Graphite Pencil Drawing Tutorial: Female Eye

Posted by Faith Te on October 31st, 2007

Here is the first tutorial from Art Studio — a female eye. My method in graphite pencil drawing aims to render subjects as realistically as I can. The following is a step-by-step demonstration of how I draw eyes. While I very much hope that it helps you in drawing realistic eyes, do experiment and develop your own way of drawing. I myself sometimes do not follow some of the steps exactly as I like to experiment and try to find better ways of achieving a specific texture or effect. Before I begin, many thanks to Toni-Marie Hudson for the use of her picture. Toni-Marie does animal paintings in mixed media. Visit her web site to view her extremely realistic paintings.

Step 1: The outline on Canson Grain. Since the outline was very light and will likely be smudged off when I start rendering or shading, I have carefully and lightly retraced the lines with a soft pencil. In this case, a Faber-Castell 0.5 mm 2B mechanical pencil.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 1

Step 2: Using a soft brush dipped in small amounts of graphite powder, I cover the outline with two or three layers of tone. Any brush can be used as long as it produces a very smooth effect and fills in the tooth of the paper. I try to avoid getting tone on the highlight of the iris. If I do get any graphite there, I tap the area with a clean kneaded eraser.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 2

Step 3: Using a smaller version of the brush I used in the previous step, I begin forming the shapes of the eye by defining the darker areas.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 3

Step 4: With a kneaded eraser, I cleaned up the highlights.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 4

Step 5: I used a Dong-A 0.5 mm 2B mechanical pencil to draw the darkest areas like the pupil, shadow on the upper part of the iris and the crease of the upper eyelid.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 5

Step 6: Concentrating on the iris for now, I use a hard pencil (5H Staedtler) and fairly hard pressure to draw spokes originating from the pupil. This will keep the paper from absorbing a lot of graphite in the next stage.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 6

Step 7: Having used a 5H on the previous stage, I can now draw darker shades on the iris using a dark pencil (2B mechanical pencil). The reason why I use 2B is because it spreads more easily. The 5H is also to keep the tones very smooth when darker tones are added.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 7

Step 8: I further worked on the iris erasing and adding graphite as much as needed to create varied tones. Moving on to the white of the eye, it was also covered with a layer of 5H to create a smooth effect. Then I used a 2B mechanical pencil on the shadow areas to form the eyeball.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 8

Step 9: Here I began working on the skin. Using a 0.5 mm HB mechanical pencil and a light circular motion, I added tones to the upper eyelid and the surrounding skin — starting first on an area which will receive more graphite (in this case, the skin around the crease) and moving towards lighter areas. I used a shop towel and a brush to smoothen out rough spots.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 9

Step 10: Continued with the lower part of the skin.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 10

Step 11: Still continuing with the HB mechanical pencil. I’ve now added shadows to the skin. The 5H Staedtler pencil was also used on the thickness of the lower eyelid. 2B mechanical pencil was used for its darker areas.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 11

Step 12: To create the wrinkles on the skin, I lightly drew lines with the HB mechanical pencil and then used a kneaded eraser to create fine highlights beside each line. A paper stump and a brush were used to soften and blend the lines. The same method used on the white of the eye was also used on the tear duct. The HB was used for the eyebrow — starting with the root of each hair and lessening pressure towards the tip.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 12

Step 13: I always try to keep from drawing the eyelashes until the skin underneath is finished. Since the upper eyelashes will be darker than the lower eyelashes or the eyebrow, I used a Dong-A 2B mechanical pencil which is much darker than a Faber-Castell of the same grade. Again, following the direction of growth and starting from the root, lessening pressure as I come to the tip. Reflections of the eyelashes were also drawn on the highlight of the iris.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 13

Step 14: The lower eyelashes were drawn with the Faber-Castell 2B mechanical pencil.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Step 14

Step 15: The final eye. Finishing touches were made and some of the highlights on the lower eyelid were dulled a little. I hope you find these steps and images informative and helpful.

Female Eye Pencil Drawing Tutorial Finished

Happy drawing,

Faith :)

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96 Responses to “Graphite Pencil Drawing Tutorial: Female Eye”

  1. Phil Holland Says:

    Brilliant, thanks a million <3

  2. angel Says:

    thanxs that was cool drawing it!!

  3. Faith Te Says:

    Phil and Angel, thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m glad you like it!

  4. shoni Says:

    looks exactly like a photo
    awesome mate

  5. Spirit Says:

    You are very talented and the tutorials are extremely helpful. You are a credit to art.

    Thank You

  6. majeed Says:


  7. Faith Te Says:

    Shoni — Hello and thank you for your comment!

    Spirit — Thank you very much for your kind words. I’m glad to know that the tutorials were of help :)

    Majeed — Thank you!

    Just a note: A link to the “Pencil Drawing Tutorials” category has been added at the end of every tutorial here on Art Studio. We hope this will be more convenient when going from one tutorial to another. Thank you!

  8. marco Says:

    very very talented

  9. archmage Says:

    your very talented

  10. Faith Te Says:

    Marco and Archmage — Thank you ;)

  11. ajwida Says:

    thank you
    It’s so Gr8 you have magic hand
    thanx agin my techear…

    nick name ajwida

  12. Faith Te Says:

    ajwida — You’re welcome ;) . Thanks for leaving a comment!

  13. Furr Says:

    HOLY …. eye
    It would take me a decade to practise and still wouldn’t look like yours…
    But I’ll give it a try;)
    You’ve really mastered drawing.
    I’m proud of you :P
    Great job

  14. Faith Te Says:

    Furr — Thank you very much for the compliments ;) . I am sure with
    time and constant practice, you will soon reach what you are trying to
    achieve. Just keep drawing and enjoy the journey!

  15. lele Says:


  16. Faith Te Says:

    Lele — Thank you! I’m glad you like it and I would love very much to see what you’ve done. Happy drawing!

  17. Stevie Says:

    Thank’s! I didnt use all your fancy equiptment. Only a pen pencil and eraser but it still turned out great! Ive always wanted to know how to make my eyes look life like now i know!


  18. Faith Te Says:

    Stevie — You’re welcome. I’m glad this tutorial was helpful to you. Just how many different tools one needs will also greatly depend on what paper you use and the textures and effects you want to include in your drawings. It’s great to know you were able to achieve lifelike results with just a few tools. Keep it up! Thank you for leaving a message :) — very much appreciated!!

  19. Qoi Says:

    i have one picture and you can say me somrthing about it. i can show you.
    i like your art. :)

  20. Chris Says:

    Very nice!!!!

  21. Facundo Says:

    hi there, im facundo from argentina and I was really amazed with your work. i have 18 and I also love drawing, and I want to keep getting better throught practice. thanks a lot for the tutorial!

  22. tcgssbcs Says:

    Wow you are really an amazing artist!THAT WAS AMAZING to the extreme level. If I did not see the ones before it I would believe it was real!!!! YOU ARE SO, SO, SO, SO, GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    =D :D ……
    i draw manga, but you like smudge a real person on to a peice of paper

    YOU ARE GOOD!!!!!!

  23. Shogh Ian Says:

    I really want to express my appreciation and admiration for your work!!!!
    it’s amazing and great work!!!Bravoooo:)))))
    I can see how much ur’e talented person
    btw I have many paintings & pencil drawings (portrait), I love to draw face’s…..
    Any way,wish you all the best Mr.talented;)
    keep walking you made it and that is good:)
    regards Shogh Ian

  24. Faith Te Says:

    Sorry for the late reply, everyone.

    Qoi — Thank you :) . Feel free to show me your work. You may e-mail it to me here:

    Chris — Thank you!!!

    Facundo — Hi! Thanks for your message! I hope the tutorial was helpful to you. Do keep practicing and happy drawing :) !

    tcgssbcs — Thank you for the compliments ;) . Glad you like the tutorial!

    Shogh Ian — Thank you very much!! I’d love to see your work — feel free to e-mail them to me. Oh, and I’m a “Ms.” ;) .

  25. Dharma Says:

    Amazing work!!!!!!!!1

  26. Surendar Says:

    Really fantastic…

  27. greg Says:

    awesome! =)

  28. Faith Te Says:

    Dharma, Surendar, Greg — Thank you!! :)

  29. Deanna Says:

    These are really great tutorials and have helped me a lot. I would love to see more like lips or hair.

  30. Sara-Jean Says:

    Wow, that’s amazing.

  31. Faith Te Says:

    Deanna — Thank you very much for your comment. I’m glad you like the tutorials! We do hope to make more portrait tutorials but right now, we haven’t been able to find the time yet. If you like, please let me know and we can e-mail you when we have new tutorials available.

    Sara-Jean — Thank you!!

  32. roy Says:

    your talants are unbelievable please do more, yours, blownaway

  33. Faith Te Says:

    Roy – Thank you very much! I will try to do more drawing tutorials when time permits.

  34. matsobane Says:

    For sometime i’v been looking 4 tutorials like this,now i’v got my man. Keep up with ur gr8 work Faith.

  35. alex Says:

    Very nice drawing, but the eyebrow hairs are facing left to right and the inside corner of the eye is on the right so it’s the left eye and the right eye brow! silly mistake but amazing drawing!! so life like

  36. Faith Te Says:

    Matsobane — Thanks very much :) !

    Alex — Thanks for your observation ;)

  37. nixx Says:

    just amaaaaaaaaazing!!!!!!

  38. Ajith Says:

    Hi this is so cool. I could learn a lot from your tutorials. Thanks a lot…………. But i think the skin tone is so intense… How can we approach a lighter skin tone?????

  39. Faith Te Says:

    Nixx — Thank you!!

    Ajith — Thanks very much for your comment. As for your question, try
    using less or lighter layers of graphite. I just tend to go a tad too dark with the skin tones because I feel it looks more realistic that way. Feel free to lighten up the tones in your drawing :)

  40. Anonymous Says:

    super:’(:’(:’(:’( !!!!!!!

  41. roshni Says:

    Hi !
    Great work. It’s beautiful……..

  42. twix Says:


  43. kookiez Says:

    OHH mYY GOODNESS thiss has to be the BESTTTTTTTT drawing iv everrrr seeeeeeeeeen!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    urgg i can never draw something like that =(

  44. catherine Says:

    wow looks like a photo its that good

  45. beth Says:

    i have been sat here f0r h0urs 0n this page, this is amazing , i am 0n step three but its amazing , thanks f0r creating this :D

  46. Faith Te Says:

    Anonymous, Roshni, Twix — Hello and thank you very much for your comments :)

    Kookiez — Don’t be discouraged. You will be able to create beautiful drawings if you practice long enough. I didn’t produce drawings anywhere near these three years ago. Keep drawing! Your comment is much appreciated ;)

    Catherine — Thank you :)

    Beth — Thank you for taking the time to leave a message. Hope you find the tutorial easy to follow. If you have any questions, please let me know ;)

  47. Triyono Says:

    It’s amazing. Thanks a lot for this tutorial. Just hope you give another one. Omy, if I can drawing like you

  48. Faith Te Says:

    Triyono — Glad you like it :) . Hopefully, I’ll be able to write and post another tutorial soon. Thanks so much for your comment!

  49. joe Says:

    Wow, I have been drawing for a while but this is great.thanks for the.If you could.Would you email me some other tips and tricks. Thanks

  50. Paco Says:

    You are an insparation to those of us that aren’t so good at this, Like everyone else, thank you for the art lessons, I too, will practice long hours for perfection, do you have a web site of your art? You are a great teacher, thank you.

  51. Faith Te Says:

    Paco — Thank you so much! You are very kind :) . My web site is: . I post my artwork there and I also share it with my artist brother, David.

  52. The One Says:

    This is pretty good.. Of course, no where near as good as mine, but well done, keep practising. You never know, one day you may just get as good as me…

  53. Elle Says:

    WOW!!! that was amazing! you are very talented. thank you for sharing.

  54. mohammed omar Says:

    thank you

  55. camille Says:

    thank you so much! it turned out great!!! i draw eyes 24/7 but now i know how to make them look extremely real.

  56. Tony Says:

    Wow- this is seriously amazing- I’ve been working on some projects and this is going to be helping me a TON! thanks!!

  57. Faith Te Says:

    Tony — You’re welcome! I’m glad you find it useful.

  58. laura Says:

    i just wanted to let you know that i love your web site and that iv been following your step by step guide to draw the eyes and nose. this wed site is much better than any art class iv ever had and you have helped my telant grow . many thanks

  59. Tayler Says:

    Oh my god that is so amazing!!!!

    I’m going to use your instructions to impress my friends :)

  60. Faith Te Says:

    Laura and Tayler — Thanks very much for your encouraging comments :) !!

  61. sean Says:

    wow its the most amazing drawing ive ever seen … i g2g say it’s a long way to get close to ur drawing… anyways thanks a lot for ur tutorial..i usually draw an eye but it doesnt look as real as this.. thanks once again this will help a lot.

  62. Chubs Says:

    Thanks for posting this :)

  63. Faith Te Says:

    Sean and Chubs — You’re welcome ;)

  64. Gavin Says:

    I have read through and tried out practically every tutorial on pencil drawing there is on the web, and the ones you guys do are, by far, my favorite. Mainly because both of you have an immense amount of talent, and the tutorials are easy to read and even I am able to try them out on paper. Thank you guys for the wonderful tutorials!!! :)

    – Gavin

  65. Faith Te Says:

    Gavin — Thanks for your very encouraging words :) . Much appreciated!

  66. Angie Says:

    i love ur art a few days ago i was scetching some eyes on my paper and these tips will help me bring them to life thx

  67. Faith Te Says:

    Angie — You’re welcome and thanks for commenting!

  68. ani Says:

    omg i have to draw an eye for my homework this is a perfect example thanks!

  69. Faith Te Says:

    Ani — Hope it helps you. Good luck!

  70. mark Says:

    arghh!! its to good ;-; it looks so realistic

  71. Faith Te Says:

    Mark — Thanks for your comment ;)

  72. sam Says:

    this is a link to an eye i drew using this tutorial
    i quite like it and wouldn’t of been able to do it without this tutorial:)
    hope you like it ;)

  73. Dave W Says:

    Wow, simply amazing. This makes me realise that I know nothing about drawing.

  74. ines Says:

    before i found this tutorial the eyes i would draw would be so boringly plain, but thanks to you and you’re immense talent I am happy to see that what I draw is almost like what you do. thank you so much

  75. claudia Says:

    totally going to try draw it,
    proberly not come out like that thoo

    have a Portrait project at school coming up soon
    should help

  76. Bethan Says:

    This is amazing!! I wish i could draw such lifelike portraits…


  77. crash Says:

    very nice an smooth i also love doing eyes they tell a story but still leav mistry id like 2 see more

  78. exor nextman Says:

    wow!!!!!! its really amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it really look real!!! i also love to draw more on manga, perhaps i can do some like yours, hehehehe…. in fact I start to draw my self…… and I think it not but output…. anyway thank for the knowledge you shared.

  79. Jilly Bean Says:

    My life long dream is to have the ability to draw a picture so well that it looks like a photograph. Here you do that exact thing. I don’t have much experience, rather none at all besides middle school art class, and here you showed how many steps to do. I can not believe people like you can make pictures pop out so well and make an eye look glossy. It just blows my mind. You have such a mind blowing gift and I hope you are proud of yourself. When a 16 year old grovels over you skill you know your good. One day i hope I can be slightly as good as you :)

    Thank you!

  80. eamon Says:

    unbelievable, well done, very well done!!!!

  81. van Says:

    ..i like your’s so nice..MAGNIFICO!! :-)

  82. Vinitha Says:


    I was astonished to see such a wonderful work…I could not imagine that graphite pencil can be used so artistically..I am new to this…These are simply gr8 ….God has given immense blessings and talent to both of you ….All the best !!! Waiting for more and more brilliant tutorials like this..:)

  83. Soesje Says:

    Wow!! That’s really cool!!!!
    How did you learn that??
    It’s like a photograph, very detailed!!!
    I can only wish that I will be as good as you are.
    REALLY COOL!!! :-)

  84. Nicki Says:

    This is such a fantastic drawing, and the tutorial was really easy to follow! Not quite the master work shown above, but definately proud of what i did! I just cant seem to get the other eye to match. Grr :@ Drawing the second eye is always harder!

  85. fionnuala Says:

    wow that was amazing :o

  86. riavaldo riaclopo Says:

    you are ok as an artist, you can improve though…..
    i hope you will learn to be better, you have a gift, benefit from it

  87. M Says:


  88. Chloee. Says:

    That is absolutely amazing! it looks like you have just taken a picture !!

  89. Hit Says:

    Amazing talent ! Thank you for sharing !

  90. yasmeen Says:

    Oh my god you’r a proffecional the way that you draw is excellent ,you have a gift, and untill now I can’t beleive that you were drawing with a pencil!!!

  91. NAINA Says:

    hi , gud eye sketching , and amazing

    thank u vry much

  92. saiqa Says:

    First i would like to say that you have produced a fantastic eye and i would also like to ask you how is the ‘EYE’ connected with the theme “structure(s)”. it would be great knowing your ideas as it will help me for my artwork.

  93. sanya Says:

    omg It looks soo real. it is soo awsome. u r a gifted person. im gonna try it . thnx soo much for showing how to do it. i always wanted to draw it but never came out well. but im sure this is gonna help me a lot

  94. Nischinta Says:

    It is really very beautiful painting of eye , its seems natural ,this beautiful guidance I will remember through out my life and I will try the drawing till I get yhe perfection in it……………..

  95. dante Says:

    your are the best i swear the best eye……………….dear god just beautiful

  96. Johann Oosthuizen Says:

    Hi There.
    Christian greetings.
    I would like to know where I can get hold of graphite powder. Here in South Africa people dont know about it.
    Thank you.

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