Drawing the face in profile – Part 2

The side view of a character’s face is perhaps one of the most iconic views in anime illustration, and one that is very different from Western comic book styles. This can make it a hard one to master. We’re going to break it down for you today into some super simple, super reliable steps, so you can get your profile view faces right every time!

Today’s tips will help you with drawing the eyes, ears and mouth from this side angle.

You can see the first steps of the process here in part one of this lesson.


When drawing the eye from the side, we see a significant reduction in the width of the eye – it is almost half the width of an eye drawn from the front. But note that the distance between the pupil and the outer corner of the eye is actually the same. This should provide a good guide for the size of the eye.

Remember to draw the eyelashes in at the top of the eye. Also, note that the eyeball is curved, and so is the face, so we don’t want the eye to be totally straight light the example on the right. The middle image shows a correct example.


From the side, we get to see a lot of the ear, and all the details and parts that make up that ear. However, one mistake that aspiring anime artists sometimes make is to add too much detail to just one feature, which will create contrast between some of the more simplified areas, making the image look unnatural. To avoid making your character’s ears look out of place, make sure you simplify the ears to a level that matches with the rest of your piece.

Remember the angle that the ears are attached to the head at – it’s easy to see from this top view!


As you can see, the mouth can be simplified into 4 lines when drawn from the front (as seen on the left). This changes to just two parts, or half of the mouth, when drawn from the side.

I hope todays tips will be useful when drawing characters from this profile view! Remember to use lots of reference images to practice with when drawing difficult angles – particularly ones like this where it’s harder to use your own face as a reference.

Remember to check out part one of this lesson if you haven’t already. Keep working hard!

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Drawing the face in profile – Part 1

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Drawing the face from behind, at an angle