This detailed step by step tutorial illustrates how to draw a male character in the anime and manga style. The main focus is on various male body proportions.
Step 1 – Draw the Overall Shape of the Male Body
For the front view star by drawing a vertical line at least as tall as the entire body. This will help you see if both sides are symmetrical.
If you are drawing both views at once make sure the proportions of one view match up to the proportions in the other. Drawing a horizontal line from a body part in one view to the same body part in the other view will help you do this. You can also draw vertical line as measurements before you start drawing.
Drawing the Head
Star drawing the head by drawing a shape close to a circle for the front view and a slight oval for the side view.
For more on drawing male faces you case see:
Drawing the Body
A normal body is about as wide as two heads. In anime the head can be a slightly larger but it also depends on the size of the person you are drawing. Big muscular anime characters may have heads that are much smaller in relation to the body than normal characters.
Drawing the Arms
The arms are about as long as the body. With the hands added the arms should be longer than the body. Also keep in mind that the arms are being slightly lifted to the sides in the examples used in this tutorial.
Drawing the Legs
Draw the legs about the same length as the head and the body combined.
Step 2 – Clean Up Your Drawing
Once you have sketched out the proportions clean up the sketch so that you have an outline drawing of the body.
Step 3 – Draw the Details
Onto the cleaned up drawing of the body add the details such as the hair and facial features. For a character like the one in this example that is not overly muscular but still fairly fit you can just add some hints of the chest and stomach muscles.
For more help on drawing these see:
For drawing muscular male bodies see:
Step 4 – Draw the Clothing
In this case we will not go too much into drawing the clothing and will just add shorts.
Step 5 – Add Colour and Shading
To color and shade our character you can use what is known as “Cel Shading”. Shading with no gradients commonly used in anime.
We will shade the character according to normal lighting conditions (outside during daytime or inside in a well lit room). The main light source will be above and in front of the character. This means the main shadow will be below such as the shadow on the neck cast by head.
For the front view you can also add some small shadows to emphasize the chest and stomach muscles as well as some shadows on the inner side of the legs and below the knees.
For the side view most of the shadows will be along the back side of the character.
For a more detailed tutorial on coloring an anime character you can see:
Once you have finished the shading you are done with the tutorial. If you are also looking for help on drawing the female body in the anime style you can check out the How to Draw an Anime Girl Body Step by Step Tutorial.
For drawing a younger male character you can see: