Learning how to draw chibi characters like the one you see above is tons of fun. In Japan, the word ‘chibi’ means ‘little person’ or ‘small child’. And with respect to drawing, chibi characters are drawn to look as exactly that – little people, and quite often – small child-like depictions of cartoon characters.
To emphasis their likeness to a small child, a chibi character is almost always seen to have a large head and a small body. The eyes – much the same as most Manga drawings are big and shiny to convey a sense of cuteness & innocence, and the nose… well – the nose is either drawn in ever-so-lightly, or is completely omitted altogether.
The purpose of this lesson is not to show you how to draw my character (the one you see above) exactly as you see it. Instead, use the ideas in this lesson to help you formulate a cute chibi character of your very own. Put some thought into it as we touch down on the various phases.
OK then, let’s get to it… here’s how to draw chibi characters!
First Step – How to Draw Chibi Characters… the Head
To begin this lesson, I thought it would be a good idea if we first sketched out a simple guideline from which we can map out the various parts of our chibi character’s head. If you don’t need a guideline, then motor on through without it. Still, in using one the first few times – it can be helpful to you as you can focus more so on the details and developing your character.
Beginning with a circle, centerline, and some simple eye markers – here’s a very simple guide to help you draw your character…
Make sure you keep these lines very light. Remember – it’s only a guideline, and when you’re all done your drawing, you’ll want to be able to easily lift your lines from the paper with a kneaded eraser. My lines (blue, green, grey) are only color-coded like this so you can better see what’s going on as you work on through.
OK – here’s how the head of the character takes shape – beginning with the parts around the eyes…
So – how’s it coming along? One thing you might be wondering — is what about the eyes!? Why haven’t we drawn them yet. Actually, normally I do start the character off with the eyes. I think it’s important in establishing the character’s personality early on in the drawing. Here though, I wanted to save it until the end, to show you how they take shape when the drawing is colored. Also, if you’re not accustomed to drawing ‘anime eyes’ – I think it’ll really help you out if the body is already in place, colored and all.
And speaking of the body, here’s how to draw the body of your chibi character!
Second Step – How to Draw Chibi Characters – the Body
Now that we’ve got the head of our chibi characters established, let’s move on down the drawing and sketch in a simple body. Of course – if you want to make yours a bit more complex – by all means do. It’s your character and so it’s important that you make it as uniquely yours as possible. Ideas like favorite team/sport, pets, music, superheroes, etc. all come to mind. Weapons? See what you can come up with!
Here’s how to draw the body of your chibi character…
So… how’s your chibi character coming along? What kinds of things did you add to make it extra-special in your own unique way?
In my case – the simple sweater, pants and shoes do the trick just fine. I think the little star though, gives it a neat look. Anyway – let’s continue now and revisit the hair for a second. Depending on whether your chibi character is male or female, and what their hairstyle looks like – you might want to kick things up a notch…
After adding some more hair, the eyebrows, and also – a few more details like the cute little cat ears on top of his hat, I think we’re about ready to move on to the final stages of the drawing…
Final Step – How to Draw Chibi Eyes, Colored and All
At this stage of our lesson, let’s take a look at how to draw chibi eyes – after the drawing’s been colored. Again – normally I’d draw the eyes of my character first. Still though, by showing you how they take form in relation to the finished colored character, I think you’ll have a different perspective on things.
Here’s how to draw chibi eyes …
And there you have it – your chibi character is complete, eyes and all. Keep in mind though, this is just one way of drawing anime eyes. There are lots of variations and I recommend you experiment until you come up with a look that best suits your character.
Other than that – that’s it! Congrats on a job well done. 🙂
That’s how to draw chibi characters!