If you love anime and want to draw the Japanese figures yourself, you’ve come to the right place. In two separate tutorials, we’ll look at how to draw anime eyes of a girl and a boy — Step-by-step from the sketch to the finished eye.
First, let’s clarify what material you need for the instructions before we start working on the drawings.
Material to draw anime eyes
- Geometry tool
- Drawing paper
- HB Pencil
- 2B Pencil
- Kneaded eraser
How to draw female anime eyes
Step 1: Draw a grid
Good orientation for drawing anime eyes but also for realistic eyes is the sketching of three horizontally arranged squares.
The eyes are drawn into the outer squares, while the middle one shows the distance between the eyes.
The grid should only be a very faint visible as orientation. If you need to, you can erase the lines of the grid to make them less noticeable.
Step 2: Draw the eyelids
Now mark the centers of the line on the outer vertical lines of the squares. At this point are the outer corners of the eyes, indicated by the upper lid. The lower eyelid is drawn less curvy at the lower end of the square.
If you are satisfied with the shape of the eyelids, you can trace them with a 2B pencil to make them darker on paper. After this step, there is no need to think about erasing the form.
Step 3: Draw the anime eyes
Now draw the shape of the eyes. As in a realistic drawing, the iris is covered to a greater extent by the upper lid than by the lower lid. In our case, the lower eyelid does not even touch the iris.
Next, draw the shape of the light reflections that should be kept clear. Mark the areas only weakly, as you want to keep their insides white.
You can also draw the eye pupil in the center of the anime eyes. For the girl, we have chosen a more elongated shape to enhance her cute look.
Start hatching the area with a 2B pencil.
Step 4: Add eyelashes
Currently, the anime drawing is still missing its personality. The eyelashes are a vital step to emphasize the uniqueness of the character.
We have drawn some lashes on the outer corners as an example. Additionally, we added a little more expressiveness to the upper eyelid with the eyelid crease.
Step 5: Drawing shadows
Depending on where the light source is located in your drawing, the shadows will vary in the eyes. In our case, the eyes are lit from the upper left.
This means that the eyelid would cast a shadow in the upper part of the eyeball if the drawing were realistic. But also in our anime eye we keep this design.
The darkest shadow in the eye possesses the curvature of the upper eyelid. You can hatch this area with a 2B pencil and then soften it with a blending stump.
The rest of the eye can easily be shaded with a medium-dark HB pencil. Just make sure that the areas of the light reflections remain the brightest. You can either leave them completely white or apply very gentle shading.
Last but not least, you should erase all guidelines to make the eyes pop.
How to draw anime eyes on male characters
Let’s repeat the fun once again for male manga eyes.
Step 1: Draw the grid
The eyes of a boy tend to be flatter than those of a girl. For this reason, the three fields in our grid are not squares, but rectangles with edges of 7 cm on the long side and 5 cm on the short side. You can use these proportions and apply them to a scale of your liking.
Step 2: Draw the eyelids of the anime eyes
This time we have divided the vertical line at the inner corners of the eyes in half (orange line). This is the point through which the inner corner of the eye passes.
Notice the other swing of the upper and lower eyelids and draw it into your grid.
Step 3: Draw the iris
The male character pinches his eyes together. Thus, his iris is covered by the lower eyelid at the lower end. The upper eyelid also covers a large part of the iris, as it was the case with the female character.
Next are the light reflections and the pupil.
The pupil is only drawn as a small dark spot, which takes up much less area of the eye than in the girl.
Step 4: Add wrinkles
The angry lines are literally written on the character’s forehead. To emphasize the shape of the eyes and their emotions, we have reinforced the wrinkles around the eye and redrawn them with a 2B pencil.
Step 5: Draw shades
As with the female figure, the shading depends on the light source. In our case, the upper eyelid casts the dark shadow, while the lower area is a little brighter.
Shade the anime eyes with a 2B pencil before smoothing the hatching with a blending stump.