How to Draw an Anime Elf Girl Step by Step

This tutorial will show you how to draw a female anime/manga elf character. There are many variations of the ears and face, as well as different colors.

Step-by-step drawing of the anime elf girl

The ears are what sets anime/manga characters apart from other human characters. Other fantasy and sci-fi characters may have pointed ears.

This tutorial explains:

  • This step-by-step guide will show you how to draw an anime elf’s facial features
  • There are four different ways to draw elf ears
  • There are two ways to draw the face
  • Two-color options (for regular and dark elf characters)

When you’re going to draw with pencil and paper, make sure you start with lines you can easily erase. This will be necessary between certain steps. After you have placed the various parts of your head/face, you can trace the line using a darker stroke.

Step 1: Draw the center guideline and top of the head

Head top drawing of an anime elf girl

Start by drawing a vertical line across the center of your drawing area. This will help you determine if the heads are equally wide.

Next, draw a circle to represent the top of the head.

Step 2: Draw the bottom of the head

Bottom drawing of an anime elf girl’s head

Draw the bottom portion of the head by drawing a circle down from it. The bottom should be drawn as in the example above. How to Draw Anime Skirts Step by Step

Step 3 – Draw your neck and shoulders

Drawing of anime elf girl neck, shoulders, and neck

Draw the lines from the top of the head to the shoulders. The drawing will look more like a portrait than a “floating” head.



How To Draw an Anime Neck and Shoulders

Step 4 – Position and Draw the Eyes

Vertical Eye Positioning

Drawing of an anime elf girl with angled eyes

Divide the face horizontally into two halves to place the eyes. This horizontal line can be used to ensure that both eyes are at the same level.

This will make the eyes narrower so draw them slightly lower than the line.

In this example, draw your eyes slightly down (towards the nose) for the first example.

You can now forget about the details like the pupils, eyelashes, and reflections. These details will be added later.

Horizontal Eye Spacing

Anime elf girl eye spacing

Place the eyes so that one eye can be between them.

Different types of eyes

Drawing of an anime elf girl with angled eyes

You can draw another version of the eyes depending on what type of character you are trying to portray. This one is for someone with a milder personality.

This set of eyes should be drawn with the outer ends of their eyes pointing downwards.


How To Draw Anime Eyes & Eye Expressions


Step 5 – Position and Draw the Eyebrows

Drawing of an anime elf girl with lowered eyebrows

The eyebrows should be drawn slightly above the eyes. This set of eyes requires that the eyebrows be drawn downwards towards your nose (same as for the eyes).

You can also use this site to draw different types of eyebrows:

How to Draw Anime & Manga Eyebrows

Different types of eyebrows

Drawing of anime elf girl raises eyebrows

You can raise your eyebrows slightly if you choose the second type of eyes.

Step 6 – Position and Draw the Nose

Drawing of the nose of an anime elf girl

The nose can be drawn as a tiny dot or vertical dash. This particular face is best if the nose is slightly higher than the halfway point of the line between the lines used to place the eyes and the bottom part of the chin.


How To Draw Manga and Anime Noses

Step 7 – Position and Draw the Mouth

Mouth drawing of an anime elf girl

The bottom lip of your mouth (not drawn) should be approximately halfway between the bottom edge of your nose and the bottom edge of your chin. The actual mouth can be drawn just a little bit higher than that point.

This will give the character a little more smile so that you can draw the mouth a bit less straightforwardly than it is in its natural state.



  • Drawing Anime Mouths Tutorial
  • How To Draw Manga Mouth Expressions
  • 12 Anime Facial Expressions Chart and Drawing Tutorial

Step 8 – Position and Draw the Elf Ears

Drawing different types of anime elf ears

Sometimes the way that elf ears are drawn is purely a fashion decision, but sometimes they can help to emphasize a character’s personality. A more upbeat personality can be characterized by having more pointed ears. Characters with more gentle or shy personalities can have downward-pointing ears.

This could be explained by the fact that animals raise their ears when they are on guard or alert and lower them when they are scared. This is something almost everyone is familiar with and used to. Drawing pointy anime/manga ears can be a way to communicate a message about the character that they are associated with.

The first two pairs can be used for the upbeat/regular face and the third set for the shy/mild one.

You can draw normal ears by:

How To Draw Manga Ears

Drawing Raised Ears

Anime raised elf ears drawing

It is common for the base of your ears to be hidden behind hair, but it is a good idea to learn how to position them on the head to avoid making mistakes.

You can draw the first set of ears with your tips raised a bit higher than the eyebrows.

You can place the base of your ears at the same level or slightly lower than the bottom of your nose. The top can be placed around the top of your eyes.

This is a fantasy and stylized character. However, if your ear placement is incorrect, it can cause your drawing to look strange.

Here are some tips and tricks to avoid common mistakes in the drawing.

Common Mistakes in Drawing Manga & Anime

Drawing Medium Raised Ears

Anime medium raised elf ears drawing

Alternately, you could draw the ears slightly lower than in the example.

The base of the ears should be placed in the same manner as in the previous example. This can be repeated for the second and third sets.

Drawing Medium Lowerered Ears

Anime medium lowered elf ears drawing

For a “mild personality” look, you can draw your ears lower than the ends and combine them with step 4’s second set of eyes.

Drawing lowered ears

Anime lowered elf ears drawing

You can also draw the “reversed” ears, where they curve in the other direction and hang quite far down.

Step 9 – Draw your hair

As shown below, you can think about hair as being divided into three sections: the front, side, and back.

This explanation and examples of other hairstyles can be found here:

How To Draw Manga Hair – Female

Draw the front section of your hair

Anime elf girl front hair drawing

This particular hairstyle is best if you start at the front as shown. The middle will have a little clump, while the rest of your hair should be swept to the sides.

Draw the side sections of your hair

Anime elf girl sides hair drawing

Add the sides to the “front hair”. Hair of this length tends to “hug”, so draw each side with light curves.

Draw the back section of your hair

Anime elf girl back hair drawing

Add the top/back section as shown.

Step 10 – Add small details to the facial features

Anime elf girl raised ears drawing

Finish the line drawing by adding all the small details.

These include:

  • The eyelids are located between the eyebrows.
  • Eyelashes
  • The inner details of the eyes
  • The Ears: Inside Details
  • Hairstyles
  • Hints on neck muscles/collar bones

Drawing of the Eye Details

Anime elf eyes drawing step by step

Below is a step-by-step breakdown of how to draw the eyes.

It’s recommended to add some shading to your eyes if you don’t want to stop at a simple line drawing. You can use color to replace the grey if you want to go on to the coloring section.


Tutorial Drawing Female Anime Eyes

You can find more eyelash variations at:

Step by Step Drawing Eyelashes for Animes

After you have finished adding details, if you used a pencil or made light lines as the tutorial suggested, you can trace your drawing using a darker stroke. You can also use a marker or black pen, but be careful not to make mistakes.

Alternative Face Details

Anime elf girl lowered ears drawing

You can also see the alternate version of the character with slightly different ears and facial features.

Step 11 – Apply color

Anime elf girl coloring

Only two colors will be used for this particular character. The skin, the eyebrows, and the eyes will be one and the other.

Green is a common color for anime hair. This color can be great for elves, as they are often associated with nature and forests.

If you’re coloring on paper, you might want to keep the highlights white (see the last step of this tutorial) and then color around them. You can also add them to your hair digitally. They can be added with white pencils or white paints.

Dark Elf Color Variation

Anime dark elf girl coloring

Alternatively, you can make the character a darker elf by changing the colors in the same way as the example.

Step 12 – Complete the Elf Character Drawing

Anime elves drawing

Add some basic shading to complete the elf drawing. This particular character will have generalized shadows, which are most commonly seen in normal lighting conditions.

Add the shadows like this:

  • The hair should be brushed on the forehead/face.
  • The area around the eyelids is very small.
  • The top of your eyes (from the eyelashes).
  • The inner parts of the ears
  • To the right of the nose
  • Below the bottom lip (lip not drawn).
  • From the head/hair, on the neck


How to Shade An Anime Face Under Different Lighting

The shadow can be added in the exact same spots as the dark elf.

You can add highlights to your hair after you have finished the shadows. These highlights will look like a series of zigzags, but you also have the option to do simpler styles.

Highlights are not necessary for the dark elf hair as it is already pure white. They won’t be noticeable.

You can also see examples of hair highlights from other styles:

How to Draw Highlights in Anime Hair

Normal Elf Character

Anime elf girl drawing

Above is a large, finished drawing of the first version.

Alternative Elf Character

Anime elf girl ears down drawing

An alternative version of the “mild personality look”

Dark Elf Character

Anime dark elf girl drawing

The dark elf version of the same product is available in a slightly different template.

Shy Dark Elf Character

Anime dark elf girl ears down drawing

The dark elf version is the “mild personality” in the final example.

You can also read:

A Beginner’s Guide to Picking Colors for Drawing Anime & Manga


It is very easy to draw an anime/manga elf character. You can give an elf a personality boost by using the ears.


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Learn more about expressing personality and drawing characters.

  • Tutorial Drawing Anime Characters
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to draw an anime girl

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