Learn how to draw an eye in the style of René Magritte. His famous painting challenged people to think more about what they believe they see.
René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist who became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. His famous painting, The False Mirror, is that of a large unblinking eye whose iris is filled with white fluffy clouds.
Known for challenging observers’ preconditioned ideas of what is real, and what is not, René’s work over the years influenced pop art, minimalist art, and conceptual art. That means that Magritte played large role in the art world of the early 1900s and there is much to learn from trying on some of his ideas.
A single large eye that fills the paper is a fun Magritte image for students to try on their own. It not only sets them up to creatively to finish the inside as they choose, it can also offer a bit of realistic drawing practice too. Making sure that iris is tucked in a bit under the lid is a good eye-drawing tip to know, and a bit of simple shading (VALUE, for the Elements of Art followers) around the eye folds adds for a more real looking eye too.
One idea for a handy circle template is to use an old CD to trace. They are the perfect size and help place the center pupil circle too. Plus, CDs are not good for landfills as they are made of materials that don’t decompose. They make great repurposed art room tools and come in handy in many different ways.
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Eye Coloring Page
Materials for How to Draw an Eye
- Pencil. The Ticonderoga brand are the most reliable, make nice dark lines when you need them, and are the easiest to erase. Buying the pre-sharpened ones will save busy teachers a lot of time.
- Eraser. Large ones you can hold in your hand do a much better job than just the pencil tip erasers, especially when erasing leftover pencil lines after tracing.
- Black Sharpie Marker. These fine point permanent marker pens make nice black outlines, have a good tip for coloring, and never bleed when they get wet. Use them with good ventilation and add extra paper underneath to protect your tables.
- Prang Crayons. These are a bit softer than other crayons so they sometimes look like oil pastels. They also have a some nice brown shades that Crayola does not have unless you buy their larger boxes.
- Crayola Crayons. The reliable brand that always works well. The 24 pack has some of my favorite golden orange and yellow colors that seem a bit richer and warmer than the ones Prang has.
Step by Step Directions for How to Draw an Eye
Time needed: 1 hour.
How to draw an Eye
- Place a CD or other template and trace outside and inside.
- Draw a large eye that crops into the circle a bit (for a relaxed look).
- Erase the extra circle lines.
- Use the center circle to help draw a larger pupil.
- Add a tear duct and top eyelid.
- Draw a bottom eyelid.
- Add eyelashes to the eyelid.
- Trace and fill in lashes and center pupil.
- Trace with a marker and color with colored pencils or crayons.