Pro tips for drawing anime eyes! Different types of highlights

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One of the most important parts of character drawing is the eyes. The eyes are made up of various elements, but this time, let’s look at all the different types of highlights we can see in anime eyes. You’ll see how the image of a character can really change greatly depending on the position and shape of the highlights.


All kinds of highlights

There’s a lot of freedom when it comes to all the different styles of eyes and highlights, so you can experiment and have fun with all different types! The one rule we do need to follow, is to always make sure the highlights match in both eyes. Wonky highlights will make the eyes look like the eyes are unfocused, or they are looking in different directions, so be careful of that. Take a look at all these highlights below, and think about how each one makes the eyes look. This will help you decide what kind of highlights to use to match your character’s atmosphere and personality!


Large circular highlight at top


Thin oval with dots


Square highlight at the side


Large square highlight at the top


Thin lines at both sides


Small highlights at both top and bottom


Large highlight at the bottom/small one at top


Large oval at the side


No highlights


How do highlights look from the side?

When we see the eyes from the side, the irises get smaller and slimmer, and so do the highlights! Below you can see how some of the highlight styles we looked at above, look like when viewed from the side.


I hope this rundown of all different highlights will serve as a great reference for you all when you’re drawing your own character’s eyes! Happy studying everyone!


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