How to Draw Anime Characters: A Beginner’s Guide

Greetings, Zeromedia!

If you are reading this article, chances are you want to learn how to draw anime characters. Whether you are a complete beginner or have some experience, this guide will provide you with the necessary steps to create your own unique anime creations. Anime drawing has been a beloved art form for decades and has become increasingly popular worldwide, so let’s dive in and start creating!

Table of Contents

Materials You Will Need Anime Anatomy Basics Drawing the Face
Drawing the Eyes Drawing the Hair Drawing Clothing and Accessories
Poses and Expressions Coloring Your Artwork Frequently Asked Questions

Materials You Will Need

Before starting your anime drawing journey, you will need to gather a few essential materials:

  1. Pencils: a set of drawing pencils ranging from 2H to 8B
  2. Paper: high-quality drawing paper or a sketchbook
  3. Eraser: a kneaded eraser or a white plastic eraser
  4. Blending tool: a blending stump or your fingers
  5. Inking pen: a fine-tipped pen for outlining your artwork

Once you have gathered these materials, you are ready to start your anime drawing journey!

Anime Anatomy Basics

Understanding anime anatomy is crucial to creating believable characters. While anime characters are known for their exaggerated proportions, it’s essential to understand the basic structure of the human body.

Start by creating a simple stick figure to establish the pose and proportions of your character. Then, gradually build up the anatomy by adding basic shapes, such as circles for joints and triangles for muscles.

Remember, anime characters often have longer limbs and larger heads than real-life humans, which can take some getting used to. Keep practicing and experimenting until you find your unique style!


  • The head is generally the same size as the body from the base of the neck to the feet.
  • The eyes are located halfway between the top of the head and the chin.
  • The nose and mouth are situated halfway between the eyes and the chin.
  • The arms should reach down to the mid-thigh, and the legs should reach down to the ankle.
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Body Types

Anime characters come in all shapes and sizes, from muscular and bulky to small and petite. Experiment with different body types to find which one suits your character best. Here are some common body types:

  • Athletic: muscular and toned with broad shoulders and slim hips
  • Cute and Chubby: round and soft with a small frame and chubby cheeks
  • Lean and Slender: thin and delicate with long limbs and small shoulders
  • Bulky and Buff: large and muscular with wide shoulders and thick arms

Drawing the Face

The face is the most expressive part of the body, and getting it right is essential to capturing the character’s personality. Here are some tips for drawing the anime face:

Face Shape

Start by sketching the face’s basic shape, which can vary depending on the character’s gender and age. Here are some common face shapes in anime:

  • Oval: soft and rounded, often used for female characters
  • Square: angular and boxy, often used for male characters
  • Round: circular and plump, used for both male and female characters
  • Heart-shaped: narrow at the jaw and wide at the forehead, often used for romantic female leads

Facial Features

Once you have established the face’s shape, you can start adding the facial features:

  • Eyes: anime eyes are typically large and expressive, with exaggerated eyelashes and pupils. Experiment with different shapes and sizes to create unique expressions.
  • Nose: anime noses are usually small and simple, often represented by a simple triangle or vertical line.
  • Mouth: anime mouths are known for their exaggerated expressions, from small and tight-lipped to large and open.

Drawing the Eyes

One of the most distinctive features of anime characters is their expressive eyes. Here are some tips for drawing anime eyes:

Eye Shape

Experiment with different eye shapes to create unique characters. Here are some common eye shapes in anime:

  • Almond-shaped: narrow and pointed, often used for serious or mysterious characters.
  • Rounded: circular and soft, often used for cute or innocent characters.
  • Cat Eyes: slanted and pointed, often used for mischievous or seductive characters.
  • Big and Round: exaggerated and expressive, used to convey emotion and personality.

Eye Details

Once you have established the eye shape, you can start adding the details:

  • Pupils: anime pupils can vary in size and shape, from small and circular to large and oval.
  • Highlights: anime eyes often have a highlight or reflection in the pupil to add depth and shine.
  • Eyelashes: anime eyelashes are often long and exaggerated, adding to the expressive nature of the eyes.
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Drawing the Hair

Anime hair is often an exaggerated feature, with bright colors and gravity-defying styles. Here are some tips for drawing anime hair:

Hair Style

Start by deciding on the hairstyle. Anime hairstyles can be wild and spiky or soft and flowing, depending on the character’s personality:

  • Spiky: bold and sharp, often used for aggressive or rebellious characters.
  • Curls: soft and bouncy, often used for cheerful or playful characters.
  • Straight: sleek and sophisticated, often used for mature or serious characters.
  • Ponytail: classic and practical, often used for athletic or tomboyish characters.

Hair Color

Anime hair colors can range from natural shades to bright and bold colors. Experiment with different colors to create a unique character:

  • Black: sleek and simple, often used for serious or mysterious characters.
  • Brown: warm and friendly, often used for approachable or down-to-earth characters.
  • Blonde: bright and sunny, often used for cheerful or energetic characters.
  • Pink: cute and playful, often used for girly or romantic characters.

Drawing Clothing and Accessories

The clothing and accessories of an anime character can say a lot about their personality and style. Here are some tips for drawing clothing and accessories:

Clothing Style

Deciding on the character’s clothing style can be a fun and creative process. Here are some common clothing styles in anime:

  • School Uniforms: classic and uniform, often used for school or group settings.
  • Casual Wear: comfortable and everyday, often used for slice-of-life stories.
  • Fancy Dress: elegant and glamorous, often used for formal events or royalty.
  • Cosplay: unique and creative, often used for fanfiction or crossover stories.


Accessories can add a unique flair to the character’s design. Here are some common accessories in anime:

  • Jewelry: earrings, necklaces, and bracelets can add elegance or sparkle to the character’s design.
  • Hats and Headbands: hats and headbands can add a playful or practical element to the character’s design.
  • Glasses: glasses can add a sophisticated or intelligent element to the character’s design.
  • Weapons: weapons can add a dangerous or powerful element to the character’s design.

Poses and Expressions

Anime characters are known for their dynamic poses and expressive faces. Here are some tips for creating poses and expressions:


Dynamic poses can add energy and movement to the character’s design. Here are some common poses in anime:

  • Action Poses: bold and fierce, often used for fighting or action scenes.
  • Dramatic Poses: emotional and intense, often used for romantic or dramatic scenes.
  • Casual Poses: relaxed and natural, often used for slice-of-life stories.
  • Cute Poses: playful and adorable, often used for chibi or kawaii characters.
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Expressive faces can convey a range of emotions and personality traits. Here are some common expressions in anime:

  • Happy: wide smile, raised eyebrows, and sparkling eyes.
  • Sad: downturned mouth, watery eyes, and drooping eyebrows.
  • Angry: scowling mouth, narrowed eyes, and furrowed eyebrows.
  • Surprised: wide eyes, open mouth, and raised eyebrows.

Coloring Your Artwork

Once you have completed your anime drawing, you may want to add color to your artwork. Here are some tips for coloring your anime characters:

Color Theory

Understanding color theory is essential to creating cohesive and visually appealing artwork. Here are some basic color concepts:

  • Primary Colors: red, blue, and yellow
  • Secondary Colors: green, purple, and orange
  • Complimentary Colors: colors that are opposite on the color wheel, such as red and green or blue and orange
  • Analogous Colors: colors that are next to each other on the color wheel, such as blue and purple or red and orange

Coloring Techniques

Experiment with different coloring techniques to find which one suits your style best. Here are some common coloring techniques in anime:

  • Cell-Shading: a flat and stylized coloring technique that emphasizes bold lines and shapes.
  • Soft-Shading: a smooth and realistic coloring technique that emphasizes light and shadow.
  • Watercolor: a fluid and dreamy coloring technique that emphasizes texture and atmosphere.
  • Marker: a quick and vibrant coloring technique that emphasizes bold colors and gradients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about drawing anime characters:

Q: I don’t know where to start. What should I do?

A: Start with the basics. Practice drawing circles, lines, and basic shapes to establish your drawing foundation. Then, gradually build up to more complex shapes and characters.

Q: How do I come up with a unique character design?

A: Experiment with different combinations of features and styles to create a unique character. Look for inspiration in your favorite anime and manga, as well as real-life people and objects.

Q: How long does it take to become good at drawing anime characters?

A: The amount of time it takes to become good at drawing anime characters varies depending on your skill level and dedication. Consistent practice and experimentation are key to improving your skills.

Goodbye and Happy Drawing, Zeromedia!

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