How to Draw the Eyelids, Eyelashes, and Eyebrows

Why Learn How to Draw the Eyelids, Eyelashes, and Eyebrows

In learning how to draw the eyelids, eyelashes, and eyebrows you’ll be able to create beautiful faces that are fluid and expressive. We will also be exploring the differences between males and females and we’ll make it really easy for you.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • About the Eyelid
  • Drawing Eyelashes
  • Executing both Male and Female Eyebrows

How to Draw Eyelids, Eyelashes, and Eyebrows

Understanding the Eyelids

Want to learn how to draw an eye? Now that you’ve got an understanding of how the ball shape of the eye works and that it’s a real three-dimensional object, it’s time to take a look at some of the other elements. If you haven’t covered the subject of the eyeball, first read our post about How to Draw the Eyeball.

When you are learning how to draw the eyelids, it is important to draw the eyelids around these spheres, you must realize that the lines of the lid are stretching over top the surface of that ball. The skin is thick but its shape is dictated by the round shape of the eyeball below it.

It’s a good idea to look at how the eyelids work from all different points of view. Looking at the side view, from below, or above, you will get an even better view of the eyelids, both their shape and size.

TIP: Charles Bargue designed plates meant to be studied by art students; including plates describing the shape and form of the eye. Studying plate I, 1 will allow you to get a firm understanding of said shapes and forms. You don’t have to stop there either, there are at least 100 plates, so there is a lot to learn.

How to Draw the Eyelids

When you are just starting out here, it may be a good idea to find some reference photos that focus just on the eye, without the rest of the face. You’ll be able to better evaluate the different parts of the eye.

Take the opportunity to observe your own eyes in the mirror. Make note of how wide the eye-line is or how thick the skin is, it’s probably more than you expected!

Use sweeping lines to draw in the eyelids. They can be round or angular, as long as they follow the shape of the eyeball underneath.

TIP: Ask friends and family if you can study their eyes, or if you can take photos. If you take them, sure to look in unusual views that allow you to remember all the things you’ve learned about their eyes. Keep in mind the eyeball, eyelids, eyelashes, any interesting creases, and eyebrows.

ASSIGNMENT

Draw 100 eyes using reference photos (keep these you’ll need them later), focusing on the different shapes and angles of the eyelids.

Drawing the Eyelashes

The eyelashes originate from the edge along the eyelid and fan outward. It’s a good time to take out the real eye photo references that you collected so that you can look closely just at the eyelashes.

The eyelashes originate along the outer edge of the eyelid, then they fan outward and away from the eye. If you look closely, you will notice that the lashes extend quite randomly, crossing over one another in different directions.

You can also see that the lower lid has much shorter, and fewer lashes than the upper lid. The upper lid has the inner lashes shorter but they grow in length as they approach the outside of the eye.

TIP: rotate the drawing as needed to get the best opportunity to draw nicely curving lines to indicate the lashes.

Male and female eyelashes are pretty similar, but when drawing it is important to note that male eyelashes are usually less defined. Having a thick lash is much more feminine.

ASSIGNMENT

Re-visiting the 100 eyes you drew for the last assignment, add in eyelashes for some practice. You can use the same references as before to continue your studies. See if you can spot the differences between male and female eyelashes.

How to Draw Eyebrows: Draw the Eye Sockets

Looking at the front view, we can place the eye sockets on the face to indicate where the eyes will sit on our characters. For more on the eye sockets, you can read our post on How to Draw the Skull page.

To start drawing the eyebrows, you follow the top along the upper eye socket, using different strokes to draw in the indication of many little hairs building up the texture.

Drawing the Eyebrow

The eyebrow can be broken down into 3 simple strokes that follow the general direction that the hairs of the eyebrow are going.

  1. Horizontally and up for the main part of the eyebrow
  2. Turning downward on the outer part of the eyebrow
  3. Some curved lines for the inner part of the eyebrow closest to the nose

How the Eyebrows Relate to the Eye

In this example, you can see how the eyebrow follows along the upper edge of the eye socket, this isn’t the only relation either. The outer edge of the brow starts to turn inwards around the eye socket and in towards the eye.

How to Draw the Male Eyebrow

  • The brow is not plucked or cared for
  • The brow is thick
  • Has little, or no corner arch
  • Brows tend to be closer between the eyes

How to Draw Female Eyebrows

Female eyebrows are of course somewhat similar to male eyebrows only…

  • They are thinner
  • Are primped and trimmed
  • They arch a little bit higher
  • Tend to be more angular
  • They are often darkened with makeup

Despite these differences the eyebrows still do follow the basic shape of the eye socket, they can be drawn in a very similar fashion as explained earlier.

That is it! With a little practice, you’ll be on your way to drawing the perfect eye.

ASSIGNMENT

Back to the 100 eyes, it’s time to add in those eyebrows. Try to look at the references and pay close attention to the difference between male and female eyebrows. Try your best to be deliberate about the exact size and shape – match the eyebrows with the appropriate eyelashes.

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