Art History Lab

Unlocking the Captivating Power of Anime Eyes: Tips and Tutorials

Anime is a popular genre of animated films and TV shows that originated in Japan. In anime, characters’ eyes are an essential visual tool used to convey emotions, express personality and tell the narrative.

However, contrary to popular belief, drawing anime eyes is a complex and intricate process. Because of its minimalistic aesthetic, anime-style eyes require precision, symmetry, and accuracy when drawing.

In this article, we will explore the importance of anime eye drawings, the benefits of knowing how to draw them, as well as a tutorial and guide on drawing anime eyes for beginners.

Importance and Complexity of Anime Eye Drawings

Anime eye drawings might look simple, but they are anything but minimal. In fact, they are a visual tool that carries a host of emotions that cannot be overlooked.

Anime eyes are designed in a way that enables viewers to interpret the feelings of the character. The shape, size, and color of the iris, pupil, and eyelashes all contribute to the way the character is perceived.

Drawing anime eyes requires a high level of skill and dedication, especially when paying attention to the fine details that make it perfect. The importance of anime eye drawings is evident in the way it connects viewers to the narrative.

If not done right, it can create confusion and misinterpretation. The complexity of drawing anime eyes is that it requires a delicate balance of precision and creativity.

Artists have to create a character that looks visually appealing, believable, and emotionally connected to the story. It is a process that requires much thought and effort to pull off.

Benefits of Knowing How to Draw Anime Eyes

Learning how to draw anime eyes not only adds to an artist’s skillset, but it also provides a sense of confidence in their work. Having a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts of drawing anime eyes transfers over to other areas of art, such as drawing characters and objects.

Incorporating anime-style eyes into artwork can also enhance the overall visual experience. It enables viewers to connect better with the artwork and the story it tells, further highlighting the importance of knowing how to draw anime eyes.

Tutorial on Drawing Anime Eyes for Beginners

For beginners in anime, drawing eyes can be a daunting experience. However, this beginner’s tutorial breaks down the process into easy-to-follow steps:

Step One: Draw the Shape of the Eye

Begin by drawing the outline of the eye you want to create.

Depending on the character, eyes can be round, almond-shaped, or even triangular. Step Two: Drawing the Pupil and Iris

The pupil is the black part of the eye, which you will need to draw at the center of the eye.

Once done, you can draw the iris, the colored part of the eye, around the pupil. Ensure that the iris is symmetrical to add to the realism of the character.

Step Three: Adding

Shading and


Incorporating shading and highlights adds life and depth to the eyes. Draw a line where the light source is coming from and then shade the opposite direction accordingly.

Then add highlights for a more realistic look. Step Four: Detailing the Eyelashes and Eyebrows

Draw the eyelashes and eyebrows to complete the look.

Ensure the eyelashes are symmetrical, and the eyebrows are consistent with the character’s overall aesthetic. Add finishing touches as needed.

Guide on Drawing Anime Eyes Step by Step

For a more detailed guide on drawing anime eyes, the following steps will help:

Step One: Get Familiar With Eye Anatomy

Before creating an anime-style eye, it is essential to understand eye anatomy. Take the time to study the structure of the eye, including the iris, pupil, eyelashes, and eyebrows.

Step Two: Decide on the Eye Shape

As anime is diverse, so are the types of eyes used in anime. Pick the eye shape that best suits the character and the overall aesthetic of the work.

Step Three: Sketch the Outline of the Eye

Using a pencil, sketch the basic outline of the eye. Draw the iris and pupil within the outline, ensuring that they are symmetrical and centered.

Step Four: Add

Shading and


As mentioned earlier in the tutorial, shading and highlights add depth to the eye. Start by shading in the iris.

Draw a line to indicate the direction of the light source and shade it appropriately, before adding the highlights on the opposite direction. Step Five: Detail the Eyebrows and Eyelashes

When adding the eyebrows and eyelashes, ensure they are consistent with the character’s aesthetic.

Adding a few stray hairs can help to create a more natural look. Step Six: Add Reflections

To make the eyes more lifelike, add reflections.

This can be done using a white gel pen or small dots of white ink.


In conclusion, drawing anime eyes is an essential skill that artists should take time to develop. The complexity of this task should not be underestimated.

Understanding the importance of anime eye drawings, the benefits of knowing how to draw them, and following the tutorials or guides provided, will all contribute to creating stunning anime-style characters that connect with the viewer on an emotional level.

Understanding the Fundamentals of an Anime Eyes Drawing

Anime Eyes are an essential aspect of drawing Anime. They convey emotions, personality and set the mood of a character.

Every Anime Eye drawing is unique and has individual differences that are relevant in telling the character’s narrative. It is, therefore, essential to understand the fundamentals of an Anime Eyes drawing to capture the right story.

In this article, we’ll explore the critical features that form the foundation of an Anime Eyes drawing.

Shape of Anime Eyes

The shape of the Anime Eyes is crucial in creating a character’s overall look. It determines the mood and emotions the character conveys.

The basic shape of the Anime Eyes is circular, but it can also be in different polygonal forms, such as triangles and rhombuses. The shape of the eye can either make the character’s expression look friendly, innocent, or aggressive, depending on the shape’s construction.

Different shapes of the eyes can convey different emotions.

Forming the Eye

The form of the Eye is another essential aspect of the Anime Eyes drawing. It includes the outline and the eyelashes, which contribute to the way the character’s emotions are expressed.

The outline determines the basic structure of the eye, and it’s critical to make sure that it’s symmetrical and well-proportioned. The eyelashes frame the outline and add depth to the eyes’ shape.

Iris of the Eye

The Iris is the colored part of the eye and plays a significant role in the character’s emotions. Its color, size, and shape can significantly impact the overall look of the character and the way others perceive them.

Different Iris sizes can be used to convey different emotions, e.g., large Iris size, expresses surprise, and a small iris size represents suspicion.

Pupils of the Eye


Pupils of the Eye are another essential feature of Anime Eyes drawing. They can take any size or shape and should be symmetrical.

It is crucial to note that the size of the pupils can determine the character’s emotions. For example, small pupils represent confusion and anxiety, while large pupils can indicate joy, happiness, or excitement.


Highlights, also known as glints, can add life and realism to your Anime Eyes drawing. They reflect light, adding depth and character to the overall look of the eyes.

Highlights are especially useful in conveying the reflection of light in humans’ eyes, adding a natural quality to the Anime Eyes.


Shading is another crucial aspect of creating depth in the Anime Eyes drawing. It is particularly important in creating a three-dimensional appearance of the eye by adding shadows and highlights.

Shading around the upper eyelid can create depth, and the area between the iris and the upper eyelid can be shaded to add a shadow effect.

Surrounding Features

Surrounding features, like the eyelids, should be considered to enhance the overall Anime Eyes drawing. The shape, thickness, and form of the eyelids can vary greatly and should be drawn to match the character’s overall appearance and personality.

Applying the Fundamental Concepts to a Drawing

Drawing Rounded Eyes

Rounded Eyes are a classic shape of Anime Eyes that are easy to draw. Here are the construction steps for drawing rounded eyes:

Step One: Start by sketching a circle that represents the iris.

Step Two: Add the pupil and shade it with a darker tone. Step Three: Add eyelashes to frame the eye and enhance depth.

Step Four: Shade around the upper eyelid to create depth around the eye’s corners.

Drawing Neutral Polygon Eyes

Neutral Polygon Eyes are Anime Eyes that depict the resting position or mental preoccupation of the character. Here are steps for drawing Neutral Polygon Eyes:

Step One: Start by drawing the lower eyelid as a polygon shape.

Step Two: Draw the Iris as a straight line. Step Three: Draw the top of the Iris with an arch, like an eyebrow.

Step Four: Add eyelashes and shading for depth.

Drawing Narrow Rhombus Eyes

Narrow Rhombus Eyes are an Anime Eye shape that represents emotions like anger or disinterest. Here are the steps to follow:

Step One: Start by drawing the basic Rhombus shape.

Step Two: Draw harsh, dark eyelashes to make the eyes look intense. Step Three: Draw a pupil with a smaller Iris size to show the emotion.

Step Four: Shade the eyelid with a heavy tone to create depth.


Understanding the fundamentals of an Anime Eyes drawing is essential in creating an Anime character that evokes the right emotion. The details of Anime Eyes Drawing, including the shapes, forms, and highlights, all work together to create a character the viewer can connect to.

Applying the fundamentals of Anime Eyes Drawing helps artists create characters that resonate with the audience and tell a story that captures the character’s personality and emotions.

Tips and Tricks

Drawing Anime Eyes requires practice and attention to detail. To enhance your skills and bring your Anime Eyes drawings to the next level, here are some tips and tricks that can help you master the art.

Shading Anime Eyes

Proper shading is key to creating depth and dimension in Anime Eyes drawings. Here are some tips to help you improve your shading techniques:


Understand the Light Source: Determine the direction of the light source in your drawing. This will help you decide where the highlights and shadows should fall on the eyes.

Consistency with the light source adds realism to your drawing. 2.

Shade the Upper Eyelid: Pay close attention to the shading of the upper eyelid, as it adds depth to the eyes. Start by lightly shading the area above the upper eyelid, gradually darkening it as you move towards the outer corner of the eye.

This creates a natural shadow effect. 3.

Shade Around the Iris: To make the iris stand out, lightly shade around it, gradually darkening the shading towards the outer edge. This enhances the three-dimensional appearance of the eye.

4. Use Hatching and Cross-Hatching: Experiment with hatching and cross-hatching techniques to create texture and volume.

These techniques involve drawing parallel or crisscrossing lines to create shading effects. Use lighter strokes for softer shadows and darker strokes for more intense shadows.

5. Blend and Smudge: Use blending tools like blending stumps or your fingers to smooth out the shading and create a seamless transition between light and shadow.

This helps to achieve a more polished and realistic look.

Creating Distinction Between Female and Male Anime Eyes

Although Anime Eyes can vary greatly in appearance, there are certain visual factors that can help you create a distinction between female and male characters. Here are some tips:


Eyelash Length and Curl: Female Anime Eyes often have longer and more curved eyelashes compared to males. Adding longer and more pronounced eyelashes to female characters can help create a feminine look, while shorter and less curled eyelashes can give male characters a more masculine appearance.

2. Eyebrow Shape and Thickness: Pay attention to the shape and thickness of the eyebrows.

Female characters often have thinner and more arched eyebrows, while male characters tend to have thicker and straighter eyebrows. This subtle difference can add to the overall distinction between female and male Anime Eyes.

3. Inner Corner Highlight: Adding a small highlight or glint at the inner corner of the eye can create a more feminine look.

Female Anime Eyes tend to have this highlight, while male Anime Eyes usually lack it. 4.

Eye Size and Placement: Female Anime Eyes are often larger and wider-set compared to male Anime Eyes. When drawing female characters, consider making the eyes bigger and placing them slightly further apart.

On the other hand, male Anime Eyes tend to be smaller and closer together. 5.

Emphasize Eyelids: Females often have more defined and rounded upper eyelids, giving their eyes a softer appearance. Males, on the other hand, tend to have more pronounced and straighter upper eyelids, which creates a more angular look.

Pay attention to these details when drawing Anime Eyes to convey the gender of your characters. Remember, these tips are general guidelines, and you can always experiment and adapt them to suit your own artistic style and character designs.

By paying attention to these visual factors, you can create Anime Eyes that effectively convey the gender of your characters and bring them to life.


Mastering the art of drawing Anime Eyes takes time and practice. By focusing on shading techniques and understanding how to create distinction between female and male Anime Eyes, you can elevate your drawings and create more captivating characters.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, learn from references, and develop your own unique style. With dedication and perseverance, you can become skilled at drawing Anime Eyes that truly captivate and connect with your audience.

Mastering the art of drawing Anime Eyes is essential for any artist looking to create captivating and expressive characters. The article has explored the importance of Anime Eyes drawings, the benefits of knowing how to draw them, and provided tutorials and guides for beginners.

Understanding the fundamentals, such as shape, form, iris, pupils, highlights, shading, and surrounding features, is crucial in creating realistic and emotionally captivating Anime Eyes. Tips and tricks, such as proper shading and creating distinction between female and male Anime Eyes, have also been discussed.

By putting in the time and effort to practice and apply these techniques, artists can enhance their skills and create Anime Eyes that leave a lasting impression on the viewer, capturing emotions, personality, and storytelling in a powerful way. So, grab your pencil and embark on this artistic journey to unlock the potential of Anime Eyes in your artwork.

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