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How to Draw Anime Eyes


If you are a hardcore anime or manga fan, you would probably be interested in drawing your own anime comic books. Many anime lovers come up to this idea sooner or later, and many of them manage to draw really cool ones. Many people who tried to draw anime at least once, agree that anime eyes are the hardest part of the process. Anime style is characterized by strong drawing traditions, and the form of the eyes are in charge for expressing various emotions, which is very important to make your drawing lively and interesting. So, let's check several methods of drawing anime eyes line by line right now.




So, draw the rest of the character first and leave the space for the eyes blank. Start drawing eyes form drawing 2 very light parallel lines to give yourself a sense of how big the eyes are ought to be.

  • Start drawing the first eyes. The shape is somewhat triangular, not exactly but close to it. The upper lash line curves down from the top to the side and is a bit thicker than the lower line. The upper curve and the lower straight line are connected by some sort of a "hook".
  • After that, draw an oval of the iris. The position depends on the definite situation: if you want your character to look to the side, move the iris closer to the corner of the eye, if you want it to look straight ahead, draw it right in the middle of the eye. As soon as the sketch of the first eye is ready, switch to the second one. This is a hard part because very often the first eyes looks great but the second one doesn't match. The trick is, if the head is turned to a side a little bit, the second eye should duplicate the form of the first one but be a little bit compressed. If the character's head isn't turned and it is a perfectly full-face image, the eyes are the specular reflection of each other.
  • Draw the eyebrow between the upper lash line and the hair line. Add a little fold of the upper eyelid. Add 2 little highlights: in the upper right corner of the iris and the smaller one in the bottom left. These areas are going to be white.
  • After that, draw a really big pupil, approximately half as big as the iris. Use an eraser to point out a little gap on the lower eyelash. Repeat the same manipulations with the second eyes, all in the compressed way.


Now it's time to get more into details. You can use the ink to emphasize the upper lash line and make it brighter and thicker. This wine is going to be pretty thick for a female character and a bit thinner for a male one of course. Shades are the main trick when drawing anime and manga eyes. It is shade that makes them look so lively and expressive. Darken the edge of the oval iris area. You can let the highlights sort of "bleed" in the white part of the eye, but you can also "inscribe" it in the oval. Darken the lower lash line and the "hook", but not as much as the lower part.



Shade the pupil, and make sure it's not completely black. Don't press on your pencil too much to draw a nice half-transparent shade. Then, start shading the iris. Start dark on top and make it gradually lighter as you go to the bottom. There should be a contrast between dark black on top and light gray on the bottom.

Repeat all the same things with the second eye. Don't forget to constantly check the first eye to make sure it replicates the second one. Draw the really light blushes on the cheeks. Erase the initial guidelines and you're done!


Don't use eraser too often

Presumably, an artist shouldn't use the eraser at all. Use it for cleaning up the initial lines only.

Don't give up

High standard of accuracy requires some practice, so don't panic if you can't draw it perfectly from the first try.

Don't make too much of sketching

Don't draw too much guidelines because you can get confused as you go and make the drawing really messy.



You see, the rest of the elements are not really detailed, so the main expressive burden rests on the eyes. They look sort of 3 dimensional and that's the main secret of anime style. You may have a hard time working with those shadows and matching thing, but practice makes perfect.

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