How to Draw Anime Facial Expressions – Side View
This tutorial explains how to draw an anime girl’s face as well as anime faces in general from the side view (profile) in different states and with different expressions.
You can see a preview of all 16 expression above. As mentioned, these are for a female face.
For the male counterpart of this tutorial see:
How to Draw Anime Male Facial Expressions Side View
Anime Face Proportions Side View
In the above example you can see the basic proportions for drawing an anime face.
Draw the eye below the vertical halfway point of the head, draw the nose roughly between that and the chin, draw the bottom lip roughly between the chin and the nose with the mouth slightly above it. Draw the ears starting from the top of the yes to roughly the bottom of the nose.
Please note that these are only guidelines for a more common anime look. The proportions of anime faces can change based on character type and style variations.
For a detailed guide on drawing an anime face from the side view see:
How to Draw Anime Face Side View (With Proportions)
For drawing eye and mouth side view expressions individually see:
Drawing Normal Anime Side View Facial Expression
For a normal anime expression simply place the facial features as described above.
Drawing a Lightly Open Side View Mouth
For drawing an open mouth an important thing to note is that the jaw will be lower down. Also keep in mind that it is only the lower jaw that moves when the mouth is opens. The upper jaw stays in place.
Drawing an Open Side View Mouth
For a wider open mouth be away that the jaw does not drop directly down when the mouth opens but also swings backwards towards the neck. Draw the jaw lower down and farther back towards the neck.
Drawing a Yelling Side View Face
For a yelling face draw the jaw same place as you would for the wider open mouth but draw the lips more pulled back revealing more of the teeth. Draw the eye lightly squinted.
Drawing a Frowning/Serious Side View Face
For a frowning expression draw the eyebrow in a wave like shape pointing downwards towards the nose. Draw the mouth curving downwards towards the neck.
Drawing a Surprised Side View Face
For a surprised look draw the eyebrow raised and more curved then normal. Draw the mouth wide open but with the lips pulled in (almost a reverse of the yelling mouth).
If you were to look at the mouth from the front it would make an “O” or a vertical oval type shape.
Drawing a Content/Smiling Side View Face
For a content look draw the eyebrows raised and draw the eyes squinted with the eyelids/eyebrows in a downwards curve.
For more on drawing closed anime eyes you can see:
How to Draw Closed, Closing & Squinted Anime Eyes
Draw the mouth with a smile showing the teeth.
Drawing an Angry Side View Face
For an angry look draw the eyebrows really low down in a wave like shape with the eyes squinted.
Draw the lips pulled back showing the teeth and draw just a hint of the parting line of the teeth with the “fang” to reinforce the angry look at to emphasize that the teeth a clenched.
Drawing a Scared Side View Face
For a scared look draw the eyebrows raised and the eyes wide open with smaller than normal iris/pupil. Though actual irises of the eyes don’t change size they are often drawn smaller in anime to give a character a really scared look. As anime eyes tend to already be fairly wide drawing them even wider may make a character look too deformed so the solution is to draw smaller irises.
Finally draw the mouth slightly open and draw the opening of the mouth curving downwards.
Drawing a Grinning/Plotting Side View Face
For a grinning look like the character is plotting something draw the eyebrows lower down, draw the eyes squinted and the mouth smiling with a hint of teeth.
Drawing a Puzzled Side View Face
For a puzzled look draw the eyebrows slightly raised with the eyes looking up. Draw the jaw slightly lower down with the mouth open in a sort of “O” shape.
Drawing a Light Side View Smile
For a light smile simply draw the mouth slightly wider and more curved than normal.
Drawing Relaxed/Closed Side View Eyes
For a relaxed look draw the eyes closed. Draw the rest of the facial features same as for a normal face.
Be aware that when the eyes close in a relaxed state (not squinting) it’s the top eyelids that come all the way down. The bottom eyelids pretty much stay where they are at when the eyes are open.
Drawing an Embarrassed Side View Face
For an embarrassed look draw the eyebrows in an upside down curve with the eyes looking down and the mouth smiling (showing teeth).
Drawing a Sad/Tired Side View Face
For a tired or sad look draw the front end of the eyebrows (towards the nose) slightly raised. Draw the eyes with the top eyelids about halfway down looking slightly downwards.
Draw the mouth in a light downwards curve.
Drawing an Upset Side View Face
For an upset look (more so than the previous example) draw the eyebrows raised towards the nose with the eyes squinted. Draw the mouth slightly longer than in the previous example with the mouth corner going a little further downwards.
Though this is a fairly extensive list of anime expressions it’s hard to cover too many things in one tutorial. If you need more help drawing anime facial expressions you can always look at real people or try and make the type of face you are trying to draw and figure out how various facial features move in that expression.
For more on facial expressions see:
- 12 Anime Facial Expressions Chart & Drawing Tutorial
- 16 Examples of How to Draw Chibi Anime Facial Expressions