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How to Easily Draw Cartoon Eyes to Show Different Emotions

The eyes have it!

When people ask me how to draw something, if it is a living thing I always give them the same beginning reply…start with the eyes!

They say the eyes are the gateway to the soul. This rings true even in the world of cartoon art! The eyes of any cartoon person, animal or creature can show how they are feeling or what they are thinking. The amazing part about drawing is that the eyes can be drawn in the simplest style, two circles and two lines, and still express all types of emotions that we are capable of feeling.

This is the most important part to me when I draw a cartoon.

  • If I’m drawing a happy child eating a bowl full of ice cream, their eyes are going to be filled with excitement and joy.
  • If I am drawing a squirrel that just had his collection of acorns stolen from him, his eyes are going to show anger and rage.
  • If I am drawing an owl pondering the equation of E=MC², his eyes are going to show concern and though.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Excited, Happy Eyes

Excited and Happy Eyes

Concerned, Pondering, Thoughtful Eyes


Angry, Enraged, Frustrated Eyes


Crazy, Psycho, Stunned Eyes


Exhausted, Lazy, Tired Eyes


Indifferent, Unimpressed, “Meh” Eyes


That’s all there is too it! A couple of circles and a few lines can display all the emotions in the world that we can feel.

Try it out for yourself. Grab a blank sheet of paper and fill it with all sorts of eyes! See what happens when you change the shape of the left eye and not the right one. Draw the iris (the dark part) of the eye in different locations. Move them apart. Put them closer together. The possibilities are endless!


About Aaron Riddle

Aaron Riddle is a professional cartoonist who has been drawing cartoons of all types since the ripe ole age of 2. He is the creator and illustrator of the comic strip AFORD, which ran for 10 years as a weekly web comic strip and appeared in dozens of newspapers across the country. He has worked as a graphic designer, illustrator and artist for clients all across the country. Aaron is happily married, a proud father of two daughters, and enjoys fitness, the outdoors, and supporting the Navy SEALs.

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