How to Draw the Human Eye in Portrait Paintings | Paint Human Eyes

Learning how to draw the human eye in portrait paintings is easier said than done. There are many essential elements for drawing a natural looking human eye in a portrait painting, including the light source and placement of the eye.

This is why some painters say that the eye is probably the most delicate of all to paint. One single mistake on the detail could ruin everything, including the entire painting.

This is why it is ideal to study human faces and eyes to be able to see clearly how to draw them on the canvas.

Steps on how to draw the human eye in portrait paintings

First, you have to sketch the eye, before painting in the canvas. You can do this with a pencil and a sheet of paper. Then, start to draw the shape of the face. There are a lot of shapes for the face, including round, oval, square, long, and heart shape. However, choose whatever what is accurate to the one you are painting.

Second, divide the face into four, vertically and horizontally. Eyes fall in the middle of the head and not at the top. Just draw the vertical line lightly to bisect each half of the face. The face should only have one horizontal line in the middle and three vertical lines.


Third, learn how to draw the human eye in portrait painting lessons by sketching the shape. The eye should be balanced and must have a perfect egg shape. The top line must be slightly longer and curved but larger than the bottom line.

When you draw the eye, place the tip of your pencil at the top of the first eye you’ve drawn and measure it. Measure the width of the eye to serve as your reference for the other eye. Human eyes have one eye length between them so you won’t find it hard to measure them. Just place an imaginary eye at the center of the painting and it’ll be your reference.

Fourth, draw the second eye. This is a bit trickier compared to making the first eye. However, just use the same guideline to be able to create a perfect second eye for your portrait painting.

Fifth, decide the size of the pupil. This will be the last phase of learning how to draw human eye in portrait painting. Painters can choose whatever size of the pupil for the eye. However, make sure that it matches with the eye so that everything looks balanced and normal.

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