How to Draw Manga Tutorial: How to Draw Manga Eyes

I decided to pick up a pencil and start drawing for a little while, something which I hadn’t done for about…2 years now. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t remember how to draw =__=””

Anyway, I really wanted to kickstart on art again so I wrote this tutorial. Here is my lead in:

Do you ever have the feeling when you really really really want to draw something, but can’t seem to get it right, so you resort to copying a picture of a character you see but completely change the details so it will resemble your own? That was me, maybe about 10 years ago. I didn’t know how to draw then, but now, I do, well, sorta. I’ve still got room to improve, obviously. But what I’m trying to say is, when you know how to draw, you don’t need to copy, even if it just to help you learn or develop your technique, because when you know how to draw, you can just simply create your own stunning pictures.

And best of all, it came from your hand, your own skill, your own imagination, your own materials. To put it down simply, it came from YOU!

The other day, I was reminded how hard it is to draw. Drawing is NOT easy. There is a LOT to think about, from how to draw the shape of the face, hair, eyes, nose, mouth, body (my worst enemy), clothing, getting two eyes to be on the same level as each on the face, and….Everything else, really. I remember the artist of the Bleach manga saying how he occasionally found it difficult to draw the eyes of his main character Ichigo, so yes, even professional struggles. Anyhoo, this is a completely random post, and about two years late, because I remember someone on deviantart asking me to do an eye tutorial but I never did one, until now.

So let’s learn how to draw the eyes of a manga character! 🙂 Btw, this is how I usually draw Wolf’s eye, one of my OCs. He is featured in my Deviantart banner which is on the side of my homepage. Up close, it’s not a very pretty looking eye LOL.

Step 1.

A valuable rule when it comes to drawing is STRUCTURE. You cannot create a drawing without using any form of structure, and by structure, I mean boxes, circles, stick figures or lines. Anything like those. You use these boxes and circles and build up on it. That is something I abide to when it comes to drawing. Therefore, when it comes to eyes, it is best to determine how big you want the eyes to be in the face of your character, so you should draw a box like this…

Its a box. Ta da!

Its a box. Ta da!

Step 2.

To draw the basic shape of the eye, here is when I don’t abide to any sort of drawing rule, really. It doesn’t have to be perfect; I just draw a couple of rough lines in the box like this:

step2 new

Followed by a line on the bottom like this:


That is a narrow eye, the main shape I use whenever I draw eyes. I would reserve big, rounded eyes for females only. For guys, I find a narrower eye shape is far more smexy (those are my opinions anyway). If you want to make really sly, mysterious characters, and the less space for the pupil of the eye, then you should make the lines closer to each other.

If you want to improve, I would recommend researching up on the many different styles of manga authors and start from there. Observe how they draw, then you can create your own style.

Step 3.

I draw the pupil next. I do not draw a full circle, more like a semi circle. You will see what I mean.


Step 4.

Decorating the pupil will come next. I do not like to make it fancy or elaborate. You will also notice that a lot of manga eyes will have blank ‘spots’ in the irises. I completely ignore these. But this is my style (shounen style) and not shoujo. Hmm, its quite an ugly looking eye at the moment, ne? =__=””


Step 5.

Eyelashes and eyebrows now! I like to make the top lid of the eye thicker than the bottom so it doesn’t look too weird. I drew a another line so the character has a double eyelid and I also drew some guidelines for you guys that outlines the eyebrow. The direction of the red arrows is where your pencil should go when drawing eyebrows (which is —> this way). The blue arrows is to indicate where to make lines thicker. I don’t really like to overload on the eyelashes when it comes to eyes.

step5You can add some more detail, but it’s not necessary.

And there you have it! That was easy, right? No? It’s okay! Practise, practise, practise!

Drawing eyes are probably the best parts of drawing!!! The eyes will really define your character in many ways. Sorry that the lines are quite wobbly and rough here though, because it is a BIG picture of an eye and my hand was shaking the whole entire (damn shaky hands!). When it comes to your drawings, you won’t have to worry about all the minor details like I have here. You can tamper around as much as you like. You can make the lid of the eye as thick as you want, the eyebrow as thick or long as you want…it’s up to you. Draw lots of eyes to see which style suits you best and remember, have fun!

step 6new


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