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How to Draw Anime Eyes (Easy Step-by-Step Guide)

Here is our step-by-step guide for how to draw anime eyes. Drawing anime eyes should be simple and fun and we’ll explain how to do that with just these simple guides.

Anime eyes are a lot more expressive and exaggerated than realistic eyes. You should be able to easily see the emotion in a good drawing of an anime eye.

We will first go over some basic anime eye drawing tips and then go into how to draw a female anime eye as well as how to draw a male anime eye (there are some differences between the two that you should look out for*).

We’ve also included how to draw other features of the face like how to draw an anime nose, anime mouth, and anime hair. 

Anime eyes are actually quite simple to draw since you can easily break the eye down into a few simple shapes and then add minimal detail to make them pop.

Let’s get into some tips and our step-by-step guides for how to draw anime eyes!

Finished product!
Table of Contents

    Tips for How to Draw Anime Eyes for Beginners

    Before we begin, let’s start with some general tips for drawing anime eyes.

    • Don’t worry about trying to be realistic
    • Don’t worry about drawing the eyes too large
    • Put emphasis on the size of the eye, pupil, and highlights
    • Focus on bringing out the expression that you’re trying to capture

    The most important thing you should know is that anime eyes are nothing like real eyes so it’s pointless to try and make them realistic. You should instead focus on the expression and the shape of the eyes.

    In anime, the shape of the eyes can often tell you a lot about the character. For instance:

    ShapeWhat They Usually Mean
    Large, round Optimistic, innocent, young, playful
    Square, rectangularSerious, mature, aloof
    Small, sharp, triangularUninterested, been through hardships, emotionless
    Anime eyes often add to the portrayal of the character’s personality.

    Of course, this isn’t always the case. At the end of the day, the shape of an eye can be boiled down to artistic choice, regardless of the personality of the character. However, generally speaking, the eye shape has something to do with the character’s personality.

    What Materials Do You Need to Draw Anime Eyes

    If you are following along with these steps and drawing anime eyes in pencil you may need the below drawing materials and supplies:

    Pencils:We recommend 2B and 4B pencils
    Erasers:A kneaded eraser is preferred
    Reference image:A detailed reference image
    Sketchbook or paper:Truly any type of paper will do but for graphite drawings,
    we recommend smoother paper like this one from Strathmore
    Tortillon/Blending Stick:this will make blending and creating shades much
    easier and smoother

    Related: If you are interested in other recommended drawing materials for beginners take a look at our full post here

    What Are Some Common Anime Eye Shapes?

    There are three most common anime eye shapes and they are: round, rectangular, and triangular.

    As I mentioned earlier, eye shapes in anime often indicate the character’s personality. For instance, if an anime character has huge round eyes, they will be portrayed as innocent and optimistic. Rectangular eyes are given to characters that are more mature and aloof.

    Sometimes, the eye shape of an anime character changes depending on the emotion of the character. A great example of this is the popular anime character Gon from Hunter x Hunter. (SPOILERS! If you haven’t watched the show)

    For the most part of the anime, Gon, who is a 12-year-old optimistic kid, has huge round eyes. His eyes help to portray his childlike innocence, but when the tides change and a tragic death causes Gon to “grow up”, not only does his entire personality change, but his eye shape also changes from round to rectangular.

    This helps show the deadly shift in Gon’s personality. If Gon’s eyes were still round, it wouldn’t make as much of an impact.

    That said, this isn’t always the case. After all, the eye shape of an anime character is an artistic choice. There are a lot of ways to add to the character’s personality like color schemes and wardrobe. Sometimes the eye shape doesn’t matter AT ALL, but for the most part, artists use different eye shapes to help depict the character’s personality.

    To see how easy it is to draw eyes by figuring out the shape first, have a quick look at this video:

    How to Draw Anime Eyes Step-by-Step Guide

    To draw simple anime eyes, figure out the shape of the eyes first. For the sake of example, we will draw the typical round anime eye. Then draw the upper lash and the lower lash. The upper lash is thicker than the lower lash.

    Next, draw a circle inside of the eye and a smaller circle for the pupil.

    Color in the circle and then start shading the upper portion of the iris. Create a gradient-like effect by smudging the shade with your finger or a blending stump.

    Create two smaller circles to mimic the light’s reflection on the eyes. This can be done by using an eraser.

    How do you draw female anime eyes?

    Female anime eyes tend to be rounder with less sharp angles. To draw female anime eyes, begin by sketching a round shape.

    Next, use a curving upper lash line and a lower lash line. Make the upper lash thicker than the bottom lash of the eye.

    Then, add an oval inside the eyes for the iris and make a smaller oval inside the iris for the pupil.

    Color inside the pupil with your pencil then add a bit of gradient at the upper part of the iris by doing some shading and smudging. Then create small circles with your eraser to represent light reflecting off the eye. This adds life to your eye.

    Lastly, add lashes to your drawing. This one is optional as sometimes anime eyes don’t have lashes, however, for the sake of example, we will add lashes to the eyes.

    How do you draw male anime eyes?

    Alternatively, male anime eyes have sharper angles and are smaller and sometimes less expressive. To draw male anime eyes, start with the shape of the eye first. Make them smaller and narrower than female eyes.

    Make a thick upper lash line and a thin line at the bottom part of the eye. Most male anime eyes don’t have lower lashes.

    Next, draw a circle inside of the eye and a smaller circle inside of it. This will be the iris and pupil

    At this point, the process is basically the same as drawing a female eye. Color in the pupil, add a gradient at the upper part of the iris, and erase two small circles to represent light hitting the eye.

    How do you draw anime eyes from different angles?

    To draw anime eyes from different angles, the most important thing to do first is sketch the head at the angle you want.

    Next, with the use of lines, draw the shape of the eyes first, based on the angle of the head

    From there on, you can simply follow the same steps you did for drawing regular anime eyes. Thicken the upper lashes, draw circles for the iris and pupil, then shade and color.

    How to draw anime nose

    The nose of an anime character is probably one of the easiest parts to draw. In most cases, it’s either just a dot or a sideways “L”.

    To add more detail to the nose, you can create a thin line from the bottom of the nose and have it curve all the way to the top. This will give the impression that the nose has depth. You can also add another dot to represent nostrils.

    How to draw anime mouth

    An anime mouth can be done by drawing a curved line, however, that’s only if you’re creating a simple smile.

    If you want to draw an open-mouthed smile, first draw a side-ways “D”. Make the edges soft.

    Then inside the “D”, draw a line on the upper part and a slightly curved line on the bottom. This will represent the teeth.

    Next, draw an arc for the tongue.

    To draw a toothy smile, repeat the same first steps. A sideways “D” with soft edges. However, for this one, make the D a lot more narrow than you would if you were drawing an open-mouthed smile.

    Next, add a line in the middle going from one side of the D to the other. Make the corners thick while gradually making them thinner in the middle.

    How to draw anime hair

    The hair is the most important part of an anime character. The hair is what stands out in most anime characters. They are usually made up of chunks of hair with pointed tips (unless the character has even bangs). Sometimes they even stick out and defy the forces of gravity.

    The most simple type of anime hair, especially for girls, is often one with bangs.

    To draw anime hair, lay out the overall shape of the hair first. Next, draw chunks of the hair with curved and pointy tips. I suggest starting with the bangs.

    How to draw anime face

    To draw an anime face, begin with sketching the face. Sketch the face using a circle as the basis. From the side of the circle, draw two curves that meet in middle.

    Once you have the face, divide it into three equal parts using lines. In the middle part, just below the line you used to separate the parts, draw the eyes, and just above the eyes draw the eyebrows.

    Just below the eyes, draw the nose

    Then on the third part of the face, just below the line, draw the mouth. If you’re not sure of the length of the mouth, have it be in line with the pupils of the mouth.

    Lastly, add the hair then erase the overlapping lines.

    And that’s how you draw an anime face! Hope this article helped!

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