I sometimes take different approaches to painting eyes, but I generally find this method works the best.

I generally start by painting the whole eyes white. On chibi miniatures, this usually involves shading and highlighting a little more than on other minis- simply because the area is so large. But there’s nothing particularly odd about that.

The second step is to black in the iris shapes. The thing to remember here is that anime eyes are usually taller than normal human eyes, and the irises are generally ovals rather than circles- so that they can be anchored off of the top and bottom of the eye at once. Not anchoring the eyes gives you a more extreme expression (so only do that if that’s what you’re going for).

I generally start out by adding vertical slits to both eyes, and then expanding those into ovals together (doing the irises together this helps keep the character from becoming wall-eyed or cross-eyed accidentally).

Once you’ve got the irises blacked in, color them like they’re jewel effects. Highlight the black with a color- up to white- on the bottom side opposite where the light is coming from and then add in a white dot as a light reflection.

When highlighting this way, I often leave the center black, but if you didn’t, then you can go in now and add in a black dot for the pupil now.

Tristran here has standard chibi eyes. I think this mini really shows how the irises are really vertical ovals rather than circles for anime eyes like this.

This Warrior of the Sun has multiple colors in his iris.

The size of the iris and whether it is anchored on the top and bottom or the eye changes the expression immensely.

I wanted these little guys to look perpetually frightened out of their minds, hence they have very small irises. I should note that I painted the whites of their eyes with a jewel effect in mind as well (highlighting toward the bottom and reflection dots in pure white at the top)

The same method works for other miniatures with large eyes- busts or monsters. This crocodile from Kingdom Death is a good example. Also note the craziness of his wall eyed expression- which partly comes from having white all the way around the irises.