The Eyes Have It: Drawing the Eyes in Comics

by Matt Russell - Posted 7 months ago

Welcome, my CryptoComics Compatriots. Eyes are said to be the window to the soul. Eyes are also one of the hardest things to get right when drawing a comic. Dear old Uncle Matt is here to teach you to not only draw the eyes but to add expressions.


Yep, today we are tackling “How to Draw Eyes.”  Please read this older post (How to Draw the Human Face) to find out more about the placement and size of the eyes. It has a breakdown of the dimensions for aspiring artist out there.


Now onto the specifics of the eyes.


It doesn’t matter if your comic is a Romance, Superhero, Mystery, or True-To-Life; eyes are eyes. They are all drawn the same. We will have to do this again for Manga eyes so that you can see the difference.



There is (of course) the main ball or eyeball. The sheath that sits over the eye is the eyelid. On the inside is the tear duct. 


Inside the eyeball sits the Iris and inside that is the Pupil. You can see from the drawing below all of this would be used to draw all of the expressions. This is the plain eyes without any expression. I have overlapped the drawings so that you can see the structure.



One of the first things I like to do is start with the wrinkles in the forehead. They slope slightly as a they cross the forehead. Give it 2 main wrinkles. This looks more accurate if you are less precise.


Moving down to the eyebrows, they point upwards at the same angle as the forehead wrinkles. Pushing the muscles up on the top of the brow ridge from the eyebrows is what actually causes the wrinkles.


The eyes move up off the bottom of the eyelid. This allows you to see white underneath the iris.



The eyebrows do the exact opposite of the eyebrows from the sad eyes. They form a V on the face. This also forces the forehead to get 2 wrinkles; top forming a straight(ish) line that slightly slopes down towards the middle, bottom creating a steeper V. The bottom also forms around the muscles within the brow ridge.


The eyelids are more squinted that the norm with the iris evenly spaced within the whites of the eye.


There are a few anger lines on the outside of the eyes. What is really cool is the wrinkles on the top of the nose. As you can see, they are formed by the same muscle on the brow ridge, but these are formed by the base of this muscle.


Under the wrinkles created by the brow ridge are a few lines that cross the nose that almost mimic the 2 lines from the sad forehead.



With shock or surprise, you will see the entire iris. The eyes are open wide. Be sure to give the eyelids a very rounded shape. As you can also see, the pupil dilates creating a very small pupil.


The eyebrow seems to form (what my old art teacher called) the McDonald’s Arches. Between the eyes and nose, there are virtually no wrinkles. On the forehead, however, there is a plethora of wrinkles, but they are now in the hairline. As a result, they do not show up on these drawings.



Next time I will go over other emotions such as Annoyance, Happiness, and Suspicion. Stay tuned and work on your sketchbook so you can see the progress. Upload your sketchbook to the Marketplace so that you can have a digital living art journal that updates as you finish more drawings. I would love to see your work.