How to Draw Anime Smiles

Written by megan shoop
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How to Draw Anime Smiles
Anime smiles come in many styles. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Anime drawing styles feature deceptively simple, stylised human and animal figures. These figures usually have very large eyes and small noses and mouths. Their hair is often styled in ways that would not last long real life and their clothing ranges from traditional Japanese styles to very elaborate and impractical outfits. One of the most important anime features is the mouth. Though small, the mouth conveys a number of emotions. Anime lips are generally implied and not drawn.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Sketch an anime face. Draw a simple oval with two large, oval eyes and a sideways triangle for a nose. This gives you a basic framework for your anime smiles. Add hair to the head if you like.

  2. 2

    Draw a shallowly curved line a little below the nose for the simplest of smiles. This little smile conveys pleasure or contentment.

  3. 3

    Draw a deeply curved "U" connecting the ends of the shallow curve to create a big smile. Draw the smile as large or small as you like, depending on the character's personality. This open smiled shows an excited or overjoyed character.

  4. 4

    Sketch a nervous smile by drawing a large, stretched out version of the open, excited smile. Draw vertical lines down through the mouth and a horizontal line bisecting them. This creates teeth and makes the smile look tentative or forced.

  5. 5

    Create a sarcastic smile or smug smirk by drawing a straight line that curves slightly upward at one side. This type of smile may also be off-centre on the face.

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