!!!, it is supposed to look like an eye

hand: chill out, I don’t see you down here doing this….. hows that?

brain: it looks like crap, utter crap….. sigh, try drawing the lower lid now….. ugh! seriously…. you suck

hand: shhh, I’m on a roll!!!

brain: roll of what…. never mind…. okay add some shading..

hand: where??

brain: um around the eyelids… duh…

hand: here??

brain: OMG! Seriously… I am out of here… you are useless

Which unfortunately left my poor clueless hand to finish the project all by itself.

I did learn one very important thing though… drawing eyes is NOT and I repeat NOT as easy as Tim makes it look.

Okay, all joking aside. I did much better than I thought I would, although I did end up making the eyes look mildly cross eyed. Something I didn’t notice until the end. And I did have have considerable trouble making smooth curving lines. Something I will have to practice a bit more. Also, eyelashes and eyebrows are harder than it looks, to say the least. So anyhow, here is how my eye drawing exercise turned out.


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