Twenty Drawings of Eyes

Today I'm posting the last group of four eyes, which means the end of the series. I started this series because I'd been struggling with drawing eyes a bit in some of my portrait drawings. I thought that by taking them out of context and concentrating only on the eyes that I'd get better at them. I think I did, but I'm not sure that'll make that much difference when I get back to portrait drawing. Everything has to relate in a drawing, one element to the other, in a consistent and logical manner. In these drawings the eyes only have to relate to themselves.

All the same, I've enjoyed this series and I do think I've learned something. The last few drawings of this series were done whilst I was on my line-only diet, and it surprised me a little that I could still draw a reasonably convincing eye using only line. Despite not being able to fill in the tone for the iris, and particularly for the dark pupil, I've still managed to draw something that looks like an eye even when I can only deal with the overall shape.

And I did make one exciting discovery in this series. On the fifteenth eye I noticed, for the first time, the plica luminaris, the evolutionary remnants of a third sideways eyelid. I suppose that I kind of knew it was there, but had never really noticed it clearly before I actually drew it. For me that has to be one of the greatest gifts that drawing can give you - to bring you into a closer relationship to the world around you, to the extent that you see more than you ordinarily would. It brings a deeper appreciation of the incredible complexity and beauty of the world. It's worth taking up drawing for that alone.

The one thing that disappoints me about this series is that I only did two copies of eyes drawn by old masters, the first two drawings. I'd intended to do more. I'm thinking now about doing a series of copies of old master eyes.

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