how to draw anime

How to draw anime (a complete guide to making anime art)

Alright, darling! Let’s dive into the world of anime art creation. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a newbie, there’s always something new to learn. So, grab your sketchbook, or your digital tablet, and let’s get started!

How to Draw Anime

Drawing anime is a unique discipline that requires practice and patience. Here are some steps to guide you, courtesy of Creative Bloq and wikiHow:

  1. Start with the basics: Begin with simple shapes to create the basic structure of your character. This includes an oval for the head, stick figures for the body, and simple shapes for hands and feet.
  2. Sketch the face: Divide the face into sections to place the eyes, nose, and mouth correctly. Anime eyes are usually large and expressive, while the nose and mouth are subtle.
  3. Draw the body: Outline the general shapes of your character’s body, refining the shapes into a seamless outline. Remember, anime characters often have more childlike proportions than real adults, so aim to make your character about 5 to 7 heads tall.
  4. Add details: This includes the character’s hair and clothes. Hair in anime often features pointed ends and distinct sections. Clothes should follow the form of the body and include creases and folds for a more realistic look.
  5. Practice: The best way to improve is to keep practicing. Draw with friends, take classes, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Creating AI Anime Art

If you’re interested in creating AI-generated anime art, there’s a fantastic tool called Artbreeder. Artbreeder allows you to create images by mixing them together and editing their genes. You can create portraits, landscapes, paintings, and more. It’s a great tool to experiment with and can help you create unique anime art.

Remember, creating art, whether it’s traditional or digital, is a journey. Don’t rush the process and enjoy every step. Happy drawing, darlings!

how to draw anime

Every artist was first an amateur.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here’s a more detailed guide on how to draw anime:

1. Understand the Basics of Anime Art: Anime art is a unique style that blends both realistic and exaggerated features. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the basics of this style, such as the big eyes, small mouth, and exaggerated expressions that are common in anime.

2. Learn the Proportions: Anime characters have specific proportions that differentiate them from other art styles. The head is usually larger compared to the body, and the eyes are often oversized. The body proportions can vary depending on the age and gender of the character.

3. Practice Drawing Faces: Faces are a crucial part of anime art. Practice drawing different expressions and angles. Remember, anime characters often have exaggerated expressions to convey emotion.

4. Learn to Draw Anime Hair: Anime hair is often spiky and comes in all sorts of shapes and colors. It’s an important part of the character’s design and can convey their personality.

5. Learn to Draw Anime Eyes: Anime eyes are usually big and expressive. They come in many different shapes and styles, so practice drawing different types of anime eyes.

6. Learn to Draw Anime Clothes: Anime characters often have detailed and stylish outfits. Learn how to draw folds and creases to make the clothes look more realistic.

7. Practice Drawing Different Types of Characters: There are many types of anime characters, from young girls to old men, and each type has its own set of characteristics. Practice drawing different types of characters to improve your versatility.

8. Use References: References are a great way to improve your drawing skills. You can use anime shows, manga, or even real-life photos as references.

9. Experiment with Different Styles: There are many different styles within the anime genre, from the cute characters of “chibi” to the more realistic characters of “seinen”. Experiment with these different styles to find one that suits you.

10. Keep Practicing: Like any art form, the key to improving your anime drawing skills is practice. Draw every day, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

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how to draw anime


Q: What materials do I need to start drawing anime? A: All you really need is a pencil and paper to start drawing anime. However, you may also want to invest in some good quality erasers, a set of drawing pencils of different hardness, and a sketchbook.

Q: Can I learn to draw anime online? A: Yes, there are many online resources and tutorials that can help you learn to draw anime. Websites like YouTube have thousands of tutorials for all skill levels.

Q: How long does it take to get good at drawing anime? A: The time it takes to get good at drawing anime can vary greatly depending on how much time you put into practicing. If you practice every day, you could see improvement in as little as a few weeks or months.

Examples of Great Anime Art Styles:

  1. Studio Ghibli: Known for films like “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro”, Studio Ghibli’s art style is characterized by its detailed backgrounds and realistic character designs.
  2. Attack on Titan: This popular anime series is known for its detailed and gritty art style.
  3. One Piece: The art style of One Piece is unique and colorful, with exaggerated character designs.
  4. Demon Slayer: Demon Slayer is known for its beautiful and fluid animation style.

Best tablets for drawing anime art:

  • Xencelabs Pen Tablet Medium: This tablet is well priced, offering tremendous value for money. If portability isn’t a deal breaker, and you don’t need (or can’t afford) the lofty pen displays, this is the overall best option.
  • iPad Pro (12.9-inches, 2022): If you want to draw digitally and enjoy a ton of other features, the most recent, biggest iPad Pro is for you. It has oodles of power for the most detailed piece of art and, of course, there’s the Apple Pencil 2.
  • Xencelabs Pen Display 24 (2023): If you’re a dedicated digital artist, or a pro looking for their next favourite pen display, this is a top pick. The art on the display looks awesome, plus drawing onto its massive display feels fantastic.
  • XP-Pen Artist 16 (2nd gen): After spending a couple of months drawing with the tablet, reviewers concluded that it has supremely solid fundamentals. Everything about the core drawing experience, from the high-quality display to the excellent X3 stylus, is very good indeed.
  • Apple iPad Air (5th Gen, 2022): The iPad Pros have brighter screens and faster refresh rates, but they’re also more expensive, so if you’re on a budget, the Air is your friend. It has a speed, thin and light design, and a gorgeous screen.
  • Huion Inspiroy Dial 2: In a hands-on review, the Inspiroy Dial 2’s left-hand dual-dial Quick Key panel was found to be the real design star amongst many brilliant features. The two dials can be customised with up to three functions per dial.
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 8: This refresh to the Microsoft Surface range has an excellent display, and is super-responsive with the Surface Pen stylus (bought separately). There’s loads of power, and it runs Windows 11 so you can get full desktop versions of software rather than apps.
  • Wacom Intuos Pro (large): The Wacom Intuos Pro Large delivers pretty much the most natural drawing experience you can get digitally. There are tablets with more space, but this is ample for most. It is deemed “incredibly responsive”, and loved the range of Wacom pens.
  • Huion Kamvas 16 (2021): When reviewed, this pen display was loved for its Full HD screen and its colour accuracy. As it’s got a screen, you can use it for art but also video and games, too. The pen is excellent, and the textured screen a delight.
  • Remember to choose a tablet that fits your specific needs and budget. Each of these tablets has its own unique features and strengths, so consider what’s most important to you in your digital art creation process.

Books on How to Draw Anime:

  1. “Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley” by Mark Crilley: This book provides a series of lessons on drawing manga, including characters, expressions, and backgrounds.
  1. “The Master Guide to Drawing Anime: How to Draw Original Characters from Simple Templates” by Christopher Hart: This book provides templates that can be used to create a variety of different anime characters.
  2. “Manga for the Beginner: Everything you Need to Start Drawing Right Away!” by Christopher Hart: This book is a great resource for beginners, providing step-by-step instructions on how to draw manga characters.
  3. “How to Draw Anime: Easy step by step book of drawing anime for kids ( Anime drawings, How to draw anime manga, Drawing manga)” by Peter Childs: This book is perfect for kids who are interested in learning how to draw anime and manga.
  4. “Drawing Anime for Beginners in Simple Steps (Book 1): How to Draw Easy Manga Characters Step by Step : Drawing Manga Faces, Body, Figure & Fashion (Learn to Draw Manga)” by Water Studios: This book breaks down the process of drawing manga into simple, easy-to-follow steps.

Remember, the key to improving your drawing skills is practice. Don’t be discouraged if your drawings don’t turn out the way you want them to at first. Keep practicing and you’ll see improvement over time.

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