5 Steps and Counting: How to Draw an Eye

Graphite on paper

Over the next few days, I will share with you the fundamentals of drawing an eye. These steps are part of a story and that story leads to a big announcement that I am excited to share with you. But first, let me tell you a story. 

It began last summer at CognEYEzant’s first, and incredibly successful, outreach event. In Downtown Traverse City at Friday Night Live, CognEYEzant set up a booth as the street closed down for foot trafic.

Hundreds of enthusiastic people drew eyes on large sheets of paper as a part of a community art project I created. People of all ages and backgrounds joined in and by the time they were done drawing, their eyes were alight with inspiration. Check out the picutres on Instagram. (Story continues below…)

For the event, I created “how to draw an eye” worksheets that people learned from, then took home. At the event, I did some “how to draw an eye” demos on an easel, in the street. As the warm evening wore on, people didn’t just draw, they talked too. By sharing the experience of making art, we shared each other’s stories and contexts and explorations. 

And now, here, virtually, I want to share the experience of making art with you. Without further ado, here is “How to Draw an Eye in 5 Steps”:
  1. Begin by drawing the upper lid.
  2. Draw iris (a bit more than a half circle).
  3. Draw lower lid (begin line on outer corner of eye, curving slightly, continue line to just before corner of eye).
  4. Draw corner of eye (or “caruncle” the remnant of our reptilian eye), then draw pupil leaving room for “shine” on the eye.
  5. Draw eyelashes (on the top and bottom lids), flesh out lower lid (add line in outer, lower corner of the eye, as pictured), draw crease above eye, and add “bag under” eye (optional).
Ready for more? The story goes on…

Tomorrow promises simplified eye drawing for the novice, the beginner, the creative. Tomorrow promises a story that begins with borrowed scissors. And then, on Thursday, I’ll make the announcement. 


  (If you take the challenge and draw an eye, go ahead, share it. You can share it with me via email nadiacdm(dot)projects(at)gmail(dot)com or on social media using #cogneyezant. I can wait to see what you’ve made.)
Posted by:nadiacdm