Drawing Girl’s Eyes: Part 3

This magazine is brought to you by Anime Art Academy. Get professional tips on how to draw manga and anime here!

Today let’s take a look at two more styles of girls’ eyes – staring eyes and sleepy eyes!

For the basics on drawing girls’ eyes, check out Drawing Girl’s Eyes: Part 1

For droopy eyes and cat eyes, see Drawing Girl’s Eyes: Part 2


Drawing Sleepy Eyes

These cute eyes are used on calm, relaxed, kind characters who are often characterised as enjoying naps, or sleeping in a lot!

Top eyelid・・・A more gentle curve than the “default” eye style

Lower eyelid・・・Almost totally straight line

Iris shape・・・The top 1/4 of the eye is hidden by the top eyelid

Compared to the “default” eyes from lesson 1・・・The outer corner of the eyelid is at around the same place as the “default” eyes, but more of the iris is hidden by the eyelids. The top eyelid is a relaxed curve to show the eyelids are sagging down, as if the character is trying to stay awake. Whatever their expression or mood, we don’t see the position of this top eyelid change much.


Drawing process

  1. Draw in the iris and pupil as the centre point

2. Draw in the eyelid, with a gentle curve. We want about 1/4 of the whole iris to be covered by the top eyelid. The outer corner of the eye should be about the same height as the pupil.

3. Remembering how the iris is hidden by the upper lid, we finalise the shape of the iris, adding in the bottom lid. The bottom lid is a relatively straight line.

4. Finalise the linework and add a highlight!


How eyes look from different angles

The hairstyle you choose for the character can really help add to their sleepy, gentle appearance! Try choosing a soft, rounded style.


Drawing the popular staring eye style “Jitome”

“Jitome” (“Jee-toh-meh”) refers to a special type of eye, where half the iris is hidden, and the character looks like they’re staring you down with a condescending, annoyed or disdainful expression.

This eye style really kicked off in the in the mid 2000’s, and “jitome” characters joined the roster of popular character types we often see in anime!

As I mentioned, these eyes usually make a character look annoyed, but the recent trend is to make characters that constantly have this same expression, whatever their mood. There’s something about these expressionless eyes, and the way the character remains untouched by either positive or negative emotions, that make “jitome” characters very popular. In fact, often the most popular character in a series will be the character with these staring eyes. Their lack of expressional range makes them really easy to draw too, which is a bonus!

Upper eyelid・・・Almost totally straight

Lower eyelid・・・Parallel to the top eyelid, and equally straight

Iris shape・・・Almost half of the iris is hidden by the top lid, making the iris into a semicircle like shape

Compared to the “default” eyes from lesson 1・・・ Unlike “default” eyes, there is no curve to the top lashline, so the outer corner of the eyelid comes a bit higher than the level of the pupil.


Drawing process

  1. Draw in the shape of the iris, placing the pupil in the middle. You can draw in a guideline for the bottom eyelid at this stage too, if you like.

2. The upper eyelid should cover about 1/3 to 1/2 of the iris. Make sure the lid is almost totally flat and straight.

3. Remembering the portion of the iris that is hidden by the top eyelid, we draw in the iris as a half-moon shape, and then add in the bottom lash line parallel to the top eyelid.

4. Remember to draw in a line above the top lash line, to represent the crease of the eyelid. This will give the eye a more rounded, three dimensional shape. When drawing in the highlight, try not to make it too large. We want the eyes to be dull, without much of a shine, to add to the expressionless atmosphere of the character.


How eyes look from different angles

When talking about famous “jitome” characters, Konata Izumi from Lucky Star, and Renge Miyauchi from Non Non Biyori come to mind. There are lots of famous main characters with this style of eye, so make sure you learn it and add it to your repertoire!


This was the final part in our series on different styles of anime girls’ eyes! I hope you’ve learnt how the shape of the eyes can affect how characters are portrayed to the audience, as well as how to draw each of these eye styles.

Use all of these eye styles in your work, and create lots of original characters!

Of course we go over all of these points in much more detail in our video lessons at Anime Art Academy, so be sure to check our courses out too!

Anime Art Academy is on Discord! Come and join our community!

Previous Story

Professional tools to help you draw manga like a pro! Part 1

Next Story

Professional tools to help you draw manga like a pro! Part 2