How to Illustrate with Eyeshadows (with Step by Step Process)

So what I’m gonna do is tell you how to draw and color with a little bit of twist. Yes, you might need this for your life! You can do a simple illustration you want to put at your site or book cover or even your bedroom wall for the world to see without having to steal someone else’s work. Or maybe you just want to hype up your creativity, anything really! This post is applicable to all media, not just eyeshadows, but because that’s what I do most often, that’s what I want to post.

Enough chit chat, here we go!


1. The Tools

Obviously, to draw stuff you’re gonna need drawing stuff. No need for anything fancy. Just grab any waterproof pen and marker that you can find at the nearest store. Oh, and you should try to find one that dries quickly (test it out by making a line and quickly smudging with your finger), because you don’t want your work to get ruined by your own hands, right?

Second, choose your coloring media (pencil colors, eyeshadows, watercolor, etc). If you only want to decorate your room and test your creative waters, I suggest buying affordable tools first. Pentel and Lyra watercolors and Faber Castell pencil colors are great for starters.

IF you’re really curious about drawing with eyeshadows, then just pick out any kind of eyeshadow you have on you! After a while, you’ll start to notice which ones settle well on paper and the ones that don’t. I personally use BH Cosmetics 120 Color 2nd Edition –get it here– (yay promo!), since the colors are very pigmented and they settle well in paper, but you can use pretty much anything you can get your hands on. (for cheap eyeshadows alternative, try e.l.f Cosmetics’
e.l.f. Studio 150-Piece Geometric Eyeshadow Palette
icon or
e.l.f. Studio Endless Eyes Pro Eyeshadow Palette – Limited Edition

alat gambar baru


2. The How-To

I like to sketch out my illustrations with pencil first, so I can make sure I can fix any faulty lines and such. No idea what to draw? Not an excuse! With so many Pinterest-ing and Instagram-ing, I doubt you’d get stuck. Quoting a certain artist/ person: “A blank canvas can be very daunting. Make a scribble and it will go away“. So go ahead and make your scribble!

Side note: most artists don’t even know what they want to draw until they scribble randomly and inspiration comes to mind.


3. The Process

Sometimes, I do my drawings based on people’s photograph or out of random nuts. I think you already know how to draw randomly, so I’m gonna show the process when I draw people instead. Here’s the pic of the person I was drawing, the lovely Jezz from Jezz Dallas MAKE UP Your Mindย (published with her permission, of course)

jezz dallas_to draw

Sketch with pencil

I always try to spend a lot of time with the pencil sketch, being a perfectionist bitch that I am, to make sure I get all the lines all correct and in place. REMEMBER: when you draw a person, every line is crucial. Pay mega attention to the photograph and to your own drawing. Be a perfectionist when it comes to drawing a person, even when you’re making a cartoon or illustrations, every trait is important.

Pencil sketch, still very raw

Pencil sketch, still very raw


Line the sketch with pen and marker

Along the way, you’ll find faults with your pencil sketch. Even if you’re a super mega perfectionist detailed person, it’s fine to make faulty lines with the pencil. Just make sure when you find one, quickly fix it and line with pen and marker. Or make line adjustment along the way, whichever you think better.

Notice the differences between this one and the pencil sketch?

Notice the differences between this one and the pencil sketch?


Start coloring

Once again, choose any media you prefer. Making mistakes is perfectly fine, just keep practicing (something I say to myself everyday).

Note: If you use eyeshadows, it’s going to be hard getting the precision you want, since I can find no applicator or brush with very tapered angle for precision drawings. If you use water color, make sure your paper is thick enough(at least 150 gsm) so you wouldn’t ruin your own drawing.

Halfway to go!

Halfway to go!


Put a finishing touch

Maybe the lines are covered with eyeshadows or anything, it’s time to re-line and refine your drawing! Go ahead, be a perfectionist!

Done, color is treated with Photoshop to adjust to real drawing color

Done, color is treated with Photoshop to adjust to real drawing color


TADAAA! I know it’s still far from perfect, but I hope you learn a thing or two from me. Oh and to further emphasize the importance of being a perfectionist in drawing: you’ll take a long time fixing lines and thinking about colors and stuff, so it’s best you do it while you’re faaaaaaaaar away from the crowd. Seriously, do it far away. Your face will look super weird when you ponder about lines and colors.




-The Dilly Chic-

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11 Thoughts.

  1. Who knew it was so simple? I certainly didn’t although I’m sure you make it sound a lot easier than actually is as you’re so damn talented!

    Thanks for taking the time to explain it.
    Love the illustration you did of Jezz!

    Meg- Seldom Modish xoxo

    • Thanks! No actually it’s not easy at all! Explaining is easy, putting it into action is always tough, even for the super experts out there I think.
      Glad that you’re loving the post ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Finally Nadya !!

    I had been seriously waiting for you to come up with this post for quite a while now. And you have put it so well. I agree with Meg above, you’ve made it look easy…. but I can see there is so much depth to what you do. I have always maintained you have a talent there… you will definitely go far ๐Ÿ™‚

    Plus this post was informative and amusing too, I really enjoyed the little humorous touches.

    You know at my design School, I sketched too ( was bad it it, though did alright with water colors) But I always thought the pens make a lot of difference… bring out the contrast… I have seen it in your process too… I believe in its power more now.

    • Thank you Swati!

      Most of my artist friends don’t like to line with pens and markers for real life drawing because they think those things never represent the true lines in the real life.

      Even though I do agree with them, I couldn’t bring myself not to use lines. First of all they help me create the borders for coloring, and second, they bring out contrast, like you said.

      Would love to see your work sometimes, Swati! Post it on your blog, I’m sure it’s not bad at all!

    • If you blend it well enough, they won’t smudge or smear afterwards. That means when you apply the eyeshadows to the paper, you should always remember to blend the color to the paper instead of just blotting them.

      I also love to use fixative to further set the colors and keep them from discoloring in the long term. I use a fixative intended for pencil, charcoal, or pastel because they have the most similar consistency to eyeshadows.

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