No matter how experienced an artist is, drawing eyes can be challenging. There is no ideal way to draw eyes since they differ in size and shape from person to person. 

Start with the form and consider the proportion of the eye when drawing it in charcoal. Then, develop the pupil and add details to the eye’s outer parts by adding layers and values. Sketch the eyebrows and eyelashes. Finish by blending and contouring the whole eye.

We will provide tips on creating an eye drawing using charcoal in this blog post, no matter how you are skilled.




1. Using the eye shape as a starting point

We’ll start by mastering one eye so that we can move on to the other. If you want to replicate the eyes, print an enlarged image of them and use it to determine the eye and eyebrow proportions. 

When drawing a portrait, mark out the distance between the eyes the same way you would when drawing an eye. Use a sharpened charcoal or graphite pencil to sketch the outline of the eye.

Those in the beginning are unlikely to take this step seriously. A professional artist, however, always makes sure to start with a well-proportioned outline when creating a portrait. Drawing eyes is no different.

2. Make the pupil more knowledgeable

It is best to go slowly and add subtle details to the pupil, which is the most expressive part of the portrait for advanced artists and art students. 

Block the light and dark values, then draw the pupil and the iris. To follow the likeness of the pupil, use a charcoal pencil to add details in layers until you achieve the desired result.

White charcoal pencil can be used to highlight the eye. Incorporate the reflections and shadows you see there. Unless you pay special attention to shading, this is the hardest technique for beginners. Here, only a tiny part of the iris receives details, so it’s not much of a problem.

3. Extend the eye’s outer parts

Add tones, values, and highlights gradually as you follow the outer eye contour. Adjust the light and darker areas with the blending stump and blend the edges to soften them.  

Draw around the drawing with hatching, then blend it. We recommend wrapping tissue or artist chamois around your favorite finger or using a blending stump instead of your fingers. 

The area around the eye and the white part of the eye is called the sclera. Make the veins more realistic by drawing them.

4. Add eyebrows and eyelashes

You can add more eyelashes as you go around, drawing them in layers. You can also add eyebrows in layers. You may want to begin with a light sketch and move towards darker strokes as you proceed.

5. Shape the eye by blending and contouring

Give the eye a realistic look by adding more highlights and darker values. Play with the reflections and shadows that you may have missed during the process, and add highlights and color accents to the eye.

Watch the video below to see how each step is done:


There are unique nuances to the eye

You might be surprised to learn that there is room on the face for approximately five eyes. The best angle for drawing an eye is also determined by identifying the eye shape before drawing it. 

When you finish the whole eye, you will know how to add additional details. It is also worth noting that the pupil of a model looking straight at you takes up about half the size of the eye.

Beginner artists who wish to draw the eye need to know this information. A person’s eyes are divided into eight basic shapes: almond, hooded, monolid, downturned, protruding, deep-set, and round. Another factor to consider is the eyelid. 

Eyelids and surrounding skin appear too droopy in some people, while other people have more prominent eyelids, especially among Asians.

It’s even more enjoyable to draw the eye when it shows how they feel, since the eye itself reflects emotions. Art students only begin to comprehend this subject when they practice their techniques, so dozens of lessons deal with it. 

In general, follow your gut instinct when drawing an eye, without trying to overanalyze it.

Different angles make the eye appear different

If the subject is looking forward, drawing an eye will be easier. A slanted face, however, changes the position and appearance of the eye. 

To remember the eye in its three-dimensional state, remember the eye in its three-dimensional state. Since you can see the profile of the person, the eyelid follows that shape. 

Examine videos of people, paying attention to the eye, and see how the eye behaves in certain situations and emotions, concentrating on pupil and iris movements. Observe how the head is positioned in order to draw the eye from that direction.

Iris size is affected by emotions

You can tell that the iris (the darkest part of the eye) is not always visible when you watch the video with the eye in focus, and that emotions and light are crucial to it. 

When looking at something from a distance or when the subject is dark, happy, aroused, the iris appears dilated. In contrast, when we look at something up close, are surprised, or are scared, our eyes are exposed to bright light.

Decide where the light is coming from

From where the light comes determines the tone and value of your eye, just as we have discussed in the previous charcoal drawing tutorials. A model’s eyelids can cast partial or complete shadows on the eye depending on their location in relation to the light source.

Even if the rest of the eye is not in shadows, remember to add some light values to the rest of the sclera. Drawings with this detail give them a more realistic feel, giving them a distinct advantage over beginners.

On the other hand, you receive the most light when you draw your eyelid’s upper half. There are three or more values assigned to the area below the eyebrow, the darkest value being that closest to the upper eyelid. It has two or three values and is also dark below the lower eyelid.

Each eye is different from the other

When the other eye is not drawn in the same manner as the other, you may find it annoying. Eyes aren’t exactly the same. The right and left eye must be duplicated perfectly, so don’t try to make it look perfect because it will end up weird.

Become familiar with your model

Know your model if you want to capture its attention. Even if they have the same emotions, there is something that separates the male and female eye, regardless of the eyebrows. Male eyes tend to be more angular and harder-looking, while female eyes are softer in appearance.  

Don’t forget to consider your model’s emotions. In order to learn how the eye responds to a specific stimulus, you need to observe yourself in the mirror, mimicking the expression.    


What is the best method for drawing realistic eyebrows with charcoal?

In drawing an eye, you can’t overlook the eyebrows, which are crucial for women. You do not draw the eyebrows in one light direction as you do when applying makeup. In order to draw eyebrow hairs, you follow the eyebrow’s contours.

Create the eyebrow form first, followed by adding hair in layers as the hair grows naturally. To highlight, use a kneaded eraser to highlight the bare spots on the first layer.

It will look more natural if some hairs go outside the line when drawing your eyebrows.

Can charcoal drawings be fixed?

  1. E The process of fixing charcoal results in the picture being washed out and lighter after it is sealed to prevent dusting. Here are some helpful tips when fixing charcoal:
  2. Try 20-40 degrees of angle. A charcoal drawing sprayed with aerosol spray will have too much concentration if it is too deep.
  3. Fixatives should not be consumed in a single session. Charcoal dust blows over and makes your drawing worse than it was before. Additionally, it may make your paper warped if it gets wet.
  4. By adding a thin layer of the workable fixative from left to right, apply the fixative from left to right. Allow each layer to dry completely before adding another.
  5. On the next layer, apply fixative in a right angle, shift the application direction accordingly.

If you are exhibiting your charcoal drawings, what do you do to prepare them?

It’s now time to frame your artwork after you have applied your fixatives. Before buying a frame, you should know what the exhibit will be used for. 

It is OK to use a simple frame without matting or even a poster board for student exhibits where the primary purpose is for your peers and teachers to critique your work.

Get a frame and matting for your exhibit that will make your work stand out if you’re going for professional exhibits. Nevertheless, avoid complicated frames or too loud mats that will detract from your work. They are meant to protect, not hide, your artwork.


You should now be able to use charcoal pencils to draw a realistic eye. These tips should help anyone start drawing, whether they are an expert or novice. 

Would you mind sharing your thoughts on our tips? Feel free to share your thoughts below.

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