Cartoon Eyes are the Soul of any Character
Cartoon eyes are the most important part of any character because that's where the most emotion is the portrayed. Get in front of a mirror and use your own different facial expressions and see how much of that comes in the eyes and how much comes from the other parts of the face like the mouth.
Notice how a smile can turn into all different kinds of emotions by adjusting the eyes. I think you can quickly understand by looking in a mirror just how important the eyes are too showing any kind of emotion.
When I say 'eyes' I mean the whole area around eyes including the eyebrows and any wrinkles that the character may have. It doesn't matter if you're drawing cartoon or realistic eyes, if you get them wrong your characters can come off looking flat and emotionless.
The eyes are one of the places you can have the most freedom with. Take a look at the comics section of your local newspaper and see all the different styles of eyes the characters have. Usually cartoons from the same strip will have the same style of eyes with different versions for male and female characters.
Because eyes are relatively easy to draw I'm not going to show any step-by-step tutorials here, but instead show you a collection of different styles of cartoon eyes that you can use for your own drawings. I divided them into male and female eyes for simplicity sake.
Examples of different male and female cartoon eyes.
emember that this is by no means a complete representation of all the different cartoon I styles out there. As always I highly encourage you to look at all the great media that you have around you and pay attention to the different styles of eyes that other people have drawn before you.
Here's a quick exercise that you can try at home:
Grab a small hand mirror, a pencil, and a piece of paper.
Now choose one of the styles of eyes that you see above or one that you've seen in a comic strip or comic book somewhere. What you are going to do is use that style and try and draw all different kinds of emotions with it.
Want to learn how to draw realistic eyes? Take a look at the eye drawing how to lesson.