This tutorial shows how to draw a male anime or manga style male face in 3/4 view with detailed step by step drawing examples.
It can be fairly challenging to make a proper 3/4 view drawing of the head including heads and faces in the anime style.
To make things easier to understand this tutorial provides a very detailed breakdown of the drawing process with sixteen steps in total.
If you are going to be following the tutorial using pencil and paper it’s recommended that you start with light lines as you will need to erase parts of the drawing in between some of the steps.
Step 1 – Draw the Top of the Head
Begin by drawing a circle to establish the basic shape of the top of the head.
Now thinking of this circle as a transparent 3d sphere. Inside it draw what would be similar to a slice through an apple at a particular angle. This will establish the center of the head and the direction it’s facing in.
Step 2 – Draw the Face Center Line
Erase the half of the oval that will be facing towards the back of the head (left side). From the forward facing part project a straight line that will represent the center of the face. This line should be on a slight angle towards the back of the head. It should also reach down to at least the point that will be the bottom of the chin.
Once done you should have a basic construction drawing to help you create the rest of the head and face.
Step 3 – Draw the Bottom of the Head
Anime faces generally tend to have very small if not outright pointy chins. However to make the face look a little more masculine in this case the chin will be drawn slightly flat on the very end.
Step 4 – Draw the Neck
While the tutorial focuses on the face you will still want to add the neck as well as just a tiny hint of the shoulders. Otherwise the drawing will look odd.
Generally the necks tends to be angled forward. This angle becomes slightly less obvious in 3/4 view so draw the neck titled just a tiny bit towards the front of the face.
For a little bit more on drawing necks see:
Step 5 – Draw the Ear
Onto the head add the ear (the other one will be hidden behind the head). Make it about as tall as 1/4 of the head with it’s top being at the horizontal halfway point of the head.
Step 6 – Draw the Eyes
Draw a basic outline of the eyes as in the example above. Positioned them with their tops lined up with the top of the ear (again below the horizontal halfway point of the head).
Draw the eye closer to the viewer significantly wider than the other. Also keep in mind that the eyes are slightly set in the head. To show this draw the eye in the front much farther from the center line of the face than the eye in the back.
Do not add any of the smaller details yet as that will be done in a later step.
For more on drawing anime eyes in 3/4 view see:
Step 7 – Draw the Eyebrows
A small distance above the eyes add the eyebrows. Again to make the character a little more masculine draw the eyebrows thicker than you would see on a typical female anime character.
You can draw them in wave like shapes with the inner ends pointed slightly downwards.
Similar to the eyes draw the eyebrow closer to the viewer (0n the left) wider and farther from the center line of the head than the farther away one.
For more eyebrow variations see:
Step 8 – Draw the Nose
In this case the character will have a fairly well defined nose with just a hint of one nostril. At the same time it will still be fairly simplified and somewhat pointy to retain the anime look.
Position the nose with it’s bottom at the same level as the bottom of the ears.
The bridge of the nose should transition into the area around the eyebrows. You can show just a hint of this on the farther side of the face with the line that defines the nose pointing towards the farther away eyebrow (right side).
Step 9 – Draw the Mouth
Finally add the mouth with it’s bottom lip positioned halfway between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin.
You can define the bottom lip with just one small curve and position the mouth itself just slightly above it. Due to the mouth being curved and somewhat indented in the head you will want to draw most of it’s shape to be on the forward side of the face (left side of the center line).
As this is a male mouth you can draw it fairly large (wide) in comparison to a female one. To make it look a little more natural you can also add a small break in the curve that defines it (this is fairly common in anime).
For more on drawing anime mouths see:
Step 10 – Clean up the Drawing
At this stage clean up your drawing by erasing all of the construction lines. Once done you should have a simple outline of an anime style male head and face without the hair or any of the smaller details of the eyes/ears.
Step 11 – Draw the Front Section of the Hair
To add the hair we will use the drawing approach define in this tutorial:
To summarize it the hair will be split into the forward, sides and back sections shown in red green and blue.
The reason for this is to make the drawing process easier to manage and understand instead of simply seeing things as one big clump of hair.
Begin by drawing the front section of the hair as shown above.
In this case the character will have fairly natural looking somewhat messy hair of medium length.
For hair like this draw it in fairly large clumps pointing in slightly different directions.
Step 12 – Draw the Side Sections of the Hair
Add the side sections shown above with just a few clumps going down to about the bottom of the nose. Also keep in mind that the background part of the hair will be partially hidden by the head.
Step 13 – Draw the Back Section of the Hair
Finally add the “back section” of the hair with larger and more spread out clumps towards the top and smaller and more grouped up clumps at the very bottom.
Step 14 – Draw the Small Details of the Facial Features
At this stage erase the parts of the head hidden by the hair and add the inner details of the eyes and ears.
The areas that you will want to define inside/around the eyes are:
- The pupils – same or similar shape as the irises but smaller
- The highlights (light reflecting from eyes) – in this case a large and a small one in each eye
- The darker/shaded top areas – upper halves of the irises
- Eyelids – just a hint with a pair of lines slightly above the eyes
For a step by step breakdown of the various parts of the eyes see:
You can also add the inner details of the ear as shown the example above.
For more on drawing ears see:
Once finished with this stage of the drawing you can darken your lines by tracing over them. However leave the lines defining the eye highlights and shadows light as you want those to blend into the color/shading.
Step 15 – Apply Color
Once done with the line drawing you can add some color.
If coloring on paper you may want to leave the highlights in the hair (shown in next step) white. As these can be fairly random you do not necessarily need to outline them before hand but you can if you find it easier to do so.
Alternatively you can add the highlights in over top of the hair with a white correction pen or white paints. If drawing digitally it’s recommended that you add the highlights in over top of the color as well.
If you find that the highlights look too bright you can very lightly shade them with the same color as the hair.
For more on drawing hair highlights see:
You may also notice that the upper parts of the eyes/irises are shaded darker than the rest of the eyes. This is important because the eyes can look odd without this (like the character has a crazy stare). To avoid this shade in the eyes even if you want a simpler drawing without the shading shown in the next step.
Step 16 – Add Shading to Finish the Drawing
To finish the drawing you can add some more basic shading to several areas of the face. As in many other tutorials here on AnimeOutline the shading will be done in a fairly generic way. Meaning that the shadows will be added in places where they are likely to occur in common lighting conditions such as a well lit room or daytime outside.
For this type of shading add shadows in the following places:
- Bottom tips of the hair clumps
- On the head (cast by the hair and similar in shape to the hair clumps)
- Around the eyelids
- Upper parts of the white of the eyes (cast by the eyelashes)
- Inner parts of the ears
- Below the nose
- Upper part of the neck (cast by the head)
For more on shading hair see:
For shading faces in different types of lighting see:
Drawing a face in 3/4 view can be a challenge but you can make the process more manageable by using a step by step approach. Work from larger shapes down to the smaller details and try and confirm that you did things correctly in one step before moving on to the next. You can also build your drawing around simpler shapes and use construction lines as guides to help you.
For more on good drawing practices see:
For more on drawing male faces check: