How to draw anime, How to draw anime eyes and How to draw anime characters
First, let’s go over some tools you’ll need. A graphics tablet or some type of digital drawing pad is highly recommended, as well as digital art software such as Corel Painter (/en/product/painter/). You’ll also need a pencil and paper to do your initial sketch, and a scanner to get the image onto your PC. That’s about it, really… Other than time, motivation, and determination.
Section 1 – Coming Up With an Idea for Your Manga Character
This part should be a piece of cake, right? You have a million ideas floating around in your head – all you have to do is pick Easier said than done, I know. But for this tutorial, let’s start with a simple human (male or female). Once you have something in mind, start putting down some very rough doodles of how you want things to look. This is w character’s features, expression, overall style, etc. Don’t focus on quality line work or anything here – you just need smooth sketch. It’s a great idea to use something as a reference when figuring out how you want your character’s features to look manga characters you like, or even use photos of real people. Whatever works best for you.
Section 2 – Sketching Out Your Character
Now comes the fun part. Grab yourself a fresh, clean piece of paper, your favorite pencil, and get drawing. If you’re not in use a tablet or a drawing pad and do your sketch right onto your compute isn’t the future great?
Using light pressure, start with the basic face shape (don’t worry about the hair or any features yet). Once you’re satisfied with the size, angle, and form, you can begin plotting out where you want the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth so sit. Now, you’d think eyes would be fairly intuitive to draw, seeing as how everyone has them and you see them all the time. They are actually one of the trickiest parts for artists to get down skillfully – especially on Manga characters they tend to be much more expressive.
How to Draw Simple Anime Eyes
1 Make a small curved line for the top of the eye. Next add eyelashes. Then add another small curve for the bottom of the eye.
The top lid is generally thicker than the bottom lid.
2 Connect the two curves with two more curves, on the left and right hand sides. Make sure to leave room for after you draw the curve.
3 Draw in a small semi-circle at the top. This makes a highlight to show where the light is shining from.
4 Make a smaller circle on the bottom opposite side. This gives the eye another highlight. You can do more if wanted but two is the basic for an eye like this.
5 Add the pupil. Draw a big black circle for the pupil of the eye and shade the top dark as you go to the bottom make it lighter around the pupil. Then just color it and you finished! Enjoy!
Bring Your Anime Character to Life!
I’ve been drawing anime for years just to kill time. Back in college, my school mates often ask me to do souvenir anime caricatures of themselves or their family members. Eye designs differ according to gender, age, and even character. Well-made eyes will give a character more life, so let’s move on and begin the tutorial.
Step-by-Step Guide to Shojo and Shonen Eyes
I chose to start with anime girl’s eyes as it is the most basic. In the case of the shojo eyes, they tend to be bigger, rounder, more colorful and expressive. The eye design seems to denote femininity and youth. The same eye design is also used for younger shonen character or to some really androgynous bishounens.
Now to begin with, we will start with the upper eyelid.
1. Draw a Parabolic Line
The upper anime eyelid is basically a parabolic line, or simply a line curving upwards. Do start with faint guideline as what’s shown below. I marked the line red because it is barely visible.
2. Make the Curve Line Thicker
Now that we have a guideline, make the curve line thicker from the middle to the end. The other end should be thinner. Do note that we are making the right eye here, which means that the thinner end will face the nose.
3. Add Eyelashes
Let’s add some eyelashes by scribbling an angled line in the thicker end. We will then start the outline of the lower eye by sketching a slightly angled downward line.
4. Sketch a Guideline
For lower eyelid, sketch a slightly curved guideline under the thicker upper eyelid. This rough line should stretch from the end of the right eyelid all the way to the left. Again with the line too faint, I marked it red.
5. Add Details
Using the rough line for the lower eyelid as a guide, sketch a thicker eyelid line. This should be thinner than the upper eyelid. You may add other details like lashes when you are doing a particularly flirty character. With the lower eyelid shorter and less defined than the upper eyelid, your rough eye should have a V silhouette. Note that the lower eyelid is pointy in either ends.
6. Start the Eyeball
For the eyeball, first start with an egg-shaped rough line as what’s shown.
7. Add Light Glares
We then add the light glares. What I like about them is that they make the eye looks alive. Assuming that the light source comes from the right (upper right), we will sketch an oblate circle where the light is coming.
8. Add more details
For added effects, one might add another light glare in the bottom left and another in the middle.
Trace your rough lines and make them clearer and thicker. I have a habit of leaving the lines near the glares thin and faint to emphasis the eye-spark. For the glare in the middle, make the outline lines clear and sharp.
9. Shade It
We then shade it. Again with the light coming in the upper right, we will make the shade in the left heavier. It is best to leave the bottom half unshaded
10. Sketch Extra Details
Lastly let’s add other details. For a shojo eye we might add extra lines in the pointy end so it might appear like the eyes have long eyelashes. Some might sketch an extra curved lines above the upper eyelids so it will have double eyelids. To further enliven the eye design, how about adding extra lines around the middle glare in the eyeball. Again if you wished, you might give it more eyelashes.
11. Draw the Eyebrows
Finally the eyebrows; it varies according to your design and character. It could be sharp and spiky or just wisps of lines. I will be using the wispy eyebrows in this case. But mostly female brows are thinner than male brows.
And here is you finished work. What we have here is the basic design for shojo characters.
Now shonen eye are less decorative and flowery unlike the shojo eyes; in some cases it is smaller to denote masculinity in younger boys. But there are no fixed rules in shonen eye design and we might end up with really feminine eye. But for basic eye design we might end up with something like below.
As you observed it is a lot simpler, with lesser to no eyelashes and no extra eyelid.
Eye Design for Bishonen and Bishojo
In this case, the eye design is sharper, smaller and less rounded unlike their shojo/shonen counterpart. For the Bishonen, the smaller and sleeker eye represents maturity, mystery and sometimes evil. Simply it made them more masculine than their shonen rival. Smaller eyes tend to make the bishojo seductive, hence it is used mostly for older or sexualized characters.
Again we will start the same way as we sketched the shojo/shonen eyes. We sketch faint curved guideline though this time it will be longer and less curvy.
1. Darken the Rough Lines
We then darken the rough lines and add a sharp line to the right. This will serve as rough eyelashes.
2. Add an Outline
One may add an outline of the lower eyelid by drawing a faint rough line (a slightly curves line). This will extend from the end of the upper eyelid all the way to the left.
3. Darken the Lower Eyelid
Darken the lower eyelid before drafting the eyeball. Unlike the shojo/shonen iris, this one is smaller.
4. Add Glares and Shades
Start adding the details like glares and shades. Again follow the light source, presumably from the upper right when you sketch the glares and shades. It is up to you if you will add additional glares or lines.
5. Add the Details
Now if you are making a bishoujo eye, the design should be flowery and feminine. This should be done by giving it double eyelids and additional eyelashes.
And lastly for our bishojo eye, give it fine eyebrows. Again feminine eyebrows should be thinner and finer. As my taste dictates I will use wispy lines.
A Note About Eyes
As for our bishonen eye, it deserves simpler sketch than its female counterpart. Hence off with the flowery stuff like extra eyelashes. At the same bishonen eyes could be more feminine than shonen eyes. If you want you might give it double eyelids.
Some Other Ways to draw Anime Eyes
First, you’ll want to start with the eyelids and eyelashes. Draw a thick, arched line in the shape you want for the however many lashes you’d like for this character. Do the same for the bottom eyelid, but not quite as wide. Rem fairly long and curved towards the outside of the face.
Now for the main part of the eye – draw a large oval under the arch you just made, about the same width. You can decide based on the expression you’re going for. Do you want her to look surprised? Wide-o about mad? Narrow and coming to a point works best for showing anger. Next you’ll want to add the pupil and iris (colored portion).
Inside the first oval, make a slightly smaller oval, then an even smallest oval (the pupil) should be colored in completely black.
Something very characteristic of anime and manga eyes are the small circles added to represent light reflection and glare. Covering a portion of the pupil and iris, and are left uncolored.
Now you should be left with something that looks like (you guessed it) an eye. Finish up by adding appropriate shading, you’d like to the iris.
But wait, there’s something missing here. Eyebrows!
Since this is a female character, eyebrows are typically done by drawing a thicker arched line above the eye, contouring to Again, here is where you as an artist get to be creative with the type of emotion you want to display. Depending on angle various emotions. Play around with some positioning to see what works best for you.
So, you should have a pretty good understanding of how to create a female manga character’s eyes.
Male character’s eyes, while often just as expressive, can be a bit easier to draw. For starters, they’re usually smaller.
Let’s get started. Go ahead and draw an arch for your top eyelid, but make it longer and with less of a curve. Do the same not quite as wide. The lids should come to a bit of a point on the outside and on the inside they should come close.
From here you will create the eyeball. Imagine a full circle behind the eyelids you drew. Only small, curved areas are going right side while the rest is hidden (look in the mirror to get a visual for this).
Inside, you will do the same as you did on the female eye. Draw a small circle (covered slightly by the lids on the top and b then an even smaller circle for the pupil. Again, color the pupil black, and add a couple small circles for light reflection.
Hey, look at that. It looks like an eye.
Add some shading and whichever color you’d like for the iris, then draw some masculine eyebrows above the top lid. For usually thicker, straighter, and come to a point on both ends. Like before, play around with the position to see how it looks.
That Wasn’t So Bad
There you have it. That is the basic idea for manga character’s eyes. By no means do you have to stick with all of these rule everything is entirely up to your imagination. Try out a bunch of different styles and see what you like best.
How to Draw Anime Characters
Manga Proportions – Body Proportions for a Standard of 05 Character
Using a wireframe figure, you can get the main parts of the pose correct and in proportion before adding detail. If you’d like to draw a more dynamic character, take a look at these tutorials which show you how to draw a manga ninja.
When drawing a manga character, the right proportions are important. You are about 7.5 heads tall. Manga action heroes tend to have more elongated proportions, at least 8 heads tall, often taller. The comparatively small head heightens the dramatic effect of a low viewpoint in the towering ‘hero’ stance. This is a very different look to the big-headed style of cartoon.
Otherwise, body proportions are pretty much standard: your shoulder to your elbow is roughly the same length as your elbow to your wrist. The same goes for the hip to the knee and knee to the ankle. I generally like to begin the wire frame figure by placing (not finishing) the head, then going into the rest of the wireframe, because the head usually guides the body. The detail is developed along with the rest of the figure, not finished first.
Using a Basic Wireframe to Structure a Manga Character
We’re going to start drawing a character using a simple wireframe. For this example, we’ll use a basic, standing pose so you can see how it works.
Copy the wireframe man, adding circles and ovals (as shown in the picture to the left) between the joints where muscles should go. Make them slender for a lean character like this one, or thicker for a bulkier build. Keep in mind that you still want to practice all types of builds in order to improve at the art style, and that anime characters don’t tend to be as muscular as western cartoon characters. The forearm and calf muscles don’t continue all the way to the wrists and ankles because the limbs narrow towards those joints.
Drawing the Manga Character’s Outline
Next draw the outline – curvy, quite continuous lines that define the character. The gradual curve of these lines is very important. Sharp corners on a figure tend to look mechanical rather than organic, and so look wrong.
As you can see, the figure I’ve drawn here is male. Aside from having breasts, females will have wider hips and thinner waists, giving the “hourglass” shape. Manga style dictates that their shoulders are less broad than men, and their necks more slender. Often artists draw women in a stance such that their feet are touching to further enhance the hourglass shape.
Next go ahead and erase the guidelines within the outline. Make any corrections to things that don’t look quite right.
Posing Characters with a Wireframe
The wire-and-ball approach is a common one for drawing figures and is a useful place to start. Once you’re confident, you’ll find that you’ll often use just a suggestion of a framework, sometimes skipping straight to the outline. This is a simple character to begin with. The wireframe method is useful for working out quick poses, too.
Some Other Ways
Anime Body Proportions
Anime characters don’t have very strict proportions—each creator has their own style, and it’s impossible to create one correct sheet of proportions for a manga body. However, while there are no right and wrong proportions, there are intentional and unintentional ones.
To give your proportions an intentional look, you must keep them consistent. For this, it’s best to follow certain rules while you’re drawing. The most universal rules for drawing a proportional anime body would be:
Most of the time, an anime character’s body can be divided into halves right at the crotch level. Sometimes, the lower half is made longer to make the legs longer or the torso more robust, but it’s rarely shorter (A).
The length of the arm (above the elbow) is usually equal to the length of the forearm + the palm of the hand (B).
The distance between the crotch and the halfway point of the knee is equal to the distance between the halfway point of the knee and the ankle (C).
Males are taller than females, and their chest and hips are of a similar width. Females tend to have wider hips and narrower chests.
Once you remember your proportions like this, it’s much easier to implement them than when you use so-and-so-many-heads-long rule. Let’s be honest—how do you start a manga drawing when the only thing you know is how it’s supposed to look when it’s nished? Are you supposed to draw a head, then multiply it six and a half times, and then draw a dynamic body over it somehow? This method of measuring proportions always looked ridiculous to me.