Day 10 // How to Draw a Scared Expression

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Fear is the body’s reaction to danger or a threat. When someone scared, they shrink down,  pull away, sweat, and breath heavily. An expression of fear can be anything from slightly worried to absolutely terrified! 

Today we are drawing scared faces! Learn more below and check out the Table of Expressions to see all the emotions and how they can be depicted at a glance. 



Someone scared shrinks themselves down and becomes tense. They pulls away from the source of danger and their heart beats rapidly.

Facial Features

EYE SHAPE: alert, wide, outer corners tilted down slightly

PUPILS: constricted and small

EYE GAZE: might be looking to the side at possible danger

BROWS: furrowed and inside corners raised

MOUTH: slightly open and corners turned down

OTHER: someone scared might be sweating or breathing heavily

Intense Emotion


Someone terrified is absolutely panicked and filled with horror! They shake and become frantic, wanting to do whatever they can to distance themselves from the threat. 

Facial Features

EYE SHAPE: eyes super wide

PUPIL: constricted and tiny

EYE GAZE: looking at the source of danger or darting around looking for an escape

BROWS: furrowed, eyebrows raised vey high, with inside corners up 

MOUTH: wide open, teeth visible, screaming

OTHER: features might be more spread out over face, person might be leaning back


Draw a face that conveys fear. Determine your character’s neutral expression and then use the guidelines on this page to manipulate those feature into a scared expression. Draw the emotion as well as the intense version of that emotion, terrified and everything in between such as afraid, panicked, apprehensive, jittery, hysterical, alarmed and more. Look up reference photos of scared and horrified faces and figure out as many ways as you can to depict expressions of fear.

Keep researching, observing and learning! I’ve made a Pinterest board full of additional resources to help you learn more about drawing expressions.

This lesson is a part of a month-long series that will get you you familiar with the basics of drawing humans, and help you develop your own people-drawing style. To learn more, check out the People Skills Intro, or continue on to the next lesson below.