How to Draw Anime Faces

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Drawing anime faces begins by mastering anime-styled eyes, which are large, rounded and shiny. Draw in the anime style, distinguishing male anime faces from female anime faces, with a demonstration from a professional cartoonist and illustrator with this free video on drawing.

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Video Transcript

All right, folks. In this clip, I'm going to teach you how to draw anime faces, and I can tell you right off the bat, it is all in the eyes. If you want to learn how to draw anime, start there. I'm going to start by showing you how to draw a girl's eyes as opposed to a guy's. They seem to have a little bit bigger eyes, and here's what you do. First, you draw the outer edge of the eye -- the iris, I guess you could say. And one thing you're going to really do is you're going to leave a clear bit of definition for what would be the inner glow. You see that little inside circle I drew there that was lighter than the outer edge? That's going to be for the glow alone. Most anime characters really have a strong glow to their eyes. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to come in and draw the middle or the black portion of the iris. Now, it seems that, in doing this, it's...I don't know. It just looks a little bit off. It looks a little unusual. The truth of it is, you know, anime is a little unusual. It's its own distinct style. It's definitely unique, and it's one of a kind. I mean, all across the world, it's, you know, clearly, like, established itself as being its own unique style. Now, from here, you could come in and draw this girl's eyebrows like that, and this is really supposed to be sort of like her eye and lashes. You can come in here and you can give her lashes if you want. It's not necessary. I mean, you already firmly established that's her eyes right there. Then to really make it kind of anime, you're going to give her just the tiniest nose possible. You probably won't even be able to hardly see that, so I'll just do it a little bit bigger. Tiny, tiny, little nose right there just to kind of sell the look of it. And then, you know, top it off by giving her a little bit of a mouth there. And that is really the standard. I mean, they draw almost all of the attention to the character's eyes. They don't do a lot of detail to the face. They don't give a lot of detail to any other part of the face other than the eyes, and then they save the rest of it, obviously, for when they draw the hair because the hair is huge. It's the second most clear-cut feature on any anime character's face. Now, moving over to guy's eyes, they're slightly different. I would say it's a little bit...a little bit more masculine, which obviously would make sense since it's a guy's eyes. We're going to come in here, and we're going to give this guy kind of a wide-eyed expression. But there really is no one clear way to draw a guy's eyes as opposed to drawing a girl's eyes. Like, I think that it's...you know, you can definitely tell it's the same style, but it's a little bit different of an approach. We're still going to give him the reflection -- the white, little glow -- but we're going to make this guy just a little bit different -- that you can already start to see some of the differences because they're not as oval-shaped, they're not as cutesy. I'm not going to give him lashes or anything. I'm going to give him some thicker eyebrows. We can clearly see the differences. I think eyebrows are definitely more of a masculine trait. And the other big thing is we're going to give him a clear-cut, defined nose, which we did not do for our girl. And that's definitely more of a masculine trait as well. Big smile, and then if we were going to go in and we give this guy some clear-cut, you know, hair or something. But you see what I'm saying, like, this is essentially the best approach whenever you assume you're going to draw anime-style faces, start with the eyes because those are, by far, the most important and then move on into the hair. That is the second most important feature.

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