The simple and eye-catching chibi characters are easy to make into goods like acrylic key chains, and because they are so small that many people want to try drawing them for a quick start.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how to draw the face of a “chibi-chara”.

1. 3 Tips in drawing Chibi-Chara faces

When drawing a chibi character, simply compress the character’s body.
Don’t forget to shrink not only the body but also the face like the image on the right below, or else the size of the face and body will be out of balance and awkward like on the left image.

When compressing the face, the three key points are
・Keep the outline round and simple.
・Make the face parts more round.
・Draw hair in thick strands.

Let’s take a look at each of these three points in detail while actually drawing the chibi character’s face.

 

2. Draw the head size

Now, let’s start drawing the face of a chibi character.

There are many different types of chibi characters, but this time I’d like to draw a face that fits a character about the length of two full heads.

① Draw a circle

First, draw a circle to determine the approximate size of the face.

② Decide where to place the eyes

I usually draw the eyes of a chibi character a little lower than halfway down the face, or about a third of the way down.
Here I wanted to make her look cute, so I drew a cross about a third of the way down.
(I also draft the approximate shape of the eyes at this point.

Drawing the eyebrows slightly below one half of the face will make her look young and adorable. Also, the center line of the face is added slightly left of the cross to draw her eyes and face looking towards the left.

 

3. Draw the outline

Once the head size has been drawn, it is time to draw the outline.

The key to drawing the outline for a chibi-chara is to make it rounder and simpler than when drawing a normal character.

Round off the pointed chin and draw the cheeks well rounded to give the character a cute and cozy look.


【Various Outline Patterns】

There are many different patterns of chibi characters, starting with the round type like the one above, there are also those that are a little longer and more mature, and those that are a little sharper and more cartoonish.

Choose the pattern you want to draw according to the personality of the character you want to make into a chibi-chara and for what purpose (If its for novelty goods or a four-koma manga).

 

4. Draw parts of the face

Once the outline is drawn, it is time to draw the face parts.
The key to drawing the eyes, nose, and mouth is to make sure they are simplified.

How exactly do you do it?
・Reduce the amount of detail.
・Emphasize the parts’ characteristics (e.g., puffy eyes, round eyes).
・Adjusting the size, etc.

In this way, you can get a good balance between the small sized body and the characters’ unique features.

(*This compressing method can be used not only for face parts, but also for other parts of a chibi character.)

Now, let’s take a closer look at how to draw each part.

① Draw the eyes

Now, let’s draw the eyes.

When drawing the eyes, the main areas to be compressed are as shown below.

(The part to reduce the detail description)
・The reflection of the eyes
・Curved eyelashes and other detailed expressions

(Emphasis)
・Characteristics of eyes (long, round, etc.)
・The size of the eyes.

After that, look at the balance of the face and make the upper eyelashes thicker or adjust the eye sizes to give them a stronger look.

How small the character should be is different for each person, so please take this as an example and draw the way you like.

 

② Draw the Mouth and Nose

Once the eyes are drawn, it’s time to draw the nose and mouth.

Drawing the nose tightly will decrease her childishness and look more realistic. So for chibi characters, I recommend drawing the nose as small as possible or not drawing it at all.

As with the nose, the mouth should be drawn small, but you may want to draw them large for men or dynamic characters.

 

③ Move face parts around

In addition to deforming the eyes, nose, and mouth, changing the location of these parts can also change the impression of the face.

For example, a longer distance from the eyes to the nose and mouth gives a more mature impression, while a shorter distance gives a more childish impression.

Also, if the eyes are positioned high, it will look mature, and if they are positioned low, it will look young and cute.

 

5. Draw the hairs

Lastly, let’s draw the hairs.

For chibi characters who are generally shrunk in a simple way, the hair is also simplified to reduce the amount of drawing.

Drawing thick hair strands and reducing the drawing of fine lines will give a simple and easy illustration.

In addition, you can bring out more of the character’s personality by drawing various hairstyles with a strong emphasis on their shapes.

 

6. Completion

Once the draft is done, you can clean it and color.

(Text・Pictures/sakaki)