How to Draw a Manga Face – A Quick Manga Face Tutorial

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Faces seem complicated, but they’re not once you understand how to start off properly and then simply use reference points to figure out

where to put everything. You can really learn to do this right now, today, and start drawing decent quality Manga characters almost immediately. To draw a Manga face, the first thing you do is just draw a simple circle, that’s it. This will always be the starting point, and this should always be done with an

easily erasable pencil (you’ll see why in a bit). The line that you’re going to draw straight down the middle will help to serve as a reference point. Now, take note that adult characters have longer chins and more slender faces, whereas children tend to have shorter chins and more rounded faces. From here, things get a bit more complicated, so grab some paper and pencil(s) and have a look at this:


If you’re drawing a child, you should remember that their face needs to be a bit more round, and the eyes should appear bigger

than they would on an adult. Also, the amount of the face that’s below the mouth is very minimal, and the bridge of the nose is just barely distinctive. A quick tip to make a face appear younger and more childish is to position the eyes and ears just below the horizontal line. One of the most difficult things to do with the

face is drawing the eyes, when doing so remember:

  • The eyebrow will tend to follow the shape of the upper eyelid to some degree.
  • The eyes on a Manga face will typically have a top and a bottom with ‘suggested’ sides or corners.
  • Eyes of Manga girls normally have more highlights in them than those of the boys and their eyelashes are also almost always longer.
  • The upper eyelid usually casts a shadow on the eye itself, regardless of lighting.
  • The distance from the eyebrow to the upper eyelid should be proportional to the eye’s height.

Additional Resources and Further Reading

Here’s a great detailed step-by-step tutorial from about.com with plenty of example pictures.

MangaTutorials.com has a LOT of awesome material if you want to know anything and everything about drawing manga, plus there’s an excellent forum as well.

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