How To Draw Cute Eyes Step By Step (With 8 Examples)

When trying to draw a cute or lovable character, the best way to convey that is by drawing some cute eyes! 

Character expressions are always essential, and drawing cute round eyes will make your character much cuter.

To draw a cute eye, the first thing you have to do is focus on shape. Start by drawing a circle. Add the iris and any other details, such as eyelashes. Now you have to clean up your drawing, and you’re done drawing a cute eye!

But let’s go over how you can draw cute eyes step by step easily and quickly, along with some images to help you!

how to draw a cute eye step by step, pinterest

1) Start With A Simple Shape

Cute characters usually have very round features. It can be the body or face, but the eyes are often the roundest feature.

Circles, ellipses, and other round shapes make the subject appear softer. For that reason, I like to use circles when drawing cute eyes!

So let’s start our cute eyes by drawing a regular circle.

to draw cute eyes, start by drawing a circle
Start by drawing a circle for your cute eye drawing

This is our first step and an excellent opportunity to practice our circle drawings.

Drawing circles is hard, especially if you’re just starting to learn how to draw. It’s improbable you’ll draw a perfect circle; however, you’ll get very close to it.

So one thing you can do before drawing an eye is to fill up a page or two of your sketchbook with circles. Start with smaller circles since it’s easier to control the line.

Then draw bigger circles as you feel more confident!

This will make you learn how to draw cute eyes much easier.

Take your time, and once you have a nice circle you’re happy with, it’s time for our next step.

2) Add Details To The Eye

It’s time to add some details, so our circle can become an actual eye.

First, draw another smaller circle inside the first one. This will be the iris of our eye, and it can be as small or as big as you want.

To keep the eye as cute as possible, I like to keep it big and round. This will make the eye even prettier and express a more neutral emotion.

step 2 of drawing a cute eye, draw another circle for the iris
Now draw another circle for the Iris

Usually, we draw small irises, leaving a lot of white of the eye showing, to demonstrate a shocking or surprised expression.

normal iris vs small iris
Example of Small vs Big Iris. Small Irises will look shocked!

Alright, now that the iris is done, we need to add some details to make our eye a bit more interesting.

Instead of keeping a closed shape, let’s go over our first circle. Draw a thick arched line on the top part.

On the bottom, draw a thinner, smaller arched line.

step 3 of drawing cute eyes, add 2 curved lines
Add 2 curved lines to the larger circle

As for the iris, pick a side, left or right, and add a small circle to it. This is going to indicate the light that is reflected in your eye.

step 4, draw a small circle of the iris for the reflected light
Choose where to draw a small circle, for the reflected light!

We already have a cute and believable eye with just a few lines and shapes!

3) Clean Up The Lines

Alright, our sketch is done, so all we have to do now is clean up our eye.

If you’re doing this digitally, create a new layer on top of your sketch layer. Turn the opacity of the sketch down, so it’s easier to see what you’re doing.

Now, all you have to do is go over your sketch lines. Once everything is done with fresh, clean lines, you are finished!

Step 5 of drawing cute cartoon eyes, clean up the sketch
Time to clean up the sketch!

Suppose you’re drawing your eyes using traditional mediums. In that case, I suggest faintly erasing a bit of your sketch while still being able to discern it.

Then with a pen, go over the sketch lines. Once you’re finished, let it dry for a few minutes, and then you can erase the rest of your pencil lines.

You now know all the necessary steps to make the cutest eyes for your characters! Everything in a very cute and simple art style.

4) Bonus: Adding Eyelashes And Coloring

You can leave your eyes as they are, with no extra details.

However, you can add certain things to make them even more unique.

Of course, this all depends on the style you’re going for and the type of character you’re drawing.

But let’s go over two speedy additions that you can make to make the eyes pop up a bit more:

Eyelashes For Cute Eyes

Eyelashes will make the eyes stand out more and make them even cuter. Adding eyelashes will also make your character look more feminine.

So, if you’re drawing a particularly feminine character, go back to your eye drawings and add two small strokes to the upper line of the eye, like this:

add eyelashes to your cute eye for a more feminine look
Adding simple eyelashes will make your character look more feminine!

You can even personalize the eyelashes if you want. Instead of two strokes, you can draw two small triangles.

You can draw just one eyelash even! 

Another thing you can do is play with its thickness as well. The eyelashes can be very thin but also big and thick.

many different type of cartoon eyelashes
There are many ways to draw eyelashes, here are a few!

It’s good to experiment and try different things to know what works best for the style you’re going for and for the character you’re drawing.

Coloring Cute Eyes

Most of the time, I like to keep my character’s eyes very monochromatic. Just black line art, along with the white of the eye.

However, you might want to add some color to the eyes of your characters. You can do this easily by drawing two circles instead of just one for the iris. Like this:

add some color to your cute eye drawing
Keep the cute eye black or add some color, up to you!

Now, the smaller circle will be our new iris, and you can color that with the same color as the line art. In my case: black.

As for the outer circle, you can color it with whichever color you think fits best. Don’t forget to add that little light reflected in the eye!

draw cute eyes in different colors
Experiment with different eye colors!

And there you go! Lovely cute eyes drawing.

Different Cute Eye Styles

Above, we just went through the process of drawing a cute eye, but that’s only one possibility!

You can play with shapes, for example. Instead of a circle, you can go with an ellipse. 

The eyes don’t need to be completely round, either. You can start by drawing one on paper with the ellipse idea.

Now, draw a straight, horizontal line below the middle of your ellipse. Erase the rest of the ellipse that goes below that line.

All you have to do now is add details, just like we did in the example above! The final result should look like this:

how to draw cute eyes, step by step
Another simple way to draw cute eyes!

Besides shapes, another thing you can do is play with complexity. You can add many details to the eyes you’re drawing or go in the opposite direction.

Two round dots are sometimes enough to make a character look cute!

draw two dots and add eyelashes to create simple cute eyes
You can also just draw two dots with eyelashes for cute eyes!

Try experimenting with different things and see what you like the best.

Sometimes you might want to be more detailed, while others, a simple style works better with the character in question.

The most important thing is for you to know your character well. I talk about this in our Complete Character Design Course a lot and even recommend creating a character sheet.

Suppose you know and understand your character’s personality. In that case, it’s easier to decide how to draw certain features, such as the eyes!

There are many ways you can draw a cute character, so don’t be afraid to explore different options, so you know what’s the best one for you!

Examples Of Cute Eye Drawings

There are many examples of cute eye drawings that you can find online. Not only from different artists and cartoon movies but also from anime! Anime eyes are usually drawn in a very cute style.

This is especially good if you’re looking for a kawaii style since there are many cute animes to inspire you to draw cute eyes in this style!

Cartoons, in general, also focus on creating cute characters to appeal to younger audiences.

These are good places to find inspiration and ideas while learning more about cute art styles!

Here are a few examples from some popular media, tv shows, anime, and more, of cute eyes:

Gravity Falls

Gravity falls cute eyes
Cute eyes from “Gravity Falls”

A very simple style that uses the idea of big, round eyes quite a lot!

Both the faces, mouths, and eyes of certain characters in this series look rounder, making them appear cuter and younger.

Hilda

Hilda cartoon screenshot, with a simple art style
From the series “Hilda”

Hilda is another excellent example of using round, big and simple eyes to make your characters appear cute!

In animation, keeping shapes as simple as possible is good to make the animating process easier and faster.

For that reason, it’s essential to use shapes and proportions to your advantage while conveying the character’s personality.

Over The Garden Wall

over the garden wall, cute and simple eye style
“Over The Garden Wall” with their cute art style!

Over The Garden Wall is a fantastic series. Not only for its story but also for its simple, appealing character designs!

While still keeping some seriousness, the designs overall are pretty cute, and that idea is amplified by the use of huge and round eyes.

Powerpuff Girls

huge cute eyes from Powerpuff Girls
Look at those huge cute eyes from “Powerpuff Girls”!

Another excellent example of cute characters in cartoons.

The small bodies contrasting the big round head already do an excellent job. Still, the disproportionate round eyes really highlight the idea!

As opposed to all the other examples, here we see a certain level of detail in the eyes, along with some color.

Sailor Moon

sailor moon big and cute eye style
You can find another cute eye style in “Sailor Moon”

Speaking of cute, detailed eyes, Sailor Moon is an excellent example!

This anime series from the 90s inspired many artists and continue to do so. If you want to draw anime eyes, be sure to take this reference into consideration!

The eyes are not only colored differently, depending on the overall character’s color scheme, but several details make them even more feminine and brighter.

Nichijou

Nichijou screenshot, with cute round eyes
Simple but with some detail, these are some adorable eyes from “Nichijou”

Here we have a mix of simple eyes while adding a bit of detail to make them match each character.

The eye shape of this cute eye drawing is enormous, round, and straightforward. But then the different colors and shiny spots make the eyes look a bit more unique.

Not only that, but the character’s eyes can appear even more simplified or detailed depending on their emotions, making it fun to watch!

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing screenshot, with simple and cute eyes
Simple style from “Animal Crossing”

Animal Crossing is a very popular game, mainly due to its cuteness and how relaxing it is to play it.

Even though there are many different characters, their overall design always leans towards an adorable style.

Your character is customizable to a certain degree. Even if you can find different eye shapes and styles, they’re all cute and worth looking at!

Kirby

Kirby screenshot, with big and cute eyes
Basic shape but super cute! “Kirby”

Kirby is an excellent example showing that you can create the cutest character by using the most basic shapes.

Made mostly of round shapes, Kirby is loved by all, even if you don’t play the games!

The eyes here are made up of just ellipses and very few details to emphasize their cuteness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick lesson on drawing cute eyes and some inspirational examples from popular media.

If you want to get some cute drawing ideas to draw, do check out my article on 20 Simple And Cute Drawing Ideas For Beginners, and have fun drawing some cute eyes!

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Patricia Caldeira is the main writer here at Don Corgi. She's an art teacher with over 20.000 happy students across many platforms and courses!

Enjoy your stay and as always:
Keep on drawing!