Anime and manga have become hugely popular worldwide.
As the interest in these Japanese animation and comic styles has grown, so has the desire to draw anime characters. If you want to learn how to draw your anime characters, it’s not as hard as you might think. With some simple steps and a bit of practice, anyone can start drawing their anime creations.
This guide provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to draw anime characters for beginners.
What are Some Beginner-Friendly Tips for Drawing Anime Characters?
When starting out drawing anime as a beginner, it helps to keep these tips in mind:
- Use simple shapes and lines to sketch the basic form before adding details
- Look at anime you enjoy and study the styles and techniques used
- Use templates or trace shapes if needed to practice proportions
- Work on one section at a time like the face, hair, body, etc.
- Use lots of reference images to help with poses and perspective
- Start with pencil first to allow for mistakes and changes
- Add interest with props like weapons, animals, or dynamic angles
- Have fun with it and don’t worry about perfection right away! Art takes practice.
What are the Essential Tools for Drawing Anime Characters?
At a minimum, you’ll need a pencil and paper to start sketching your anime characters. However, other helpful tools can take your anime art up a level.
For instance, erasers like kneaded rubber erasers allow you to easily fix mistakes and reshape lines. Sharpener tools help keep your pencils fine-tuned for crisp details. Rulers and curves make tracing straight lines and perfect circles easier. And fine liners produce smooth, solid outlines. Beyond that, colored pencils, markers, pens, and even digital programs open up options for vivid, dynamic anime creations.
But no matter your tools, remember that perseverance and practice are the most critical supplies for honing your skills.
Sketching Out An Anime Character
When starting an anime character drawing, it’s best to lightly sketch the outline in pencil first. This allows you to erase and make changes as needed.
Here are the basic steps:
- Draw a circle to represent the skull. Place a vertical line down the center and a horizontal line across the middle to help mark the face and eye locations.
- Draw angled lines on each side for the jaw and chin. Make sure to leave a gap in the center of the mouth.
- Add lines for the neck and shoulders. Shoulders should be about as wide as the head circle.
- Outline the body. Characters tend to have long legs and torsos in anime style.
- Add lines for the hair. Anime hair is often big and over-the-top.
Once you’ve outlined the body, you can start adding details.
Drawing An Anime Head And Face
Let’s focus on the face first. Start with the eyes. Anime eyes are large and exaggerated, usually taking up about 1/4 to 1/3 of the face. Draw a horizontal line across the face to mark the eyes’ position, then make almond shapes on either side. Add pupils, eyelashes, and eyebrows.
The nose can be kept small and narrow. Draw a short vertical line down from the horizontal eye line.
Anime mouths can vary but are usually light seam lines or wider frowns. Draw a narrow line under the nose to complete the mouth.
Ears often aren’t visible thanks to anime hair, so you can leave them off. The hair helps frame the face. Add spikes, waves, curls, or other hairstyles flowing around the head.
Drawing An Anime Character’s Body
Male and female anime bodies have subtle differences:
- Male: Broad shoulders, larger hands, angular body
- Female: Narrower shoulders, smaller waist, soft curves
Start by drawing a vertical line down from the head to mark the spine. Add lines for the neck, ribs, hips, and legs on either side.
Male bodies tend to have thicker lines and sharper angles. Female bodies should be curved and narrow at the waist.
Add the arms. Draw a line from the shoulder to the wrist, then divide it into the upper arm, elbow, and forearm. Hands are about 1/5 the size of the head.
Finally, draw the feet about as long as the distance from the wrists to the elbow. They should be about half the width of the shoulders.
Drawing Anime Clothes And Hair
Anime characters often wear dynamic costumes. Here are some popular options:
- School uniforms: Sailor suit and blazer with a mini skirt for girls, jacket, and pants for boys
- Casual clothes: Short skirts, shorts, or skinny jeans with T-shirts and hoodies
- Fantasy outfits: Bright colors, elaborate patterns, futuristic armor
Focus on the outline first, then add smaller details. Bows, buttons, seams on folded areas, and other touches bring the clothes to life.
Anime hair allows for lots of creativity too. Some ideas:
- Ponytails or pigtails: Divide hair into sections using curved lines
- Braids: Draw zigzag or wavy lines interweaving sections
- Spikes: Add pointed, radiating strands sticking up
- Bangs and layers: Frame the face with short fringe or angles
Adding Color And Details
Once your character is outlined, it’s time to bring it to life! Here are some tips:
- Use colored pencils or markers to add color. Bold, bright colors work well for the anime style.
- Shade areas like beneath hair, the neck, folds in clothes, etc. This adds dimension.
- Add highlights and shadows. Leave white spaces for highlights and use darker shades for shadows.
- Consider colored outlines. Black is traditional but colored ones enhance it more.
- Draw patterns or textures. Add visual interest to clothes and hair.
- Give clothing wrinkles and creases to show how it hangs on the body.
- Add dynamic angles and poses. Anime drawings look best when the character looks animated.
- Consider props like weapons, wands, or tools that support the character’s role.
Having an idea of who your character is will help inform how you color and detail them. Is she perky and sweet? Make her bright with rosy cheeks. Is he a dark antihero? Use brooding shades of grey and black.
Helpful Tips For Drawing Anime Characters
- Use templates if needed. Print a template or trace basic shapes to help you practice structure.
- Study anime you like. Look at styles you want to emulate and note particulars.
- Use lots of references. Pull poses and outfits from real photos to make it feel more real.
- Pause shows frame by frame. Study anatomy and poses in detail.
- Exaggerate features. Big colorful eyes, dramatic hair, and defined lines make anime pop.
- Use your creativity. Deviate from reference pictures to give your character a unique look.
- Customize as desired. Add scars, tattoos, weapons, accessories, and other flourishes.
- Focus on one area at a time. Detail the hair, then the outfit, face, etc. Piece by piece.
- Practice gesture drawing. Quick poses teach capturing movement fast.
- Study real human anatomy. Learning skeletal and muscular structure improves form.
- Stay patient and keep trying! Art takes work, but you improve each time.
- Start with basic shapes to sketch the body outline and build up details
- Focus on exaggerating anime facial features like large eyes and dramatic hair
- Use reference images to help render authentic anime poses and styles
- Add color, shading, and textures to bring your character to life
- Keep practicing different styles and techniques to improve your anime drawing skills
Drawing anime characters allows you to tap into your creativity and enter the fun world of anime and manga.
With some basic steps, essential tips, and lots of practice, anyone can learn how to draw their unique anime characters. Follow the techniques in this guide, use reference images, and keep trying new things as you develop your personal anime art style.
The possibilities are endless when you put pencil to paper and breathe life into your vision.
FAQs – Learning How to Draw Anime Characters
What is anime drawing?
Anime drawing is a style of art that originated in Japan and is characterized by its distinctive characters and exaggerated features.
How do I start learning to draw anime characters?
To start learning how to draw anime characters, you can begin by practicing basic drawing techniques and studying references to anime and manga styles.
Are there any tutorials available for beginners?
Yes, there are many tutorials available for beginners that provide step-by-step instructions on how to draw anime characters.
Can you provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw an anime girl?
Sure! Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw an anime girl:
- Start by drawing the basic shape of the head.
- Add facial features such as the eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Draw the hair, considering the style and placement.
- Add details and colors to bring the character to life.
- Remember to practice and experiment to develop your style!
How can I achieve proper proportion in anime drawings?
Achieving proper proportions in anime drawings can be done by studying the anatomy of the human body and practicing the guidelines for anime character proportions.
How can I portray facial expressions in my anime drawings?
To portray facial expressions in anime drawings, it is important to study and understand the different emotions and expressions commonly seen in anime and manga styles. Practice drawing different expressions to improve your skills.
Can you show me a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw anime hands?
Certainly! Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw anime hands:
- Start by sketching the basic shape of the hand.
- Add the fingers, paying attention to the proportions and joints.
- Refine the shape and add details such as the nails.
- Erase any unnecessary lines and add shading if desired.
- Don’t forget to practice regularly to improve your hand-drawing skills!