Drawing Tips

How To Draw Manga Faces Step By Step

How To Draw Manga Faces Step By Step

How To Draw Manga Faces And Heads

Hello and welcome to this tutorial on how to draw manga faces. In our last tutorial, you learned how to draw a manga body. Well after you are done with this manga tutorial, you’ll be able to put a face to that body.

Drawing the face is the most crucial point to any illustrations. The face holds the capacity for expressions, and therefore reveals the character’s personality, thoughts, and desires.

I like to think of the face as the house of the character’s soul. There is so much about an anime or manga character that you can show through the face.

For example, a scar on the face suggests that this character is battle-worn and a warrior. On the other hand, big, glistening eyes and unblemished skin implies innocence and youth.

Character attribute can be blatant or subtle. That’s up to you to have fun with and play around with.

One of the beauty of manga art is that you can use facial features, expressions, and other graphical tools to convey your character to the audience.

Remember, the manga character is a graphical representation and the personality of the character must be conveyed as such without using words.

In learning how to draw manga faces, expressions communicate the ever changing emotional state of the character. Surprise, wonder, fear, anger, joy, worry, rage, distrust, and love are all emotional states revealed and highlighted by facial features.

For example, the eyebrows angled down portray anger; an upturned mouth signifies happiness.

Manga in a great example of the economical use of lines to depict emotions.

In manga, these expressions are dramatically exaggerated, but they are simplified. These simplified lines increase the clarity of the images and send a stronger signal to the viewer.

The shape of a character’s head can also be used to show age and personality.


This diagram shows (from left to right) the head shape of a youth, a teen, and an adult. As you can see, the head shape changes with age.

Youthful manga characters have rounder heads and bigger eyes. As they age, the eyes become smaller and the head narrows and lengthens.

Step-By-Step Instructions For How To Draw Manga Faces

Step 1 of how to draw manga faces: Draw a circle. This will be the head.

Next add the jaw. Make sure the jaw is symmetrical because we are looking at the face from head on.

Step 2 of how to draw manga faces is to draw a vertical line down the middle of the face. This will act as a guide for the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Step 3 is to sketch the eyes and nose.


Step 4 is to add in the details for the eyes. Don’t worry to much about what they look like at this point. You’ll learn to perfect your eye drawing as you progress.

(Also there is a detail section on just how to draw eyes in the “Mad About Manga” e-course if you should choose to invest in it.)


Step 5 of how to draw manga faces is to add the eyebrows and hair. Have fun and experiment with the angle of the eyebrows. You’ll find that you can make a pretty wide range of emotions just by varying the degree of the eyebrows.

Also, notice that manga ears are generally smaller than real ears and can stick out further.

And the final step of how to draw manga faces is to fill in the hair. (You’ll learn more techniques for drawing creative manga hair in the “Mad About Manga” e-course.)

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