Learn to draw realistic, evocative eyes ...
add emotion and empathy to your portraits.

The ‘windows to the soul’ can be one of the most enthralling subjects to draw.

Often the focal point of a portrait drawing, well-drawn eyes are not only impressive to observe - they can also add emotion and empathy to a portrait, allowing a viewer to truly connect with our drawing.

Viewers of such a portrait remember not only the beautiful technique, but the feeling they experienced in front of the drawing.

On the other hand ... an unsuccessful eye drawing can ruin your portrait!

Does any of this sound familiar?

Your eye drawings look anywhere from ‘not quite right’ to downright unrealistic.

You don't know why all your eye drawings look the same, and you’re frustrated that you can’t fix a problem you can’t identify.

You've tried studying eye anatomy only to find it overwhelming and unclear how to apply the knowledge to your drawings effectively.

Or, you may have had some eye-drawing success here and there, but you're ready to infuse them with the next level of realism and resonance.

If so, it's time to transform your eye drawings!

It's absolutely possible for you to:

✏️ Understand what you're seeing when observing an eye (instead of feeling overwhelmed)

✏️ Unlock confidence and clarity, knowing what steps to take (and in what order) when drawing eyes

✏️ Stop people in their tracks with your naturalistic, soulful eye drawings

✏️ And enjoy the eye drawing process!

Unlock all of this, and more, in the Eye Drawing Intensive!

In this 5-module course, we'll simplify the eye-drawing process into stages.

Focusing on each stage separately,
you'll acquire the knowledge, modes of seeing & skills needed for each one.

Then, you'll link them together in a smooth drawing process.

Let's dive into the details of each module:

Essential Eye Anatomy

When we don’t know what to look for, often we miss what’s right in front of us. That’s why we start this program by learning essential eye anatomy. Because: Drawing begins with observation. We can’t draw what we can’t see!

To upgrade our drawing skills, we must first upgrade our observational skills, and studying anatomy does just that. It reveals what’s hidden in plain sight.

In this module:

  • You'll gain the anatomical knowledge needed to draw realistic, believable eyes. You’ll learn what to look for (there’s a checklist!) and how to find it. Many students are amazed by the detail they begin to notice in their own eyes!

  • 3D models make it easy to see and understand how the forms of the eye appear to change as they turn away from us and towards us

When drawing an eye, if we copy a line that we see without understanding what it is: chances are that we won’t draw it correctly or convincingly. It won’t start from (or lead to) the right place, decreasing the realism and believability of our drawing.

Or, we’ll miss an entire form of the eye altogether! It happens all the time.

In this module, you'll learn to view eyes with understanding and clarity rather than overwhelm. When you understand what you're seeing, you can simplify what you draw. This creates a more realistic, true-to-life image.

Blocking In the Eye

By this module, you know what to look for, and are seeing eyes in a new way. Let's translate what you're seeing onto paper!

We start our drawings with the block-in: the line drawing that acts as a blueprint for shading.

In Module 2 you'll learn:

  • What to include in the block-in of an eye to set yourself up for successful shading

  • What to leave out of your block-in (just as important!), and

  • How to identify and draw the parts of the eye in different positions

Constructing the Eye
from the Inside Out

Now that you know what's needed in your block-in, let's make sure you understand the forms that you are drawing!

In this '3D version' of the block-in, you will learn a 6-step process for constructing the eye.

We think like sculptors in this exercise, layering the forms of the eye from the inside out.

While we don't always include all of this information in a finished drawing, it's important to be able to visualize it so that we can convincingly imply this structure in our shaded drawings.

This can be a challenging but very rewarding exercise as all the components seem to 'click' into place!

Shading Realistic Eyes
[Part 1: Values]

Though I find all stages of the eye-drawing process completely absorbing, the shading or rendering stage is still my favorite!

There are two main components of shading: values and edges. In this module, you'll learn how to view and analyze the values of the eye, to create the most realistic effect.

You will also learn:

  • the most common value mistakes that lead to unrealistic eye drawings (and how to avoid them!)

  • what makes a good eye reference photo

  • how to design your eye drawing

Shading Realistic Eyes
[Part 2: Edges]

Edges (the second component of shading) create depth and dimension in your drawing when observed and drawn skillfully.

In this module, you'll learn to view, analyze and shade realistic edges in your eye drawings.

You will also learn:

  • the most common edge mistakes that lead to unrealistic eye drawings (and how to avoid them!)

  • what makes shading look natural rather than illustrative

Student Testimonials about the Eye Drawing Intensive

Your Instructor

Hi there! I'm Marina.

I'm a professional visual artist, arts educator, former Tenure-Track college prof of visual artis, and Founder (or 'Drawing Source'ress' ;) of TheDrawingSource.com

I love distilling complex drawing concepts into steps that are easy to understand and apply, and consider myself successful when you increase both your skills and your enjoyment of the drawing process!

Why learn from me?

I certainly wasn't born with the ability to draw (most aren't!)

I had to learn to draw realistic eyes, as you can see below, so I can relate to where you are in your drawing journey.

These days, eyes are one of my favorite drawing subjects: I'm even working on a project in which I'm drawing over 200 of them!

Observing, studying, photographing, analyzing and drawing this many eyes has given me the opportunity to deconstruct my process and design exercises to study each component.

I can't wait to share my findings with you, and help you transform your eye drawings, just like I did!

Fancy Third-Person Bio

Marina Fridman is a visual artist, arts educator, and Founder of The Drawing Source.

She held a Tenure-Track Instructor position at Northwestern Polytechnic in Alberta, Canada before leaving to focus on developing The Drawing Source.

Marina holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture and Dimensional Studies from Alfred University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

She is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, an Edmonton Arts Council Grant in 2021, and a Canada Council for the Arts Grant in 2020, to name a few.

She has been awarded artist residencies around the world, and her work has been published in books and magazines such as Hi-Fructose Magazine (online), Booooooom, Drawing Discourse, the Manifest International Drawing Annual, Foundations of Drawing (Random House), among others.

Who this class is for:

This is an 'advanced-beginner' to intermediate class.

Previous drawing experience is recommended.

This class is for you if:

✔️ You have some drawing experience and want to evolve your eye drawings

✔️ You want a step by step approach to learning anatomy and construction

✔️ You are thrilled to draw, eager to learn, and are up for a challenge

✔️ You want the opportunity to ask questions

✔️ You enjoy my teaching and/or drawing style

Frequently Asked Questions:

"Will I have lifetime access to the Eye Drawing Intensive course?"

Yes, absolutely! You will also have access to any upgrades and additions to the program.

"Is this a live online course?"

No, it's not live.

"Will the lessons be subtitled?"

Yes, you can choose to turn the subtitles on or off. The default subtitle language is English, but a new feature in my course platform should allow me to choose 10 other languages to translate the subtitles into. (Though I can't vouch for the accuracy of the translation.) Just request the language you prefer!

I can't wait for you to...

✔️ feel the thrill of your eye drawings coming to life
✔️ experience time and space melt away as you draw, and
✔️ unlock your drawing potential!

I so look forward to working with you, and helping you transform your drawings.