The Downward Gaze Vs The Closing


Eyes Facial Expressions Drawings

The trickiest part of drawing the downward gaze is to not merely end up with a closed-looking eye. When the eyes simply close, the iris and pupil are covered in the process; in the downward gaze, the eye leaves open a space large enough for the pupil to see through. This is accomplished by the bowing downward of the lower lid. A telltale crease, the signature fold for this action, appears below the lid as it moves. As the gaze drops further, the bow gets sharper and the crease deepens. The dip and the crease are the keys to keeping the eye open-looking.

A. Level gaze. Corner midline crosses iris about one-third up from bottom. This is the average for most eyes when gaze is level.


lowering are more prominent, note closing eye (right), where same upper lid position has eye almost fully closed.

D. Lower limit. In lowest position, the eye is seen as two curved lines with a dark space in between; iris will be vague or invisible within shadow. Space between lines thickest in center (where the iris is) thins at either end. Note how curve of lid lines starts with straight part at inner corner (4), then turns into a full curve around eyeball. Unfolded upper lid with shallow crease or two is at the level where lid normally ends (5). Difference at this stage: closed eye has one curved line (with lashes) versus the open eye, which has two curved lines and a dark space (seen through lashes) with crease below.


B. Looking down. The shape of the lower lid is bowed downward more than in a level eye (1). Note similarity between curve of upper lid in closing eye and downward eye. It's only the position of the iris and the curve of the lower lid that make the two eyes so different.

C. Further down. As the gaze drops further, our view of the eye is more restricted by low angle and by increasing shadow. Note that opening (diagram, left) is just wide enough for pupil. Crease deepens below lower lid (2), while upper lid is more fully exposed (3). Lashes of upper lid in

Gaze Diagram

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