How to Draw Asian Eyes

Written by sarah coennen
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How to Draw Asian Eyes
(Ralf Nau/Lifesize/Getty Images)

When it comes to drawing and perfecting features, practice is the only sure-fire way to improve your technique and become proficient in shading, making specific shapes and highlighting features. One of the hardest features to create is the eye because it comes in so many shapes and sizes. Accordingly, you should always use a closeup photo of the particular type of eye you wish to draw.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Unlined paper
  • Closeup photo of an Asian eye
  • Eraser

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  1. 1

    Begin by drawing the outline of the eye and the light reflection points in it. Be careful that your outline lines are not too dark, as they are difficult to undo.

  2. 2

    Fill in the pupil, which is the small black area in the centre of the eye that expands in low light and contracts in bright light. Be careful not to press down too hard while doing so, as you want to be able to erase it if it is necessary.

  3. 3

    Draw a few squiggly lines lightly in the iris area, which encompasses the coloured area of the eye, and make sure they are not dark. Use your finger to smear the graphite or lead to shade the iris, but don't cover the entire space, as this is solely meant to add highlights to the eyes.

  4. 4

    Draw a light wavy circle around the pupil. On the outside of the circle draw the lines of the iris at random.

  5. 5

    Rub your finger in a circular motion on the pupil, then pull your finger outward into the first wavy circle to give more definition to the eye.

  6. 6

    Begin from the circle outside the pupil and drag your finger through the circle and into the lines of the iris. This will add highlights and definition to the eye.

  7. 7

    Darken the outermost side of the iris.

  8. 8

    Blend in all areas of the eye.

  9. 9

    Draw a random squiggly/wavy circle through the area where the iris lines were. Do not make this line too dark but make sure it is more pronounced than the surrounding areas. Finally, make the area outside of that line as dark as the line.

  10. 10

    Use your eraser to make random highlights around the iris.

  11. 11

    Use your pencil to shade around the iris at the top of the eye. You can also darken the lid of the eye at this point. Asian eyes typically have a very small area to darken.

  12. 12

    Draw eyelashes and eyelash highlights into the reflective areas in the iris. They should be curved and at an angle. Center lashes may be drawn straight up and down, and the bottom lashes should be a bit lighter than the top lashes.

  13. 13

    Add shading around the eye to match that around the photograph, and you’re done.

Tips and warnings

  • Several mediums can be used to draw an eye, including graphite, mechanical and 2H pencils. In addition, an eraser is also invaluable in perfecting an eye.

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