Drawing Eyes . . . that dramatize

Drawing eyes can be approached in different ways. 

Interest is created in the following drawings because the eyes are obviously open, but you don't see everything (the whites of the eyes, the iris, etc.)  The viewer's imagination fills in the details.  This adds drama to the piece.

Drawing Eyes - Let's have a look at the following examples

This is a drawing of Charlie Mingus, a giant in the jazz field from the forties to the seventies.

In this case you obviously see the eyelids and the bags under the eyes. The upper lid throws shadow over the rest of the eye.

In this drawing, the legendary Count Basie is obviously looking down at his keyboard. Note the highlight where the light is caught on the upper eyelid.

If you look very closely, you will see the eyelashes in both eyes. That small detail is enough to suggest the form of the eyes. I created the eyelashes with a kneaded eraser.

Soulful blues singer, Esther Phillips.

Lighting from the left highlights the left side of each eye. However, you don't see the whites of the eyes because the upper lid throws a shadow over them.

Note the eye on the right has a subtle highlight indicating the lower lid. I made this highlight with a kneaded eraser. Although subtle, small details like this add so much to the realism and the presence of the eyes. 

Drawing eyes of Billie Holiday 2

Vocalist, Billie Holiday, arguably the most influential singer in jazz history.

Despite the fact that her eyes are obviously open, you can't see them because of the way her face catches the lighting. 

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