This comprehensive tutorial will teach you how to draw an anime face from the side while breaking down the proportions in an easy-to-understand manner. Included are step-by-step illustrations and a line-by-line video demonstration to enhance your learning experience.
Anime face side view step by step drawing
Drawing an anime face from a side view may seem simple, but it can be deceptively tricky. To help you grasp the process more easily, this tutorial offers a detailed breakdown of how to structure and proportion the head, as well as accurately place the facial features. While the preview showcases the main stages of the drawing, additional examples are provided for many of the steps.
Please note that although the example in this tutorial depicts a female face, the same approach can be applied when drawing a male face.
How to Draw Anime Face Side View: A Visual Guide
Step 1 – Drawing the Side View of the Head
Anime head top side view drawing
Begin by drawing an oval to represent the upper part of the head. As anime characters often have larger foreheads, you can make this oval quite tall.
Anime head bottom side view drawing
Next, draw the lower part of the head starting from the front of the face. Use a line that runs down from the side of the oval at a slight angle. This line should be followed by a slight curve for the chin and an outline of the jaw.
Anime head side view nose drawing
Add a curved line to define the bridge of the nose, extending it down to the tip. The tip of the nose should be slightly higher than one-fourth of the height of the entire head, starting from the bottom of the chin. For more details on drawing the nose, refer to step seven.
Finally, draw a line from the end of the nose down to the chin.
Anime head side view drawing
To keep the drawing less cluttered, erase the line used to define the front of the face, resulting in a clean outline similar to the example above.
Step 2 – Drawing the Neck
Anime neck side view drawing
Extend a thin neck downward from the bottom of the head. Keep in mind that, as this is a side view, the neck should be drawn at an angle.
Anime head outline side view drawing
Once the neck is drawn, erase the lower part of the oval from step one. This will give your drawing the appearance shown in the example above.
Step 3 – Outlining the Ear
Anime head side view ear drawing
Starting from the end of the jaw, draw the ear.
Anime head side view ear placement
Position the ear slightly beyond the halfway point if the head were divided vertically (excluding the nose).
For further guidance on how to draw and position ears, please refer to:
Step 4 – Drawing the Eyelashes
Anime head side view eyelashes drawing
To define the shape of the eye, draw the eyelashes slightly below the horizontal halfway point of the head, as demonstrated in the illustration.
If you require a closer look at the details, a step-by-step drawing of the entire eye is available in step eleven.
Step 5 – Drawing the Iris
Anime head side view iris drawing
Within the outline of the eyelashes, add the iris. Since the eye is viewed at an angle, make the iris oval in shape. Remember that the upper part of the iris will be partially covered by the top eyelid.
Step 6 – Drawing the Eyebrow
Anime head side view eyebrow drawing
Place the eyebrows slightly above the eye. Make them wider towards the forehead and narrower as they move in the opposite direction.
For more on drawing anime eyebrows, please refer to:
Step 7 – Drawing the Nose & Mouth
Anime head side view lips drawing
Use the line between the tip of the nose and the chin as a guide to outline the lips and lower part of the nose, as shown in the example. The bottom lip should be about one-eighth of the way up from the bottom of the chin, with the bottom of the nose positioned close to another one-eighth of the way up from there.
Anime head side view mouth drawing
Once the lips are outlined, erase the guiding line. Then, draw a slight curve to indicate the mouth. In line with common anime and manga styles, leave a small gap between the mouth and the lips.
Step 8 – Drawing the Front Hair
Anime head side view hair along forehead drawing
Given the complexity and detail of anime hair, we will split the process into three sections, each represented by a different color:
- Front: red
- Side: green
- Top/Back: blue
Feel free to use a single color for all sections if preferred.
For more information, please consult:
Begin with the hair at the front. As this is anime hair, draw it in relatively large clumps, similar to those shown in the example.
Step 9 – Drawing the Sides Hair
Anime head side view hair along the side drawing
Draw the hair on the sides of the face, starting from the top and running down as one large clump that splits into two at the end. You can also add a line to indicate a slight fold.
Step 10 – Drawing the Top/Background Hair
Anime head side view hack along the back of head drawing
Draw the top section of the hair, starting from where the upper/front portion ends. The shape should somewhat mirror the shape of the head, extending all the way to the back.
Next, draw a series of clumps at the bottom, including a few additional folds around the ear. When adding the clumps, vary their directions slightly to create a more natural look.
Step 11 – Adding the Eye Details
Anime face side view line drawing
Now that the main parts of the head are outlined and the facial features are in place, it’s time to add the finer details of the eyes.
Anime eye side view drawing step by step
The above image provides a step-by-step breakdown of how to draw an anime eye from the side view. At this stage, you should be following step four of the above example (last example in the first row). Here’s what you should do:
- Draw the upper eyelid (as shown in the example).
- Add the pupil and a pair of highlights to represent light reflecting from the eye.
- Include additional hints of individual lashes at the outer corner of the eye.
- Darken the eyelashes, pupil, and upper portion of the iris.
Step 12 – Adding Shading
Anime face side view shading
Begin this step by filling in the iris, eyebrow, and hair with some basic shading. You can also incorporate color if desired. When shading the hair, leave a white streak to represent highlights.
For guidance on drawing anime-style hair highlights, please consult:
Anime face side view drawing
Once each component is shaded, proceed to add shadows cast from different parts of the head. The positioning of these shadows depends on the desired lighting. In most anime scenes, shading is depicted in a relatively generic manner, suitable for common lighting conditions such as a well-lit room or daytime outdoors.
For this shading style, follow these placement suggestions:
- Create a small shadow around the eyelid.
- Draw shadows cast by the eyelashes below them.
- Shade the upper part of the neck to indicate shadows cast by the head and hair.
- Add shadows along the bottoms of the hair clumps.
You may also darken the entire eyebrow.
For additional examples of shading in the anime or manga style, please refer to:
Drawing anime characters involves proportions that differ from those of real people, making it a somewhat challenging art form. However, with the aid of a comprehensive guide like this one, the process becomes more accessible and manageable. Whether you aspire to improve your artistic skills or simply enjoy drawing for fun, these step-by-step tutorials will undoubtedly prove valuable.
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