This step by step tutorial explains how to draw an anime boy with a detailed breakdown of the proportions of the body and general tips on achieving an anime look.
The boy in this tutorial can be anywhere from 10-15 years old. Depending on the artists style sometimes older anime characters can be drawn to still look fairly young. Generally the more stylized the characters the younger they tend to look (Chibi for example).
Please keep in mind that the proportions below are just suggestions and can vary depending on character and style.
If you are going to be following along with pencil and paper be sure to draw light lines for the initial steps of the drawing as you will need to do some erasing later.
Step 1 – Anime Boy’s Body Proportions Breakdown
To make a character look younger you will usually want to draw them more slender than their older counterpart. Muscular characters will automatically tend to look older.
A good way to measure the body is by using the head.
Anime characters tend to have bigger heads compared to their bodies than real people (younger characters especially). For this tutorial the boy will be six and a half heads tall.
The other proportions are as follows:
Body & Head Proportions
The height of the head and the “above the legs” area of the body are about half the height of the entire body.
The part where the hand is attached to the arm will go down to about the horizontal halfway point of the body. Please also keep in mind that the arms in this example are held out slightly to the sides so these joins will be a little lower down if the arms area held right up against the body.
The area from the hand joint to the elbow and the elbow to the shoulder is about the same length.
The legs are about half the length of the entire body.
the length of the legs from the bottom of the foot to below the knee is roughly the same as the length from the bottom of the knee to the horizontal halfway point of the body.
Please note that in the side view the “front” leg is drawn larger due to perspective than the back leg.
For more on perspective drawing you can see:
Step 2 – Drawing the Body
Star the drawing from the head and work your way down.
Start with a light line drawing of the entire shape of the body without any of the smaller details.
For drawing the head and hands you can see:
Drawing the Front View
The main challenge of drawing the body in the front view (other than having the correct proportions) is having both sides be symmetrical.
To help you can start your drawing by first making a vertical line through what will later be the middle of the body. This will help you in making sure both halves of the body are even in width.
Drawing the Side View
The side view of the body can actually be more challenging to draw than the front view.
In the side view various parts of the body curve in slightly different directions as indicated in the above example.
Drawing Different Views
If you want to draw the body from different views but in the same position then you can project a set of lines from one view to the other. This will help you make sure that the proportions of the body in both views are roughly the same.
Once you finish drawing the shape of the body you can erase any construction lines.
Step 3 – Drawing the Face
Draw the facial features before you draw the hair (including the parts that will be covered by hair).
The reason you want to do this is to avoid mistakes. For a more detailed explanation on why you want to draw this way you can see:
For a detailed step by step guide to drawing an anime boy’s face you can again see:
Step 4 – Drawing the Hair
For this particular hairstyle draw the to part of the hair following the shape of the top of the head but some distance away as hair has volume.
Draw the ends of the hair branching out into clumps of various sizes that curve in slightly different directions.
For more on drawing hair you can see:
Step 5 – Drawing the Clothes
In this case we will draw the boy wearing a t-shirt, shorts and shoes.
Drawing the T-shirt
For the top part of the t-shirt draw it pretty much hugging the shape of the shoulders. Make the sleeves “fan out” towards the ends. As the shirt is not very tight leave some space between the body and the shirt as it will hang from the wider chest area.
Draw the shirt a little wider towards the very bottom as that area will have some folds.
Drawing the Shorts
Draw the shorts starting from the bottom of the shirt (pretty much touching the legs) and then fanning out slightly as they go down.
For more on drawing anime clothes see:
Drawing the Shoes
You can draw the shape of the shoes roughly tracing the shape of the feet but with some distance to account for the thickness of the material the shoes are made from.
Step 6 – Drawing the Details
Draw the inner details of the eyes such as the pupils and reflections.
You can also draw a hint of the eyelids slightly above the eyes.
For some detailed tutorials on drawing the eyes you can see:
Shirt Details & Folds
You can add a few lines at the bottom of the t-shirt to show the folds.
You can also draw some thinner lines towards the ends of the sleeves as there will usually be some stitches there.
Shorts Details & Folds
For the shorts you can add some folds to the middle are where there is usually tension created by the two legs pulling the shorts in different directions.
You can again add a pair of lines at the bottom for a little more detail.
Draw just a hint of the knees in the front view.
For the shoes you can just draw in the inner details of their design.
Step 7 – Coloring
To color the drawing you can simply fill in each area with the appropriate color (be sure to leave the reflections white if coloring on paper). Start with the larger areas and work your way down to the smallest.
For an explanation of different color combinations you can see:
For a step by step coloring tutorial you can see:
Step 8 – Shading & Finishing the Drawing
For some basic anime style shading you can add shadows in the commonly shaded areas. In most common lighting conditions the light is coming from above so the shadows will be cast downwards. In this case the shadows will be on the neck from the head and on the arms and legs from the sleeves of the shirt and the shorts.
On the face there will be some shadows as follows:
- From the hair
- Around the eyelid areas
- The top part of the eyes (from the eyelashes)
- To one side of the nose
This tutorial covered a lot of information on drawing a young male anime character. Though it provides a good basis for drawing these types of characters please remember that this is just one example. You can experiment for yourself to try and create a different looking character.
For drawing a slightly older male character you can see:
For drawing a very muscular male body see: