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How To Draw Anime Characters

How To Draw Anime Characters

In this video, Laura Watton covers the fine basics in creating a Chibi style manga character. You will learn the basics from constructing the body, to finer details such as proper hand placement and expressions.

Hi, my name is Laura Watton. My website is pinkapplejam.com.

I am the co-founder of Sweatshop Studios and I've been illustrating in Microsoft for almost fifteen years. Okay, now I'm going to draw some random manga characters. I'm going to draw them in this Chibi style, this child bodied style.

I'm going to try and break it down. I'm going to draw two and a half circles, that's going to be a bit odd for some guys, I think. So, one, two and a half.

The first circle I always use to denote the face, and I break it up like so. It's just quite common to place the facial features like I'm doing here in the middle. If you break it up into quarters, one, two, three, four, and you try and pop the nose in the third quarter, and then the mouth in the last quarter.

Very very roughly, don't worry about these pencil lines. I'm going to erase them and ink over them, so that you can see what I am doing better in a clearer manner, I think later on. This is just to get the rough version down.

These guys are really happy so they are going to be throwing their arms in the air and jumping, because everybody feels like this when they are drawing comics. I know I do. Okay, I'm going to draw this little chap and the T-Shirt.

So, as you can see, these fit this area. It is mainly for the legs and shoes, and the second sphere is for the body. Very cute proportions, obviously manga isn't restricted to these proportions, this is just quite a common way to draw things in a very cute way.

This used to be quite popular. People often caricature their friends in this manner. Obviously, they are not two and a half circles high, but it's just a very cute and easy way to make a very cute and fun drawing I think.

Okay, I am going to add some detail in this first section here. I am going to draw the characters hands, very much in the air. It is very important to get the fingers and thumbs the right way around.

Sometimes you can hold out your own hand and go "Oh hang on a minute, which side do my thumbs go", because it's quite a common mistake early on drawing the thumbs on the wrong side of the hand. So obviously, check with the picture references and so on. So, this chap, he's holding his hands outright, so his thumbs would be facing forward.

So, there you go, this line here emphasizes the palm and the lines facing forward. I'm going to make sure the hand is at an equal distance. I'm going to draw a rough line just to make sure that I don't draw one arm longer than the other.

I'm also going to draw four fingers and a thumb, because this is quite common in anime and manga in western cartoons, the characters only really have 3 fingers for speed. In Japan, it's a little different. So, adding all the details is fine, you don't have to pretend to chop off anyone's hands just to get the style right.

Okay, I will give this character a very quick, spiky haircut. It's a bit generic, so for your character, feel free to experiment with haircuts. That is a very simply constructed anime and manga style body.