How to Draw Anime Characters – Today, many young artists find their way into the field of art through comics and animated series. And the popularity of manga and anime has continued to grow over the last twenty years. But you might ask, is it anime/manga and what is the difference between the two? The two different image styles originated in Japan. Whether they’re kind of art from Japan or French-Belgian or American or European art.
Manga is a picture with writing, similar to a comic book. They are read from right-to-left covers for Europeans, “back to front” and often on this scale despite some more intricately colored albums. The anime points to an animated series drawn in the same style as the manga comics. Many modern children’s animated series in anime style even Marvel comics!
If you’re not sure what anime is, here are some famous anime series and movies you might recognize:
Pokemon, starring a yellow-and-black creature with a lightning tail, Pikachu
Dragon Ball Z
Howl’s Moving Castle
Ghost in the Shell (originally only in manga form and now live-action movies too)
Here we will see how to draw anime characters. This is a very basic tutorial, we will not use ink or coloring at all.
Different Styles in Manga and Anime
If you look at the list above, you’ll notice that, while there’s nothing traditional Western animated style (which is currently undergoing a revolution), nor does it all look the same. The characters in Ghost in the Shell look very different from the one in Dragonball Z.
Manga and anime come in different styles. In part, this depends on the type of story told and the demographic that watches or reads it. (Yes, there are mangoes and adult anime. From schoolchildren showing off their underwear to tentacles). So if you are interested in how to draw anime characters, you should choose a manga style.
Aimed at children, Kodomomuke has cute characters that often contain cute aesthetic and simple stories.
Famous characters, manga, and anime that use kodomomuke style include:
Anne of Green Gables
Shojo and Shonen Style
While shoujo or shojo stories are more aimed at girls, they are also popular among boys. The main character is generally a girl and the story often revolves around quite normal events. However, there are historical stories (such as the manga The Rose of Versailles), stories with supernatural elements (Sailor Moon, Academy of The Young Witches), or happening in the world of science fiction (No. 6 and Blank Slate).
Equivalent for boys called shonen. It features young male characters and often tells adventure stories. Pokémon and One Piece are famous shonen anime, but Yugi-Oh, Dragon Ball Z, and Naruto are also included in this label. Some, such as Fullmetal Alchemist or Death Note, touch on various themes in a more mature way.
Some mangoes are harder to label because they feature ensemble ensembles with an emphasis on women or men depending on episodes (such as Assassination Classroom), although generally those with more romantic tendencies are labeled shojo and shonen are more action-oriented.
Josei and Seinen
Josei (for women) and Seinen (for men) are more aimed at teens and older adults and have a slightly more realistic style. They tend to be more violent and psychologically awful, love relationships more realistic.
Subgenre is yaoi (male romance serving a female audience) or yuri (inter-female romance for male audiences) as well as more typical heterosexual relationships. Mangoes aimed at gays are commonly called embers.
The settings can vary greatly, from science fiction to the modern supernatural to everyday life.
The famous Seinen titles are:Cowboy Bebop
Ghost in the Shell
Josei’s famous anime titles are:Loveless
The chibi style is part of kawaii culture and has an imperfect character with a big head and petite body. His hands stand out and generally only have clear thumbs.
In less extreme versions, this style is used in Dragon Ball and some other kodomomuke, shojo or shonen series, but often depicts small and short characters at the end of manga comics or anime series (such as the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series, with chibi version adventures of tachikoma tanks.)
We will not discuss how to draw chibi in this article; You can find a good tutorial here.
Different Types of Characters
An interesting aspect of manga drawing techniques is that at least in shojo and shonen you can always know which one is the hero of the villain. Not from what they wear, but from the way they are drawn. As you learn how to draw manga characters, it’s important to know on what side your character is on.
Male and female hero characters
Usually, characters have big eyes. This is especially excessive in the style of shojo and shonen, where the eyes can eat almost half the face (we will see the eyes in particular). Even in josei and seinen, where the eyes are usually (though not always) more realistic, the eyes of the hero will be more rounded and more open than the villain.
Hero characters often have unusual hair. Manga hair can range from unusual colors (pink, blue, orange) to incredible hairdo. (The standing joke is how to find the main character in this anime is the one who has blue hair.) Again, this is more common in shojo, with shonen, but more adult styles will generally find ways to make heroes or hero hair more attractive than others.
An unusual aspect of manga girls is the prominent breasts. While some were proportionate from the start, other anime girls seemed to have normal breasts until they undressed.
In fantasy settings, elves always have too long pointed ears that are slightly drooping.
Flirtatious Male characters, anti-heroes and villains
Bad girls and criminals will have their eyes closed. Instead they close their eyes, but all the lines in the eyes meet and the eyes are generally narrower and point to the edges. Dominating female figures will often have more rounded eyes, but the lashes will be more emphasized and, once again, the ends of the eyes will meet.
Criminals often have attractive hair but in more elegant hairstyles. Naughty boys often have long hair that falls into their eyes. If the villain has a hairstyle similar to the hero it will be straighter, with fewer indentations.
No, Disney doesn’t monopolize funny friendship characters. From Pikachu in Pokemon to Hawk in Seven Deadly Sins, talking funny animals are common in anime. However, they mostly do not exist in adult manga or take the form of large battle tanks.
Tools for Drawing Manga Characters
There is no reason to prefer paper over digital when drawing anime or manga. You can set up storyboards or paper templates for Photoshop or CorelDraw. If you’re drawing digitally, make sure you have a good tablet, high-end Wacom, for example, although you don’t have to use their professional path if you’re just getting started.
As a beginner, you need to:
Pencil, It is better to use a softer pencil that is easy to remove.
Bending erasers are the best; try the electric eraser if you tend to make thick lines.
When you get proficient, you’ll want to invest using good ink (Japanese or Indian), ink brushes or pens, and Copic markers (Copic markers make you shade well, and give you more Manga look than color pencils). If you’re drawing in a digital way, a nice set of gray tools (like the Ben-Day dot brush) can be useful if you want to draw traditional manga comic books.
How to Draw Anime Anatomy and Poses
While it’s great to have a basic idea in anatomy, manga proportions are quite different from the real human body that you can still do as a complete beginner.
Like drawing modern figures, you’ll divide the body into basic shapes according to a chart of certain proportions. The proportions will vary according to the anime style you draw.
Characters Body in Shojo and Shonen
In general, shojo and shonen images have a fairly large head comparable to their bodies. This means that most will have a body of about 6 1/2 heads. The main characters rarely have chubby faces (although secondary characters maybe), but since the heroes in shojo and shonen are still children, they won’t have excessive Seinen and Josei slimness. The legs take about 3 1/2 head size, so it’s a little more than half the body.
Body style “realistic”
Even in a more realistic style, anime characters tend to have very long legs. The figure is 8 full heads (in contrast to the 7 1/2 heads usually used to draw traditional Western figures), and most are legs.
Torsos vary from two to two and a half heads in groin height (in contrast to the three in the Western picture), and the shoulders should not be less than half the width of the head and no more than full width.
The elbow should fall as high as the hip; the forearm is slightly longer than the upper arm. The length from the groin to the knee is about the same as from the knee to the ankle.
The body of the woman in the manga has nothing to do with reality. The waist tends to be excessive, the legs are endless, and we have mentioned the protruding effect on the top.
There are two ways to enhance the pose in drawing:
Get an excellent perspective, so you can draw the basic shapes in the correct perspective from the start.
Use images. However, since manga poses are often highly unusual and redundant, it is difficult to find the right reference.
Practice movement by sketching stick figures in various poses simply by creating lines with circles in the joints.
A good way to practice the correct perspective and draw perspective. is copying the panels from the famous mango. As you progress, you’ll start using the right perspective on your own anime images automatically.
How to Draw Head Parts in Manga and Anime
Drawing faces is an important part of learning how to draw anime. This is the most expressive part of the figure and in some styles is also the largest.
For the basics of how to draw a manga face, we’ll just look at the front view. You need to work with perspective to draw faces in other poses.
- First, draw a circle. Some people like to get the actual shape right away, others prefer to set their mark first. The final shape will be slightly flat on top and with a pointed chin for Shojo and Shonen; for a more realistic anime drawing style see below.
- Then add a vertical line to divide the face into two parts. (If your character looks sideways, the line will no longer be in the middle.) If you’re drawing with a more mature style, extend the line slightly outside the bottom of this circle will be your chin line.
- Add a horizontal line to divide the face into the same top and bottom. This is where the top of the eye is drawn.
- About halfway between this line and the chin, draw another line: this is the bottom of the nose.
- The lower part of the eye will be closer or further away from the nose line depending on the style of the anime character you are drawing.
- Finally, the mouth line is about a third of the way between the nose and chin lines.
The anime character has round cheeks and a pointed chin; More adult characters have longer faces, but rarely with square jaws unless he’s a bad boy character or villain.
How to draw eye parts in manga characters
Although the eyes are the most distinctive and expressive part of the manga head, they have different types. Shojo and shonen have round eyes that are generally left open on the side, or simply closed outside.
Other styles have more oblong eyes, with slopes marked on the inside (usually for girls) or outside (boys in manga). It is said that the eyes are generally still larger than western animation and comics.
Villains and secondary characters have squinted eyes that can be closed on the side and smaller pupils.
Girls have longer eyelashes; how much is shown depends on the type of girl in the anime story:
Innocent types of schoolgirls will have a full set, drawn individually.
Innocent women without the vibration of a little girl will have mostly individual eyelashes outside.
Women with dominating characters will mostly have eyelashes on the outside, drawn with darker stripes to appear more full.
Pupils tend to be large and often used to express emotions, develop to show excitement and contract to show fear.
One thing that distinguishes the eyes of the manga is the reflection of light – the oval white area inside the eye. In general there are two:
One in pupils
One in slices
The one on the iris is almost always arranged along the upper eyelid. That is in pupils generally too, but can move slightly downwards.
When learning how to draw anime eyes, it’s important to know how to draw with additional light reflections to express specific emotions or types of characters:
Villain characters may only have reflections on irises, or very small pupil reflections, making their eyes look flat and cold.
Young girls who are in love will have up to six, not all of them need oval, very popular stars for certain types of stories. More reflections make the eyes appear more plain and “twinkling”.
Adding reflections in certain patterns can help add emotion to the anime’s eyes. Try and observe what your favorite manga artists do and integrate that knowledge when you practice how to draw.
Nose and mouth
The nose and mouth in the manga are quite minimalist.
The nose is a single line between the eyes and the slanted oval at which the bottom of the nose. In profiles, they can be somewhat pointed which is stronger for men, while women have small button noses. Western characters in manga and anime often have round noses.
The mouth at rest is also one line. Be careful not to make the mouth too wide, the mouth should not extend further from the inside corner of the eye.
This style is drawn when showing calm emotions, such as a small smile, a sad mouth, or a gloomy mouth. For excessive emotion, the mouth can take most of the face if a character screams or cries. More and more 3D drawing technology is being used to turn 2D manga into anime. Japanese manga and animation are also a source of inspiration for designing cool logos.
Hair Manga Characters
When drawing manga, don’t forget to give your hair a signature. Manga and anime hair fluttering, bouncing, fan, standing tall… It’s an expression of the personality of the character and the emotion of the moment.
Even when drawing realistic manga, when it comes to hairstyles, think more broadly. Even when drawing short hair, try using flowing lines; make the zig-zag line longer than drawing it short. In short, manga hair is big. When drawing shonen, shojo, or chibi styles, think more broadly.
Hair can be an exaggerated version of the actual hairstyle, or it could be Yugi-Oh’s bolt-bolt-type hair. It can literally color anything. Have fun with color games!
Many people use mangoes as a source of inspiration to design cool tattoos.
Emotions in Anime Cartoons. There are certain conventions for showing emotions in the anime, and certain facial expressions assigned to manga faces. For example, fear is generally described by contracting pupils, joyous expressions including closed eyes with eyelids arched upwards and pressed just below the chin. Watch your favorite anime and manga to learn the conventions for specific expressions.
That’s the information How to Draw Anime Characters, Hopefully, it can be the beginning of making your first anime character. Good luck!