On a scale of 1-10, how terrified of drawing are you? Did you quake in your boots when tasked with drawing self-portraits in art lessons at school? Does the prospect of perspective give you goosebumps?

Our Head of Learning and Engagement, Heather, is here to help. Learn the basics of how to draw, bi-weekly on The Lightbox blog. Today, let's have a go at drawing a pair of eyes.

Equipment needed:

  • Paper
  • Sharp pencil
  • Rubber

The softer your pencil, the darker your lines can be. If you don’t have different H-B pencils at home, you can use whatever you have and when you are happy with the lines, use a Biro to make some of the lines darker. 


1. Start by drawing some light guidelines to help you with your proportions. These lines signify - top line: brow bone, middle line: start of the nose, bottom curved line: tip of the nose.

2. Drawing a few more lines to create the curves of the nose and showing where the shading will go helps later too. Remember that the nose is not often symmetrical, so your curves do not have to match perfectly on either side of the nose.

3. You can now start to draw in the base of nostrils and more guidelines for your shading at the brow bone.

4. Join up the nostril area and you can start to create slightly darker lines here to help you see what you need when you are shading. 

5. Start adding some light shading around the nostrils and brow bones. You will be building this up over the drawing and so its always good to start lightly and then get darker as you build up the layers.

6. Using a darker pencil or a Biro you can shade mid-tones to build up the brow bone and nostril area.

7. Add some more mid-tones and lighter shading onto the drawing. The aim is to build up the layers so that the guidelines underneath disappear (you can also use a rubber) and the shadows blend together to create light and dark areas. You can use a graphite stick to shade those really dark areas.

8. You can also blend the light and dark shading with your finger to create softer edges.

Now you should be able to add what you've learnt here to what you've already learnt about how to draw eyes, to start to build up a face.