Yes and no. Like it or not, you're going to have to manually draw the image or use one of Illustrator's automated drawing tools. If you use the Ellipse" tool, well you will get an ellipse which is a much more simplified way of attempting to get the perspective.
Start with something like Live Trace, then go in and work the individual paths. Or, just start with something like the Pencil tool, Pen tool working on sections at a time. I'm not sure if we're talking about the entire illustration or just the eyes. Just get the appropriate permissions from the originator ( i.e., work without violating copyright laws ).
If you want to use the Ellipse tool you can do something like this:
I started off with a circle for the eyeball, then used the Scale tool with option-drag 3 times, first for the iris, then again for the pupil and lastly for the highlight. Shaded the stuff afterwards of course. Took less than a minute.
Not as cartoony as you want? Then draw it by hand and use Live Trace.
So just to be clear, you used option drag 3 times to make copies and then you just scaled the shapes?
No, that’s not quite what I meant.
Hit L to get the Ellipse tool and start off by drawing the circle (drag with Shift held down). Keep it selected.
Hit S to select the Scale tool, click to define the origin point (where the circle should scale from).
Then (still with the Scale tool) option drag. This gives you a scaled copy.
Wade’s method with mapping on a 3D sphere is quite good too, except that you won’t be able to control the "bulge" of the iris and pupil in quite the same way.
the iris does not actually have bulge the cornea actually has the bulge
You know, I know, but all sorts of strange things can happen when you start cartooning.
Mine was hardly a medical diagram :-)
Break out a pen and paper and draw it, scan it, trace it. Done
Ren and Stimpy was probably not digital at the creation stage. And if it was, I'd bet there were no shape tools used in the creation and far more of a brush or freehand pen work.
Truth is you can't "draw" well if you're thinking in terms of the ellipse tool, the rectangle tool, pathfinder, etc. You need to set up a brush and use that to draw just like you would on paper. Just my 2¢