So I said I would make a tutorial for moonsailor, but since I fail at life, it ended up looking more like a reference sheet. So I thought we could examine the similarities and differences between an anime and realistic face.
Remember that there are so many styles that you can draw realism and anime in- this is just a basic guideline. Why don’t we take a look-see at this special chart-
Let’s start from the major differences- the face shape. You’ll notice that the anime face is a lot narrower, and the realistic face looks almost masculine in comparison. Where anime faces have more pointed chins, realistic faces have a more rounded chin. Also, anime faces have necks that are a lot narrower, again making the realistic face look masculine in comparison. You can see in the overlay that there’s no difference in face size. A lot of the time people are under the impression that anime faces are bigger, but that is simply an illusion. I hear this very frequently, and to that I say, “Big relative to what?” Anime faces are generally bigger in comparison to the rest of the body, and the illusion that the heads are bigger in general is just because the forehead is generally larger. Look at the faces and how they are divided with the red dotted lines. They seem to be divided in the same way, right? That’s because they are. But take a look at the overlay. Why is it that the features don’t line up if the face is is divided the same way? Well, after looking closely, you’ll see that everything was just moved down a little to make the forehead bigger. You’ll also notice that an anime head is more like a triangle while a realistic head is like an oval or, if you’re really stretching it, a square. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to draw your realistic face.
The other main difference is the features themselves. Both the anime and realism face have the same proportions rules (the eyes are the space of one eye apart, etc.) But notice that the sizes of the eyes are extremely different. Anime eyes tend to be larger, while realistic eyes are mostly almond shaped and roughly the same size as the distance from nostril to nostril. Remember that every face is different and, again, this is a rough guideline. Look at the examples I’ve drawn for realistic and anime features. See the anime eye that resembles the human one? What is the difference between the two? If you can’t figure it out, it’s the size of the iris. Anime irises tend to take up most of the eye as a whole, while realistic irises only take up about a third of the sclera(the whites of your eyes).
Taking us back to the point of nostril to nostril, notice how small the anime nose is compared to the eyes. Where realistic noses and eyes seem to be in proportion to one another, anime eyes are way bigger than the nose, almost overpowering it. This is because eyes are pretty much the most important feature of an anime drawing, so it makes sense to have the nose be as insignificant as possible so the eyes get as much attention as they can.
Lips are my favorite part of any drawing, whether it’s anime or realism, simply because there are so many things you can do with it. I really dig the Angelina Jolie-esque lips, but you can have thin lips as well. The think I’m trying to illustrate here is that anime lips are just more simple than realistic. This is also the case with pretty much every part of the realistic face. In anime eyes, you don’t really define the tear duct, but it’s an essential part to making a realistic eye look believable. The biggest tip for realism I can give you is details, details, details.
Well, that was rather long and boring, but I hoped it helped a little!