How to draw anime eyes

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Anime eyes are part of makes the Japanese cartoon drawing distinct from any other cartooning style. Anime eyes are typically bigger, bolder and show greater emotion. Learning how to draw anime eyes is a basic skill for anyone who wants to draw and anime character.


  • Clean sheet of paper
  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Eraser
  • Coloring materials


1. Basic anime eyes

  • Draw two curved lines that look like a parenthesis but draw them horizontally and with a lot of space in between. The top curve should be slightly longer than the bottom curve.
  • Connect the two curved lines with slightly curved vertical lines.
  • Draw a big circle in the middle. This will be the be the pupil.
  • Draw one smaller circle on the bottom left side of the pupil and another smaller circle at the upper right side of the pupil. These small circles give the eyes the shiny or glint effect.
  • Thicken the top curve and draw a mini-line near the end of the curve.
  • Draw the finishing touches such as eye brows and lashes.
  • Trace your drawing with a pen.
  • Erase unnecessary marks carefully.
  • Color in the pupil with a darker shade and the other parts should be shaded from dark to light, top to bottom. Leave the smaller circles colorless.
  • Follow the same procedure for the other eye.

2. Female anime eyes

  • Follow the steps for basic anime eyes but make the top curve slightly longer and more elegant.
  • Draw in the top lashes on the thick top curve. Anime lashes are bolder and thicker and the tips are more pointed or winged out.
  • Draw the bottom lashes at the bottom curve. These should be sparser and much lighter than the top lashes.
  • The eyebrows could be a little curve or pointed depending on the emotion you want to convey but they should look more brushed than stiff.
  • Trace with a pen, erase pencil lines and color.

3. Male anime eyes

  • Draw two curves with thinner tips at the left. Similar to the female eye, the top curve should still be thicker.
  • Draw a half circle near the left end.
  • Draw a small circle in the middle for the pupil.
  • Draw curves at the sides to show the skin around the eye.
  • Draw a brushed curve with the thickest part being the middle and the thinnest part going out for the brows.
  • Trace with a pen, erase pencil lines and color.


  • Though anime eyes are supposed to be big, make sure you don’t make them too big or they will take up so much space on the face.
  • Don’t forget to change the eyebrow shapes and angles to suit the emotion of the character.
  • To make the eyes look less energetic or less happy, draw the top and bottom curves closer together.
  • Drawing the eyes closer to the bottom of the face or the chin gives it a “cuter” look, which is perfect for child characters and girls.
  • Choose complimentary colors for shading the eyes.
  • Don’t expect perfection right away. Drawing anime eyes takes practice. Look at more pictures until you develop your own style.

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