This video tutorial teaches you how to draw the facial expressions of chibi characters. Chibi characters are extremely simplified versions of manga or anime styles depicted with large heads and small bodies. Chibi expressions are the absolute minimal amount of expression needed to convey an emotion, and they can make an artist save lots of time. They could be used to create “cut-ins” in more serious styles of manga or anime.
Chibi Anime Expressions and Emotions
Because the characters are stylized, it is difficult to establish specific guidelines to correctly place their facial features.
When drawing faces in chibi, you should keep the eyes from being drawn in a single line. To position the eyes (as suggested in other tutorials that you can find in this article on Anime Outline) you can draw a horizontal line in the middle of the head, and then make the eyes appear below this line. To create a chibi-style mouth/eyebrows, make an estimate of the location according to what you think looks good.
. Instead, the mouth could be able to break free from the shape of the head.
For proportions to draw an entire chibi character, refer to:
How to Draw Chibi Anime Character Step by Step
Drawing Normal Chibi Anime Expression
To draw a typical expression for the character from a chibi anime, draw the eyes exactly like you would draw an ordinary anime character. Make the eyes slightly higher than the eyes, and draw the mouth with a gentle curve.
Drawing Puppy Eyes Chibi Anime Expression
If you want to create a puppy-eye or the begging look, you can draw your eyes in black, with massive reflections, and even more than normal. Draw the mouth downwards in a curve that is slightly higher than normal to show that the lip’s bottom is elevated. Draw the eyebrows slightly more in relation to one another than normal curving upwards and then rising towards the middle of your face.
Drawing Nervous Chibi Anime Expression
To create a slightly anxious cartoon expression, draw the irises/pupils in the eye slightly larger, and tilting towards the side. The eyebrows should be slightly elevated toward the center of the face, and then curve upwards. Draw the mouth using the smile lightly. If you’re shading your drawing, don’t color the inside of your mouth to show that you’re looking at the whites of the teeth. For the actual chibi part, draw a large drop icon on the top part of the other part of your head. This will indicate sweat.
Drawing Very Embarrassed/Shocked Chibi Anime Expression
If you want to create a very embarrassing shocked look, draw the eyes in two circles, with a long outline (no other specifics). Draw the eyebrows in 2 straight lines (thicker than normal eyebrows) that are downwards toward the center of the face and gently cover the eye. Draw the mouth fully covering the chin down the face. The mouth should have a more or less rectangular shape with curly corners.
Drawing a “Love” Chibi Anime Expression
To create the “love” expression in the cartoon style, simply draw eyes using two hearts. Be aware that this doesn’t need to be the case for someone. It can be used to express emotions towards whatever the character likes. Make sure that the eyebrows are slightly raised as well as draw the mouth in a similar way to an oval but with its top cut.
Drawing Scared Chibi Anime Expression
To create a truly scared expression in chibi, make the eyes appear as two circles, with a thick outline, but no other specifics. Draw the eyebrows larger than usual (no line weight difference) with light upside-down curves that are raised toward the center of the face. Create an open mouth that’s bigger in length than the height.
Drawing a Ticked Off Chibi Anime Expression
To create a ticked-off expression, draw the eyes in half circles, with thick lines and a horizontal straight line above them to show the eyelids or eyelashes. Draw the eyebrows using simple straight lines, with no line weight variations going toward mid-face. The mouth should be in a downward curving direction and tilted to the opposite side of the face.
Drawing a Really Angry Chibi Anime Expression
To create a very angry anime look, Draw the eyes as circles with thick outlines, but with the top portion marginally removed from the eyes. Draw the eyebrows in broad straight lines that face downwards toward the center of the face, but draw the outer edges of the eyebrows straight upwards. The eyebrows should form an almost “checkmark” shape. Make the mouth wide and all the way to the top of the face and cover the cheeks. Draw the top of the mouth with a downwards curve. To enhance the expression, stylized, draw a pop vein symbol in the center of the forehead.
Drawing a Content Chibi Anime Expression
To create a content chibi, draw eyes that are closed, with the eyes that are tilted upwards toward the center of the face. The eyebrows should be raised and tilted to the side. Draw the mouth using an easy smile. If you’re shading, do not shade the inside of the mouth so that it appears that teeth are visible. You could create the exact mouth in the standard expression.
Drawing a Happy Chibi Anime Expression
To create a happy chibi, draw the eyebrows and eyes similar to the content. Draw the mouth as close in shape to the shape of a half-oval. Draw the lower part of the mouth, going over the chin and breaking free from the overall design of the head.
Drawing a Hungry/Dazed Chibi Anime Expression
If you are hungry or thinking about food, draw the eyes shut in slightly downwards curvatures. The eyebrows should be slightly elevated. Draw your mouth open with a curly smile however with round corners. Then draw a small drop of saliva on one face. Because this is a Chibi expression, draw the drool drip like it’s integrated into the overall design of your mouth.
Drawing a Daydreaming Chibi Anime Expression
To create a chibi expression that evokes a dream, draw eyes that look like the greater and lesser symbolisms (“>” as well. “<“). Draw the eyebrows curving upwards and then raised to the center of your head. Draw the mouth in the shape of a circle, but with the top removed.
Drawing a Crying/Really Upset Chibi Anime Expression
To create a really angry crying expression, draw the eyes in two circles with thick lines with no additional specifics. Make the eyebrows slant upwards towards the middle of the face by bending upwards. Draw tears flowing from the eyes to the lower part of the face, in the form of a wave. Draw the mouth using an elongated shape starting at the top and going all down to the lower portion of the face and over the chin.
Drawing a Smug Chibi Anime Expression
For a smug-looking chibi expression, draw eyes that look towards the side in half ovals, with long lines on the top to indicate the eyes. Draw the lines of the eyelids curving slightly upwards, and then angled downwards toward the center part of the head. Draw the eyebrows a little closer to each other than the normal upwards curvatures towards the center of the head. Create a mouth that is in smiling but shade the interior (if you’re shading the drawing).
Drawing a Gloating Chibi Anime Expression
For a giddy anime look, draw the eyes in 2 “bean-like” shapes (curved downwards). Draw the eyebrows as the expression of smugness above. Similar to the eyes, draw your mouth in a similar shape. If you’re shading, leave the inside of your mouth clear to show that your teeth are visible.
Drawing a Dazed/Confused Anime Expression
To create a confused or dazed expression (like the person was knocked on their head) draw the eyebrows in spiral lines. Make the eyebrows higher with gentle bumps to their inner edges to show that they’re being squeezed. Keep the mouth slightly open
Chibi expressions are quite simple to draw and are a great method to learn to draw in anime style. If you’re looking to draw facial expressions that are more serious manga or anime style, check out:
- How to Draw Anime Facial Hair – Beards & Mustaches
- 12 Anime Male Facial Expressions Chart & Drawing Tutorial
- How to Draw Anime Tongue Out Face Step by Step
- How to Draw Anime Lips Tutorial