how to draw anime faces, drawing manga faces

How to Draw Anime Faces, Drawing Manga Faces

Step 1.

Basic Skull Anatomy| Now, when you're drawing the face shape of an anime character, it's important to understand the undermining functions that make the facials work and how they're placed. Here is an anime skull that is clearly much different than a normal human realistic skull. Look at how the eye sockets, take up 3/4 of the face and the mandibles, nasal bone, and teeth use up only a 1/4 portion of the face. It's critically important that you understand the very basic anatomy that creates the whole body in a working - functional manor.

Step 2.

Face Proportions| Generally, in most anime that people are commonly interested in, is the style that have the exaggerated sized eyes, and lightly defined nose, mouth, and brows. If you're going to draw in that style, understand that the eyes take up 3/4 of the facial space, leaving 1/4 for the nose and mouth. Sometimes, the proportions become even smaller to 1/8 in 'overly exaggerated' styles. Whatever the case, try mixing and matching with various styles until you develop your own that you're comfortable with!

Step 3.

Referencing and Diversity| It's best to reference various anime eyes and artist styles in order to evolve your own. Every budding artist (from music to film making) gets inspired by a style before morphing their own. It's inspiration that drives an artist's eye. Experimenting is also very important to your diet as well as practicing. Try sketching a certain way or using various tones of highlighting and line weights to create your own unique style!

Step 4.

Shadow Breakdown| Here's my basic breakdown on how I shade and highlight anime eyes. I start off with the simplest upper lid which dictates my next move wisely. I go ahead and add the inner iris and lower lid to add depth. Then, coloring around a previously framed highlight, I blur the solid white to get a faded effect. Erase out parts of white (or if drawing with pencil, use 'Whiteout' or white paint to add white highlights). This also dictates where my light source is coming from. You don't want to add too much whites! Finishing my eye, I go ahead and add longer lashes to create a more feminine look. It's that easy!

Step 5.

Try to get yourself familiarized with the various poses that you can stylize your character in. When you're illustrating a manga comic, you're going to have to get used to drawing numerous face positions. What if you don't know how to draw your character from the back or from the side? It's crucially important to 'speed sketch' your characters in a turn around of poses on a separate sheet, so you have a reference to turn to. This may be hard work, but by using lots of circles and guidelines, your flow will become much easier to progress with. To left: look how the heads are similar in shapes and proportions, and how the eyes are symmetrically similar if you drew a line across the three heads. Know that the ears are always the same height/length as the eyes.

Step 6.

As I draw each face, notice how elongated and smaller the eyes become. The baby face is probably the only face here that excessively uses circles for the build. The child face becomes less circular, but still soft cheeked with less defined ears. As we move onto the teen/adult face, it becomes longer, smaller eyes, and stronger defined features. You can tell the faces have grown by using the light blue line that runs through each one of them, starting with the baby. See how they start to mold as they progress into an older appearance?

Step 7.

Here's an important stage I cannot stress about enough. Lots of people ask me (and other awesome artists), how to make the hair seem it's not painted on the scalp or head. The secret is, you have to draw the hair a few inches away from the initial skull build, creating a balanced volume and bouncy appearance. If you draw the hair on too close to the head, it will indeed seem to be painted on. I would suggest start drawing the hair bangs FIRST, then work on the outer shape, so you'll know the boundary limits thereafter.

Step 8.

Here's a few basic hairstyles that you can reference from, though, I'd suggest hoarding hundreds of images from Google on various styles of hair to create a dynamic look for your characters. Notice how each style creates a diverse look for each anime face, no matter how similar the facials are. Experiment, observe, and practice!

Step 9.

Here's a few others, but for men. Spiky hairstyles are used for spontaneous characters, while the long haired ones are used for villainous or mysterious folk.

Step 10.

You will start with a circle shape for the head then add the facial guidelines.

Step 11.

The next thing you will do is draw out the shape of her face which is very rounded. The ear should be added, then draw in her hairline.

Step 12.

Now that the face shape is drawn out, you can work on getting the eyes done. Start with the thick top lid lines, then draw out the shapes of her eyes. When that is done you can draw out the thin eyebrows to finish off the eyes.

Step 13.

To make things even more easy, all you have to do is draw out the thin mouth as well as the blush marks on her cheeks. Add detailing inside of her ears, then add the nose and chin.

Step 14.

We will work on the hairstyle now. Draw the hair in a rounded like shape that should be pulled or combed to one side. Add the detailing hairlines like so, then move along to step fifteen.

Step 15.

You are almost done. All you have to do here is draw in the shape of her neck, then draw in the shrugged shoulders, as well as the loose collar for her turtle neck sweater. Draw out the simple shape of her breast, then you're done here.

Step 16.

Here all you have to do is draw out the rest of her hairstyle. For me I went with a puffy wavy ponytail that curls at the ends. You can choose any type of style you like. Add the detailing to her hair, then you're done. Erase the mistakes you made along the way.

Step 17.

Here is the finished drawing when you are done with this lesson on learning how to draw anime faces. I hope you learned something new today!

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Uploaded: August 22, 2012
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Novice  Novice Skill Level
Steps: 17
Updated: August 23, 2012
P.O.V: Multiple
Favourited: 28 times
Artist comments

Okay guys, I always get requests for me to make tutorials on anything that is related to anime. So today I will be showing you "how to draw anime faces", step by step. As you know I have done a couple different tutorials on anime faces, but since it's always nice to have something fresh or updated, I thought that making a better tutorial on drawing anime faces would help those of you that have a hard or semi difficult time with making anime faces for character drawing and creation. There is so many helpful tip steps that will help you understand how to make faces in anime style portionate and correctly. The simple face that you see in the tuts thumbnail looks a little like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. I had a lot of fun going back to drawing anime, and I look forward to making more lessons based on anime related things and people. It would be great for you guys to leave comments on other anime related lessons that will be helpful so I can fill a need for all you aspiring artists out there. Enjoy all and have fun!