Manga Tutorial : Facial expressions

A happy character ? Sad ? Worried ?

In this tutorial, I teach you to draw the main characteristics of the different expressions of the face of a character.

First, look at the drawing, where I have represented several facial expressions. Then, read the explanations.





To express happiness on the face of a character, the edge of the mouth goes up very slightly. Concerning the eyes, they are round or open and the eyebrows are gathered together.

In order to draw a character who is laughing, his mouth must be open. You can add small strokes around his head. We can very often notice that they have rather round eyes too.

Tip: When the eyes are drawn closed, the character looks very kind.



When a character is angry, we notice that the edge of its mouth goes slightly down.

In addition, the eyebrows are shirred and very marked. As for the look, the artist reinforces it by thickening its lines.



The opening of the mouth makes it possible to distinguish a character who screams of another who shouts.


There are many ways to express sadness on a character’s face. The lines of the eyes are drawn downwards, as well as those of the mouth. Eyebrows can also accentuate sadness if they lower. If the distance between the two eyes is reduced, the character will appear less happy too.



In addition to tears at the edge of the eyes or that run down the face, drops can be added around the head to strengthen expression.


The anxiety

The eyes narrow, the corners of the mouth subside and the features of the eyebrows are perfectly horizontal.

A detail: you can add small features between the eyebrows !


The surprise

A large open mouth, very round eyes, and arcs of circle as eyebrows are the main elements to represent a surprised character.