ALL ABOUT EYES - Drawing Eyes in Character design




A, Introduction

Hi everyone~


It’s me again o(. ≧▽≦ .)ツ I am back with another ideas for character design for you guys! Last time it was how to create a suitable hairstyle for your character, now we move on to another part, to be honest, my favorite part to draw: Eyes.


Like we always said, the eyes is the window of the soul. And it’s true. Sometime, you can say everything, with just a glance. The eyes play an important role in character design. It shows so much thing about a person.


And, as this is my favorite thing to draw, I will tell you my tips to make it better. So let’s get started! (❁´♡`❁)


B. The Structure

As we all know, the eye ball is a globular shape. Above is the basic shape of the eyes in some angle in three step. You can check the gif below for more angle.


The position of the eyes on the face is in the second part of the 1/3 rules (3 part: hairline - eyebrow line, eyebrow line - nose, nose - chin is the same).

The distance between two eyes is one eye.

The eyes have a shape of a leaf. There is some part that you have to draw: the Pupil, Iris, Eyeball, and then the Eyelid, finally the Eyelashes. Different shape of them make a different eyes for each people, such as: the European or the Asian, the younger and the older one.

For example, the eyes of the European is different from the Asian’s one, such as:


  • The color of the iris, most of Asian has dark color like black, dark brown, or brown, while the other is lighter. So, the pupil of the European is easier to see, because most of time, the Asian’s pupil has the same color with the iris.


  • The eyelid is so much different too. While the European has a clear, and deep double eyelid, the Asian’s one is shallower, for some people does have the second one.

C. The Ages

The ages has a big affect to the eyes too. The skin around your eyes is so thin, so when you are older, it is the part which can be aging first. It will be loosened down, so the wrinkles started to appear.


The younger people has a rougher shape of the eyes, and they are bigger too. Do you know the eyeball doesn’t become bigger when you grow up? So, when you are an adult, your face can be longer, but the eyes will be the same size, as when you was born. This is the reason why when you’re drawing a baby or a child, they have a bigger eyes. And they are adorable.

As I said in the previous part, the Size of the eye ball still the same even your face getting bigger or longer when you’re growing up, so the younger the character is, the bigger eyes they have.


The big eyes also make the character looks innocent, cute, adorable and sweet.


To make the male character look mature, you can draw his eyes smaller than the female character.

The position of the eyes also helps determine the age of the character. As you can see in the picture above, there is a red part. You can draw the eyes in this part, the lower position, the younger the character get.


Higher position make the character looks older and more mature.

D. The Personality

The eyes is the window of the soul, and it shows a lot of its owner’s character, personality and emotion. I have draw this table of various types of eyes so you can have a overview about it.


You can describe an character’s personality using the shape and the size of his eyes. In my opinion, I will give you some of my idea:


  • The bigger, roughly eyes make your character more innocent, childish, adorable and so on. Because it looks like the eyes of a baby or puppy eyes. While the smaller one looks more cautious, mature, and a little bit shifty.


  • The tail of the eyes can be drawn a little up or down, and it gives you different results: someone has an droopy eyes looks quite introverted and gentle, sometimes quite boring and quiet and lazy, why a character with a up-turned eyes is a bit more ambitious, tactful, confident.


With the eyebrows, they can be the “perfect couple” to show the character’s personality. Take a look with some different type of Eyebrows below!

The thickness of the eyebrows also give the different results. The men eyebrows is usually thicker than the women’s, while the women’s eyebrows is usually more curvy than the men’s.


I draw some examples for male and female eyes and eyebrows. You can see the difference when changing each part of them. Together they create different personality for your character.

I’ll put a link for a larger version for you guys to easily see the different here.

E. The Emotion

First, I want to tell you about how your eyebrows move. As we all know, the emotions are expressed through the movement of the facial muscles mass. Our muscles in the eyebrows part can be easily move. It can move up and down like this.

Next is the tiny muscles at the bottom eye-lid. It can move up, specially when you are smiling.

Together, you can create a lot of emotions by changing the position of the muscles. Here’s some examples about it.


  • When you’re happy or smile, the eyebrows move a little bit up, your eyes is more curvy like a rainbow.


  • When you’re surprised, your iris become smaller, your eyes is rounder and bigger and the eyebrows move up.


  • When you sad, the eyebrows move down, and so does your eye. When you’re cry, it move down too.


  • When you angry, the top of your eyebrow moves down but the end of it move up. The wrinkles appear.


I just draw some basic example, but if you want to have a good skill in drawing emotions, you should try to practice more and more. For me, I usually search photo for reference and try redraw it. You can also learn it from the professional artist, or watch movies. Focus on the face of the actor when he try to express his feelings. Look into his eyes, and learn from it. There is another way, when you stuck, you can find a mirror and try to express this feeling by yourself, look how your facial muscles move and draw it.

F. The Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes when drawing eyes is the distance of two irises: if it’s too far or too close, the eyes will become cross-eye.


The reason of this mistake is you’re not skilled and you need to observe, learn and practice more. But there is another reason. When you are doing it digitally, and drawing the front angle, you can draw an eye and copy paste the other, (honestly, I do it too 😂 😂 😂 because I am lazy...). So to prevent it, I have a tips, now I share it to you.

Do not draw the iris before you copy and paste the other. Sometimes, even when you are so skilled in it, you can make a mistake and the eyes look so weird. Just draw the eye without the iris first, copy and paste, then draw the iris so you can control the distance of them perfectly.


But, don’t overdo this. Even when we know our face is symmetry, but the more different the more vivid and realistic. Take a look of this picture below:

You can see that I don’t copy the other eye. I draw each of them. And the difference from the size and movement make it looks vividly. Don’t overdo the tricks, because in fact, your eyes is different from someone else and each of them is not the same to the other too!

G. Step by Step

To drawing the eyes, I usually go through 6 steps:


1: Sketching: Use a circle to sketch the skull, and then draw a cross line. This cross will guide the direction of the head.


2: Sketching the position and angle of the eyes: I use a blue circle to determine the position of the eye on the face.


3: Sketch the eyes: Based on the direction of the face, now draw the eyes. You can check more different angle of the eyes at the part B of this tutorial.


4: Line-art: Based on the sketch, give it a clean and neat line.


5: Color: because I have line it elaborate and detailed so I just add some flat color and simple shading.


6: Highlight: Add some highlights to the eyes to make it clear and bright.


If the photo above too small to see, then there are some gif so you can see it easier.

H. Conclusion & Thank you

Hi, thank you for your patience for another long long long tutorial of mine. I hope I have expression my opinion clearly and easy to understand!


Hope my tips work for you ! And if it does, please give me a heart !!!


You can also follow me on @tokyolondon (IG, dA, weibo) or visit my FB Page @TokyoLondon.Artwork


Thank youuuu <3



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