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Eyes

Ever

tender chimkin nugget
Pronoun
they/them
So...I'm looking for advice on drawing Anime-Style eyes. Thing is, when I draw eyes...they don't always look like eyes. I'm working on a project with the main characters from a bunch of my favorite books (specifically Katniss, Max Ride, and Cassia Reyes), and I can't get the eyes right. Really, I'll take any advice, whether it be about eyes, posture, anatomy, or whatever. Thank you all in advance.
 

Aisling

Super Moderator
Be sure to look at a lot of references! Artists you like, photographs, even your own eyes. Just trying to copy them is only a little helpful, but if you spend a good amount of time and attention studying your references, looking for things like spacial relationships and line thickness, that's what really helps.
When working with an exaggerated style like anime it's important to have a pretty good grasp on realism as well, so you understand what parts are being exaggerated and why.

I don't draw anime anymore, but for eyes I've always liked to pay extra attention to the eyelids and eyebrows. Seemingly little details like that can really bring out a particular expression, especially since anime eye expression tends to just be a scale of how big the pupils are and how shiny the irises are and that's all some people try to emphasize. :1
 

Aisling

Super Moderator
For hands I offer similar advice: look at references, and look at your own! Flex your hand around and try to break it down into simple shapes in your mind. Note some proportional relationships: for example, my longest finger is a little shorter than my entire palm, the base of my thumb starts at the bottom of my palm and ends about halfway up it (you could break this down into a sort of triangle that overlaps the square-ish palm), and my thumb itself goes up just a little bit past my pointer finger's knuckle when all my fingers are together. Remembering little things like that can make it easier to draw hands without needing to use too much reference. Which is handy to be able to do, because using your own hand as reference can't always work, like if you're trying to draw a hand at a certain angle you can't twist your own hand around to do. But if you understand and can simplify the hand's structure well enough you can kind of imagine in your mind how it needs to look.
 

ultraviolet

yeehaw
Staff member
Pronoun
she/her
When working with an exaggerated style like anime it's important to have a pretty good grasp on realism as well, so you understand what parts are being exaggerated and why.
I wholeheartedly agree; possibly the best way to learn to draw anything in a particular style is to learn (or at least practise) realism and simplify. Sure, it takes longer, but you'll get a better understanding of proportions and so on.

Anatomy books are also fantastic (but can be expensive). For eyes I'd recommend doing some life drawing with a mirror, for hands you're probably better off using your own - if you can't make a pose with your non-writing hand, photograph yourself in good lighting. It helps!
 

Littlestream

The reflection of the moon
This site is great for posture, and helps a lot with anatomy too. (Wouldn't exactly say it was NSFW, since the models have no skin)

As for the eyes, it's most definitely important to start with more realistic eyes, like everyone's been saying, and once you've started drawing more anime-like eyes, to continue to pay attention to some of those details from the realistic eyes you might otherwise forget about. (The whites of the eyes, for example)
 
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