Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Drawing Manga Eyes (Part I)

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How to Draw Manga Eyes

How a Real Eye Works

In order to draw manga eyes, it is important that we first understand the structure of real eyes.

First we start with the eyeball. The eyeball is a 3D sphere inside the human head. There is an iris at the tip of the eye, and a pupil located at the center of it. The image below shows how the eyeballs look like from the side, front, and as it is rotated partially to the side.
In reality the eyeball isn't perfectly round, since the lens of the eyes is slightly raised from the eyeball. To test this out yourself, close your eyes and gently place a finger on your closed eyelids. Move your eyes around and you will be able to feel a slightly raised spot.

Notice the front area of the eye cut away with the dotted lines above? That's the flat area where the lens of the eyes go, creating the slight bump. The pupil of the eye is located on the flat spot.

More after the jump.

Everyone has two eyes working together, so you can think of the pair as two eyeballs working together on a stick. When you turn the stick, you also turn the eyes. Manga eyes also work this way.

The eyeballs are covered by eyelids that wrap around it. In reality the eyelids don't go all around the eyeballs, but the important part to take note of here is the way the upper and lower eyelids wrap around the eye. 

The eyelids also have a thickness to it. 

When looking at the eyes from below, the upper eyelid is drawn with double lines to indicate thickness. When looking at the eyes from above, the lower eyelid is drawn with double lines to indicate thickness.
An important thing to remember is that the eyes and its surrounding area isn't flat. 

The eyelashes are very short hairs that grow from the edge of the eyelid. Both manga eyes and real eyes have these, but they are especially pronounced in manga girl eyes. The direction of their movements are shown in the picture above. The eyelashes on the upper eyelid dips down slightly before bouncing back up away from the eyeball.

Sometimes, in manga eyes, we don't normally draw every single eyelash. Instead, it can be drawn as a single thick line and then colored black as shown in the drawing to the left.

First step is to start by constructing lines to form the shape of the eye. At this stage, use light pencil marks only. Next, outline the shape of the eyelashes and then fill it up with black.

Thick eyelashes is commonly drawn for manga girls' eyes.

Below is how the left eye looks like from different angles.

To be continued in Part II.


  1. This is exactly what I've been looking for, thank you for making this.

  2. I've just recently picked up drawing anime/manga as a hobbie and might I add that I have never been much of a drawer but the lessons I've took from this guide and applied to my own art work has made a huge difference! Anyone interested in drawing this is wonderful guide to have as a tool by your side!!!

  3. Dibujas muy calidad. Te felicito, no tienes canal de You Tuve. Seria bueno que hicieras videos en You Tuve de como apreden a hacer animes o manga

  4. Thanks. This was really helpful.

  5. its my Pleasure to read your blogs post are very exelent thanks to give good informasion


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