One of the most recognizable features of anime is the eyes. They’re big, they’re expressive, and they’re often exaggerated to show emotion. Anime eyes are only made up of a few basic shapes and they don’t have a lot of detail, so they’re actually pretty simple to draw. First, decide whether you want to draw female or male anime eyes since they’re slightly different. Then, draw the lash lines, iris, and pupil, shade in your drawing, and you’re done!
Method1: Sample Female Anime Eye
See method 1 for instructions on drawing a female anime eye.
Method2: Sample Male Anime Eye
See method 2 for instructions on drawing a male anime eye.
Method3: Drawing Female Anime Eyes
Draw the upper and lower lash lines. First, draw a downward curving line for the upper lash line. Add a curved tail at one end (draw it on the end that’s going to be the outer corner of the eye), going down and back toward the other end of the line, so the upper lash line is C-shaped. Make the line about 1/3rd the length of the first curved line you drew. Then, make the upper lash line thick and bold with your pencil. For the lower lash line, draw a short, upward curving line centered under the first lash line you drew.
- Female anime eyes are usually bigger and rounder than male anime eyes.
- Make the eyes about 1/6th the height of the head and 1/4th the width of the head, if you’re drawing one. That way, they’ll look big and exaggerated.
Sketch an oval between the lash lines. Make the top and bottom of the oval overlap with the lash lines so the top and bottom are hidden. Make the width at the widest part of the oval the same as the length of the lower lash line. This will be the iris of the eye.
Draw a small circle near the top of the oval. Place the circle off to one side. Later on, you’ll leave this circle white, and it will look like light reflecting off of the eye.
- Make the circle about 1/10th the size of the oval.
- It doesn’t matter which side you place the circle on, but it should be on the same side on both eyes if you’re drawing 2.
Add a smaller circle near the bottom of the oval on the opposite side. If you drew the first circle near the top-left side of the oval, draw the smaller circle near the bottom-right side, and vice versa. Make this circle about half the size of the first one you drew.
- When you’re done with your drawing, this circle will look like light reflecting off of the eye too.
Make a smaller oval inside the first one and fill it in for the pupil. Draw the oval about 1/4th the size of the iris, and center it inside of the first oval you drew. Then, use your pencil to fill it in all the way.
Variation: You can draw a bigger pupil if you want the eye to look bigger and wider. Just make the oval about 1/2 the size of the iris (instead of 1/4th) and overlap it with both of the small circles you drew before. The circles should be in front of the oval.
Add the eyelashes. To draw the eyelashes, start at the outer corner of the eye, and draw a few upward-curving lines coming off of the upper lash line. The eyelashes should span about 1/4th of the upper lash line. Make each line about 1/15th the length of the upper lash line itself. Then, thicken the lines with your pencil so they’re bold like the rest of the upper lash line.
- Adding thick, distinct eyelashes will make the eye look more feminine.
- Add a few eyelashes to the lower lash line if you’d like. If you do, they should curve down, not up.
Shade in your drawing. To shade in the eye, first draw a horizontal downward curving line from the left side of the iris to the right side. Make sure the line doesn’t overlap with either of the white circles. Then, shade in the white space above the line so it’s filled in but still lighter than the pupil. Shade in below the line so it’s lighter than the shading above the line.
- Experiment using colored pencil if you’d like! Find a dark and light shade of the same color, then shade above the line with the darker shade and below the line with the lighter shade.
- Remember not to shade in the white circles.
Sketching Male Anime Eyes
Sketch the upper and lower lash lines. First, draw a horizontal line with a slight curve. Then, draw a line with a slight upward curve coming down off one end of the first line (the end that will be the outer corner of the eye) at a 45-degree angle. Make this line about 1/3 the length of the first line you drew. At this point, the upper lash line will have a C-shape, and you’ll be able to see the outer corner of the eye. To draw the lower lash line, draw a short, horizontal line with a slight curve centered under the upper lash line.
- Male anime eyes are usually smaller and narrower than female anime eyes. The curves on the upper and lower lash lines should be slight so the eye doesn’t look too round.
- Draw the eyes about 1/8th the height of the head and 1/4th the width of the head, if you’re drawing one.
Draw an oval between the lash lines. Center the oval and make the top and bottom overlap with the lash lines so only part of the oval is visible. Make the width of the widest part of the oval about the same as the length of the lower lash line.
- This will be the iris.
Add a small circle near the top of the oval. Draw the circle on the left or right side of the oval, near the top. It doesn’t matter which side, but place the circle on the same side in the second eye if you’re drawing one. Make the circle about 1/10th the size of the iris.
- You’ll leave this circle white later on so it looks like light is reflecting off of the eye.
Make a smaller circle near the bottom of the oval on the opposite side. For example, if you drew the first circle on the top-right side of the oval, draw the smaller circle on the bottom-left side. Draw the circle so it’s about 1/2 the size of the first circle. This circle will also look like reflected light when you shade in your drawing.
Draw a smaller oval inside the first one and fill it in to make the pupil. Center the oval inside the first one you drew, and make it about 1/4th the size. Shade it in with your pencil so it’s dark and completely filled in.
- If the oval overlaps with the small circles you drew, make sure the circles are in front of the oval. Whether or not the oval overlaps will depend on how big you made the circles.
Shade in the eye to finish your drawing. To shade in the eye, start by drawing a horizontal line from the left side of the oval to the right side. Then, shade everything above the line in so it’s the same color as the pupil. Shade everything below the line in a few shades lighter.
- Leave the small circles you drew white.
Tip: Don’t worry about adding eyelashes to male anime eyes. Eyelashes can make an eye look more feminine.