Mark Crilley: How To Draw A Realistic Eye

Mark Crilley is back again by popular demand to fulfill a request from a few of his young artists asking how do you draw a photo realistic eye in pencil. From past videos Mark Crilley has drawn realistic eyes but none to the detailed extent  of this drawing tutorial where the eye looks wonderfully lifelike.

The key to drawing a realistic eye is to use less line work with your pencil and instead enhance your tonal skills to achieve the depth and proportions necessary to draw the human eye realistically. As a manga artist Crilley draws many of his characters from memory all with a certain character trait within keeping to manga guidelines. Heavy pencil line work and obvious shapes are used more often than not by Crilley to produce and reproduce his manga characters.

In this drawing tutorial he attempts to break down these somewhat rigid drawing parameters in an attempt to differentiate between manga drawing and photo realism. The most important aspect to remember when drawing the eye is that it is not a perfect circle or oval but is instead full of intricacies which you must study before putting the pencil to paper. For example the iris should not be drawn as a stark bold circle as thus looks unnatural and more cartoon-like. In the real world when you study different people’s eyes and various positions you will notice that a large percentage of the upper iris is covered by the upper eyelid casting a completely different and more realistic look.

From this drawing video you can see how Mark Crilley begins by observing his reference image and takes his time pressing lightly on the pencil to achieve the basic shape of the eye. At first the drawing looks very odd and in fact not a great deal like an eye but as soon as the pencil detailing of the iris, tear duct and eyelashes are drawn the composition immediately starts to take on a realistic form.

From this drawing video you will learn how to control the pencil effectively and learn how to draw from reference competently to establish realistic values within your drawing. The video is instructional and thorough in it’s delivery and is an ideal tool for anyone wanting to learn t draw at a better level. Be sure to check out some of Mark Crilley’s other drawing tutorials on the site to help extend and better your knowledge on sketching and drawing.

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    1. hey markcrilley,i want to ask some problem, when you’re add a shading to your drawing and then you hand get tired what would you do? how can you didnt even stop in that video.. and how heavy is the presure you give for shading the upper eye lid area? ( near eyebrow )

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    2. I am a journalist with an English newspaper. We have just prepared a feature on the UK’s ‘Hands of Genius’ artist for publication in 2013. You are right up there with the best. We appreciate your skill. An excellent tutorial. Well done.

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    3. Aha, I think that I’m the only one who drew this and ended up with it looking like a pear with a couple of balls in it and a few squiggly lines in it..?? Aha, yeaahh I’ma try again in the morning, I’m sitting in the dark at the moment cause I cba to get up and turn my light on..

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    4. i really enjoy your videos. I’ve been drawing most of my life (I’ll be 30 in March) but have never really liked sitting through art classes etc. I also have a tendency of getting very impatient while drawing and rushing through it… You’re videos have helped me quite a bit… Thanks. I especially enjoyed the how to draw hands video, because every time I’ve tried to draw a female hand it ends up looking old or witchy, the reason being… I tried to do each crease rather than just one so thanks.

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    5. I am 13 years old and i like to draw! Everyone says that I can draw very good. I trye’d this several tims but this is just impossible for me :/ I will never be that good :/ And my parents won’t let me go to art class :c Sorry for my bad English i’m from belgium.

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    6. I’m 11 years old and I like to draw too! Everyone says that i can draw very good… I’ve tried this 7 times and i have done this quite well… try to practice the basics of shading… Sorry for my bad English too I’m from China

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    7. i feel like what sometimes determines, and what i see alot of when it comes to doing finishing touches on a drawing seems to be the contrast from light to dark, as in really laying down the dark black where it needs to be

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    8. I was really going through a hard time and came across this by mistake …I got a pencil and drawed a eye, that looked so real , I sent a picture to my sister and she ask me why I sent a picture of my eye…lol, I sent her the web addy. I have sent this to many people , you are so good at explaining how to do it. thank you for making my day better when I was really down.

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    9. Most of drawing and art in general is seeing. Splitting out the individual colors or being able to see the shapes and get your hands to match that shape. I was just getting the ability to draw a shape in college when I moved on to 3D work and assemblage sculpture. My left hand seemed to do better with shapes; it’s that whole “left brained” thing. I kind of wish I had kept drawing since I think it helps inform my 3D work. Great stuff; keep it coming.

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    10. @hxpobxy u’re right. i am lucky to get my gift mascara from maybelline for nothing. Listen, you just need to give email addrss and tell them where you want to send. i got it from here. you can also try it => bit.ly/THX63f?=axamgy

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    11. hey can you help my friend out he made an Artwork community page and he wants all artist to come together on his page and show there artwork to everyone. so can you post this link as your status? and maybe like the page and if you draw do photography ect post it on his page? facebook.com/pages/Show-dat-Art/520362961329169

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    12. Hey everyone, I’m a 15 year old photorealsm/manga artist, it’s been a dream of mine to become a youtuber and I uploaded my first video. I would appreciate if you could take 2 minutes of your time to check it out and give me some feedback, Thank you!

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    13. Some people have talent they’re athletic,smart,etc. Amazing drawing talents show your perspective on basically anything. Being an amazing drawer shows your compassion. You are an amazing drawer! Good drawings and keep it up.

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