101 Guide to Drawing Eyes | Nina Rycroft | Skillshare
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10 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:13
    • 2. Experimenting with Eye Placement

      2:28
    • 3. Drawing Round Shaped Eyes

      2:37
    • 4. Drawing Square Shaped Eyes

      2:05
    • 5. Drawing Rectangular Shaped Eyes

      1:59
    • 6. Drawing Downturned Eyes

      1:58
    • 7. Drawing Leaf Shaped Eyes

      3:42
    • 8. Drawing Almond Shaped Eyes

      2:23
    • 9. Experimenting with Size and Placement

      2:57
    • 10. To Finish

      3:04
14 students are watching this class

About This Class

In this class, you will not only learn how to draw eyes, but you will also discover how eye shape, size and placement can dramatically change the look of your character.

With a focus on eyes, this class is ideal for budding artists, illustrators, animators and anyone interested in character development.

In this class, you will...

  • experiment with six different eyes shapes
  • discover how eye shape, size and placement can dramatically change the look of your character/s
  • build your repertoire of eyes for any character design.

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Interested in character design? 

Below is my series of Skillshare classes that walk you through the entire process of how to illustrate a character from start to finish. Use this series to either brush-up on a particular skill or work your way through, for a comprehensive guide.

Nina's Skillshare Character Design Series

  1. Face Facts: Beginners Guide to Drawing a Self Portrait
  2. Face Shapes: Draw a Series of Character Using Simple Shapes 
  3. 101 Guide to Drawing Eyes
  4. Emoji Me: The art of Facial Expression
  5. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part One
  6. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part Two
  7. How to Draw the Head From Every Angle: Part Three
  8. Draw a Circus of Characters: Exploring Body Shape and Proportion
  9. Draw a Circus of Movement: Simple Techniques to Bring Characters to Life
  10. Draw a Circus of Line & Gesture: Design a Picture Book Character From Start to Finish
  11. Watercolor Magic: One Character Five Ways
  12. Illustration Masterclass - Exploring Technique and Style
  13. Learn to Use Procreate: Design and Illustrate a Bear Character

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Welcome to my 101 guide to drawing eyes. In this class, I'll be showing you the many different ways you can approach drawing eyes. We'll be looking at eye shapes, placement and size, and all those combinations that can really affect the look of your character. My name is Nina Rycroft, and I've been illustrating picture books since my first book, Little Platypus back in 2000. Having illustrated hundreds of characters over the years, I've always found that the eyes are what connects the reader to the character. Out of all the features on the face, I think the eyes are well-worth mastering. In this class, I'll be walking you through the many possibilities of drawing eyes. From representing the eyes with a simple dot gesture to illustrating a more complex anime style of eye. Let me showing you how the placement of the eyes on the face can dramatically change the look of your character. Well, flexing your drawing muscles, you'll be able to build your knowledge and your library of eyes by drawing a series of round, square, rectangle, downturned, leaf and almond-shaped eyes. Once you've mastered how to draw the eyes, I'll then show you how you can get even more variation by exploring not only the shape, but also the size and the placement of the eyes on the face. As a bonus, I'll apply what we've learned in the lessons by illustrating my own set of characters, and I would encourage you to do the same. For this class, you will need a piece of A4 paper or a notepad, the drawing pencil, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, and a print out of the two worksheets that I have supplied. This class is for all levels, but I highly recommend doing my face facts class and my face shapes class beforehand. Because it will give you a really good understanding on face proportion and face shapes, and this class is a natural, so a follow on from those two classes. I really look forward to seeing what you guys come up with, and I hope to see you in my next character development class. 2. Experimenting with Eye Placement: Welcome to my 101 guide to drawing eyes. In this lesson, I'm going to take you through everything you need to know about eye placement. I'm going to show you how the placement of the eyes on the face can really change the look of your character. If you've taken my face facts class, then you already have an in-depth understanding about face proportions. Well, in this lesson we're going to bend the rules and experiment with the possibilities of eye placement. In doing so, we'll get a really good understanding of how a simple shift in the placement of the eyes on the face, how this can actually really transform a character. Just like we did in the face facts class, we're going to draw a simple oval-shape to represent the face. We're going to divide that oval into half. That halfway line is what I'm going to refer to as the midline. As you can see, I've got two button eyes, they're midset and they're resting on the midline. We are then going to divide the space between the eyes and the chin, and we're going to draw a guideline and this is where the nose is going to sit. Once again, we're going to divide the space between the nose and the chin, and this will be where the mouse sits. Using these simple features, we're now going to experiment with the placement of the eyes. So here, we're resting the button eyes on the midline. But instead of being midset, we're going to place the eyes much close together, so they close their eyes. Now with this face, again we have the eyes on the midline that they're wide set. Just out of curiosity, we're going to set those eyes even further apart. Here I have the same button eyes, but all I've done is I've moved them above the midline. Look how different the character looks when the eyes are placed below the midline. So now I've got closed set eyes above the midline, and now close the eyes resting below the midline. Here is what wide set eyes look like resting above the midline. Finally, this is what wide set eyes look like resting below the midline. You can see clearly just by using the simple button eyes and line gestures for the mouth and the nose how the placement of the eyes can dramatically change the look and the feel of your character. 3. Drawing Round Shaped Eyes: Welcome to 101 guide to drawing eyes. In this class, I'll be showing you how to draw a series of round shaped eyes. Here I'm representing the eye with a very simple dot gesture. It's probably the most simple way to draw an eye. With my second eye, I'm drawing two simple circles and placing two smaller circles within these to represent the pupil. Once again, a very simple but effective way of representing the eye with the added bonus of being able to move the pupil around. With my last variation on the round eye, I'm going to add a bit more detail, I'm making the eye larger. The lines at the top so represent a heavier eyelash and so area. I'm also going to make the pupil larger. I want to add in more detail and some highlights. These are the highlights here and you can see the pupil in the center of these highlights. I'm filling the pupil in and I'm putting a bit of texture in where the iris is. I'm also going to add a slight lid and finish it off with the eyebrows. So here we have it, the round shaped eye. So now I'm going to show you how you can put any of these eyes into practice by applying them to your own character. You can see that I'm choosing the larger pupilled eye, which was the third eye that we did in our practice shapes. You can see I'm just building my character around this large eye. I'm doing a massive pupil, I'm keeping that shine in there and I'm not focusing too much on the nose or the mouth. It's really this character is all about the large eyes. I'm just finishing off my character using just very simple watercolor. So you don't have to do to watercolor, but it might be a really nice idea to use the sheets that I have given to you as a PDF. Just had a bit of a play around with using the round shaped eye and see what characters that you managed to come up with. Just finishing up on the detail with the character, the lips and green eyes and a little bit of color above the eyes. I now have a character using large round eyes that are on the mid line, but they're wide set. 4. Drawing Square Shaped Eyes: Welcome to 101 guide to drawing eyes. In this class, I'll be showing you how to draw a series of square shaped eyes. With the first of my square eyes, I have a very simple line to gesture, the top lid and the bottom lid. Within these, I have placed the pupils. With my second set of square eyes, I'm drawing the sides and the bottom, and then the top, very much like a square, very simple, with two pupils on the insides. With my third set of eyes, you can see that I've got a much stronger top and bottom line and the sidelines are more angled. I'm doing a much larger pupil area. You can see I'm drawing highlights in. Here is the pupils sitting within the iris. I've got quite deep dark shadows underneath the eyelid. Here we have it, the square shaped eyes. Here we are, I'm now going to put the square eyes that we've done and I'm going to put them into practice. I'm drawing square eyes with a very small pupil. Already you can see that I'm inspired to make those square eyes into spectacles. I have my character drawn up, and I'm just using a very simple water color palette to add a special color. Red hair, and skin tone. You are more than welcome to do this with your drawings, or you can just leave them as drawings. What would be really nice is if you feel confident enough to upload this into the gallery for others to see. 5. Drawing Rectangular Shaped Eyes: Welcome to 101 guide to drawing eyes. In this class, I'll be showing you how to draw a series of rectangular shaped eyes. With my first set of rectangular shaped eyes I'm drawing a top lid and the bottom lid, all very simple, with a slightly larger pupil. You can see that I'm filling in the pupil, and I'm putting in quite a heavy lid, and a strong brow. Once again, a strong top lid and bottom lid with angled sides to these eyes. I've got a highlight, and a pupil, and a strong brow. My third rectangular shaped eyes, is more softer in the edges. Still, I'm making the eye pupil much darker with a highlight, and I'm softening the eyebrow as well. Here we have it, the rectangular shaped eye. Now, putting the rectangular shaped eyes into practice. I'm drawing my character starting with an oval shape, and what I'm doing just to change it up and making these eyes much smaller, these rectangular eyes much smaller, higher, and wider set. Once again, I'm using my very simple watercolor palette to add skin tone and hair color. Again, you can leave yours as a pencil drawing or you might like to use colored pencil, whatever you like just to add a bit of fun to your character. A little bit of shadowing, and I'm just completing the drawing highlighting, so areas around the eyes and the nose and the mouth. 6. Drawing Downturned Eyes: Welcome to 101 Guide to Drawing Eyes. In this class, I'll be showing you how to draw a series of downturned shaped eyes. With I'm going to draw two angled lines that slope downwards, and I'm going to build the eye shape from that. Two large pupils, highlight the pupil. I'm going to follow the shape of the eye with a downturned eyebrow and a heavy lid. For my second eye, you can see the eye goes from the center and it droops down so I'm drawing almost two rectangles and they're slightly tilted. I put large pupils. I'm just putting a bit of a highlight in them and then following up with a downturned eyebrows. Following on from the downturned rectangular eye, I'm doing more of a downturned, leaf-shaped eye. You can say much larger pupil, much larger iris area and I'm following up with some downturned eyebrows. Here we have it, the downturned shaped eyes. Following on from everything we've learned in the three sketches that we've done, I'm going to apply this to a character. I'm using the oval shape as my base for the character. I'm just drooping the eyes down from the center of the face down towards the outside of the face. Because it's the downturned eyes, they can also be called sad eyes I guess so the character looks very sad. Again, I'm using watercolor to add a bit of skin tone and hair color. I'm just finishing up here. You can see I'm just highlighting a few of the edges and I draw a medium downturned eyes, which are low and wide set. 7. Drawing Leaf Shaped Eyes: Welcome to the 101 guide to drawing eyes. In this class, I'll be showing you how to draw a series of leaf-shaped eyes. With my first leaf-shaped eyes, you can see I'm drawing the outline and it looks very much like a leaf shape. I've added a little bit of texture around the base of the leaf, and adding in the iris pupils, and a bit of a highlight, and then we're moving on to the second leaf-shaped eye. Although this eye is much more cat eye, it's still a leaf shaped and you can see I'm adding again the iris, pupils are highlight, and some arched eyebrows. Look, I'm just going to pop in some my brows and the one above as well. For my third leaf-shaped eye, you can see they are all slightly different in shape, but they do represent the shape of a leaf. This one is much more, I guess square and then the highlights and a much larger oval iris, pupil, and a bit of a shadow as well. You can see this influences the shape of the eyebrow, making it much squarer and following the shape of the eye. Here, we have it, a set of leaf shaped eyes. Once again, I'm going to put the leaf-shaped eye into practice. I'm going to draw a character using the shape of that eye. You can see the positioning of the eyes much higher than my sad downturn eye, and I'm going to create a male character as opposed to a female character. A stronger nose, but still the emphasis is on the eye. I'm just outlining lightly with pencil before I use my watercolors to do a skin tone and add in the eyebrows and general color. Now you're welcome to use watercolor or colored pencil. I am also more than happy for you just to stick with the pencil work. This is more about learning how to draw the eye then actually rendering the illustrations. So just do what you need to do. Do what you think would be appropriate for your characters. Now I'm just putting a bit of shadowing, a second layer of the skin tone and it's working my way around the aside of the cheek, around the side of the nose, and just bringing that shadow in under the eye as well. Here we go. I'm just finishing off with the pupil. Now I'm coming back in over the top of the watercolor with my pencil, which is a 2B lead pencil. You can see on emphasizing the eye. You can see that leaf shaped with a very dark masculine style of eyebrow. Just finishing off my character illustration, I have a medium set apart, leaf shaped eyes that are sitting quite high on the face. 8. Drawing Almond Shaped Eyes: Welcome to the 101 guide to drawing eyes. In this class, I'll be showing you how to draw a series of almond-shaped eyes. Almond-shaped eyes are often referred to as cat eyes and you can see the high arch and the tilt. Here I've got piercing pupils and quite high arched eyebrows to match the eyes. With my second set of almond eyes. I'm going to just fill in a little bit of the ends of the eyes, so hey look like a full set of eyelashes. I'm also going to add a bit more detail, much larger irises and pupils. You can see the highlight. I've put more emphasis on the arch of the brows as well. With my third set of eyes, and then have less of a tilt here. You can see I got a bit of an appellate as well, and I've got quite a full pupil, a bit of a shadow. Once again, I've got that nice curve that follows the same shape of the eye. Before I move on to my final illustration using the almond-shaped eyes, I'd like to recap everything we've done so far. We've drawn a round, square, rectangle, downturned, leaf and almond-shaped eyes. Now we're going to apply this almond-shaped eyes to a character. My last and final character. You can see that I'm penciling in quite a large set of almond-shaped eyes and a quite high on the face. You can see that I'm already adding in a skin tone. My art is very quickly coming to life. I'm just using a very simple watercolor palette. You can see I'm using a brown for the hair and the eyebrows, and the iris of the eye. I'm just coming in with some pencil work and working my way around the eyes, the eyebrows, the edges of the face, and the hair. My character is just here at the lips and the character's pretty much ready now. 9. Experimenting with Size and Placement: Welcome to my 101 Guide to Drawing Eyes. In this lesson, I'm going to build on from the placement experiment we did with the button eyes we did earlier on. This time we're going to explore the possibilities of character using both the size and the placement of the eyes on an oval shaped face. You have an option to use either the PDF handout that I've supplied or you can simply draw multiple ovals on a page or any sketchbook and work from that. You can see how I've used my worksheet to experiment not only with the different eye shapes that I take you through in class, but I'm also experimenting with the size of the eyes and also the placement of the eyes. The different combinations of shape, size, and placement really opens you up to hundreds and hundreds of different character possibilities. With these next samples, I'm going to show you variations using only one type of eye shape. Here I'm using the rectangular shaped eye. All three samples shown here are mid set, so not close at all wide set and the only difference is that the top sample has small rectangular eyes, the second sample medium-sized and the bottom sample has a set of large rectangular shaped eyes. Here I'm trying different variations of the small rectangular shaped eye. All three sets of eyes are resting above the mid line, however, one is mid-set, one is wide-set, and one is close-set. These three samples show the eyes resting below the mid line. Again, one is mid-set, one is wide-set, and one is close-set. Here I'm trying different variations on the average sized set of rectangular shaped eyes. All three sets of eyes are resting above the mid line the only difference is one is mid-set, one is wide-set, and one is close-set. These three samples show the average size eyes resting below the mid line. Again, one is mid-set, one is wide-set and one is close-set. Here I'm showing different variations of a large set of rectangular shaped eyes. In this sample, all three sets of eyes are resting above the mid line, one being mid-set, one wide-set, and one close-set. Finally, here I'm showing three samples of large rectangular eyes resting below the mid line. Again, one is mid-set, one is wide-set and one is close-set. So you can see just how many variations you can get just by experimenting with the size and the placement of the eyes. This combined with the shape of the eye and we've covered round, square, rectangle, downturned, leaf and almond-shaped eyes. Well, the possibilities for character are endless, I'd love you to print off the worksheet that I've supplied and come up with your own combinations using shape, size and placement and I'd love to see what characters you come up with. 10. To Finish: Thanks for taking this class. I hope that you've got a lot out of it, not just drawing the eye shapes, but also understanding the size and the placement of the eyes on the face. I also hope you got a lot of seeing me put all these things into practice and illustrating my own characters from that. I really look forward to seeing what you guys come up with, and I hope to see you in my next character development class. Bye.