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How to Create Kawaii Faces in Affinity Designer
  • By Kia Lor
  • 31 Mar 2022
  • 15 Mins
  • Beginner
  • Affinity Tutorials

How to Create Kawaii Faces in Affinity Designer

Learn how to easily create kawaii faces in Affinity Designer with basic tools to make anything cute!

Want to learn how you can make anything cute?! In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make kawaii eyes and mouths in Affinity Designer that you can mix and match to create many different kawaii faces.

How to Create Kawaii Faces in Affinity Designer

If you’d prefer, another option would be to check out the kawaii face PNGs available on Design Bundles.

Step 1 - Prepare the New Document and Color Swatches

Show Grid

Go to View > Show Grid (Ctrl/Cmd + ‘).

Click on View and then Show Grid in Affinity Designer

Enable Snap to Grid

Go to View > Snapping Manager.

Open Snapping Manager in the View menu at the top

Enable Snap to grid in the Snapping Manager dialog but disable the rest below that option.

Enable Snap to grid

Set Fill and Stroke Swatches

In the Color panel, click the Fill swatch at the top left and then click and drag the circle in the triangle to the black corner to pick the color black. Then click the Stroke swatch and click on the small None icon.

Set Fill and Stroke swatch colors

Step 2 - Create Kawaii Eyes

Circle Eyes

Everything will be created in Designer Persona mode. Click the Ellipse Tool (M) on the left. Then click + drag on the artboard to form a circle.

Create a circle eye with the Ellipse Tool

Clone a circle of the same size to the right by holding down Control/Command and then clicking + dragging on the circle. Press and hold Shift at the same time to keep it in a straight line.

Make a clone of the circle eye

Winking Eye

Click the two-headed arrow to swap the Fill and Stroke swatches in the Color panel. The Stroke swatch should now be black, while the Fill swatch should be set to none.

Shows to click the two headed arrow in the Color panel to swap the Fill and Stroke swatches

The left eye will be kept as a circle eye. Using the Pen Tool (P), click on the artboard to add the first node. Then move four squares to the right and one square up. When you click to place the second node, continue holding down on the mouse button and drag to curve the line slightly.

Create a winking eye using the Pen Tool in Affinity Designer

Click the Stroke properties icon in the Context panel at the top to change the stroke width. We set ours to 13.8 pt.

Shows to click the Stroke properties icon in the Context panel to edit the stroke width

Happy Eyes

Select the Pen Tool (P) and click on the artboard to place the first node. Then move right two squares and one square up. Click + drag and hold Shift while placing the second node. Next, go two squares to the right and one square down and click to add the third node. Your happy eye should be curved like a rainbow.

Create a happy rainbow-shaped eye with the Pen Tool

You can edit the stroke width if needed. Clone the happy eye the same way we did with the circle eye.

Shows the happy eyes

Squinting Eyes

Select the Pen Tool (P) again. Click on the artboard. Then move three squares to the right and down two squares and click to place the second node. Next, move three squares to the left and down two squares for the last node.

Shows to create the squinting eyes with the Pen Tool and which node is the starting point

Again, edit the stroke width and clone the eye. Then with the right eye selected, right-click on it and go to Transform > Flip Horizontal.

Shows how to horizontally flip the right squinting eye

Your squinting eyes are complete.

Shows the completed squinting eyes

Expressionless Eyes

Create these simple eyes using the Pen Tool (P) by making two straight lines.

Shows the completed expressionless eyes which are just two straight lines

All Eyes Created

Below are all the pairs of kawaii eyes we made.

Shows all the kawaii eyes that have been made

Step 3 - Create a Kawaii Mouth

Happy Mouth (Basic Smile and Big Smile)

You can create a basic smile the same way as the happy eyes using the Pen Tool (P) but with the curve bending in the opposite direction.

To make the big open mouth smile, create the basic smile, but after the third node, click on the first node to close the shape. You can also fill in the shape by selecting black for the Fill swatch.

Shows the completed basic smile and big open mouth smile in Affinity Designer

Unhappy Mouth

The unhappy mouth is the same shape as the happy eyes. Another way to create an unhappy mouth shape is to make the basic smile and then rotate it 180°, as shown below.

Shows that you can create an unhappy mouth by simply rotating a basic smile shape

Astonished Mouth

Create an astonished or surprised mouth using the Ellipse Tool (L). Click + drag to make a horizontal or vertical oval or a circle. Again, you can fill in the shape by making the Fill swatch black.

Shows the different astonished mouths created

Anguished Mouth

For the anguished mouth, make an oval that's six squares wide and two squares tall. With the oval selected, click on Convert to Curves in the Context panel at the top.

Shows to click on Convert to Curves with the oval selected in Affinity Designer

Then click the Node Tool (A) and select the two nodes in the center of the oval. Move the two selected nodes up until you’re happy with the mouth shape.

Shows how to create the anguished mouth with the Node Tool and moving the two center nodes up

This shape can also be filled in or not.

Shows the completed anguished mouths

Expressionless Mouth

You can make the expressionless mouth the same way as the expressionless eyes.

All Mouths Created

The image below shows all the kawaii mouths we made.

Image shows all the kawaii mouths created in Affinity Designer

Step 4 - Put the Kawaii Face Together

Now we’ll pair the mouths up with the eyes to show you the different faces you can make. Mix and match to your liking. It’s all up to you!

Shows twelve different kawaii faces in Affinity Designer

Step 5 - Additional Kawaii Face Details

Make your kawaii face even cuter with additional details, such as highlights in the eyes, blush, a nose, and/or eyelashes.

Eye Highlights

When using a circle for the eyes, adding some eye highlights will make the kawaii face even more kawaii. Simply add some small white circles for the highlights.

Select white for the Fill swatch and disable Snap to grid. Then create the small circles on the eyes, as shown in the following image.

Shows different examples of eye highlights for kawaii faces

Blush

The blush shapes can be created using the Ellipse Tool (M) with a light pink fill color. Make them any round shape you want, and place them near or behind the lower part of the eyes.

To move the blush behind the eyes, select the blush shapes, right-click on one of the shapes, and go to Arrange > Move to Back.

Shows how to move the blush shapes behind the eye shapes in Affinity Designer

You can see some different blush examples in the following image.

Shows different blush shape examples

Nose

Many kawaii faces don’t have noses, but you can add one if you’d like. It can be shaped like a rainbow, a straight line, or whatever cute little shape you want.

Shows two examples of kawaii faces with a nose

Eyelashes

Select the Vector Brush Tool (B) and enable Stabilizer in the Context panel. Then draw as many eyelashes as you want for one of the eyes.

Shows how to draw eyelashes using the Vector Brush Tool with Stabilizer enabled in Affinity Designer

Next, clone the eyelashes, horizontally flip them, and move them to the correct place. See the following image for some examples.

Shows four kawaii faces that have eyelashes

Step 6 - Apply Expand Stroke to Curve Layers

Expanding the strokes/lines will help keep the separate pieces of the kawaii face in proportion to each other when resizing.

First, ungroup (Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + G) all the layers. Then select all the strokes/lines in your kawaii face and go to Layer > Expand Stroke.

Note: you can hold Shift and select the strokes/lines by clicking on them on the artboard using the Move Tool or the Node Tool, or you can hold Control/Command and select them in the Layers panel.

Shows how to apply Expand Stroke to strokes/lines in Affinity Designer

The following image shows the difference between expanding and not expanding the strokes.

Shows a comparison between kawaii faces that have been resized after applying Expand Stroke and not

Step 7 - Weld/Add Shapes

This step is essential if you’re using a machine like a Silhouette Cameo or a Cricut to cut out your kawaii face.

Select the overlapping shapes/layers of the same color. Then click on the Add button in the Context panel. This will join the overlapping shapes into one shape.

Shows to select overlapping shapes of the same color and then clicking on the Add button

See what the shapes looked like before and after using the Add button. If a machine were to cut out the Before kawaii face, it would’ve cut the eyes and the eyelashes separately. In contrast, it would cut out the eyes and eyelashes together as one shape with the After kawaii face.

Shows what the shapes look like before and after using the Add button

We hope learning how to use these tools in Affinity Designer allows you to create even more kawaii faces. You can export your kawaii faces as a transparent PNG for use on all sorts of projects!


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