How to

How to Draw Anime Facial Expressions – Side View

This comprehensive tutorial will guide you on how to draw anime facial expressions, specifically from a side view. Whether you’re looking to depict a normal, angry, surprised, or even a grinning face, we’ve got you covered. Master the art of illustrating anime facial expressions with our step-by-step instructions and helpful visuals.

Anime Face Proportions Side View

Before diving into the various expressions, it’s essential to understand the basic proportions of an anime face from a side view. Take a look at the image below to familiarize yourself with the key elements.

Anime face proportions side view

Start by drawing the eyes just below the halfway point of the head. Position the nose approximately between the eyes and the chin. Place the bottom lip slightly above the chin, and draw the ears from the top of the eyes down to the bottom of the nose.

Keep in mind that these proportions serve as general guidelines for achieving a typical anime look. The specifics may vary depending on the character type and style variations you’re aiming for.

For a detailed guide on drawing an anime face from a side view, refer to our tutorial: How to Draw Anime Face Side View (With Proportions)

To learn how to draw eyes and mouth side view expressions individually, check out the following tutorials:

Drawing Various Anime Side View Facial Expressions

Now let’s explore different anime facial expressions from a side view. We’ll cover everything from normal and open mouth expressions to yelling, frowning, surprised, content, angry, scared, grinning, puzzled, smiling, relaxed, embarrassed, sad, and upset faces. Take a look at the illustrations and descriptions below to enhance your skills in drawing these expressions.

Drawing a Normal Anime Side View Facial Expression

For a normal anime expression, follow the previously mentioned proportions to accurately place the facial features.

Anime girl normal expression side view drawing

Drawing a Lightly Open Side View Mouth

When drawing an open mouth, remember that the jawline will be lower. Only the lower jaw moves while the upper jaw remains in place.

Anime girl lightly open mouth side view drawing

Drawing an Open Side View Mouth

To depict a wider open mouth, take note that the jaw not only drops directly down but also swings backward towards the neck. Draw the jaw lower down and farther back towards the neck.

Anime girl open mouth side view drawing

Drawing a Yelling Side View Face

For a yelling face, place the jaw in the same position as in the wider open mouth expression. Additionally, draw the lips more pulled back, revealing more of the teeth. Squint the eyes slightly.

Anime girl yelling side view drawing

Drawing a Frowning/Serious Side View Face

To create a frowning expression, draw the eyebrows in a wave-like shape pointing downwards towards the nose. Curve the mouth downwards towards the neck.

Anime girl frowning side view drawing

Drawing a Surprised Side View Face

For a surprised look, raise and curve the eyebrow more than usual. Draw the mouth wide open, but with the lips pulled in, resembling a vertical oval or “O” shape.

Anime girl surprised side view drawing

Drawing a Content/Smiling Side View Face

To depict a content expression, raise the eyebrows and draw the eyes squinted with the eyelids and eyebrows curving downwards. Draw the mouth with a smile, showing the teeth.

Anime girl content side view drawing

Drawing an Angry Side View Face

For an angry look, lower the eyebrows in a wave-like shape towards the nose, and squint the eyes. Show the teeth by pulling the lips back, and consider adding a hint of the “fang” to enhance the angry appearance.

Anime girl angry side view drawing

Drawing a Scared Side View Face

To convey fear, raise the eyebrows and widen the eyes, with smaller-than-normal iris/pupil size. While actual irises don’t change size, reducing their size in anime creates a more scared look. Keep the mouth slightly open and curve the opening downwards.

Anime girl scared side view drawing

Drawing a Grinning/Plotting Side View Face

For a mischievous or plotting appearance, lower the eyebrows, squint the eyes, and draw the mouth smiling with a hint of teeth.

Anime girl grinning side view drawing

Drawing a Puzzled Side View Face

To depict confusion, slightly raise the eyebrows with the eyes looking up. Lower the jaw slightly and open the mouth in an “O” shape.

Anime girl puzzled side view drawing

Drawing a Light Side View Smile

For a gentle smile, slightly widen and curve the mouth more than usual.

Anime girl smiling side view drawing

Drawing Relaxed/Closed Side View Eyes

To illustrate a relaxed state, close the eyes. Follow the same facial features as for a normal face.

Anime girl relaxed/closed eyes side view drawing

Remember that in a relaxed state, the top eyelids come all the way down, while the bottom eyelids remain in their open position.

Drawing an Embarrassed Side View Face

For an embarrassed expression, draw the eyebrows in an upside-down curve with the eyes looking down. Draw a smiling mouth, showing the teeth.

Anime girl embarrassed side view drawing

Drawing a Sad/Tired Side View Face

To portray a tired or sad appearance, raise the front end of the eyebrows slightly. Let the top eyelids cover about halfway down the eyes, angling them slightly downwards. Draw the mouth with a gentle curve downwards.

Anime girl sad side view drawing

Drawing an Upset Side View Face

To depict heightened upset emotions, raise the eyebrows towards the nose and squint the eyes. Extend the length of the mouth slightly downwards.

Anime girl upset side view drawing


While this tutorial covers a wide range of anime expressions, it’s impossible to include every possibility in a single guide. For further assistance in drawing anime facial expressions, observe real-life individuals or try making the facial expressions yourself to understand how different features move in each expression.

For more resources on facial expressions, explore the following tutorials:

Alexia Young

Hello and welcome to the world of Alexia. I am a passionate and dedicated artist who loves to create beautiful, mesmerizing art for everyone's walls. I believe in the importance of encouraging people to express their creativity and be happy.

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