This tutorial illustrates how to draw anime and manga ears from the front, side and back views in three different styles. It also explains where to place the ears in relation to the head.
Due to the variations in styles of different artists it’s hard to have one guide that matches all anime and manga ears. For this reason the tutorial show three ways of drawing them, these include a more realistic style, a somewhat simplified style and one that is very minimal. It also explains two different ways of placing the ears on the head. However, please keep in mind that there is still more variety out there and that the provided examples may not always match what you see in every anime or manga.
Above is a line by line drawing video of the first ear. It’s front, side and back. You can watch the video to get a better understanding of the drawing process and then read below for more detailed instructions.
For more videos also be sure to check out the AnimeOutline channel.
How to Draw Realistic Ears in Anime Style
This first set of examples is for a more realistic/serious anime or manga style where the ears are drawn closer to those in real life.
Realistic Ear Front View Drawing Step by Step
For the front view (head facing forward towards the viewer) do the following:
- Draw the outline of the ear’s main shape.
- Draw the rim area at the top of the ear.
- Draw the curve of the inner part of the ear looking a bit like a tree branch that splits at the top.
- Draw a bump near the middle/front section that transitions into a downward curve that then joins up with the “brach”.
Realistic Ear Side View Drawing Step by Step
The side view of the ear is a little easier to draw than the from view as it’s easier to see the placement of it’s different parts. Do it as follows:
- Outline the overall shape of the ear (wider at the top and narrower at the bottom).
- Draw the rim on the ear’s upper half that transitions into it’s middle area.
- Outline the opening around the middle of the ear.
- Add a branch-like split at the top.
Realistic Ear Back View Drawing Step by Step
The back of the ear doesn’t have much details compared to the other two views. You can draw it as follows:
- Outline the ear’s overall shape.
- Add a hint of a rim-like part at the ear’s upper/outer area.
- Extend the rim lower down and make it slightly narrower.
- Show a little bit of a curve/narrowing of the ear at the bottom as it attaches to the head.
How to Draw Semi-Realistic Ears in Anime Style
In some anime and manga manga the ears can be stylized similar to the above example. This is done by eliminating some of the smaller details and merging/simplifying others.
Semi-Realistic Ear Back Front Drawing Step by Step
For the front view draw as follows:
- Outline the ear’s outer shape.
- Draw the upper rim part that transition into a bump near the from/middle part of the ear.
- Outline the opening.
Semi-Realistic Ear Back Side Drawing Step by Step
Draw the side view with steps that are very similar to the front view.
- Outline the ear’s main shape (wider at the top narrower at the bottom).
- Draw the rim at the top that transitions into a bump at the front/middle of the ear.
- Outline the opening.
Semi-Realistic Ear Back View Drawing Step by Step
The back view drawins is very easy. Just do the following:
- Outline the ear’s main shape.
- Draw a hint of the rim at the top.
How to Draw a Simplified Ears in Anime Style
This last example of a simplified ear is the easiest to draw as it has very little detail. It can be used appropriate from more stylized characters such as “Chibi”.
For an example of drawing one of these see:
Simplified Ear Front View Drawing Step by Step
For the front view of the simplified ear you can draw as follows:
- Outline the ear’s main shape.
- Outline the rim at the top that transitions into a bump at the front/middle an then curves just a little bit further down.
Simplified Ear Side View Drawing Step by Step
Draw the side view with pretty much the same steps as the front:
- Draw the ear’s main shape.
- Draw the rim at the top that transitions to the bump at the front/middle and then goes a little farther down.
Simplified Ear Back View Drawing
For the back view of the simplified ear you can just draw it’s main outline without any other details.
How to Place Anime & Manga Ears on the Head
When drawing the ears on the head it’s important to be consistent between different views as shown above.
You can use the two methods shown below to position them.
Positioning Anime Ears on the Head – Method 1
Anime ears tend to be placed lower down on the head than real ears. One way to position them is to first draw a horizontal line through the middle of the head and another one between that line and the chin. Draw the ears between these two lines.
For side view placement draw a vertical line down the middle of the head and draw the ear to the side of that line that’s facing away from the head. Leave a little bit of distance between the line and the ear.
Positioning Anime Ears on the Head – Method 2
For more stylized or “Chibi” anime heads you can draw the ears even lower down on the head. To position these you can draw a curved line that goes down from the vertical halfway point of the head and then draw a second line that goes down form the halfway point between that and the chin.
Sometimes anime and manga ears are drawn very close to real ears and other times they can be highly simplified. The placement of the ears on the head can also change depending on their style.
As mentioned at the start of the tutorial please keep in mind that while this tutorial covers some basic ways in which anime ears can be drawn and stylized there are many more variations out there.
For drawing anime facial features see:
- How to Draw Female Anime Eyes Tutorial
- How to Draw Male Anime Eyes Video Tutorial
- How to Draw Anime and Manga Noses
- How to Draw Anime & Manga Mouths Tutorial
For drawing entire faces try: