Manga eyes are famous for their large size and multiple reflective shines, which give them a super-polished, reflective look. What is not so well known are some of the subtle touches that give them that look of extraordinary luster. Today, we'll talk about the reflective shines, and how to draw them to maximize this effect.
What do you need to show a brilliant shine? The answer may surprise you: Darkness. Without a dark area, a shine won't "pop." You need contrast to draw manga eyes. Whenever you draw manga eyes, try to envision the shines glimmering in a pool of shadow. I just gave a critique of a very good drawing by a young artist on the Deviantart website. The eyes were well drawn, and the colors were appealing. But the shines in the eyes did not have impact, because there was no shading to indicate a shadowed area. I suggested that she darken the top half of the eyes only. She liked the suggestion. I hope I get to see a revision; it was a good image, worth a little extra effort.
Is this a tiny change, which really won't amount to much? Hardly. And you'll be able to see a visual example ox exactly what I mean by following the link at the bottom of this post.
The question is: Why darken just the the top portion of the eye, and not the entire eye, or the bottom? It's due to the direction of the light source. The most common type of lighting is overhead lighting, which is the type that emanates from indoor lighting fixtures, sunlight and moonlight. As the light, shines down, htting the top of the head, and all of the features that protrude cast a small shadow on the face. The nose is one such protrusion, but so are the upper eyelids. The, too catch the light, and as a result, a small cast shadow falls on the top half of the eyeball itself. Because this is the darkest area of the eye, adding as shine stands out particularly well.
I hope you'll bookmark this page, and stop by for more tips and hints.
Your Art Colleague,