How to Draw a Realistic Anime Face Step by Step -

How to Draw a Realistic Anime Face Step by Step

How to Draw a Realistic Anime Face Step by Step

This tutorial will show you how to draw a realistic-looking anime female face. It is different from traditional anime styles.


Realistic anime face drawing step by step

It is more difficult to draw an anime face that looks realistic than a manga or anime-style face. Although the actual drawing process isn’t difficult, the difficulty lies in maintaining an anime-like look while still maintaining semi-realistic facial features.

This tutorial will help you overcome that challenge. This tutorial explains how to draw the head, as well as the main facial features. It helps you achieve a more realistic look.

Use light lines in the initial stages of drawing to make it easy to erase portions later. These lines are drawn in the dark so you can easily see them. After you have checked that everything is correct, you can add darker lines to your drawing.

Step 1: Drawing a semi-realistic looking anime head

Realistic anime head drawing

The faces of anime characters are generally quite round. Two sets of lines are commonly used to draw the bottom of anime faces. One goes down from the top of a head to the mouth and another from there to the neck. The chin is usually drawn with either a slight curve or a sharp point.

To make your anime face look more real, draw it in the same way as before but with a wider and flatter chin. This will give you a closer representation of a real chin. Optionally, you can make your head taller (longer vertically).

To ensure that both sides of your face are equal, start by drawing a vertical line. Next, draw the rounded shape of the top of your head. Then project the lines from the bottom of the head.

You can view the following images to see different types of anime heads:

How To Draw Different Styles Of Anime Heads & Faces


Check out these examples to see the different styles of eyes:

How To Draw Different Types Of Anime Eyes

Step 2 – Drawing your eyes

Realistic anime eyes drawing

The eyes should be positioned the same way as for traditional anime characters (as shown in tutorials on AnimeOutline). Draw a horizontal line across the middle of your face, and then draw the eyes below it. Place the eyes so you can place another eye between them.

The eyes should be drawn vertically, but wider than the real thing. The iris should be round. Both anime irises as well as the pupils can often be vertically stretched.

After you have made sure that the facial features are properly placed, you can leave the details such as the pupil reflections or eyelashes to be drawn later. This article will explain why you should draw this way and provide other advice on drawing anime.

Beginner Guide to Drawing Anime & Manga

Step 3: Drawing a semi-realistic nose

Realistic anime nose drawing

Traditional anime noses are usually drawn with a dot (in front view). However, you can create a nose that looks more real.

The nose should be positioned as it would for an anime character. Similar to other tutorials on AnimeOutline.

You can break down the entire drawing of a realistic-looking nose into many curves. Two small curves should be drawn for the nostrils. To give an idea of the sides, draw two curves. Add one curve to the tip of your nose, and then show the bridge of your nose with a long, curved line. Make sure you only draw the final line on one side. If you add it on both sides, your drawing will be odd.

You can find more anime noses here:


How To Draw Manga and Anime Noses

Step 4 – Drawing your Ears

Realistic anime ears drawing

You can draw the ears as you would for other anime styles. The top of your ears should align with your eyes. The bottom of your ears should align with your nose.

Check out these detailed examples of anime ears drawn:

How To Draw Manga Ears

You should note that the tutorial’s ears will be covered in hair eventually.

Step 5 – Drawing the lips and mouth

Realistic anime mouth drawing

Although anime mouths are often drawn without lips, you can add them to make them more lifelike.

Place the bottom lip between the bottom and top of your nose.

The mouth can be drawn as a curve, with a break at the middle. It can be drawn wider than traditional anime mouths.

The tutorial below provides a detailed explanation of how to draw lips.

Drawing Anime Lips Tutorial


Step 6: Drawing semi-Realistic anime hair

Traditional vs realistic anime hair clumps

Pointy clumps are the norm for anime hair. You can view the hair as a collection of clumps, but with no pointy ends. This will give it a more natural look. To give the appearance of hair strands, leave the clump’s end “open” and draw lines in these openings. It will result in hair that looks more natural but is still easy to draw.

Realistic anime hair drawing breakdown

It can be helpful to visualize the hair as being divided into different parts, such as the one shown above.

  • Red-Front Hair
  • Side Hair
  • Blue – Back/Top Hair

This method can be used to draw different styles of anime hairstyles.

How To Draw Manga Hair – Female

Realistic anime hair basic line drawing

Keep these points in mind when drawing your hair. Draw the overall shape of the hair and add the clumps. Do not add the smaller sections yet.

Realistic anime hair clumps drawing

After you have drawn the main shapes of your hair, you can add the smaller splits between the larger clumps for a bit more detail.

Realistic anime hair drawing

You should end up with a drawing that is similar to the one shown above.

You can also find more information about drawing anime hair at:

How to Draw an Anime Hair in Different Directions

Step 7 – Clean up the Drawing

Realistic anime face line drawing

This is a quick step that will allow you to simply shave the areas of your head and face that has been covered by hair. You should now have a straight line, with all facial features back in their proper places.

Step 8 – Drawing the small details of the eyes

Realistic anime face drawing

Once you have drawn the basic outline of your face, you can add the details to the eyes.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to drawing anime eyes.

Tutorial Drawing Female Anime Eyes

Although the tutorial’s eyes are slightly different than the example, the same drawing steps apply. You can simply modify them to make them look more like those in the example.

Also, it was suggested that you use light lines in the tutorial’s first steps. After you have reached this point, you can redraw your drawing using darker lines.

Step 9 – Apply Shading to Finish the Drawing

Realistic anime face drawing shaded drawing

You can finish the drawing by adding some basic shading.

You can use shadows to shade areas that are most susceptible to being shaded by a single light source, but you will need to do a generalized shading. These shadows are usually:

  • Take a look at the hair around the forehead.
  • The eyelids
  • The bottom of the nose
  • The upper neck area (cast by your head)
  • Hair’s inner/background area


How to Shade An Anime Face Under Different Lighting

Make sure you leave the highlights of your hair uncolored.


How to Draw Anime Kissing Lips & Face Tutorial


When trying to draw an anime character that looks semi-realistic, it can be difficult to strike the right balance between anime style and realist art. Although this tutorial provides some guidelines, there is no single way to draw these characters. Try out different facial features to see what results you get.


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