Tips for Drawing Male and Female Eyes – Part 2

Do you ever have problems when you draw a character’s eyes? Despite drawing a lot, you just can’t seem to get it right. You can’t pinpoint the reason, but something just feels off or unnatural. This time, we will resolve these issues so you will no longer be asking “why can’t I draw eyes well?!” You’ll be a master of drawing eyes in the Japanese anime style.

Understanding the Shape of Eyes

A realistic human eye is dome-shaped, slightly protruding from the face. The eyeball is a spherical structure with a transparent protruding section in the centre called the cornea. Understanding this allows you to draw eyes with the right sense of depth.

When drawing eyes, simply pasting them flat onto the surface of a character’s face will not capture their three-dimensional appearance

From a diagonal angle, the far eye should be less wide

When the face is angled, the far eye of a character narrows in width, with the outer corner becoming almost invisible. Additionally, the curve of the upper eyelid does not fully descend but breaks off slightly higher than the near outer corner, as indicated by the enclosed red circle in the illustration.

From a side angle, the eye should be a triangle shape

A realistic eyeball has that “dome-shaped protrusion” called the cornea. But when drawing sideways eyes for anime style, omit this corneal part and instead draw a flatter iris. This creates the look characteristic of Japanese-style illustrations, where the upper eyelid and lashes appear to come out in front of the iris.

Imagine a tilted triangle and draw the shape of the eye covered by the eyelids. For female characters, you should usually omit parts of, or all of the lower eyelid. For male characters, draw both the outer corner of the eye and the lower eyelid.

By keeping these points in mind when drawing eyes, you too can become skilled at creating eyes, like those you see in your favourite Japanese-style manga and illustrations! It’s important to keep practicing hard to improve your technique. Good luck!

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