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Anime Face Subtlety tutorial by mayshing Anime Face Subtlety tutorial by mayshing
Permission:
Spread it anywhere you like, twitter, facebook, social sites, it's for everyone.
You are allowed to print it for your own use, just don't sell it or take off my credit.


Disclaimer:
There's actually far more subtlety in an anime face, in a very smooth way, that's why when it goes wrong it's hard to correct without explaining a ton.
I am explaining part of it that's critical to 2D drawings, when it comes to sculpture/3D modeling there are even more rules.
For that you'd better pick up a sculpture/figurine maker's book.


Disclaimer 2:
"Why study the anime figurines, not the real anatomy? Everyone needs to study real anatomy."

A: They both need to be studied.
It's a default every anime artist should study real anatomy.
PLUS, You need to study anime anatomy if you want to do anime correctly just like you need to study how Disney does their drawings to do Disney style correctly.
(in fact Disney is one of the toughest client around the industry on their rules on construction and style adaption.)
Disney style has its own unique construction that people who never practiced it need to get. It's the same with anime.
Disney has perfected their teaching to public, anime industry has not.
They are both based on real anatomy, but they are both constructed for their own purposes.
The real anatomy does not equal to stylized anatomy, both need to be studied.



Feedback:
Let me know if you don't get something, I will try to make it clearer and add to the tutorial. I want EVERYONE who does anime to GET IT.






-------- Rambling:

I made this tutorial so that IwontlooseitoverhavingtocorrectpeopleoverandoveragainontheSAMEPROBLEMForYEARS! :faint: I hope no more.
(I often have to do it from ppl asking me for crits, and directing animation.)

OK I lost it. Pardon me.
That's why this tutorial is now here.

Most tutorials out there does not really mention this kind of small details, they just cover the basics, they are not wrong, they just don't always explain everything.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmannayel:
Mannayel Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013
Oh, this is gonna be so so so useful for me, 'cause I've been having trouble with this anatomy style! Thank you a lot :D
Reply
:iconlinnxv:
LinnXv Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
This is very helpful! Thank you so much ^.^
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2013  Professional Filmographer
ur welcome
Reply
:iconyue-nagareboshi:
Yue-Nagareboshi Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013
This is indeed a helpful tutorial.
Reply
:iconkeitofz:
KeitoFZ Featured By Owner May 3, 2013
Wow. Great tutorial and info you gave to us. Thank you so much for making this ^-^ Hope to see more of your Tutorials!
Reply
:iconxtotalsonicfan1x:
xTotalSonicfan1x Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay so anime is based on baby proportions but is just exaggerated. I've been wondering that for a while

So my brain is not coming up with invalid information =D
Reply
:iconpurplefire40:
Purplefire40 Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Pointing out that many artists forget the back of the skull reminds me of what my art professor would tell us in college: "Don't forget to give your person a brain!"
Reply
:iconjustria:
Justria Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Very useful! Even some anime drawing books I've seen don't cover all this. :)
Reply
:icond3admoon:
d3admoon Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2013
Tumblr-blogging, AWAY!
Reply
:iconfantasygirl105:
FantasyGirl105 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013
Geh, now that you point it out. I seem to notice something wrong when I draw my characters. O_O"
Reply
:iconkitkatscreations998:
KitKatsCreations998 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Domo arigatou!!! ^_^ I usually miss those! ^_^ Love this!!!
Reply
:iconcritical-potential:
Critical-Potential Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I fine this awfully funny LOL but still it is interesting
Reply
:iconzabethia:
zabethia Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
May I share this on facebook?
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Professional Filmographer
go ahead.
Reply
:icontouwaka:
Touwaka Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I compliment you on this tutorial. As, yes, I agree..! Not many say anything in the WHY department of the more subtle or easily forgotten parts.

But I am quite annoyed at your "having to correct people" attitude... I do not think that has any place in art, honestly.
Sure, some might be after the realistic look. Others... it might just not be in the style to be anatomically correct (and I am sure you can relate to how tiresome it could be to hear about how incorrect you are, too), so I hope you are not going around correcting people on it at every chance.

Some might just never have thought about how, say, the eyebrows are to be placed - like in your tutorial - and would be happy for the awareness..! So it is a bit two sided... But again, in my opinion art should not be limited by getting rules/demands of correctness thrust upon it unnecessarily.
Anyway... it is just a pet peeve of mine.

Again, good job!
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Professional Filmographer
unfortunately when you are directing anime or manga you have to correct drawings.

It's a very annoying process that no one enjoys.
I think i will take that commentary off since people will read it the wrong way about me.
Thanks for reading my rambling though. XD
Reply
:iconwhitelucke:
WhiteLucke Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is great although that baby skul gives me the heeby jeebies 0______o
Reply
:iconwhitelucke:
WhiteLucke Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
skull*
Reply
:iconviahunter:
viahunter Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Student Digital Artist
thanks for the tutorial
Reply
:iconalpar56:
Alpar56 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
That feel when I was just hard at work on a drawing and I see this

and everything I've been practicing for the past few months has come into play and I got it all right.
Reply
:iconbellberrystar:
bellberrystar Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
That's something I need to study. Even as a stylized cartoonist. I've been attempting to add realism to my drawings. Thank you for this, I never really thought about it!
Reply
:iconsychandelic:
Sychandelic Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you for this! I think i'm guilty of the disconnected spine part..... and probably a ton of other things too haha
Reply
:iconmichiyo--chan:
Michiyo--Chan Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OMG I used to draw anime without that face depth and I couldn't avoid it... Thank you!
Reply
:iconotaku-chan-266:
Otaku-Chan-266 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, yea that totally makes sence!!!
Reply
:icontokosha:
Tokosha Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A,g! Thank you so much! This saved me, im serious, thwnkyou
Reply
:iconladysarrow:
LadySarrow Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
Anime skulls! Oh my goodness, those look so silly! XD
Reply
:iconvxyxv:
VXYXV Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
not a big fan of generic art-styles but this is a really insightful and i can imagine this helping many anime artists immensely

really awesome that an anime artist actually cares about anatomical correctness
Reply
:icontheamazingwrabbit:
theamazingwrabbit Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
oh thank god
you have no idea people i've seen who say "oh i dont need anatomy, im an anime artist!"
i lose my shit @_@

anatomy is essential for everyone! thank you for promoting the knowledge!
Reply
:iconkrissyrin:
KrissyRin Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013
As my friend put it, "You have to learn the rules of anatomy before you can learn how to break them."
Reply
:iconh-e-n-r-i:
H-e-n-r-i Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student General Artist
I don't draw in the anime styles myself, but I am SO bookmarking this to show artists who need help in this field.

I feel like I am constantly saying that anime proportion, especially when it comes to chibis, is based on the anatomy of babies, but so often do I get people saying, "THAT'S BULLSHIT".
This shows the correlations pretty clearly. Thank God. > __ < ♥

Dolls and figures, too! They help so much for getting to know how things should look in three dimensions... which can be more difficult for very stylized styles. Something I wish I learned to do earlier on in life. u __u;
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Professional Filmographer
I agree with you. I am glad you see my point. ^^
Reply
:iconclumsydemonwithfire:
clumsydemonwithfire Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013   General Artist
this is really helpful~! Thank you so much for sharing!
Reply
:iconmagatzu:
Magatzu Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice tutorial. Then again I still need to get some anime figurines...
Reply
:iconglumpot:
glumpot Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Huh, this is cool. I don't draw in an anime style (I prefer western cartoons), but this is still useful. Also, it's interesting to see the beginners mistakes, since so many people have drawings that seem "off", but it's hard to pinpoint exactly why.
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
yeah, pass them this tutorial if you see someone who needs it, it will help us all. :) It is kind of tricky for someone who's new at it to see it since it's so subtle.
Reply
:iconglumpot:
glumpot Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Alright, will do. The small things make all the difference.
Reply
:iconmidnightscastedangel:
MidNightsCastedAngel Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student General Artist
Very helpful.
Reply
:iconjm-henry:
JM-Henry Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Went back and checked about 3 months of work for any of those mistakes. Good to have a tutorial that keeps me on my toes. :)
Reply
:iconawebster7854:
Awebster7854 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's almost the same thing I do. It really has to do with dimension and angles and angles. Once you got that down you pretty much got it.
Reply
:iconjulitka:
julitka Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student Digital Artist
My subtle suggestion: You want to improve your "anime" anatomy? - study REAL anatomy. Suggesting to study anatomy on anime figures is the worst possible thing you could do.
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Think this way, Disney style has its own unquie construction that people who never practiced it need to get. It's the same with anime. They are both based on real anatomy, but they are both constructed for their own purposes. The real anatomy does not equal to stylized anatomy, both need to be studied.
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
real anatomy needs to be studied, of course. But i have seen artists who have the disconnect between real anatomy and anime anatomy which is an abstract of the real anatomy. That's the gap I am trying to bridge.
Reply
:iconjulitka:
julitka Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I know what you mean. What I wanted to say is that studying other styles and anatomy based on other characters isn't very healthy. It's just copying and it teaches you nothing. I have done this in the past, biggest mistake of my life. What I mean is, you should base on your real anatomy skill and experiment on your own! Honestly, there isn't such a thing like "anime antomy". Every mangaka has it's own unique style with it's own anatomy. For example in "Dragon Ball Z" proportions are very rare xD but that doesn't change the fact it's anime :)

Make your own anatomy, like all mangakas! Do not copy it from figurines - you're an artist, not a scanner ;)
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Every artists style has a bases of growth, and every set of style has its own rules. I agree!

I just find it annoying that I have to keep correcting people on the same problems over anime style that's so basic.
It's like trying to correct someone doing disney style "Belle needs to have her cheek a certain way"
And keep correcting it over and over because I have to get the job done. To get someone else to draw the proper anime style for a project/anime whatever.

This tutorial is not to promote originality in any way, maybe that tutorial is for you to make.

"Make your own anatomy, like all mangakas! Do not copy it from figurines - you're an artist, not a scanner"
And... not all mangakas made their own anatomy, but that's another subject.

In reply for that: (because you used "you are" I will assume it's talking to me as well)
As for me, I don't always have to draw this way either.
Sometimes I do, but I also do any style that I like to learn from and develop my work that way.
There are two ways to develop style: One is study references closely as accurate as possible and take from them, another is by impression and do personal takes.

Here's what I know: Every style is developed with some bases, a palette of styles. Like colors. It can be inspired by master paintings, it can be inspired by anime, it can be inspired by Warner bros, by final fantasy, by Guild Wars. To me they are all equal. It's a completely personal choice what the artist want to be influenced by. I can say this: the wider the range of influence, the more knowledgeable the artist.

Realism vs anime somehow tie to originality in our discussion.... so here's how I see it:
Any work related to realism, whether its hyper realism, realism, or naturalistic fantasy, require just as much copying if not more, knowing more and more rules.

Until one knows the rules, and then break the rules of a certain genre, I wouldn't consider doing realism more original than anime. But realism is indeed, much harder to study than anime, therefore its a bases for all art studies. (cuz it has the most rules I would consider, also the most variation.)

If someone combines realism with anime in their own way, like some ppl combined disney/marvel with anime in their own way, then the so-called original style is born.


Throw originality out for teamwork sake:
Now You made an original style, great.
Now try to get 200 people to do exactly the same for animation, so what if your style has some anime in it?

Now people who only studied Disney style is out of the window, cuz they don't know the rules.
What if your style has some Disney in it? Now people who only studied anime is out of the window because they never tried Disney.
Try and get these two groups of people to learn a style they never EVEN bother to learn because they despised each other, now you have a REALLY BIG HEADACHE. Cause you can only pick people who learned BOTH styles and LOVE both style and then is willing to adapt yours.
Then you would love those people who can copy exactly as you draw it without "trying to be original."

One can only promote originality so far until you get to "teamwork situation."
When you want everyone on the team to get it right, it's not the matter of originality but construction. (Which I believe you know.)

I don't think its a crime to get someone else's style right, especially if that's the person's goal and that's what they like, and especially for team work collaboration on a particular animation style. What is sad is the lack of information that cause them to get it wrong and can't collaborate, we lost another talent to collaborate with as a result.

However, I am not saying to people "they need to stay in this box" and that's it. In fact if they do I will tell them its time to move on.
I will always champion for development of personal styles and study many different things/style before they settle down. Real life stuff is good, but sometimes you do need to see how other artists take on the same subjects. Hence style references.

If people want to learn anime and use that as jump base, let them learn it right.
The reason I made this tutorial is because I saw the fact: A lot of people who's trying to learn this particular style I know completely missed this! And it doesn't matter where their skill levels are, a professional painter can't do cartoon or anime if he doesn't observe the rules. (which I have seen a few)

They can move to realism and dump anime if they want to. I don't care.
I did realism, just never dumped anime like it's a "child's play" as many people think. I think the style deserves more respect. The target of "child's play style" used to be "cartoon" now it's suddenly anime.

The wrong way kills and give anime a bad name other than it's iconic features.
Every iconic, well known style has it's successful points, its important to know them if one wants to have the ability to switch styles and be more employable than other artists.

u_u gosh this turned into an article....

I get where you are coming from, I am trying to state where I am coming from. Believe me, I am VERY familiar with your point of view, I have seen it about nearly 100 times before, it's a very common view in the academics of arts, and I just happen to disagree with it.
I hope you can understand mine.

ok i am done. -____-
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:iconalpar56:
Alpar56 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
:clap:
Reply
:iconandrew19787:
AnDrew19787 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Having more guidelines to work with and thinking in 3D shapes is a great exercise and skill to have, and it makes a drawing that much better. Thanks for making this :)
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Professional Filmographer
let me know if there's anything else to add that you want to know.
Reply
:iconandrew19787:
AnDrew19787 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
I think overall I just want to improve anatomy (at least for anime standards) so any subtle body part would be great to know.
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Professional Filmographer
Other than faces...
Anime anatomy focus particularly on smaller area on the wrist of the hand, knee, and ankles.
Those I advise just study the real thing and apply it to your drawings. It won't hurt to copy a few.

They exaggerate other parts and simplify the waist, eyes and especially nose...
Body wise, others have explained it well: [link]
They mentioned manga characters there... lol 5.5-6.5 heads tall covers most manga characters and why it makes them all look more teen or younger.
Reply
:iconandrew19787:
AnDrew19787 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Yeah, I'm looking around and taking references. I restarted the way I draw things (for animation purposes, breaking things into shapes) and now I think I have the basics fairly well. I'm working on detailing now, and to do that I'm gradually studying the skeletal and muscular systems more. Any help is greatly appreciated and thank you for your advice just now.
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