How to Draw Anime

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Drawing anime may appear difficult at first, but there are different techniques making the character drawing an easy and fun game. You will, of course, need to have basic talent, but mostly this is the matter of will and practice, and your imaginative characters will soon start developing into different anime princesses and heroes.


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You will need a pencil, eraser and a ruler to start. The drawing should be finished in ink and color. Make sure your pencil pressure is light as you sketch, you will thicken the contours later.

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Step 1

First outline a circle. Then add a vertical and a horizontal line dividing the head into equal fragments using a ruler. Do not press the pencil too hard, because you will erase these lines later. Make horizontal dashes above the first horizontal line, determining the width of the eyes.

If you want a thinner face, make the initial circle more oval.

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Step 2

Extend the bottom of the circle to make a jawline. Keep the jawline angular if you want a male character and a little more pointy and soft if you want a female character. The jaw point should be at the center of the face – where vertical axis is. In essence, it should resemble a big letter “V”.

Add a neck extending from the jawline. For girls, keep the neck thin, and for boys you can make it a bit thicker.

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Step 3

Draw the eyes at the horizontal line. Make sure the eyebrows go up to the dashed horizontal line. Eyelid corners should touch the solid horizontal line in the sketch circle. Big eyes extend below this line in a semi-circular, widened almond shape.

The nose is signed with a small vertical line in the middle, or with two little dots around the axis. Mouth line should be drawn below it.

Ears can go high touching the dashed line and extent low to the end of the nose.

To perfect the eyes, use subtle shading. This may require some practice. Make sure the dark parts are darkened and the light parts and sparkling sections of eyes are left white.

The eyebrows should follow the eyelid line. Thicken the eyelid, and make it exceptionally thick if you are drawing a female character. Make sure both eyes are about the same size.

The basic face is now finished. You can perfect it by shading around eyes, nose and mouth, but this will come slowly with practice.

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Step 4

Now that you have the face, go on to the hair. Try adding long free fringes or spiky hair. This is where you can play the most, as hair does not follow the line of the head, but goes above and around it in different ways. Shading will make the hair look more natural and give it “movement”.
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Step 5

Your anime portrait is now ready for finish. Erase the helpful vertical and horizontal lines and make the contours permanent with ink. You can now color your drawing as you wish!

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Step 6

If you want to continue and draw the whole body, make sure it is proportionate to the head. One body ought to have 6-7 head lengths.

Make sure your males are angular with more straight lines, while females are thinner, with defined waist and more curves.

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When you are done practicing feeling confident enough to draw new characters and poses, try drawing a profile or a semi-profile portrait of a character.

Pay attention to the characters you know and love. Note how they are all drawn according to the same basic principles. When you master the basics, you will be able to let your imagination conjure up any type of anime drawings you have ever wanted to create.

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