Skip to main content

How to Draw the Head Shape & Facial Features in Manga

Learn how to draw a manga head shape and facial features from art instructor Chris Hart in this Howcast video.


Here are a few tips for drawing the Manga Head.

The first thing I want to cover is the eyes. And, when people draw eyes for a Manga Head, they're concentrating on those big eyes and making them shiny and all that good stuff.

But, one thing you want to also keep in mind, is that, for different characters, the eyes have to be at different levels. The younger the character, the lower the eyes on the head. The older the character, the higher the eyes on the head.

For instance, here are a couple of examples. Here's Young Boy. As you can see, he's got a lot of mass up here, above the head. And, his eyes are fairly low on the head.

Now, here is a more mature, older character. His eyes are closer to the top of his head. He's got a lot more mass down here, below. It's an effective way to show the age of your character.

Another thing I like to talk about is character design as far as features go. Now, we all know that we create characters by drawing noses and different kinds of eyes. Different eyebrows and mouths.

But, something I don't want you to forget is that hair is a design feature of a character. Just like eyes are. It defines the character.

If you have a beautiful woman, you don't give her just a regular hairdo that you don't think about. What you give her tells you something about the person.

For instance, you might give her lofting, wind-blown hair that, kind of, lyrically flows in the breeze. That would make her more wistful. A romantic character.

The last thing you want to think about it, what angle do you want to use to draw the character's head? Instead of just drawing anything and letting it be kind of amorphous, choose an angle. Stick with it. Crystallize it.

For instance, this is a front view. This is a side view. And this is a three quarter view. The front view is very open. Used for humor. The side view can be used for a harsher look at somebody.

And the three quarter view, right here, is very sympathetic. So, you have an open face. And, also you have a special dynamic the other views don't have.

You know what that is? It's perspective. When I turn this way, this eye is smaller and narrower. There's more mass on this side of the head than on this. It's almost a push-pull. A tug between two sides.

Gives it a certain energy. Makes it look sympathetic and interesting.

So, you to consider the angles. You want to consider the hair and you also want to consider the placement of the eyes when drawing the Manga Head.

Popular Categories