How to Draw Anime Heads & Faces in Different Styles

This video tutorial shows drawing different styles of manga and anime heads and faces, ranging from the standard styles to more stylized (also called “Chibi”).


Different anime head and face styles

Below are a few basic instances of the identical characters drawn in different styles with explanations of how they differ from each other.

Standard Anime Heads & Faces

Anime faces a common style

The above designs are similar to the styles typically employed in manga and anime. Most of the time, they feature body proportions that are very similar to the proportions of real-life human beings.

The style isn’t the only factor that affects the size and shape of heads in anime. The age of the characters is also a factor. Children tend to have more round faces and heads that are larger than other parts of their bodies.

For more information on drawing faces for characters of different ages, you will find:

  • How to Draw a Cute Anime Girl Step by Step
  • 8-Step Anime Woman’s Head & Face Drawing Tutorial
  • 8-Step Anime Boy’s Head & Face Drawing Tutorial

Stylized Anime Heads & Faces

Anime faces more stylized

The more stylized versions of anime characters are likely to have larger eyes and larger cheeks. Characters with more stylized designs also are more likely to sport heads larger relative to the body. These are different from those seen in real life.

Chibi Anime Heads & Faces

Anime faces very stylized “Chibi”

Chibi characters are highly stylized. They usually have large faces, round jaws, and big eyes. However, the nose is usually not drawn in any way. They also typically have heads that are huge compared to the other parts of their body.

Comparison of Different Styles of Anime Heads

Different types of anime heads

In the example above, you can see the distinction between different styles of anime heads.

As we’ve already said, ones with more stylized features are usually drawn larger and have more rounded chins.


Comparison of Different Styles of Anime Facial Features

Anime head and face types

The illustration above illustrates how the facial features of anime are prone to change based on the style.

When drawing facial features in the three initial examples you may follow the guidelines below.

For characters with a lot of stylization like the examples in the previous three guidelines might not be applicable. when creating “Chibi” characters you can draw the nose and mouth lower than in the illustration below. Since these kinds of characters can be extremely stylized it’s difficult to come up with any clear guidelines for drawing these characters.

For some ideas on proportions of chibis, check out:

How to Draw Chibi Anime Character Step by Step

Also, look up:

16 Examples of How to Draw Chibi Anime Facial Expressions

Placing Anime Facial Features for More Realistic Styles

Anime facial features
  1. Draw the head
  2. Make a horizontal line across the middle of your head to help you position the facial features more evenly across each side of your head.
  3. Create a vertical line across the middle of your head, and make the eyelids below it.
  4. Draw your nose halfway between the middle of your face and the chin.
  5. Make sure that your mouth is slightly above the midpoint between your cheek and the nose.

Drawing Anime Facial Features to Match the Style

Anime eye comparison

For more serious versions of anime eyes, make them more similar to the real eyes (although still a lot larger).

for “Chibi” faces drawing the eyes longer as well as “taller”. It is also possible to not draw the lower eyelashes.

If you want to see other examples of how anime eyes are drawn, see:


  • How to Draw Different Types of Anime and Manga Eyes
  • How to Draw Anime Eyes and Eye Expressions
Anime eyebrow comparison

For anime with less stylized and manga characters, draw the eyebrows that are covered by hair (if the hair falls down to that level). For characters that are more stylized, draw the eyelashes straight above that hair.

How to Draw Anime & Manga Male & Female Hair

In the highly stylized faces of chibi, it is possible to not draw the nose completely.

The mouth can be drawn almost the same across all types (single lines). Although in some realistic anime styles, or if the character is wearing lipstick, the mouths can be drawn slightly differently.

For more examples of drawing mouths from anime, check out:

  • How to Draw Anime and Manga Mouth Expressions
  • How to Draw Anime Lips Tutorial


This tutorial outlined some of the basic drawing techniques for different types of anime faces, but clearly, there are many more variations and styles out there. It is possible to experiment with combining various elements of different styles and explore what you can create.

For a more similar tutorial see:

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