If you’ve ever wondered how to draw an anime or manga girl’s head and face, then you’re in luck! This tutorial will guide you through the process of sketching a stunning anime girl from both the front and side views. Before we get started, let’s go over some essential features of the anime style.
In the world of anime, female characters often have large, captivating eyes, a small mouth, nose, and chin, as well as a round face. Pay attention to the lips, as they are usually lightly defined or left out entirely. When it comes to hair, it’s common to depict it in clumps rather than individual strands, often with a slightly spiky look.
If you plan on drawing using traditional methods with pencil and paper, remember to start with light lines during the initial steps. This way, you can easily erase any unwanted marks later on. If you’re interested in drawing a more realistic anime character, check out our tutorial on drawing a realistic anime face step by step. Additionally, if you want to learn how to draw the side view of the head, we have a tutorial specifically for that as well.
Video Tutorial: Drawing a Female Anime Face
We’ve provided a helpful video tutorial above, which demonstrates the process of drawing a female anime face from the front view. Although the art in the video may be slightly different from the illustrations in this tutorial, it’s still a valuable resource to understand the detailed breakdown of the drawing process.
Feel free to draw your ideal face or mix and match elements from both examples. However, be sure to read the instructions and explanations below carefully, as they provide a more in-depth understanding of each step.
Step 1: Sketching the Head
Let’s begin by outlining the overall shape of the head. It’s helpful to draw a vertical line down the center of the head for the front view to ensure both sides are symmetrical. For the front view, sketch a circle or a light oval, and for the side view, draw a longer oval to represent the top of the head. In the front view, project two sets of curving lines from the oval or circle to meet at the chin. For the side view, draw a line from the chin, curving upwards and towards the position of the ears to form the lower jaw. Remember to keep the chin small and slightly pointed at the bottom.
Step 2: Adding the Ears
To position the ears, draw a horizontal line through the middle of the head, and then another line between that and the chin. Place the ears between these two lines. In the side view, the ears will be slightly more towards the back of the head than the front. As we’ll be covering the ears with hair later on, we won’t go into the inner details of the ears. However, if you’re interested in learning more about drawing anime-style ears, check out our tutorials on that topic.
Step 3: Sketching the Eyes
To position the eyes, use the same vertical line you used to place the top part of the ears. Draw the eyes directly below this line. Keep in mind that the height of anime eyes may vary based on style and character type, so there isn’t a fixed rule for placing the bottom portion. If you’re drawing both views simultaneously, ensure that the positioning of the bottom portions of the eyes aligns reasonably well in both views.
During this stage, you can simplify the shape of the eyes and leave out the details for later (covered in Step 7). If you want to learn more about drawing female anime eyes and different types of eyebrows, check out our dedicated tutorials on those subjects.
Step 4: Drawing the Nose
Position the nose between the horizontal halfway point of the face and the bottom of the chin. In the front view, a simple dot will suffice, while in the side view, an anime nose is usually small and pointy. For more examples of anime noses in different views, refer to our tutorial on drawing anime and manga noses.
Step 5: Sketching the Mouth
Placing the mouth can be a bit trickier, as you’ll first need to determine the position of the bottom lip. In anime and manga, the bottom lip is often not drawn in the front view. Position the bottom lip between the nose and the bottom of the chin, and draw the mouth slightly above that. A simple curved line or two lines (with a break in the middle for the front view) will suffice. If you want a character with a happier or friendlier expression, you can add a slight curve to the mouth. For more detailed instructions on drawing anime mouths and lips, check out our dedicated tutorials.
Step 6: Adding the Hair
Now it’s time to add the hair! Keep in mind that the hair will overlap some of the other facial features. While drawing, be sure to include those features, as they may become visible depending on the hairstyle you choose. You can erase the parts covered by hair later on. During this stage, focus on drawing the major parts of the hair, without getting into the smaller inner details. Try varying the size, shape, and direction of the hair clumps to achieve a more natural look. If you’re interested in learning more about drawing anime and manga hair, we have a series of tutorials dedicated to that subject.
Step 7: Adding Details and Finalizing the Line Drawing
At this stage, you can erase the parts of the face covered by hair and add smaller details to the eyes, such as eyelashes, pupils, and highlights. You can also add more details to the hair. For the eyes, lightly outline the highlights with very light lines, ensuring that shading the eyes later won’t accidentally fill in the highlights. Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a finished line drawing of an anime girl’s head and face. Technically, this is a finished drawing, but if you’d like to take it a step further, you can move on to the next step and apply shading.
Step 8: Applying Shading
To make your drawing stand out even more, you can add some basic shading. Anime often employs “Cel” style shading, which means shading without gradients. The shading technique depends on two factors: areas naturally darker and areas in shadow.
In darker areas, such as the hair and irises of the eyes, you’ll want to darken them. Leave the highlights white for a more striking effect. For more detailed examples of shading hair, refer to our dedicated tutorial.
In shadow areas, shadows are typically cast downwards. In our generalized lighting conditions, the shadows will fall on the forehead (from the hair), eyelids (due to indentation), top of the eyes (from the eyelashes), nose (to one side), below the mouth (optional, cast by the lips), and neck (from the head). If you want to explore shading anime faces in different lighting conditions, check out our tutorial on that topic. Additionally, if you’d like to learn how to color your character, we have tutorials on picking colors and coloring anime characters.
This tutorial provided general guidelines for sketching an anime or manga-style female face. If you’re interested in drawing the female body or different age variations, we have tutorials specifically for those topics. We also have resources for drawing male anime heads, faces, and various types of anime characters.
So grab your pencil and paper, and start bringing your favorite anime characters to life! With practice and creativity, you’ll be able to create stunning anime artworks that capture the essence of these captivating characters.