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Mark Crilley: How To Draw Female Manga Eyes

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Mark Crilley is back with another instalment of how to draw the manga eyes. In this art tutorial Crilley tackles an old video which was earlier done in a poor resolution and this time has taken the advice of his fans and produced a video in HD for the most popular question asked of ‘how do you draw manga eyes’.

When people hear the name Mark Crilley they instantly think of anime and manga. Manga has become very popular over the last decade with more and more people wanting to be able to draw their favourite characters as well as create their own. This is where Mark Crilley has really come into his own and created a vast archive of easy to learn from manga drawing tutorials.

This drawing tutorial begins with Crilley sketching out the young girl’s face in a time lapsed approach to a near complete state where only the eye section remains for development. This video drawing tutorial will have Mark Crilley drawing the manga eyes in real time for you to learn from and talk you through the necessary steps he takes to complete the young manga girl’s face.

He begins by drawing a couple of very faint horizontal lines which are slightly off parallel due to the twist of the head and the natural perspective which occurs. This basically gives Crilley a sense of how big the eyes should be in relation to the rest of the head. Finding and drawing the placement of the left hand eye is the next step he takes. He describes the shape of the eye as a ‘kind of smooth triangle, or a heart on its side’ so while he is drawing the eye he must consider this at all times. Manga eyes come in many shapes and forms and this example from Mark Crilley is just one style which works very well for him in his manga drawings and characters so it is very likely that you could elaborate on this with a subtle change and have your very own unique style of manga eye. He draws the outer ring of the iris and begins to press harder on the pencil to start progressing to a definite form for the eye. Because the manga character is looking back at you the iris has to be drawn as an oval as well as being placed to the corner of the eye. If you don’t follow this rule then the perspective will be off and the character will appear to be looking somewhere else.

Mark Crilley explains that a lot of people have trouble drawing the second eye because it doesn’t appear to match the first eye. In this video the angle of the young manga girl is probably about 30 degrees away from us so the second eye shouldn’t be drawn exactly the same as the first eye at all, instead it should be compressed both vertically and horizontally to fall in line with the natural laws of perspective.

Before Crilley goes into any further detail with the eyes he demonstrates how to draw the placement of the eyebrows around your manga eyes. On this style of manga drawing the eyebrows have been placed high above the top of the eye but do not impose on the middle section of the face, so the face still remains elegant representative of a young manga girl.

Crilley now goes on to zoom into the eye area and begins by drawing a small fold above the left eye to represent the upper eyelid. This style of manga eye will include two highlights within the eye but it is up to you whether you want less, more or none at all, it is again down to your personal preference for drawing manga and what works best for your own manga characters. The highlights are the white areas that remain white even after you have shaded everything else in the eye region. Crilley mentions at this point that this is a fairly exaggerated manga eye so after he draws the outline of his highlights in the bottom left and top right of the eye he draws a large pupil taking up just under two thirds of the eye. He uses his eraser to rub away a small section of outline forming the bottom left of the eye because with his style of drawing Crilley does not like to draw the entire outline of the eye for the simple reason that through trial and error he has found that ‘less is more’ in certain areas of manga sketching and drawing. The same process is repeated once again on the compressed right eye using exactly the same shapes for both the highlights and the pupils but obviously drawn smaller once again for perspective reasons.

Anybody who knows of Mark Crilley will by now know his passion for the black Prismacolor pencil which he uses to draw the finishing stages of any of his manga creations. This is his style so it is possible for you to use maybe a marker pen or some form of inks to outline and finalise your pre sketch on your manga character. He uses this Prismacolor to go very dark on the areas such as the pupil and the upper eyelid of his female manga character and uses varying grades of thickness with his line work to set off and finalise the eyes. Crilley pushes down hard on the pencil and uses a hatching motion to work the pencil down the iris starting with very dark shading at the top working down to the bottom of the eye with a much lighter pencil shade. At this point the left eye is starting to look much more complete and is really starting to take on a three dimensional quality. He reproduces the same techniques on the compressed eye, cross referencing his pencil work with the first eye to make sure he has an amount of symmetry within his pencil work.

Any of his initial pencil lines which remain are quickly erased and it is the ‘blushies’ which complete the final stages of his manga drawing. I hope you enjoyed this how to draw manga video with Mark Crilley and you can take your new found skills to the sketchbook and start creating your own style of anime and manga characters.

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  1. Hey I have been following your videos for quiet some time now, and you have really helped me improve on my anime style artwork. Thank you so much for taking the time out to show us how to draw, you are much better than that christopher hart guy.

  2. CAN YOU PLEAAAAAASE MAKE A VIDEO OF HOW TO DRAW SIDE BURNS ON A MALE ANIME CHARACTER??when ever i try to drawside burns they dont look like side burns… they look like hair from the head falling down… how do i make it look like real side burns??? please tell me!!

  3. “Okay, I think we’re pretty much done. Except– NO . Clearly, you are not done. You have not done the blushies. YOU HAVE NOT DONE– okay okay , now you’re done. You’ve done the blushies . Okay, okay, great.” <-- LOLed at this xD

  4. I know that the time constraints are a big issue, but maybe in upcoming videos if you could add some of the background/face in this case in real time it would be a really big help or maybe as a two part video. Thanks a lot.

  5. can u show me how to draw that girl step by step…and 1 more thing can u draw HATSUNE MIKU i really appreciate it if u draw her anyone agree? many people draw but really fast when im trying to draw my head r going to explode…

  6. What i do when i wanted to get better i still do, I would go on google Images make a folder on my desktop called drawing. I would get like 10 photos of eye examples and 10 hair, bodies, mouths etc etc.Then when i’m wondering how to draw something like eyes for example I’ll go to those pics or Just come to Mark.

  7. xaqua93x says:

    Its gonna take more than one day to get good at it. Just practice when you’re not doing anything (or during class like I do) and try drawing anime characters that you like. Start simple, then go complex. Although, I just started drawing the other day so I dont know how good this advice really is lol.

  8. Hey Mark I have been watching your videos for some time now and wondering… How long did it take you to learn how to draw? I mean, I know we never stop learning new things, but how long did it take you to draw well? Thanks a lot :) Please like so he can see it! =)

  9. mark crilley i’m a fan of you umm………can you make a video on how to draw a superhero pleaseeeeeee!!!!!!!!!thanks!i just love your drawings!!umm……one last suggestioncan you please draw card captor sakura pleaseeeeee

  10. ichibanb says:

    Thanks Criley for all your videos and books. I kind of abandoned drawing years ago do to frustration. Even tho people would say I drew good I never thought so. However with your very helpful tutorials I’ve started up again and am already making progress. Thanks again!!

  11. Maddie M. says:

    Hi Mark! I just started drawing manga, and i a have to admit, im pretty good! (heh) But, im using this really old, crappy pencil that SUCKS! Im wondering if you have any ideas or if i should get new pencils. And what do you use or shading?? just the side of a ticonderoga pencil? And what brand is that black pencil?? It would be SO helpful if you could comment back, or pls contact me at! it would be so cool! I really need your help! you ARE my inspiration!!! Thanks you!!

  12. biblegal10 says:

    Wow, you’re amazing! I love watching your videos and oohing and aahing over your drawings at the end. I think I might just buy your How to Draw Manga book just for the pictures in it! XD I really wish I could draw like that, but writing’s my talent, not drawing. Anyway, keep up the good work! You’re awesome!

  13. How about a video on how to draw different eyes to portray different emotions and personality? Large and Happy? Wide and Surprised? Sharp, Angular, and Angry? Eyes are a big part of a character’s look, so knowing how to do something like that could be useful.

  14. You wrote Miki Falls?! Oh my gosh I’m having a weird moment. I totally loved that manga when I was a younger teen. I was just watching speedpaints and say a comment about your videos and looked it up. Thats so cool! haha ok I’ll stop nerding out now, sorry c:

  15. Thank you so much for the great tips that you have given in all of your videos. I made a lot of your drawings and they look amazing, thanks to, again, the amazing tips that you have given in your videos. I always look forward to more! I love drawing manga and you are definitely great at teaching others how to do it! Thanks!

  16. cpu46 says:

    Don’t give up on it. My advice is to find a manga scene you like and attempt to replicate it. I found a lot of good ways to block out scenes and make details doing that. If you find a part you are horrible at force yourself to do it again and again until you find a way that works.

  17. Courtney Quach says:

    Good job!!! You’re better then my cousin’s drawing… even though she draws good too!!! But you’re so AWESOME!!!!! :)

  18. depends on the angle that you are looking at the character. If its Straight, the chin would be between the two lines that make up the chin. and the more you turn the head away the further the chin gets from the center of the two lines. i hope i helped.

  19. For some reason I always start with the right eye and when I move on to the left one (being right-handed) I cover the finished eye while drawing so I cannot compare without lifting my hand and so I tend to mess the left eye up :/

  20. Diibling says:

    I have the same problem, and people say that I’m the best artist in my grade too. But every time I draw, no matter what, it just doesn’t feel like it’s good enough, and I end up erasing everything and starting over, only to have the same thing happen again. :(

  21. Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooly carp I wanna draw like that. All the people in my class say I’m the best in the grade at drawing, but whenever I draw I know I can do better and than I muck the paper up with millions of eraser marks :( tips pls

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