This tutorial shows how to draw a female character in the anime and manga style from the front and side views.
One of the most important thing to keep in mind when drawing the full figure is the proportions or the relation of one body part to another. Everything has to be the right size or your character will look odd.
Though certain styles may deliberately exaggerate certain proportions (like the big anime eyes for example) there are still rules to follow when drawing.
Step 1 – Draw the Overall Shape of the Body
Drawing the Head
Start by drawing the head without any of the small details.
You can find a full tutorial on drawing the head here (you only need to follow step 1 from it for now):
Drawing the Body
If we were doing a more realistic looking style the body would be about as wide as two heads side by side (not including the hair). But since we are drawing anime draw the head slightly bigger than that so the body will be smaller in comparison
The shape of the body (when drawing the front view) should be similar to an hourglass with both the top and bottom portions being fairly equal in size and length.
Drawing the Arms
The shoulders should be close to a quarter-circle in the front view and half circle in the side view.
The length of the arms and hands combined (with the fingers extended) should be about half the length of the entire body starting from the shoulders and not including the head.
The distance from the shoulder to the elbow and the elbow to the wrist should be about equal.
The arms with the fingers extended should be slightly longer than the distance from the wrists to the elbow.
Drawing the Legs
The legs should be about half the length of the entire body including the head with the distance form the bottom of the feet to the knees being the same as the distance form the knees to the hips.
The feet (when drawing the side view) should be about as long as the distance from the wrists to the elbow.
We will not draw the toes as our character will be wearing socks that will we add later.
Other things to keep in mind when drawing:
Keep your lines curvy and smooth. Avoid sharp edges.
If you are drawing both the side and front views at once make sure that the proportions in both match up. You can test this by drawing lines form the top and bottom of a body part in one view to the other view.
Step 2 – Draw the Details
After you have the main body parts drawn out draw in the details such as the hair and various facial features.
We will not go into the details of drawing those in this tutorial as they are already covered in other tutorial on this website. You can refer to the following for more information:
Step 3 – Draw the clothing
For the clothing we will draw a few basic items. We will draw a shirt, shorts and socks (as mentioned earlier) .
Since this type of clothing is fairly thin and tight it will follow the overall outline and shape of the body.
Start by drawing some lines that indicate each item of clothing. Draw these lines in smooth curves that hug the shape of the body. (For example the top of the socks should not simply be a straight line but a curve to show that the fabric of the socks actually wraps around the leg)
After draw in the straps that are holding up the shirt and your done with the clothing.
Step 4 – Add Fill and Shading
For the finishing touches we will add some basic fill and shading.
Start by filling in the clothing with and the hair with a light grey (we will leave the socks white).
Next do the shading.
In this tutorial we will draw as if our character is standing in fairly normal lighting conditions either outside or indoors and facing towards the light source that is up above her.
This means that any body part that is not exposed to the light will be darker and will also cast a shadow directly below it (for example the head will cast a shadow on the neck). So we will shade accordingly.
With the shading done we now have the finished anime/manga girl.
That’s it for this tutorial. I hope you’ve found it helpful.