This post has a collection of some of the best free anime and manga tutorials available online. These how-to tutorials cover a wide variety of topics, such as how to draw the head, face, eye, and others.
- Tutorials cover the head, face, body parts, and environment.
- You can find a playlist on YouTube covering all the videos mentioned in this post.
Table of Contents
Drawing Anime Head and Face
Drawing an anime or a manga face is probably the thing most of us like to do first (I at least draw the face first), so why not start from there?
The face is always the first thing people look at anyway. When you know how to draw an anime face, you are already halfway there, as the face is one of the most important things when drawing anime characters.
Facial expressions have always been the thing in anime, hair, and body pose being the other things.
So mastering the face is rather crucial, and here is a small collection of the best anime face tutorials available online for free to do just that.
Mapping the Face for Anime & Manga
This tutorial explains how you draw a face and head from different angles. It might require some previous knowledge of drawing an anime face, so if you didn’t watch the previous video yet, start from there.
This more advanced video shows you how to draw the face from any angle if you apply the knowledge creatively. The examples are easy to follow and show you how to approach when drawing eyes and other features from different angles.
Though Mikey is using traditional methods, the results are just damn impressive. Easy to learn but may be hard to master.
How to Draw Anime Head & Face
The video doesn’t have a voice-over that explains what is happening. However, writing and showing the process of drawing a face is clearly presented.
Beginning with the face structure and showing how to divide the face helps you understand the construction required to draw an anime face.
Just learning the basic construction of the face already takes you far. Keep this if you are just starting out.
How To Draw a Basic Head Construction Pt 1/2
You have to know how to draw a head before you can really draw the face. Right?
Reinaldo Quintero, better known as REIQ, has been drawing anime and manga art for years already and really has a style of his own.
This video is all about the basics of how the head is formed and split into two parts. So if you decided to watch one, do also watch the other.
How To Draw Basic Head Construction Pt 2/2
The first part is more about the form, and the second part is more about drawing the actual head. REIQ shows multiple examples and draws the head from multiple angles. If you struggle to draw the head from many different angles, these videos are among the best.
I’ve personally watched both of these videos and practiced drawing head and for me, these were very helpful.
How To Draw Lips for Manga & Anime
As an extra video for the drawing anime face collection. Yet again, a video from Mikey on how to draw anime-looking lips for your character.
Slowly building the structure of the lips, explaining the drawing process clearly and in an easy-to-understand manner.
If you have a drawing tablet in your sight, you might get it out and draw while Mikey is drawing and really try to draw what you see.
Covering many different angles helps you see how the lips are formed in different situations.
Here are some good points to keep in mind when drawing a face
- Practice and master the basic shapes and construction first.
- Expand your knowledge of drawing a basic head to draw anime and manga face.
- Keep the rules in your head (pun intended).
How To Draw Anime And Manga Eyes
If there’s something special in anime, it’s the eyes. You could argue that cartoon and western comic style also has and uses big eyes. However, the difference lies in that anime and manga eyes present the iris usually as an oval shape, or the iris is enormous compared to the rest of the eye.
Anime eyes have a lot of personality and are what people look for. First, it’s the head, and then it’s the eyes. And especially the expression those eyes have.
One thing anime eyes do give you is a lot of creative freedom. You can draw eyes in various ways and still make them look believable.
So what defines manga and anime eyes? They are large and shiny, and the iris can be oval in shape. The eyes can be close to reality, but either the eyelashes, eye-socket, or other parts of the eye, are anime or manga-like and thus creates this unreal-looking eye but still so beautiful to watch. The eye’s shape would break the human skull if it were real. Then again, manga and anime do not know reality in that sense.
So there are two types of eyes, one being continuous, where the eyelids do connect. The other style is non-continuous, meaning that the eyelids are disconnected and thus break human eye anatomy completely. The continuous style is trying to hold on to the human anatomy, though only barely.
Size really matters with these styles, and it can be said that where continuous style is no longer looking aesthetically pleasing, it is time to make it non-continuous.
How to Draw Eyes From Realistic to Anime
REIQ shows in the video how you can draw eyes realistically and how to draw them in anime style.
The basis for drawing realistic eyes is always to follow specific rules when possible or when aiming to draw more mature eyes rather than, let’s say, the chibi version of eyes.
The video covers different emotions that can be expressed with eyelids and eyebrows. All the while keeping the details to a minimum and showing the structure of the eye.
This video basically has everything you need to know about anime eyes. But if requiring more, here’s some.
How To Draw Eyes From an Angle in Anime & Manga
Mikey shows you how to draw eyes even though not explain so much about the structure of the eye as REIQ does. However, you can clearly see the difference in style and also how to draw younger-looking anime eyes.
So if you want to draw eyes fast and get those anime eyes for your drawing, this video is excellent for that. Showing you another way of approaching to draw the eyes.
How to Draw Anime Eyes | Coloring
When you have drawn the anime eyes, it would be awesome to color them. Colors and shades really do bring life to the eyes, and Shachimus’ tutorial and awesome for that.
Very different from the previous videos as this video shows more about the coloring process of the eye rather than the drawing part.
Coloring is one thing that creates a personality for your anime eyes, and this tutorial nicely shows you how to color the iris of the eye.
Drawing soft-looking eyes is very anime-like and much seen in the anime art niche. Shachimu shows you how to achieve just that kind of eyes, and by the looks, it requires a few rounds of coloring to get the results.
Coloring and Shading Anime Eyes
Another coloring tutorial for anime eyes. From this tutorial (made by me), you can see how the iris is constructed by drawing multiple layers in different layer modes and colors.
Feels like the more layers you add, the more complicated it becomes and the more interesting it gets when watching the final image.
Some good points to keep in mind when drawing eyes
- Continuous-looking eyes are more realistic than non-continuous ones.
- Eyelids are connected when drawing more mature-looking eyes.
- Iris is usually round rather than oval in shape if going for a more realistic look.
- Anime eyes are very specific in style.
How to Draw Anime Hair
Anime characters usually have hair that is out of this world. Full of imagination and awe. And from that point of view, you can let your creativity flow freely as the hair you are about to draw.
There are only a few rules to remember, and these tutorials will show you more about those. The key thing is to have fun and develop your character’s personality through hair.
Start with the basic shapes, and move to the details. This way, you can better see the volume and personality of the hair before moving on to the details. As you start to draw the details for the hair, it’s harder to go back and fix things. So do nail down the form first and details only at the last stage.
Related: How to draw anime hair
How To Draw Short Hair for Anime and Manga
Another great tutorial from Mikey, a video tutorial on how you can design anime-looking hair. Drawing hair from the top of the head and using simple shapes to show the structure of the hair before going into detail.
The tutorial also covers the part about drawing the famous light reflection on the hair. Drawing hair is not simple, even though this tutorial makes it look like it. Mikey really knows what he is talking about.
How To Draw Anime Hair, From Construction to Styles
REIQ is one of those artists who completely understand how to draw an anime character, so it’s no surprise to see a tutorial from him covering the drawing of anime hair.
The tutorial includes the construction of hair and goes in-depth with different hairstyles.
If you want a stylized result with your anime hair, this tutorial is worth checking out.
How To Draw Long Hair for Anime and Manga
This hair tutorial covers how to draw long hair for your anime character. Showing you how to shade and giving guidelines to help you draw that long hair for a female anime character.
How to Draw Manga Girl Hair – Different Angles and Styles
Sophie Chan has some hair tutorials worth checking out. If you are more into manga style. This tutorial is for you. Demonstrating how to draw long hair for a female anime character with some very cool tips along the way.
How to Draw Anime Hair for Males
This collection had to have a tutorial for boys’ hair also. Talart demonstrates how you should approach drawing a boy’s hair and what things you should keep in mind while drawing it.
Here are some good points to keep in mind when drawing hair
- Anime hair creates and shows part of the character’s personality.
- Hair can be unrealistic in volume and in shape.
- Start with big forms and draw details later.
Drawing Anime Body & Pose
Poses, figures, and bodies in anime and manga have always been and will still defy laws of proportions and rules of the human figure.
If you think anime movies like Afro Samurai (which is one damn awesome anime movie, which I can easily recommend) and feel the shapes of the character’s body movements, the flow of hands and legs, you quickly see that they genuinely defy the natural proportions of the human figure.
However, that being said, the characters still feel and look like real humans, and that is because they always follow the rules of muscles and proportions. Even though anime characters usually somewhat distort the human figure, they still have the correct dimensions if you exclude the head (which is generally too big compared to the body).
How to Draw Sexy Female Legs – Structure and Flow
With every anime and manga female character, there’s a hidden need to draw sexy legs for them. In this tutorial, REIQ goes through how you can draw sexy legs and how you should approach drawing them. Different viewpoints and curves are taken into account. It is a complete guide for drawing those curvy legs.
How To Draw Hands – Easy Simple Basic Shapes in Anime and Manga
Hands are easy on the structure but hard to draw. Mikey shows you an excellent way to approach drawing hands. If you are struggling with drawing hands, this tutorial helps you overcome some obstacles.
As with everything related to the human body, whether it be realistic or more manga and anime-like, you can always create simple shapes of everything. And by putting those simple shapes together, you are able to construct a beautiful hand.
How to Draw the Feet Right
How To Draw Breasts! Tips and Tricks!
Drawing breasts is something people more than often draw incorrectly. REIQ shows you how to draw those correctly with some pretty excellent examples.
How To Draw Arms for Anime and Manga Female Characters
How To Draw Male Anime and Manga Character From Basic Shapes
Mikey shows you how you can draw a male anime and manga character from start to finish. How you use basic shapes to form the body, and how the body proportions work together to create a complete character.
Good points to remember for drawing anime poses
- Create dynamic poses to create more exciting images
- Foreshortening creates dynamic poses
- Correct proportions are needed for believable characters
Drawing a Complete Anime Character
It is not a small feat to draw a complete anime character, but by mastering all the different parts needed, you are able to draw the character you are imagining.
Face and head as a whole, body, and clothing, and you have a complete anime character in your hands. As with everything, learning these things take time, and only when you have the patience to learn can you become the anime and manga artist you have always wanted to be.
Imagining your very own character might not be as hard as you think. Only the execution part is what takes time and energy. Luckily drawing anime characters is very forgiving, as you can even leave the nose completely off if you wish to do so.
Even the head can be pretty unique in shape, with pointy ears and a chin. Anime can be seen as a natural entry point to drawing characters, just because it’s so simplified in its raw form, but if you really want to push it, you can draw amazing and very realistic characters with this style.
It’s up to you how far you want to take this style of yours, from simplified to extreme realism. Anime and manga style lets you do both even at the same time if you are skilled enough.
There are plenty of excellent tutorials to help you on your way, and here are some of the best ones available for free. Some of showing speed paint like drawing, and others explain more of the process.
If you are in the mood for drawing something cheery and cute, Hyanna Natsu is the one to follow! The characters and the use of color are just astounding.
This youtube channel is more than awesome. The amount of quality content is just astonishing. If you haven’t yet subscribed, I suggest you do so instantly. One thing to know, though, is that the owner of the channel is not the one who draws all of the content there is. So if you like the drawings, remember to visit the artist who made the drawing.
One of the best character tutorials out there. Even though it is a speed painting, the amount of knowledge you get from this is mind-blowing. And the art style, how good one can be.
A very good art tutorial showing an original character design. Creating original characters is not easy, and that might be one of the reasons artists like to draw fan art from time to time. If you want to read more on character design, read my post on character design and how to design your own character.
Fan art drawing of Asui Tsuyu from the Hero Academy anime series. Starting from the very beginning and showing you some coloring techniques that are out of this world. The end result is something truly beautiful. There are two parts, and both are absolutely a must to watch.
For those of you who don’t know Artgerm/ Stanley Lau, he’s one the top digital artists there are—considered to be one of the grandmasters alongside Kim Jung Gi (now passed away). They have been spotted drawing together at various conferences, and it can only be said that Stanley is one of the best in the world of digital art. Artgerm is mostly drawing anime vibed drawings, but every now and then, realistic-looking portraits can be seen on his Instragram account.
Do check him out and give a following if you haven’t yet.
Drawing Anime Environment and Backgrounds
As a cherry on top of the cake, draw a background for your awesome character. What better way to showcase your character than with an environment supporting your beautiful anime character?
Even anime environments have that certain feel to them. The key is a semi-cel shade style that is present in the scenery.
Hard-edged shadows but also subtle transitions in color really do create a mesmerizing effect. These elements in the scenery create a very anime-like look and feel to the environment.
If you think about anime movies from the likes of Makoto Shinkai and Hayao Miyazaki, which brought you the fantastic sceneries of The Garden of Words or My Neighbor Totoro. The immense beauty that those movies have inside is just staggering.
The colorful backdrops behind the characters only give you a sense of wonder and make it easy to dive into the world presented.
That kind of effect a background can have on your character. It really is something to consider adding.
Hopefully, this article provided you with enough resources to keep your hand busy drawing. Anime and manga art are awesome, and the simple aesthetics of the art style is something people tend to like.
Simple eyes, curvy bodies, and distinct facial features, yet you can easily go the realistic route, draw something very realistic looking, and keep the anime vibe intact.