When we look, what do we see differently than what we know?

If I were to ask you to draw an eye (with out looking) what would you draw?

What we see and what we think is there, are two very different things, our brain creates symbols in brain folders, but our symbols are very different from reality.

Can you look closely as an artists and develop your power of observation?

Project Focus?

What elements of art and principles of design does this project focus on?


  1. drawing from observation

  2. blending color in a specific direction

  3. adding detail to make an artwork look realistic

I Can

What you should be able to do at the end of an instructional period.

I can

Observe the reflection of my eye.


I can

Draw in a realistic way from real life.


I can

Add blended color with color pencils and use skin tone paint to create finished work of art.




Observe your eye using a mirror.

  • Can you identify the different parts of the eye?
  • What are the technical names?
  • Do you notice a reflection? Where is the reflection coming from?
  • Cover your eye for 10 seconds with your hand and pull it away, what do you notice? Why do you think it does that?
  • What colors are in your iris?
  • What direction are the lines of the iris moving in?
  1. Using a template draw the basic eye shape, the oval on your paper.
  2. Create a circle representing your iris and pupil.
  3. Add other parts of your eye such as the eye lid and tear duct.
  4. Place your name on the back in the center.
  5. Learn about medical illustration as an art career.


  1. Paint the surrounding skin (eye lid and orbital area) with tempera paint representing your skin tone, and place on the drying rack.


  1. Add the highlight to your eye, the reflection of light that is hitting the sphere of your eye.
  2. Using color pencil, choose 3-4 colors representing your the color of your iris. (be sure to write these down on the outer edge of your paper).
  3. Begin coloring from the outside into the center of the pupil, blend colors and value through overlapping and the weight of your hand.
  4. Paint the iris black (don’t paint or color the highlight).


  1. Using colored pencil define the edges of the parts of your eye.
  2. Add eyelashes using color pencil to make it look more realistic.
  3. Mount your work on paper using a glue stick, cut around the edge (about 4 inches) to make your artwork “pop”.
  4. Sign your artwork.

Video Resources