How To Draw Anime For Beginners: A Step
In this easy guide for beginners, youll learn how to draw anime. Learn the steps to making anime characters and take classes to increase your skills.
Theres no mistaking anime characters. With their exaggerated eyes and distinct facial features, anime characters are unique and fun to draw. If youre new to anime, there are a few things you need to know about how to draw anime for beginners.
Below, we walk through five steps to drawing anime, including tips for getting the proportions right, options for different styles of anime hair, and instructions for drawing iconic anime eyes.
How To Draw And Color Anime Eyes Tutorial
I like this tutorial, even though it might look a bit messy as the camera is moving where the artist moves the pen. Which creates a bit of difficulty to follow along.
Sometimes the drawing is way too zoomed in, but then again, that is the way the artist prefers to draw, so we do have to appreciate and understand that.
Its also nice to see a tutorial from someone using the Procreate app. The thing that I like the most about this tutorial is the way the artist shows the different layer techniques for coloring and rendering the manga eye.
You should also check: How to draw anime and manga head and face!
The Tools You Will Need For This Tutorial
In all honesty, all you need is a graphite pen and a piece of paper. Thats it!
I would recommend a rather soft graphite Pen like a B4 or B5 but really any pen, that can achieve a huge variance in tone is just fine.
You can also just use any paper you would like even though I recommend a stronger drawing paper, something, that can survive some erasing. I usually use sketch paper or an illustration block.
You will need an Eraser and some whiteout. A kneadable eraser would be best but any eraser will do in the beginning.
This tutorial is meant for exercise purposes. So the tools I mentioned above are more then enough for you to learn how to draw Anime eyes but if you really want to create an illustration I would strongly recommend you to get a set of graphite pens that go from HB to at least 6B and you should definitely get some drawing Paper or illustration board!
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How To Draw Anime Eyes Male For Beginners
Male manga and anime eyes look quite a bit different from female eyes. They are narrower, and lack the extra eyelashes. However, the process is very much the same.
Begin with a circle for the eyeball. Then add in the upper and lower eyelids. For the male anime eyes, draw the eyelids so they overlap your eyeball. This will make them more narrow.
Finish drawing your male anime eye using the same steps that you used for the female eye. Then use your black pen or marker to ink your drawing.
Add an eyebrow as well. And color your eye drawing the same way as described in the female eye drawing process.
Just like with the female anime eyes, the male eyes can be drawn in many different ways as well. Experiment with different ways to draw the male eyes, and see what style you like most.
Experiment with using different colors for your eyes as well. Dont feel like they always have to be blue or green. They can be purple, pink, brown, or any other color you want to use.
Female Anime Eye Specifics
Anime eyes are almost always drawn bigger and wider than real eyes. This is especially so for female characters who often have larger and wider eyes than their male counterparts.
One thing that really sets female anime eyes apart from male are more prominent eyelashes . This is not always the case but it does tend to be so.
For different styles of anime eyes you can check:
Be sure to make light lines for the line drawing part of the tutorial as you will need to do some erasing through the different steps. You can go over your drawing with a more solid line once you are done.
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How To Draw Female Anime Eyes
Female eyes are generally bigger and rounder. They will also have bigger irises and bigger reflections in their eyes. The eyelashes will be longer and there will be more of them. The overall form of the Eyes should be softer and rounder, not angular!
As you can see in the Sketch below. These eyes look very feminine even though we did not change all that much.
Easy Anime Eyes Drawing For Beginners
Youll learn some different styles for your anime eyes, and how to draw them with some variation. Like with anything, there are many different ways to draw anime eyes. Have fun, practice, and work on developing your own style.
Learning to draw takes practice and repetition. But the good news is that anyone can learn to draw.
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How Anime Eyes Have Changed Over The Years
Anime trends, just like makeup and fashion trends, change over the years. In the 1980s and 1990s, a large, oval shaped pupil was the popular style. We usually saw a very clear line for the bottom lash-line, and many long lashes on the top lash-line. In the 80s in particular, artists preferred to draw more grown-up looking women.
Flash forward to the 2010s and the present day we see a much more childlike style being favoured by most artists. The pupil is much rounder and smaller, and there are fewer lashes drawn in on the top lash-line. The bottom lash-line is often omitted entirely, to make for a more wide-eyed cute appearance.
How To Draw And Color Manga Eyes: Narrated Step
The tutorial is made so that you can follow along and draw while Mark is drawing. While the video has these speed up parts, you can just pause the video and draw the parts you havent yet drawn.
What is nice about this video is that you can also see the coloring process and not just the drawing process. So if you are looking to color your anime eyes, this video helps you with that.
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How To Draw Anime Eyes Female
There are so many ways to vary how you do your female manga or anime eyes. The shape of the eyeball in this drawing is an oval, instead of a circle.
The upper eyelid was drawn with more eyelashes. And there was an additional line added above that for the eyelid fold.
Also, the lower eyelid was drawn slightly away from the eyeball. The eye itself was drawn using four highlights, and green was used for the color. Again, three shades of green were used.
Notice how on this drawing, the highlights were outlined using a thin black marker. And the darker greens were added around the highlights.
There are many other variations as well. And as you practice drawing you anime eyes, youll start to develop your own style.
Degrees Of Realism And Stylization
In anime and manga, eyes are drawn in various degrees of stylization. Human anatomy in anime is stylized often to the point of being unrealistic, yet still very recognizable as the anime counterpart of the real world person the artwork is describing.
This is an important point. This means that if we are to draw anime, we must observe what we see in the world and put it through a stylizer machine before we output it on canvas as a more anime version of what we saw. Fortunately, we all have a stylizer machine called the brain!
In anime, there is a spectrum of on one end, very large anime looking eyes, and some on the other end, that are pretty realistic with some stylization flare. I tend to like something in the middle, although a lot depends on the artwork itself.
You can use this guide to draw eyes and stylize to your own comfort. Check out the image right below, anime eyes drawn on the left are more stylized and the ones toward the right are more realistic.
In anime, as we move away from realism, the shape of the eye is larger and more round, and the iris itself is drawn larger as well. More realistic anime eye drawings closer follow real human anatomy, with eye shape less rounded, although still styled.
With that said, here are seven common elements present in most anime drawings of eyes.
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Add Details And Ink The Drawing
At this point, you will have a full-body sketch of your anime character. Now, you can add details such as clothes and shoes. When youre satisfied with the drawing, finalize it by going over the lines in ink. While you will mostly ink with a black pen, it can also be helpful to have a white jelly pen on handyou can use this to add highlights, like the reflection points in the characters eyes. You may also choose to add additional colors with colored pencils or medium of your choice.
Once you learn the basics of how to draw anime characters, continue to build on that foundation. For example, learn how to draw characters in different poses and from different angles, and try experimenting with new hairstyles, clothing options, and facial expressions. With practice and persistence, you can create iconic anime art in a style thats uniquely yours.
Draw The Primary Reflection
Draw the main reflection area from the main light source such as an indoor light bulb, a fire, or the sun. You can erase the area of the pupil and shadow that is overlapped by the reflection.
The shape and color of the reflection can depend on the shape and color of the light source. Usually in anime you can simply leave the reflection white and give it a very generalized shape like a circle or an oval.
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Getting To Know Parts Of The Eye
Before we even start drawing, well need to learn and understand different parts of the eye and its structure. It is also good to have some knowledge of the eye structure of a realistic eye. Ive made a post with more details about it here.
Now, I will show you parts of a realistic eye. Later on, I will show you how anime eyes can be simplified.
Beginners Mistake And How To Avoid Them
There are quite a few mistakes, that beginners make. Here are the Mistakes, that I see the most and my tips on how you can avoid these mistakes.
The eyes look deadWhen the eyes, you drew, are looking like they are dead, then you should add reflections in the eye. Reflections make an Eye look alive!
The eye looks flatIf your drawings look flat then you should check your shadows again. when you draw a shadow in the wrong place or when you draw your shadows too dark then the drawing will look flat. Also if you don´t draw the eyelids correctly then your eye may look flat as well.
Don´t hate your workI know, that it can be frustrating when you want to draw something and it doesn´t turn out as you imagined it. Then you will hate your drawing or you will think, that you can´t draw in in the worst case you may even stop drawing.
The truth is, you can´t expect to be good at drawing when you start out. It will take practice and you should look at your improvements and not at your failures. Just look at what you did wrong and make it better in the next drawing. Don´t get hung up on your mistakes.
Keep it light in the beginningDuring the sketching phase, you should keep your lines light. So don´t push the pencil down to hard. By keeping it light, you will be able to erase the lines easier.
So be very careful about selling your Anime fanart online or offline. You can read all about fanart and why it is illegal right here on my blog as well.
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How To Draw Anime Eyes Better
The only way to get better at anything is with practice. And a lot of it. It doesnt matter if its drawing, cooking, playing sports, or a musical instrument. Youll never get better at anything, unless you practice whatever it is you want to get good at.
So, if you want to get really good at drawing anime eyes, draw as many of them as possible. Fill pages of your sketchbook, like discussed in the 100 drawing challenge.
Draw as many anime or manga eyes that you can. Try drawing them with different types of pens and pencils. Use a brush pen or dip pen for your line work. Try capturing different types of emotion.
Just draw anime eyes. If you want to get better at drawing anime eyes. Just draw them.
How To Draw Female Anime Eyes Tutorial
This step by step tutorial explains the specifics of drawing female anime and manga style eyes and provides detailed drawing examples for each step.
This tutorial focuses on drawing female anime eyes but there are many other eye drawing tutorials here on AnimeOutline as well. If youve already looked at those please be aware that there may be some overlapping information.
For the male eyes drawing tutorial you can check:
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Draw Anime Eyes : How To Draw Manga Girl Eyes Step By Step Drawing Tutorials
Here is a fantastic Anime & Manga Eyes that is very easy to draw with very impressive results. We will be teaching you how to draw Male Anime eyes in the next tutorial.
This tutorial will be for the most common Anime / Manga eye style for females which is a large and cute female eye commonly used for young female characters .
Final Illustration And Anime Eyes
Here is a character illustration with anime eyes. Note how the colors and shapes work together.
About the artist
Raquel Arellano is a digital and traditional illustrator and concept artist from Barcelona. She has a background in teaching video games and currently works at a university as an art teacher in the subject. She works for indie role-playing game companies, creates commissions for individuals, and also writes tutorials for a number of companies. She shows her art processes on Twitch, and you can see more of her illustrations on Instagram, Twitter, or ArtStation.
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How To Draw Manga Eyes Step By Step Slow Tutorial For Beginners
This video is ideal for beginners as the artist clearly explains how to draw manga eyes, and in this video, you will see how the artist draws both of the. While the video above showed you how to draw one eye, this tutorial focuses on drawing both eyes.
The video tutorial is roughly 15 minutes long and slowly reveals the whole drawing process to you. Its easy to follow and draw along if you have a paper and pencil at your disposal.
Draw The Pupils And The Reflections
Draw the pupil in the middle of the iris.
The positions of the reflections will depend on the the position of the viewer.
There can be more than one reflection depending on how many light sources there are. In this case we have two. One for the main light source and one from a secondary light source.
For example if you are drawing a character that is standing outside on a sunny day the main reflection in the eyes could be caused by the sun while the secondary could come from the sun reflecting off of another object.
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Thicker Lines On The Upper Eyelid Stylizing Eyelashes
Adoption rate: in most example in anime. This element highlights what a lot of anime drawings are like: an effective simplification of complex real life forms to their most basic visual representation.
Since we usually have more volume in eyelashes on the upper eyelid than the lower, in anime drawings, the upper eyelid lines representing the eyelashes are drawn thicker, with more visual weight.
Highlights From At Least 2 Light Sources
White or bright circles or ovals appearing in stylized anime eyes are representative of highlights on the surface of the eye.
Note here that usually one highlight is dominant and is depicted larger, and the second subordinate and depicted smaller. Neither appear as a bounce light or reflective light, rather, each is a highlight representative of another light source nearby.
Adoption rate: in many examples in anime. There are also many examples where only one highlight appears, or where a light is cast from multiple sources and many highlights appear.
If you are confused about terms describing how light interacts with a surface, or need a refresher on terms like bounce light or highlight, follow this link to an article I wrote on this topic, glossary of often-confusing art terms is at the bottom of that article).
The chart below indicates how in many examples, the smaller highlight is directly across the surface of the iris from the larger highlight, in some cases, it is placed across and down the surface of the iris.
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