This tutorial explains how to draw the face of a man in the anime or manga style. It includes step by step drawing examples along with a set of proportions to achieve an anime look for an adult male character.
Older anime characters (especially males) usually have better defined facial features and their faces tend to have proportions that are closer to those of real people.
In this case we will be drawing a man that can be in his 30s or 40s. We will also be using a set of proportions that is common when drawing realistic faces.
It will be a fairly muscular character so he will have a thick neck and big trapezius muscles.
For a breakdown of drawing necks you can see:
Please note to make light lines if you are drawing using pencil and paper as you will need to do some erasing in between the different steps.
Step 1 – Draw the Shape of the Head
Start your drawing by first drawing the overall shape of the head. The top of the head will be close to a circle in the front view and close to an oval in the side view. Please note that older anime male characters tend to have fairly long faces as opposed to younger characters that tend to have fairly round faces.
For the bottom half of the front view of the face draw two lines going down from the top circle that then angle more towards one another and join to form the chin.
Younger anime characters often tend to have very “sharp” chins but in this case draw a wider chin to make the character look older.
For the side view draw the lower portion of the face without the smaller details of the nose and mouth. You can simply draw a single line from the tip of the nose to the chin.
For this initial drawing you can simply estimate the position of the nose (it will be covered in later steps).
Step 2 – Position & Draw the Eyes
To position the eyes draw a horizontal line through the middle of the face and draw the eyes directly on that line.
Anime characters often tend to have their eyes drawn below the horizontal halfway point in the face but for drawing an older man like the one in this tutorial you can place the eyes almost like you would if drawing real people.
For the front view keep a distance of the width of one eye between the eyes.
For a detailed breakdown of drawing the eyes themselves you can check:
Step 4 – Position & Draw the Eyebrows
This part can get a little tricky. Before drawing the eyebrows what you first need to do is estimate where the characters hairline should be (slightly down from the top of the head) and going down from the hairline divide the face into three evenly proportioned parts.
Draw the eyebrows on the line that is the next one down from the hairline.
Step 4 – Position & Draw the Ears
Draw the ears in the middle section of the three divisions from the previous steps.
For more on drawing the ears see:
Step 5 – Position & Draw the Nose
Draw the nose with the tip close to the bottom line of the middle division.
Anime noses are often draw with just a line or even a dot but in this case we will draw a hint of the nostrils and one side of the nose.
For different styles of anime noses see:
Step 6 – Position & Draw the Mouth
Draw the mouth with the bottom lip between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin and the top lip slightly above that.
Step 7 – Draw the Hair
For “combed back” hair like in this example it will reveal the hairline so you can use the “hairline” point created earlier as a reference.
Draw some little “teeth” into the hairline area of the hair for a more natural look.
For more on drawing anime hair see:
Step 8 – Line Drawing
At this point you can clean up your drawing and remove any guide lines you created in earlier steps and in the smaller details like the wrinkles around the eyebrows and under the eyes.
You can also go over your drawing with darker lines if you need to.
Step 9 – Apply Color
Fill in each area of the drawing with the appropriate color starting with the larger areas.
Leave the eyes white if you are coloring on paper or add them in last if coloring digitally.
For a tutorial on picking colors for an anime character see:
For a step by step coloring tutorial see:
Step 10 – Add Shading
For this tutorial we will apply some basic shading in the commonly shaded areas.
In this case the major shaded areas will be:
- One the neck (a drop shadow from the chin)
- Inside the ears
- Bottom of the nose (optionally and a little bit on one side of the nose as well)
- Small shadow below the bottom lip
- Tiny shadows around the wrinkle areas
Anime characters can have very different proportions based on age and style. The tips in this tutorial should help you achieve an anime/manga style look for an adult male character drawn in a slightly more serious style.
For drawing a young male anime character see see:
For drawing a woman’s face you can see: