Illustration

Anime Tutorial: Face Proportions for Beginners

Learn how to draw anime face proportions correctly by following these simple tips, with Geoff Pascual

They may look simple, but every anime character has a unique, expressive look. Thankfully, to draw expressive anime-style characters all you need to do is follow a few basic rules. Once you’ve mastered these, you can create your own, personalized anime characters.

Watercolor artist Geoff Pascual (@geoff_pascual) is known for his beautiful, Japanese-inspired compositions. Heavily influenced by the anime and manga that inspired him as a child, Geoff makes artwork from his Californian art studio, Pascual Productions, and sells it around the globe.

Before he can add the expressive details that help his anime characters pop from the page, Geoff follows a set of simple rules to ensure that their proportions are correct. Watch the video to find out what they are.

How to Draw Anime Face Proportions for Beginners

Drawing the Face Shape

1. Draw the head of your adult character

Draw a simple circle for the top of the head, then addlines for the chin and jawline. Every anime character has a unique face shape, but in general female characters have tapered chins while the jawlines of male characters are more angular.

Anime Tutorial: Face Proportions for Beginners 5
Female characters have tapered chins while the jawlines of male characters are more angular

2. Drawing a child’s face

For younger characters, draw a second circle to form the jaw and chin. This will accentuate the “chubbiness” that is often associated with young, child-like faces.

Anime Tutorial: Face Proportions for Beginners 7
Children's faces are usually made up of two circles to accentuate youthful "chubbiness".

Adding in Details

3. Outline the hair

Hair is a detail that will make your anime character instantly recognizable. First, draw the general shape of the hair; then, fill out the details. You can draw a few strands here and there, but be careful not to add too much detail since this isn’t typical of anime art.

Anime Tutorial: Face Proportions for Beginners 9
Draw the general shape of the hair before you add details.

4. Draw the eye

Draw a basic circle for the eye, then draw the bottom and top eyelids directly on top of the circle. You can vary how thick or thin you want the lids to be, before adding the iris, pupil, and any highlights. You can also draw a small line above the eye, along the edge of your initial circle, to show where the eyelid creases.

Anime Tutorial: Face Proportions for Beginners 11
To draw the eye, begin with a basic sphere, then add the eyelids on top.

5. Use a triangle for the nose

Noses and mouths are traditionally very simple in anime. A common shape for a nose in anime is a triangle. The triangle represents the shadow that is cast by the nose, and it can be as tall, short, wide or thin as you like.

Anime Tutorial: Face Proportions for Beginners 13
Anime noses are usually made up of a simple triangle of varying sizes.

Did you enjoy this tutorial? If you’d like to learn more about the basics of manga and anime and how to use watercolor for your manga illustrations, check out Geoff Pascual’s online course Expressive Manga Illustration in Watercolor.

You may also like:

- 5 Interesting Facts About Manga
- Creation of Manga Characters, a course by Andrea Jen
- Manga Tutorial: Give Eyes Color and Sparkle
- Drawing Manga Characters From Scratch, a course by EUDETENIS

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