If you like to draw anime and manga but have not yet mastered the perfect technique to get your characters to have the eyes that give off personality and life, this is the ideal article for you.
I’m Juha Ekman, a.k.a Okuha, and in this post, I am going to teach you how to draw the eyes of female characters with classic manga and anime style.
Here you will find a 5-step guide to get all the necessary details, some tips so that you nail this style typical of Japanese comics, and a few techniques so that they come out proportionate, symmetrical, and full of personality.
If you want to watch a video of me drawing female anime eyes, just click below:
Step 1. Prepare the canvas
Prepare the paper, ruler, pencil, and eraser, or choose yourself a digital canvas. In my case, I use Clip Studio Paint Pro, my trusted illustration software. Something I always lean on.
I prefer to use this art software because the tools and features it offers, such as brushes, symmetry tools, and the overall drawing feel, allows me to work much faster and more efficiently.
Before we start to draw the eyes themselves, I recommend you establish the framework within which you will draw. To do this, draw an elongated rectangle right in the center of the sheet and divide it into three sections.
You should have three identical rectangles next to each other, we will use the outer two to draw the eyes, and the central one would be the space between them.
Step 2. Draw The Overall Shape Of The Eye
In the case of using Clip Studio Paint Pro art software, you can activate the symmetry tool to draw on the right and left at the same time, mirrored.
In the case of drawing by hand, you will have to do one first and then the other manually: try to make them as symmetrical as possible.
In the case of drawing a character from the side, the same tool will not work (or we will have to edit them later).
The first thing we will do is draw the outline of the eye in the shape of an almond.
We will make an oval placed diagonally, placing the inner side lower than the outer, where the inner area of the eye (the one closest to the nose) will end in a point, while the outer one (closer to the ears) will end in a rounded shape.
Step 3. Draw The Eyelashes And Iris
Once we have the almond shape drawn, we will draw another line that will follow the upper contour of the eye. It will start at the same inner tip of the eye and end a few millimeters above the outer corner of the eye.
From the outside, make some thick and elegant eyelashes. They will be the ones that will attract the most attention in your design, so be sure to make them clear, precise, and beautiful.
In the upper internal area, we can draw an eyelash. We can add some more short and separated ones in the lower edge of the eye.
Finally, draw the iris in the center of the eye with large, well-centered circles on the horizontal line. As for the vertical, place the iris somewhat covered by the upper eyelid and somewhat away from the lower one.
In the center of the iris, add a small circle that will be the pupil. Some other millimeters above the upper arch of the eye, above the eyelashes, you can add a small curved line that will simulate the contour of the upper eyelid.
Step 4. Draw The Line Art Or Ink It
In this step, you will have to ink your illustration. If you have used a pencil to make the sketch, ink over it, and when it is dry, you can erase the pencil underneath. In the case of using art software, you can make a new layer to draw on top of the outline.
When inking the outline, you can draw the reflections in the iris of the eye.
Also, draw the contour of the eyebrows that will give personality and character to the eyes. If you don’t feel confident doing it directly in ink, you can do it in pencil and then ink it in the same way.
Step 5. Add Shadows
Now give your drawing some shadows. You can do it with watercolor, pencils, or markers in soft color. In the case of doing the digital way, you can make a new layer where you will add the color, and then you can change the tone and transparency at the end.
Just make sure you place the shadow layer beneath the ink layer and preferably use multiply layer mode.
With the colored brush, paint the entire part that would be shaded if the ray of light came from above (the eyelashes shade the eye, the eyebrows have a shadow underneath, and under the lower eyelid, there should be another one).
Remember that in this style of drawing, a type of fine and clear delineation is recommended. Usually, it is drawn in black and white, and the shadows will give depth to your drawing.
I hope this guide helps you a lot and that you enjoy following this step-by-step guide!