This tutorial shows you how to draw a manga or anime-style female face in 3/4 view. It also includes step-by-step illustrated examples.
This tutorial has a more realistic style, with a more defined nose and lips. This style is not as common in anime, but it will help you see the placements of facial features.
You will need to erase it later if you’re going to be following along with pencil and paper.
Step 1: Draw the top part of the head
Begin by creating a circle around the top of your head. Consider the circle as a sphere. Now draw a line through the sphere that will define the center of your head. The line will curve around your sphere in the same way as if you tied a string around an object. Now, look at the circle from the same angle that you are trying to draw the face. The string will appear straight if you look at it from the front. However, if you turn the ball, the string will curve.
You can make the line an oval by drawing it all the way around. Then, erase any part that is not transparent. You will be less likely to make mistakes when drawing the curve.
Step 2: Draw the center line for the face
Project a straight line from the center line of your sphere that is slightly bent inwards (towards the center of the globe). This line will connect to the lower half of the face.
Step 3 – Draw the Bottom of your Face
Add lines from the center to the sphere to draw the sides of your bottom face.
Step 4 – Draw your facial features
The facial features in the example above are as follows:
- Eyes– Below the horizontal halfway point on the head
- The nose is halfway between the top and bottom of your eyes.
- Mouth: Located halfway between the bottom of the nose and the chin, for the bottom lip. The top lip is slightly higher.
- Ears: Between the top of your eyes and the bottom of your nose
Important to remember that the proportions shown above are based upon the center line of all facial features (excluding the ears). This is because the parts of the face closest to the viewer should always be drawn slightly larger than those that are further away. This is because of perspective.
View this article for a more detailed explanation of perspective drawing.
Tutorial for Beginning Artists and How It Relates To Anime
Remember that the “far”, eyebrow, and side lips should be drawn vertically smaller than their close counterparts. Both because they are smaller due to perspective and the curve of your head, this is because they are both shorter. The viewer will see the far side of the lips, the eyebrows, and the far eye curve away from them. These should be drawn vertically. You should make sure to draw your “far side” features as close as possible to the viewer’s face.
Place the ear between the top of your eyes and the bottom end of your nose.
To draw eyes from different angles, see:
Drawing Anime Eyes from Different Angles
Drawing noses is easy with this:
How To Draw Manga and Anime Noses
Check out these tips for drawing lips:
Drawing Anime Lips Tutorial
More information on drawing ears can be found here:
How To Draw Manga Ears
Step 5 – Draw the hair
You can usually think of your hair as being divided into the top, sides, and back.
This particular style doesn’t require much hair on the “front”, as the hair is combed to each side, and layered by the sideburns.
This particular hairstyle can be traced along the top of your head, but only a little further. It curves downwards and hangs down until it reaches the ends. The ends of your hair should be split into small clumps at the back, curving away from the head.
Sideburns can be shaped slightly inwards towards your face.
This face can be styled with many different hairstyles.
Step by Step Drawing Anime Hair
Step 6 – Cleaned Up Line Drawing
You can now remove any construction lines and erase areas that have been hidden by hair. After you are done, you should have a clean line drawing.
Step 7 – Apply the color
Fill in the areas with the desired color. If coloring on paper, leave the highlights of the hair and reflections in your eyes white. Add them at the end if you are coloring digitally.
You can find more information about coloring anime charters here:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Picking Colors for Drawing Anime & Manga
- Step-by-step instructions on how to color an anime character
Step 8 – Apply Shading
We will shade the areas of shadow that are common in normal lighting conditions using the light from above, just like in other tutorials on 3dvkarts.
Places to add shadow/darken
- A few minor shadows may appear in the hair
- As the eyelids are indented, there will be tiny shadows.
- Shadows at the top of the eye from the eyelashes
- Shadows and dark reflections from the top of your irises.
- Pupils (simply make them darker)
- There is a shadow at the base of the nose
- The bottom ends of the hair will curve inwards towards your face, away from the light.
- Large shadows on the neck (fully shade it).
This particular example has some more realistic facial features than the others, but you can use the same steps to draw a traditional-looking anime character.
Keep in mind, however, that these proportions are only suggestions and may change depending on the style.
A 3/4 view of the face can be more difficult than the side or front view because you need to consider the perspective and curves of the head. Here are some tutorials for drawing female faces that are slightly easier:
- Step-by-step instructions on how to draw a cute anime girl
- Tutorial Face and Head Drawing for Anime Women
Step by Step Drawing Male Anime Faces in 3/4