This tutorial explains how to draw an anime or manga style female face in 3/4 view with step by step illustrated examples.
This tutorial uses a slightly more realistic style with a better defined nose and lips. Though this is less common in anime it will allow you to better see the placement of the facial features.
If you are going to be following along drawing on paper be sure to make very light lines for the initial steps of the drawing as you will have to do some erasing later.
Step 1 – Draw the Top Part of the Head
Start by drawing a circle for the top part of the head. Now think of the circle as a sphere and through this sphere draw a line that will determine the middle of the head. This line will curve around the sphere sort of like if you were to tie a string around a ball and look at it from the same angle at which you want to draw the face. If you were to look directly at the string from the front it would be a straight line but as you turn the ball the string would become a curve.
It can be helpful to first draw the line all the way around (making an oval) like the sphere is transparent and erase the hidden part afterwards. This way you will be less likely to make a mistake in drawing the curve.
Step 2 – Draw the Center Line For the Face
From the center line of the sphere project a straight line that is slightly angled inwards (towards center of the sphere). This line will be the middle of the lower part of the face.
Step 3 – Draw Bottom of the Face
Draw the sides of the bottom part of the face by adding lines going from the sphere to the bottom of the center line.
Step 4 – Draw the Facial Features
In the above example the facial features are placed as follows:
- Eyes – below the horizontal halfway point of the head
- Nose – halfway between the top of the eyes and the bottom of the chin
- Mouth – halfway between chin and bottom of nose for bottom lip with top lip slightly above
- Ears – between the top of the eyes an the bottom of the nose
It’s important to note that the proportions given above are based on the center line for all of the facial features (ears excluded). The reason to be aware of this is that the parts of the face that are closer to the viewer should be drawn slightly larger than the parts that are away. This is due to perspective.
For a detailed explanation of perspective drawing see:
Also keep in mind that the “far” eye, eyebrow, and side of the lips should be drawn vertically shorter than their closer counterparts. This is both due to them being smaller because of perspective and because of the curve of the head. The far eye, eyebrow and side of the lips will curve away from the viewer and should be drawn vertically “compressed”. The more the face is turned from the viewer the more compressed you should draw the “far side” facial features.
Draw the ear about as tall as a quarter of the face positioned between the top of the eyes and the bottom of the nose.
For drawing eyes from different angles see:
For drawing noses see:
For drawing lips check:
For more on drawing ears see:
Step 5 – Drawing the Hair
Normally you can think of the hair as being split into the front, sides, and top/back.
For this particular stile there is really not much to the “front” side to the hair as it is combed to each side and overlapped by the sideburns hair.
To draw this particular hairstyle you can pretty much trace the top part of the hair along the shape of the the top of the head but a slight distance away. As it curves downwards it hang downwards until the ends. Draw the ends of the hair splitting into little clumps towards the back and curving away form the head.
For the sideburns hair make them curve slightly inwards towards the face.
For more on drawing anime hair see:
Step 6 – Cleaned Up Line Drawing
At this point you can remove any of the construction lines from your drawing and erase any parts hidden by the hair. You should have a clean line drawing after you are done.
Step 7 – Apply Color
For this step simply fill in each area with the appropriate color. If you are coloring on paper then leave the highlight areas of the hair and the reflections in the eyes white. If coloring digitally add them in at the very end.
For more on coloring anime charters you can see:
- Beginner Guide to Picking Colors When Drawing Anime & Manga
- How to Color an Anime Character Step by Step
Step 8 – Apply Shading
As in many other tutorials here on AnimeOutline for this particular drawing we will simply shade the areas that tend to have shadow in common lighting conditions with the light coming from above.
Add shadow/darken the following places:
- Some minor shadows from the hair
- Tiny shadows around the eyelids as that area is sort of indented so usually less light will reach there
- Shadows on the top part of the eyes from the eyelashes
- Shadows and dark reflections of the eyelids at the top of the irises
- Pupils (simply darken them)
- A shadow at the bottom of the nose
- Bottom ends of the hair as they start to curve more inwards towards the face and away from the light
- A large shadow on the neck (fully shade the neck)
As already mentioned this particular example shows some slightly more realistic facial features but the same steps can be applied to drawing a more traditional looking anime character.
Also keep in mind that the proportions used in this tutorial are just recommendations and can change based on variations in the style.
It should also be noted that a 3/4 view of the face is generally harder to draw than the front or side view as you have to account for perspective and the curve of the head. If you would like to try some slightly easier female face drawing tutorials you can see: