Top tips for drawing expressions! Part 6 – Intense crying

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In this series of lessons, we’re going to be introducing various ways to make your characters’ expressions look more attractive and “manga”-like!

This time, we’re going to be focusing on a very strong emotion – when a character is beside themselves with anger or sadness and is crying floods of tears. This expression can be used when a character is in a fight with someone, or when they can’t hold themselves back and end up breaking down in public or in private.

Let’s learn how to draw this expression in our work!


Intense crying

When someone can’t hold themselves back and is crying intensely, usually they will not be able to control their sobbing either, so their mouth is often open and they are sobbing, shouting or wailing. The eyebrows are drawn in as they try in vain to hold themselves back, and often the cheeks are red and flushed. Drawing the eyes squeezed shut will also help strengthen the emotion.

Front view

Point 1

Pull the eyebrows together and have the outer ends angled up, for a stronger emotion.

Point 2

The wide open mouth shows how the character might be shouting, sobbing or wailing.


3/4 view

Side view

Low view

High view


Practical techniques

Here we see the eyebrows are angled down at the edges, and the mouth is wider at the bottom to show very intense sadness and despair. The mouth is open as they cry out in sadness, and the tear tracks are long, showing a constant, intense flow of tears.

Bringing the character’s hands up to wipe away the endless flow of tears can also help add to the intensity of the expression.


There we have it! I hope these explanations and reference images will prove helpful to you in your work! This kind of expression can be used to add drama to a scene, and is often seen in anime and manga, so we’re sure you can put them to good use in your artwork. Good luck!

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Top tips for drawing expressions! Part 7 – Shocked