In this tutorial you will find very detailed step by step illustrations and instructions on how to draw a female character in the anime and manga style.
Below is the full break down of how to draw an anime girl in the front and side views.
Step 1 – Draw the Overall Shape of the Female Body
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.
Certain styles may deliberately exaggerate certain proportions (like the big anime eyes for example) there are still rules to follow when drawing.
For the front view of the girl you should start by drawing a vertical line. This will help you make both sides of the figure more even. If you are drawing two views at once you can add the horizontal lines to make sure that the different body parts match up in both views.
Drawing both views at once is a good exercise. If you are good at drawing one particular body part in one view but not so much in another this can help you.
Also important to note is that in the breakdown below can be drawn in a slightly different order but yo do want to start with the head and the body.
Drawing the Head
Start by drawing the head without any of the small details. In the front view you can draw a circle to help you get the shape of the top of the head. In the side view it will be a slight oval.
You can find a full tutorial on drawing the details of head here:
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.
You can draw some small circles to help you get the shape of the shoulders. Later on we will also draw these to indicate joints.
Drawing the Arms
Draw the arms starting from the shoulders and work your way down to the fingers. Keep a close eye on your proportions when drawing.
Drawing the Legs
The legs should be about half the length of the entire body.
The feet (when drawing the side view) should be about as long as the distance from the wrists to the elbow.
You may notice that in the front view the feet go slightly past the bottom vertical alignment line. This is NOT a mistake. This is because if we rotate the person on the spot her feet would reach closer towards the viewer in the front view than in the side view.
Looking at the Perspective Drawing Tutorial for Beginners and How it Relates to Anime may give you some insight into this.
Step 2 – Clean Up Your Drawing
Clean up your drawing. For the sake of the tutorial I will leave some of the guidelines but you don’t have to.
Step 3 – 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:
- How to Draw an Anime Girl’s Head and Face
- How to Draw Anime Eyes
- How to Draw Anime and Manga Hair – Female
- How to Draw Anime and Manga Noses
Step 4 – Draw the Clothing
For the clothing we will draw a few basic items. We will draw a shirt, shorts and socks.
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 add some folds and your done with the clothing.
For more examples of drawing anime clothing see:
Step 5 – Add Colour and Shading
For the finishing touches we will add some basic colour and 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.
Any part of the body that has less exposed to light will be darker (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 and that concludes this tutorial.
You can also check out the How to Draw an Anime Guy Step By Step Tutorial.