Mood - Ganbate!

Mood - Ganbate!

16th August 2k8, Saturday – Evening.


Bunã, everyone~ \<^x^>/

Ms.Aya is here to teach you how to give your manga characters the basic facial expressions!

Take out an A4 paper, a pencil, an eraser and a ruler to begin.

Click On Images for LARGER View!

Firstly, divide the space of your paper into 4 as shown beneath. ↓

Divide into 4 divisions.

Divide into 4 divisions.

We are going to learn how to draw 4 basic and easy facial expressions for manga characters. So worry not. This practice is not difficult. It’s easy and fun!


In each divisions, draw the basic foundation of the face. (Remember the circle and the t-junction I taught in my first tutorial? No? Click here to revise all the basic techniques!)

When you’re done, start with the first section on your top left. We’re going to draw a HAPPY face there.

Operation 1: Project “HAPPY” face

Before you draw, go to a mirror and do all sorts of faces.

Eg: How do you look like when you’re happy? Angry? Just do some face exercises.

Now get back to your paper. And visualize this smiling face in your head. ↓

Keep this smiling/grinning face in your imaginations

Keep this smiling/grinning face in your imaginations

The trick to display emotions in your drawing is too always have an imaginative idea of what you want to draw. When you’re feeling happy, you can feel your lips curling and your eyebrow raising up. Don’t believe me? Do that in front of the mirror now! (Laughs)

Alright, come back here!

Basically, you are giving your emotions to your lifeless characters. That’s why before you begin drawing, I want you to play with your face and emotions to get you all riled up. (Laughs)

Right — Back to the paper.

First, draw the nose. Second, we do the eyes. Third, we get to the mouth.

Begin by drawing the eyebrows first. ↓

Draw the eyebrows

Draw the eyebrows

You already have a captured image in your head. (The picture that I told you to imagine) And you want to draw it on your paper. Start with the eyebrows.

Can you see how I arched the eyebrows? Follow it.

Once you make it arch nicely, proceed to the eyes.

Let’s look closely on how to draw a set of happy eyes ↓

Forming the happy eyes!

Forming the happy eyes!

Arch the eyebrow. At the bottom of the eye brow, leave a little bit of gap before you draw the second line.

As for the eye lids, arch the top line of the eye lids and then arch the bottom of the eye lids. You can draw the eyes bigger if you like. Up to you. Happy characters have big eyes anyway. <_ _>lll

After you’re finish with the eyes, recall back how the mouth look like and imagine it on your paper with the eyes you drew. Does it look matching? If no, that means you need to make your eyes more HAPPY looking.

Because eyes alone can show an emotion. You don’t want to be too dependent on other aspects of the features to help you create emotions.

With that said, Do what you believe you need to do to correct your HAPPY eyes!

Otherwise, let’s move on! We have 3 facial expressions in queue!

Here’s how you draw a wide grinning smile. ↓

Hee-hee-hee type of rascal smile

"Yee" type of smile

Follow the direction of the arrows for 1 and 2.

In number 3, draw a line on each side and leave a gap in between (See the gap in number 3?). Do not connect the lines. This kind of smile is called, “Grinning.

Typical wide smile

Typical wide smile

* If you don’t like the grinning style, then instead of drawing 2 lines on each side of the mouth (teeth), just draw a small hill as pointed out in the arrow.. That hill is a tongue.

I give you 5 minutes to finish the happy face.


Well.. Did it turn out like this?↓

Happy Face

Happy Face

If so, here’s one more feature you can add to the face to make it look more HAPPY. ↓

A slight blush at the cheeks

A slight blush at the cheeks

Overall, this is how the picture will look like. ↓

End of Happy Face -- Period!

End of Happy Face -- Period!

Once your character is smiling at you, move on to the second section. Don’t bother to draw the hair yet. We’ll get to that later.

Key point: Arch eyebrows + Arch eye lids = Happy!

Operation 2: Project “Angry” Face

Draw the nose first.

Then Draw the eyebrows like this. ↓

Furious eyebrow!

Furious eyebrow!

Just by seeing this eyebrows, does it give you the impression that she’s not happy?

Unlike the happy eyebrow that was drawn upwards and arched, angry eyebrows closes in between the nose bridge. I can’t explain well in words so how about you check your mirror again? You’ll get my point.

Resume drawing…

Drawing a pair of angry eyes

Ok. Firstly, make sure line 1 and 2 is there. Without it, your character will never look as mad as you want her to be (Yes, we are drawing a ‘she’ here).

* – Notice that the bottom line is not arched but straight upwards instead? Because when you narrow your eyes, it makes your eyes look smaller. Anyway, do as shown! \<^v^>/

** – When your character is facing left, the nose line should be shown as above… You know… 3D angle? (Laughs nervously)

On with the mouth… ↓


The cocky "Ho?" mouth

There are other type of angry mouths such as screaming, showing off fangs etc… If you have others in mind, then by all means, do as you please. But if you want to stick with me, we’ll do this one, ok?

When you’re done, this is the example of the outcome. ↓

End of Angry Face - Period

End of Angry Face - Period

I would say — This type of angry face is more of the comical type. (Laughs)

Remember, the key point to drawing an angry or furious expression is the eyebrows. And the 2 line between the top of nose bridge.

Operation 3: Project “SAD” Face

“Where to begin?”, you ask.

Pff. The NOSE!

Always start with the nose. So that while you’re working on her, she can breath! (Laughs)

What am I crapping here?

Resume to tutorial. ↓

The sad, I-dont-know-what-to-do-anymore eyebrows.

The sad, "I-don't-know-what-to-do-anymore" eyebrows.

You can use this eyebrows to display sadness in your character OR you can apply this eyebrows for cowardly characters. (What? I’m speaking the truth!)

On with the eyes… <-__->lll ↓

*Sniff-sniff* eye

"But-but---I'm sorry," looks away.. type of eyes

In number 1, draw the 2 lines in a non aggressive stroke. We want sympathy here, not another piss off face. If you notice, the eyebrow and the alignment in step 1 is a straight line.

There’s no arch and narrow inwards.

But at the end of the eyebrows, they slant down — making the eyes look as though lack of confidence, as if she’s worried.

As for number 3, draw the top eyelid close to the line (between the eyebrow and eyelid).

Number 4, the lower eyelids are no archy like the happy face neither as upward straight as the angry face. To get this line, just draw a smooth line across without any intention to arch or straighten upwards.

If you don’t understand what I’m saying, just copy how I how drew the eyes. <x_x>

And get on with the lips. ↓

But.... I cant type of mouth

"But.... I can't" type of mouth

Pucker her lips and the whole picture shall turn out to be like this. ↓

End of SAD face -- Period

End of SAD face -- Period

What do you think? (Laughs) Is your character looking at you with guilt?

Tell her to wait awhile more and she’ll get her hair done. (Laughs)

Operation 4: Project “CAT-Smile” Face

This is very easy and quick to finish. Begin with the nose.

Then draw the eyes like this. ↓



Arch the eyebrows and the eyelids.

For the eyelids, draw it darker and thicker.

Add the blush on the cheeks.



The “ω” mouth — Draw it like you’re drawing a cheap mustache.

And voila~ The outcome..

End of Meow face -- Period

End of Meow face -- Period

Very simple right? This kind of faces is suitable for cat-smile or chibi characters.

Note: If you want to add eyelashes to your character, here’s how you do it. Click here.

The 4 different facial expressions you have drawn:



Now for the grand finale — HAIR!

Last Mission: Apply Hair Tonic!


Short Hair for happy face!

You don’t have to follow my choice of hair style but please do draw the same style for all the faces.

Our objective is too draw different facial expressions on the same character, ok?


Angry face

** For a more comical and chibi impression… Add the angry vein mark and some puff smoke like. ↓



Sad Face


Add a little bit of tears at the corner of her eyes to imply grave sadness.. Ok.. Not that grave.. Sympathy!


Cat-like face



You've just learned how to draw a happy, angry, sad and cat-like face!



I hope you enjoy and learn something from this tutorial.

But now you would have figured out the key point to facial expressions, which is the eyebrows and eyes.

I like to show you a few more samples (like how I ended my first tutorial) unfortunately, I don’t have any samples with facial expressions.

You see, all my characters like to stare cock. <-___->lll

Yea… A bunch of sour plums.

Anyway to make up to that, here’s another trick I want to say.

With the techniques I taught in this tutorial, here’s what you can do. ↓



As you can see, I changed section 1′s mouth with the ‘ω’ in section4.

And it certainly creates a whole new expression, doesn’t it?

Check out 2 more mix and match! ↓




Super Genki Smile

Therefore, I can say — You’ve learned more than 4 facial expressions in this tutorial.

Good luck in excelling in your drawing skills~

My next tutorial will be teaching you how to draw a full-body~! ↓


Sample of my full-body art

More tutorials from PaperDiaries

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 16th, 2008 at 8:12 pm and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

16 comments so far

1.  Saru-chan
August 17th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Link Updated for both tutorials*

P/s : Alert me when you change link , otherwise the link on the other side will be destroyed without me noticing =S

2.  Ms.Aya
August 17th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Dear Saru-chan

Ok, I’ll inform you if there’s any changes made.

Thanks for supporting us!

3.  Mira
August 18th, 2008 at 9:34 am

heheheh cute i like it XD the ‘ w ‘ face is the cutest lol XD ehhehhe nice tutorial

4.  Ms.Aya
August 18th, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Thank you~!

Wonder if this tutorial is helpful to others…

5.  Mira
August 20th, 2008 at 8:59 am

it is helpful XD so dont worry lol

6.  Artist Anika
August 20th, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Very cute tutorial. I love the expressions you created.

7.  Joe....
September 4th, 2008 at 4:55 am

It’s very helpful. I love the ‘w’ face!

8.  Ms.Aya
September 4th, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Thanks everyone!

I hope to post my next tutorial soon!

Thank you~! (Cries)

If you have any special request on what you want to learn, do let me know and I’ll try to come up with something for you and everyone!

9.  luv_cadet316
January 2nd, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Ms. Aya,
I am so idolizing your CUTE drawings!
This tutorial is REALLY helping me in my manga comics! Thanks a lot for this tutorial!

Can you make a tutorial on how to start comics? I have started mine but its not that nice!
IO need some more tips and tricks and practice and practice and practice and practice and practice!!!
That’s a little OA I know… ^_^)


10.  Ms.Aya
January 4th, 2009 at 11:38 am

I’m sorry, Ms.Luv_cadet.

I only know how to draw basic manga pictures and comics are out of my hands. (Tears)

11.  charlie
September 5th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

you said it had pornography init? i didnt wanna look in case it did have it and my mum came in :L very nice x x

12.  Ms Aya
September 6th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I did note there that I was just kidding. XD Hahaha!
You fell for it!

13.  ENVA
June 14th, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Nice drawings !! _–> love the faces!! –>!-envA!?!<–

14.  shaziya
September 1st, 2011 at 11:57 am

hey !! can u show me how to draw two sad manga couples at the time of breakup …..(pleeaase fast)

15.  John Adde
October 1st, 2011 at 11:11 pm

can I have your email, Mrs Aya? I’d love to learn from you

16.  Ms Aya
October 8th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Dear John

I do not draw so often and I’m considered a beginner I guess.

So I doubt you can gain and learn anything from me. (x__x)

5 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. First Step to Drawing Your Very Own Manga Character! « Paper Diaries    Aug 16 2008 / 8pm:

    [...] Drawing Facial Expressions for Your Manga Character! [...]

  2. Coloring Hair with the Pen Tool « Paper Diaries    Aug 16 2008 / 9pm:

    [...] Drawing Facial Expressions for Your Manga Character! [...]

  3. Manga-Gesichter    Aug 20 2008 / 6am:

    [...] Drawing Facial Expressions for your Manga Character zeigt auf, wie die verschiedenen und recht typischen Manga-Gesichter gemalt werden können. Glückliche, wütende, traurige und katzenhafte Gesichter und ihre Entstehung. [...]

  4. Guide to Japanese Text Emoticons and Chibi Facial Expressions! « Paper Diaries    Sep 18 2008 / 11pm:

    [...] PS: So you wanna learn how to draw facial expressions for manga characters — for real? Check out my tutorial then → Click here. [...]

  5. How to Draw a Full-Body for Manga Characters « PaperDiaries    Oct 31 2008 / 10am:

    [...] already taught you how to draw the face and create facial expressions in my previous tutorials. Now, we’re going to draw a full body for your lovely manga [...]


Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)