In this series, we will go over the steps of how to draw and color the eye of an anime characters. There are plenty of difference ways to approach this, no one style is the "correct" way. But there are common features that persist across the execution of what makes anime. In time, we will cover many different styles so you may gain a greater knowledge for developing your own method.


Like all my drawing, I start out with a sketch. This could be one, or many. Details at this stage is not important. The goal is to correctly flesh out the composition. Anime eyes can be tricky. They are the most exaggerated feature on the body, but they still follows real life rules. Don't be afraid to spend some extra time on them.



Once you're done with the sketching, it's time for the ink. At this stage you want to add in your details. Keep you lines clean and sharp.

Next, I've created a new layer and added the base colors. Note, I've separated the skin, eye ball and pupil into their own layers. Normally, I don't separate the pupil from the eye but since the eye is the focus of this image, I have done so.



My focus is the eye, so I start with adding hard shadow gradient to the white part of the eye.

I follow up by doing the same with the pupil. Generally in anime, the upper area of the eye has a darker shade while the bottom is occupied by a lighter glare. You can make the pupil any color you like. In this example, I choose green.



In this step, I've gone over some of the colors and blended them to gain a softer gradient.

Here, I've went forward and added a subtle light glare in the bottom of the eye. As well as, dark mark in the pupil. 



On this step, I've created a new layer on top of all the other layers. This is were we will apply the final glare of the eye. This glare is general located at the on the pupil based on the location of the dominate light source in your image. You can keep the glare simple or add a bit of flare. The glare is also an indication on how much water is over a character eyes. Excessive glare is commonly used to show tears.

I've went forward and added a bit of shading to the skin to further bring out the image.



Lastly, I added some finishing touches to really make it glow. I copied the ink layer, moved it below and blurred it. I then lowered the opacity to give it a misty glow effect. Next, I added a bit of gradient to the tips of the eye lids. All in all, nothing to fancy.

And that's it! As with all things, it takes time and practice. Post your own work below or contact us for questions or suggestions for future tutorials. The full image file is available for download below for Super Members.

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