how to draw an anime head, draw a manga head

How to Draw an Anime Head, Draw a Manga Head

Step 1.

Basic Skull Anatomy Of Front Face| 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.

Basic Skull Anatomy Of Profile Face| When you're drawing a face from the side view, you must understand the underlying functions before you start building form on top of guidelines. Know that, understanding the principles of this bone structure, will aid you into knowing how to place the essential details correctly.

Step 3.

Facial 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 4.

Facial Profile Alignment| Knowing the facial alignment of your figure's face, is just as important as understanding the skeleton's form. The smaller line indicates that the eye is directly aligned with the nostril. If you're viewing a face from the front, the same principle will apply. The larger line indicates how the forehead, nose, and mouth align nicely in a vertical line. Follow these guides of measurements whenever you get stuck ;)

Step 5.

Male Vs. Female Face| Here's just two examples of a male and female face from the front, exploiting the ways the features differ per gender. A female's nose will have only a slight bit of indication, while the male character should have more definition to his nose. The brows on a male are thicker, while the eyes are shorter than a female's. Again, this always depends on the anime style. The concept here, still remains throughout those many styles.

Step 6.

Male Vs. Female Nose Variations| Look at these nose variations and face shapes, that take effect on the overall appearances of each head. See how much a different facials can change a person's character? Experiment with various facial structures as much as possible. Observe other art styles and references to form your own style.

Step 7.

Ear Placement| In this tip, I'll give you pointers on where to place and how to draw ears. Remind yourself not to draw them too big or they'll seem to look disproportional with the rest of the head. Below this tip step, is something that indicates 'how to know that you've drawn ears proportional'. Note that, the tip of the ear should always be hitting the top of the eye guide.

Step 8.

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 9.

Hair Placement| 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 10.

Highlights and Shadows| This step is for those that plan to draw a character with an intention clothing design, and want to shade/color their artwork. Remember that the direction will effect the shadows and reflective light on an object. Where ever your light source is hitting, that's what will indicate your highlights, shadows and reflective light.

Step 11.

Here is a simple frontal lesson on a head shot for an anime character. You will start by drawing the outlined shapes for the head guides like you see here. Once these shapes are drawn you can use them to draw out the structure for your anime character. Make sure you include the shapes of the ears, then proceed on by drawing the eyes. You will notice that the face to the left is a female, and the face to the right is a male. Draw the noses, and mouths like so, then proceed to the next step where you will draw a profile view of an anime head.

Step 12.

Again, female to the left and male to the right. Make circles first, then draw cone shapes for the bottom face guide. Draw the shapes of the heads, and back of the neck. Then make the simple shapes for the noses which slope down and notch in. Draw in the rest of the profile with the mouths. Slowly draw the chin and jawlines followed by the ears. You will then draw the eyebrows, eyes, and detailing for inside of the ears. Make the thin lines for the mouths, then add nostril holes.

Step 13.

Hair Variations| 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 14.

Are you ready to get started? Good let's go! Make a circle that cones out at the bottom a bit then sketch in the facial guidelines.

Step 15.

Sketch out the actual structure of the face like so, then draw in the hairline which will frame the top portion of her face. The hair is in the form of long bangs combed a bit to the right.

Step 16.

We will now work on getting the face drawn out. Make nice clean shapes for her big eyes. The top lid lining should be very thick and or bold. Add the thin lashes, then draw out the nose, mouth and cheeks. You will also need to draw out an ear as well as add the detailing inside of the ear.

Step 17.

Let's now cap off the top of her head with the rest of her hairstyle. Since this model is wearing breads, her hair is going to be drawn in a parted combed style. Draw the crease down the center of the skull, then add some hair strand detailing.

Step 18.

Draw in each braid like you see here. Notice the shapes of the braids are drawn bigger or wider at the top, and tapper off at the ends.

Step 19.

We will finish off this model by drawing the shoulders and arms followed by her torso or chest. Erase the mistakes to clean up the drawing. You will want to color in a drawing that has to pencil lines and mistakes right? Well, erase those marks and mistakes.

Step 20.

In the end your project should come out looking similar to the one you see here. Now just color her in.

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Uploaded: September 29, 2012
Artist: Dawn
Difficulty: Novice  Novice Skill Level
Steps: 20
Updated: September 29, 2012
P.O.V: Multiple
Favourited: 19 times
Artist comments

This lesson here will teach you the proper or correct way to draw anime heads or head. I'm trying to redo a lot of the old lessons that I have submitted years ago because now that I draw a lot better than I did before, I can break down a drawing and teach you in better detail on how to draw something the right way. Of course the way that I'm about to teach you "how to draw anime heads" is my way. There are so many different ways to draw anime heads because there are many artists out there that have a different approach to drawing specific things. Having said that, I do hope that the information I provide in this tutorial will help you in the sometimes difficult task to drawing anime heads. I had fun with creating the lesson, so let me just let you guys get to it. Have fun people!