This tutorial explains the specifics of drawing male anime and manga eyes. The guidelines in this tutorial incorporate some of the common elements seen in anime eyes but different steps can be changed, added or removed based on style.
Specifics Common to Male Anime Eyes
Anime eyes of older male characters tend to be drawn narrower than those of younger characters (bigger and wider eyes can make characters look younger). Anime eyes of younger male characters are often drawn very similar to or exactly the same as those of female characters.
For the most part this tutorial will focus on drawing the eyes of a young adult male character (age of about 20-30) but there are some other examples provided as well.
Placing Anime Male Eyes on the Head
For placing anime eyes on the head draw a horizontal line through the middle of the head and draw the eyes below that line. Real eyes would be drawn directly on that line but anime eyes tend to be drawn further down.
When anime male eyes are most squinted you may want to draw them a little further down from the halfway line as more of them will be covered by the eyelids.
Once again these placement guidelines can change based on style. If you are going for a very realistic look you may want to place the eyes further up as you would with real eyes.
Drawing Anime Male Eyes
For spacing the eyes draw them far enough apart that another eye can fit in between them.
Draw the eyebrows after drawing the eyes. Usually the eyebrows tend to be slightly wider then the eyes and angled inwards.
Next draw the eyelids.These are optional as the more realistic anime styles tend to show eyelids while the more simplified don’t.
After you draw all the main shapes draw the inner details of the eyes and shade them in.
For a detailed breakdown of the different parts typical for an anime eye see below.
Anime Male Eye Detailed Breakdown
Here is a detailed breakdown of drawing a male anime eye.
Most of these steps are for explanation purposes. When drawing you really only need to draw the first two and the last two steps.
Please also note that if you are going to draw both eyes then you should draw both at the same time (draw each step for each eye before moving on to the next step).
Step 1 – Shape of The Eye
Draw the overall shape of the eye. The outline of the eye will basically be the eyelashes.
As already mentioned the eyes of male characters (especially older males) the eyes tend to be narrower and not as wide open as those of female characters.
Step 2 – Pupil
The pupils in anime are often drawn as ovals (though sometimes they can also be drawn round like real eyes). You can see that for this particular example much of the pupil is covered by the eyelids.
Step 3 – Iris
Draw the iris close to the shape of the pupil but smaller and narrower.
Step 4 – Shadow
There will usually be a shadow at the top of the eyes or a reflection of the eyelashes making the top darker. You can indicate this area to shade it later.
Step 5 – Combined Shape Inside the Pupil
You can treat the iris and the top shadow/reflection as one shape as they can be shaded in with the same color.
Step 6 – Main Reflection
The main reflection of the main light source. The shape of the reflection will be based on the shape of the light source (the sun or in indoor lighting for example) but generally you can just draw a round or an oval shape.
Step 7 – Secondary Reflection
The secondary reflection in the eye that comes from the light emitted by the reflection of the main light source (for example the sun reflecting from a shiny surface).
Step 8 – Iris Shape
Draw a darker line to indicate the iris as the rest will be guidelines that will disappear when shaded.
Step 9 – Shading & Color
Shade and color the eye. As mentioned earlier you can use the same color for the iris and the shadow. Keep the reflections white unless the light source is of a particular color (for example a red sunrise).
This concludes the anime male eyes drawing tutorial. For more on drawing anime eyes you can see:
There may be some overlapping information in these tutorials but each one does have it’s own focus.