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How to Draw Your Favorite Anime Character’s Face


Anime is one of the most unique visual styles and provides a fun artistic way to draw people. One of the great things about drawing anime is your imagination is free to run wild. Still, while anime art is not based on realism, there are some rules you need to follow to get the best results.

Learning to draw anime is something most artists should do as it provides an extra tool within their skillset. When learning to draw online, it’s all about getting the basics right. That’s also true of anime, which can quickly become fun. In fact, learning to draw basic character models is relatively simple.

You’ll still need to follow the structure of creating a cool anime character, which is where the tutorial below can help. Here you can read how create a basic anime face design and then tweak it to bring different emotions to the fore. For example, with the same basic face shape you can make your anime character evil, happy, sad, shy, geeky, ordinary, and more.

Here’s how to do it:

Start with Face Proportions

As mentioned, you can start with a character base and create anime drawings for different emotions from that base. That means getting that initial face structure and proportions exactly right is arguably the most important part of anime art.

Let’s start with the basic shape of the face. The outer shape of the face is critical for the best results but luckily it is one of the easiest parts to learn. Looking at the front view of the character, the is good to break the shape down into three separate shapes:

  • Circle for the top of the head and shape around the eyes and upper cheeks.
  • Quadrilateral overlapping the circle for the mouth and bottom of the cheeks.
  • Triangle attached (not overlapping) to the circle for the chin.

Below is what you need to know about face proportions and features:

  • Eyes – Draw one horizontal line across the middle of the head. The eyes should be drawn below this line. When it comes to spacing the eyes, leave enough space between the two eyes to fit another eye.
  • Ears – Draw another line, this time horizontal line roughly between the first line and the chine. The ears can be drawn between these two lines.
  • Nose – Above the second (shorter) horizontal line and in the middle of the eyes draw a vertical line from the top of the head to the chin.
  • Mouth – Draw a third horizontal line between the second line and the chin. Draw the lips across the vertical line drawn for the nose between the second and third horizontal lines. Use the line as a guide for the middle of the lips and place the bottom lip directly above the new horizontal line.

Any additional details such as the eyebrows your eyelids can be placed above the eyes. All the features above will be designed differently depending on the mood of your character. It is worth pointing out that the guide above is for a standard character that will allow you to create different moods. Some characters will have different looks and proportions.

Below is how you complete the basic anime character shape:

  • Draw the basic head shape and include neck and shoulders if necessary, using a vertical line to space the head accurately either side.
  • Create the facial features how described above, creating different shape eyes, mouth, nose, and other features depending on the mood you want your character to have.
  • Draw the hair. You can overlap some of the facial features such as the ear and eye depending on the hairstyle you want.
  • Erase any parts that are hidden by the hair.
  • Add color and shading if necessary.