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Pupils, Iris and Eyeballs

In this drawing exercise, you'll be working with circles and spheres. The eye, viewed str4aight on is round. The roundest parts are generally the pupil and Iris. The pupil is actually the opening in the iris. You see it as the central black part of the eye. The iris again, is the muscular rim around it: it opens and closes like a camera aperture adjusting to both the amount of light and the emotional state of the person. It has muscular spokes that you can see when you look closely.

You've heard People say "He has eyes for her" right? Anatomically, the pupils enlarge (actually the iris contracts thus making the pupil appear larger) when you're excited by someone and when you're scared. Both (fear and attraction) goose up the sympathetic nervous system (the one that goes to work in "flight or fight"). Love and hate, fear and loathing: so closely related.

So, here's a pupil surrounded by an iris:

Here's the pupil all by itself: It looks a little like a gumdrop or even a colored drop of water:

Notice there's a second white circle, or curved rectangle within it: this is the highlight. It's the sparkle in someone's eye. Here's a pupil with a white iris drawn around it, (looks a little like a sunny side up egg) :

Here's' the three circles drawn together: the highlight, the pupil and the iris drawn without the benefit of shading. Notice the highlight, the smallest circle, is usually off to the left or right side of the top part of the pupil or iris, This is because it's reflected light and the light source is usually above the central axis of the eye:

(Note: the central axis of the eye is the line drawn from dead center pupil to dead center at the back of the eye - on the retina.)

To demarcate the margin of the pupil from the actual iris, just make sure you shade the the iris a little lighter than the pupil. In some people, especially people of African descent, it's almost impossible to see the division between the pupil and the iris.

So as you can see, this, the first part of the eye is composed almost entirely of circles. (Save for the spoked appearance of the iris.)

Assignment One

Assignment one: draw 100 circles. Draw them all sizes. don't worry about how round they are, just get your hand and fingers warmed up to coordinating the complex action of drawing circles.

Draw the first 10 as bad as you can. Yes, I said as BAD as you can! That'll loosen you up.

Good. Finished? At least one hundred? Tell the truth! Excellent.

Assignment Two

Assignment two: Now that you're warmed up drawing circles, draw the outline's of the circles just like you see in this picture:

with the pupil drawn right in the middle of the iris (concentric-like, that is, right inside the iris) and the highlight drawn in either the left upper, or the right upper part of the the pupil.

Draw 20 or 30 of them. Make some six inches in diameter, make some as small as a centimeter. Go. Do it! This is pretty dang simple.

When you're' done, you'll have memorized the first part of the drawable part of the eye. Now take a break, grab a magazine and look specifically for these three circles. Are they there ? Can you imagine them being there even if they aren't totally obvious? No problema. Congratulate yourself! Even this simple exercise is adding to your caricature drawing repertoire.

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