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How to draw a chibi anime character

October 18, 2015
The Ketsup in drag


So you want to draw a chibi neh? Well you’re in the right place because we do tutorials on our Otakufuel YouTubes regularly. I guess you could say we are kinda known for them. 😉 Anyways, on to the tutorial!…


The first thing you need to do is start with a circle:

chibi circle 1












Next you modify the lower part of the circle by adding a long u shape:

ushape (1)











Next you’re going to want to add guide lines. First a vertical line down the center for the nose and for the eyes. This will help give your character a bit of symmetry and will prevent your chibi from looking like the eyes are too much to one side or the other. The horizontal guideline goes right at the top of that “U” shape you added for the chin. This will help you with the bottom of the eyes and where to place the mouth… Unless you are going for some sort of Tenshinhan look… If you are, you’re on your own. 😉

guidelines (1)eyes2 (1)eyes1 (1)























After you have the eyes and the mouth in place, you can play with different expressions by adding blush marks, eyebrows and the mouth open/closed etc. After you’ve decided on an expression and are happy with it, it’s probably a good idea to erase those guidelines. If you need a good eraser, we have plenty to choose from but recommend the Aristo Lead Eraser Studio 20. They’re cheap and effective and makes a nice add-on item if you are trying to spend $25 to get free shipping and falling short by less than $2.

eyes3 (1)












For your chibi characters limbs and body you’re going to want to start with rectangles and then just soften up the corners.

body (1)












As far as proportions… A chibi character’s body is usually 2 head lengths tall. Imagine that the Chibi has 3 heads stacked next to it. So the entire character is only three headlenghts tall. This is illustrated better than I can explain with the letter E below:

head2headratio (1)













Arms… I find that it is really helpful to first draw a wire frame for the arms and put little circles where the joints are. This helps things look more natural but if you are just looking for some playful expression you can draw some little nubs sticking out of something resembling a potato. Hey, it’s your Chibi afterall.

arms (1)












There are several different techniques for drawing the hair, but the easiest by far is drawing a helmet shape around the chibi’s head. Next draw the bangs over the forehead and then connect the bottom portion leaving the chin exposed. Lastly you can add detail or highlights when you color it in perhaps with Copic opaque white to give her some sparkle or shine.

hair1 (1)hair2 (1)












The clothes will be covered in a future article. Stay tuned!

clothes yay












If you’d like to follow this tutorial by means of a video walk through it’s taught by The Ketsup. Enjoy!

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