20 Cartoon Character Facial Expression Drawings

If you enjoy drawing cartoons and are looking for facial expression ideas, I have a collection of 20 cartoon character facial expression drawing ideas for you to check out.

The face can show many different emotions. A face can show happiness, sadness, and many more emotions in between.

Cartoon Facial Expression Drawing Ideas

Have fun browsing these cartoon facial expressions. Use them for inspiration for your own drawings. I’m also sharing my advice for drawing amazing facial expressions.

Tip #1. Get Your Basics Right

First things first, you gotta know your facial anatomy. I know we’re talking cartoons here, but even the most whacky characters have some basic structure.

Eyes, nose, mouth, and eyebrows – these are the key players in the expression game. Get them right, and you’re halfway there.

1. Men and Women Facial Expressions

MEN AND WOMEN FACE EXPRESSIONS
Credit: audrey_billy_art

Here’s a sketch that features expressions from both men and women. I think my favorite is the first sketch. It’s so fun and creative.

2. Stretch and Squash

STRETCH VS SQUASH FACE DRAWING
Credit: getdrawings

In this sketch, the artist shows the difference it can make when you stretch the face versus when you squash the face. They also provide a reference for an extreme stretch and an extreme squash.

Recommended Reading: 74 Easy Sketch Ideas Beginners Can Draw

3. Dramatic Expressions

GIRL MAKING MULTIPLE EXPRESSIONS
Credit: getdrawings

I love how the expressions drawn here are super dramatic and fun. Going over the top is a great way to have fun and practice drawing facial expressions at the same time.

Tip #2. Go Big or Go Home

Remember, we’re not aiming for subtlety here. We want big, bold expressions that scream emotion.

Push those eyebrows way up for shock, pull ’em down for a scowl. Stretch the mouth wide for a hearty laugh, or purse it tight for a pout. In the world of cartoons, exaggeration is your best friend.

4. Quick Expressive Sketches

DIFFERENT EXPRESSIONS FROM WOMAN
Credit: getdrawings

Practice a bunch of different expressions by doing quick sketches such as this one that features seventeen expressions. Don’t worry about your drawings being perfect.

5. This Is Good This Is Better

DRAWING OF BETTER AND BEST FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
Credit: getdrawings

I completely agree with what the artist has done here by showing a good expression and then an even better expression. You can see the difference that subtle changes can make to your facial expressions.

6. Male and Female Expressions

MALE AND FEMALE CHARACTER EXPRESSIONS
Credit: getdrawings

Here’s a sketch page that includes both male and female expressions. There is a worried expression, a disgusted expression, and more.

Not only are the drawings great, but the artist did a wonderful job with the different facial expressions too. I think my favorite is the one on the bottom right.

Tip #3. Practice is Your Secret Sauce

The secret to mastering any skill is practice, practice, and then some more practice.

Draw from real life, from photos, or even from your favorite cartoons. The more you draw, the better you’ll get at capturing all sorts of emotions.

7. Quick Sketches

QUICK EXPRESSION SKETCHES
Credit: getdrawings

If you want to get better at drawing cartoon facial expressions, I recommend doing some quick sketches every day. You don’t have to sketch for a long time either. Just 20-30 minutes a day is a great start.

8. Fifty Facial Expressions

SIMPLE EYE AND MOUTH EXPRESSIONS
Credit: getdrawings

If you enjoy drawing cartoon-style expressions, this collection of fifty facial expressions gives you lots of material to take into your drawing sessions. They’ve done a great job of evoking emotion with simple drawings.

9. Cartoon Girl

GIRL CARTOON CHARACTER FACE EXPRESSIONS
Credit: getdrawings

If you like to draw cute facial expressions, this cartoon sketch is so cute and fun. Make practicing fun by using expressive characters like these.

Tip #4. Reference Images are Your BFFs

If you have a particular expression in mind but can’t quite get it right, turn to reference images.

They’re a goldmine of inspiration and can be super helpful when you’re stuck. But remember, they’re references, not templates. Add your own flair to make the expression truly yours.

10. A Girl’s Different Moods

GIRL MAKING 12 FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
Credit: doroman.art

This sketch features a girl making twelve different facial expressions. From happy, to sad, to surprised and more, there are so many looks to choose from.

11. Simple Face Drawings

SIMPLE FACE EXPRESSIONS GIRL FACE
Credit: girart.eu

If you’re in need of a simple facial expression reference, give this one a try. I think this drawing is just perfect for beginners because it doesn’t have as much detail.

12. Fun Faces

EASY CARTOON STYLE DRAWINGS
Credit: meg.rose.art

This artist has gone ahead and created a really fun collection of cartoon-style facial expressions. I find the “terrified” expression to be one of my favorites.

Tip #5. Play Around with Different Styles

Every artist has their own style, and you should too. Maybe your characters have huge eyes and are drawn in manga style.

Or perhaps they rock the minimalist look of classic American cartoons. There’s no right or wrong here, just create what feels right for you and your characters.

13. Common Expressions

SIX FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
Credit: weheartit

This simple sketch includes some of the most common expressions that we make. There’s angry, worried, annoyed, happy, surprised, and excited.

14. Six Expressions

GIRL FACIAL EXPRESSION FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES
Credit: nathammer

Here’s a reference that showcases a girl with long hair making six different facial expressions. I think my favorite is the smug expression.

15. Expressive Cartoons

FACE DRAWINGS WITH ORANGE HAIR
Credit: sketching4agile

These cartoon drawings are so fun and clever. Plus, I really love the addition of orange that’s been added to the drawings. It really helps them stand out.

Tip #6. Stay Consistent with Their Expressions

While it’s fun to experiment with styles, it’s also important to keep your character’s expressions consistent.

This helps your characters stay true to their personality and makes your work instantly recognizable.

If your character has a trademark grin or a signature frown, make sure you keep these consistent across your sketches.

16. Girl from Different Angles

VICTORIAN GIRL DRAWINGS
Credit: anixie_art

It’s always fun to practice drawing characters from different angles and making different expressions.

17. Male Facial Expressions

Male Facial Expressions
Credit: sharkie19

This cool sketch makes a great reference to use when you want to practice drawing the different facial expressions of a young male.

I hope this collection of cartoon character facial expression drawing ideas has given you some inspiration for your next project. If you enjoy drawing and are looking for other tips, be sure to check out some of the blog posts mentioned below.

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I'm Tiffany, author of the 30-Day Drawing Challenge Workbook. I'm a crafting expert and writer with over 12 years of experience. I love sharing my passion for crafting, which includes crocheting, drawing, painting, and DIY projects.