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 an explanation of how to draw an anime girl from the front and side views.
For drawing a female anime character in three quarter view you can see:
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.
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.
For drawing different styles of anime heads see:
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. You can draw circles to indicate the position of the joints.
For the proportions and a detailed breakdown of drawing the arms see:
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.
For more on drawing the legs see:
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 after you have established the basic shape of the body. You can also add in some of the smaller details such as the neck collar bones and the a hint of the knees in the front view.
For more on drawing anime necks see:
Step 3 – Draw the Details
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 Female Anime Eyes Tutorial
- How to Draw Anime & Manga Male & Female Hair
- How to Draw Anime and Manga Noses
- How to Draw Anime and Manga Mouth Expressions
Step 4 – Draw the Clothes
For the clothes we will draw a few basic items. We will draw a shirt, shorts and socks.
Since these type of clothes are 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)
You can also add some very basic small folds to make the clothes look a little more natural.
For more examples of drawing anime clothes see:
Step 5 – Add Color & Shading
For the finishing touches add some basic color 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 is less exposed to light will be darker.
In this case the you can add some as follows:
- Neck/shoulder area
- Inner parts of the legs (front view)
- Inner sides of arms (front view)
- Below the knees
- Back of the legs (side view)
For a more detailed tutorial on coloring an anime character you can see:
For some shading tips see:
There is a lot keep track of when drawing a full body of an anime character. You have to make sure to have good proportions while still maintaining the style. Fortunately most common anime style bodies are still somewhat similar to real bodies so you can look at photos of real people if you need some reference material.
For drawing a male anime and manga style characters see: