How to Draw Anime: 40+ Best Free Step-by-Step Tutorials On Drawing Anime & Manga

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Anime & Manga is one of the most recognized art styles there are.

Big eyes, flowy hair, expressive faces though being simplified. Anime and manga style is something everyone can recognize as unique and memorable.

One of the most famous anime studios there are is the Ghibli studio. Having produced some insanely beautiful and memorable characters for the world to experience. Spirited away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle to mention a few.

Other recent success stories are Kimi no Na wa (Your Name), produced by Makoto Shinkai and his team. Though the art style or rather the way it’s presented in differs quite a lot from Ghiblis’ production, is still extremely beautiful. One could even argue being better than Ghibli.

Anime art is also more than just moving pictures as the art style is trendy among digital artists. It is easy to be fooled into thinking that anime as an art style is easy to produce. But it’s anything but that.

It might seem to the surface that drawing big eyes and big heads would be easy. It’s not. But practice makes a champion, and that is also the case here.

So here is the ultimate collection of free anime and manga art tutorials you should watch and study. These tutorials will give you the knowledge you need, to move forward and to become the best anime and manga artist you can be.

Bookmark this page for later use as you want to come back to this article again!

 

Drawing Anime Head and Face

Drawing an anime or a manga face is probably the thing most of us like to do 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 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.

 

How To Draw A Simple Anime Face From 3 Sides Front/Side/Profile With Guidelines

This video is one excellent place to start drawing your anime characters face. Beginning with the very basics of drawing a simple front facing anime face. But luckily not just limiting it there but to also expand the knowledge on how to draw it from the side view too.

This video is all about drawing a simple anime face, but as we know, basics should be known before moving on to an advanced facial drawing, which the next video is more about.

 

Mapping the Face for Anime & Manga


This tutorial explains how you draw face and head from different angles. Might require some previous knowledge on how to draw an anime face. So if you didn’t watch the previous video yet. Do start from there.

This video is more advanced and shows you how you can draw the face from any angle if you apply the knowledge creatively. The examples are easy to follow and shows you how to approach when drawing eyes and other features in 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 which 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 face helps you understand the construction required to draw anime face.

Just by 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 head before you can really draw the face. Right?

Reinaldo Quintero or 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 to head is formed, and it is 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 in multiple angles. If you are struggling to draw the head from many different angles, these videos are one the bests available.

 

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 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 just 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.

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)

 

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 in shape, or the iris is enormous compared to the rest of the eye.

Anime eyes have a lot of personality in them and are the thing people search for first. First, it’s the head, 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, shiny, the iris can be oval in shape. The eyes can be close to reality but either the eyelashes, eye-socket or other part is anime or manga like and thus creates this unreal looking eye but still so beautiful to watch. The eyes 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 being non-continuous, meaning that the eyelids are disconnected and thus break human eye anatomy completely. The continuous-style is trying to hold on the human anatomy, though only barely.

Size really matters with these styles and 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 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 explaining so much on 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 it. 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.

The 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 are 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 of it, it requires few rounds of coloring to get the results.

 

Coloring and Shading Anime Eyes

Another coloring tutorial for anime eyes. Even if the tutorial is not in English, you can still 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 interest it gets when watching the final image.

Some good points to keep in mind when drawing eyes

  • Continuous looking eyes are more realistic than the non-continuous one
  • Eyelids are connected when drawing a 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

 

Learn 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 free as the hair you are about to draw.

There are only a few rules to keep in mind, and these tutorials will show you more about those. The key thing is to have fun and really develop a personality for your character 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.

 

How To Draw Short Hair for Anime and Manga

Another great tutorial from Mikey, 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 details.

The tutorial also covers the part of drawing the famous light reflection to 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 that have a complete understanding of 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 are looking for a very stylized result with your anime hair, this tutorial is worth checking out.

 

How To Draw Long Hair for Anime and Manga

This hair tutorial is specifically covering 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 tutorial worth checking out. If you are more into manga style. This tutorial is for you.

Demonstrating you how to draw long hair for a female anime character with some very cool tips along the way.

How to Draw Hair for Males

This collection had to have a tutorial for boys hair also. Talart demonstrates you how you should approach drawing a boys hair and what things you should keep in mind while drawing.

Some good points to keep in mind

  • Anime hair creates and shows the characters personality
  • Hair can be unrealistic in volume and in shape
  • Start with big forms and draw details later

 

Drawing Anime Body & Pose

Poses, figures, bodies in anime and manga has 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 hell of an anime movie and highly recommended by Okuha) and feel the shapes of the characters body movements, the flow of hands and legs, you quickly see that they genuinely defy 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 rules of muscles and proportions. Even though anime characters usually somewhat distorts the human figure, the 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 anima and manga female character there’s the 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 The Sexy Female Torso Explained

Anime torso is usually depicted as a very thin and flat at least with teenage school girls and in the world of anime and manga. However, when drawing the more adult-like torso, you should more or less draw curves a bit more here and there.

Gesture Drawing Tutorial By REIQ

Why Your Drawings Are So Stiff

While the first videos were rather in-depth on to different parts of the body. This video shows more about the pose and how you can make your characters look less stiff and have a more interesting body language and dynamic.

 

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 to drawing hands. If you are struggling with the 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 the Best Butt Ever

To complete your characters forms, you need to know how to draw a butt. As with everything, good knowledge of human anatomy is always something that is valued. It gives you opportunities to create your own looking forms. Proportions are the ones that matter. If you know the proportions, things get much easier.

 

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 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 you can become the anime and manga artist you have always wanted to be.

Imagining your very own character might not be as hard 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, pointy ears and 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 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 explaining more of the process.

If you are in the mood for drawing something cheery and cute Hyanna Natsu is the one to follow! Like the characters and the use of color is just astounding.

 

This youtube channel is more than awesome. Like 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 channels owner is not the one who draws all of the content there is. So if you like some drawing do remember to visit the artist who actually 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 time to time. If you want to read more on character design, you do so by reading Character Design | 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 being something truly beautiful. There’s two parts and both are an absolute must to watch.

 

Those of you who don’t Artgerm/ Stanley Lau, he’s one the top digital artists there are. Considered to be one of the grand masters alongside Kim Jung Gi. They have been spotted drawing together in various conferences and 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 in his Instragram account.

Do check him out and give a following if you haven’t yet.

Corel Painter Paint Like Anime Tutorial Part 1

 

Corel Painter Paint Like Anime Tutorial Part 2

REIQ is among the top anime artists out there. So no figure, that a full character tutorial can be found from REIQs’ Youtube account. This two-part tutorial shows you a step-by-step process for drawing your very own anime character. One of the best qualities in REIQ is that he draws quality looking original characters. Something that not too many can draw so easily as he can.

Also, one thing to point out is that he also draws the background for his characters and that is something many character designers seem to leave out. If you are looking for a complete tutorial on character drawing and background drawing. REIQ can lead the way here.

 

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 being 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. Having these elements present in a scenery creates a very anime-like look and feel to an 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 for your character. It really is something to consider of adding.

 

Hopefully, this article provided you with enough resources to keep your hand busy drawing. Anime and manga art is awesome and the simple aesthetics of the art style is something people tend to like. Simple eyes, curvy bodies, distinct facial features, yet you can easily go the realistic route and draw something very realistic looking and still keep the anime vibe intact.

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About Okuha

Passionate about digital art, loves drawing anime, building a business and running this project where you can get a massive amount of resources for digital art, learn new skills, and develop your art business to new heights.

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