How to Draw Cat Eyes

how to draw cat eyes

How to draw cat eyes

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Follow the steps in the image above, watch the short video below, or keep reading to learn how to draw cat eyes in a few short steps.

How to draw cat eyes

Essentially, a cat’s eye has the same anatomy as a human: each eyeball sits back in the skull and is partially covered by the eyelids. So, just like drawing a human head, sketch out the placement of features using lines. Divide the face in half and position the eyes on a line. Usually, the distance between the cat’s eyes is the equivalent of one eye.

drawing cat's eyes and head

Start drawing the eyeballs with a round shape. Then, pay attention to the shape of the upper and lower eyelids. The upper eyelid considerably covers the eye, while the lower eyelid curves around it. The inside corner of the eye is normally lower than the outside corner — you can draw two horizontal lines across the face to align both eyes.

anatomy of cat's eye

Then, draw capsule-shaped pupils in the eyes and mark a highlight (as shown above). Sometimes the highlights seem to be absent because of a reflection caught in the eye. That’s why it’s vital to take a reference picture without the flash. Plus, the size of a cat’s pupil changes in accordance with lighting conditions — the dimmer the light, the larger the pupil.

A smart trick: When the basic features are in place, rotate your drawing upside down to check for mistakes. Awkward or uneven shapes become noticeable. Fix them before you start shading.


When you’re happy with the sketch, begin shading with a softer 4B graphite pencil and a kneaded eraser. Shade the pupil and a shadow cast from the upper eyelid. Without this subtle shadow, the animal looks like it’s staring rather than just looking at you.

Then, shade the black line along the bottom of the eye. These areas use dark, soft strokes without adding texture. It’s important not to lose the roundness of the eye in this step. Outline and shade next to the dark line, and  use an eraser to lift softer lights in the inside corner of the eyes.