Manga Monday: How to Draw a Chibi Character

A chibi character is just too cute to resist. What is a chibi you ask? Chibi is a Japanese slang word. In manga and anime it can sometimes mean “little” like how Chibi-usa in Sailor Moon is a little Usagi because she’s Usagi’s daughter. In art chibi has come to be known as a style of drawing where the characters are super deformed with oversized heads.

How to Draw a Chibi

Learning how to draw a chibi is easy and fun. You can make any character a chibi! By simplifying the features and exaggerating the cute factor, even the most serious of characters can be chibi-fied. Learn how to draw a chibi with the video and step-by-step tutorial below from Sophie-Chan‘s book Manga Workshop Characters! 

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Step 1: Draw Circles

Draw two circles of the same size for the body ratio. Chibi characters have a 1:2 ratio, which means that the body height is twice the height of the head.

Step 2: Add Guidelines

Divide the circles in half vertically. Draw two horizontal lines in the upper circle for the eye guidelines. Chibis always have big eyes. Divide the lower circle in half with a horizontal line. The torso is above that line, while the legs are below it.

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Step 3: Sketch the Body

Start sketching the body. The shoulders are at the top of the lower circle. The elbows are located in the center of the upper half while the knees are placed in the center of the lower half.

Step 4: Start Inking

Begin by outlining the head and draw the mouth as shown. Then draw the upper eyelashes. These chibi eyes are going to be big and cute.

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Step 5: Finish the Eyes

Draw the iris and pupil. Then draw the lower eyelashes on the lower horizontal guideline.

Step 6: Draw the Uniform

Draw the character’s ears, shirt collar and tie. Sketch the shirt and the skirt. This design is a basic school uniform with a pleated skirt. You can research other uniforms for design variation.

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Step 7: Draw the Arms and Legs

Following the guidelines, add the arms and legs. Notice how the arms and legs fall within the second circle guideline. The guide helps to maintain the correct ratio.

Step 8: Final Details

Sketch the hair and add any final details to the uniform that you want. Erase the guidelines and you’re ready to add color!

how to draw a chibi | manga drawing | how to draw manga | step by step tutorial | Manga Workshop Characters

More Manga Instruction from YouTube Star, Sophie-Chan!

Now that you know how to draw a chibi, what character do you want to draw? The main character from your favorite anime? Maybe an original character! Share your chibi art with us on our Facebook and Twitter or tag us in your Instagram post. We love to see your art.

You can find this tutorial and more inside Manga Workshop Characters, available now. Take a look at what’s inside the book:

Manga Workshop Characters | Sophie-Chan | how to draw | how to draw manga | manga instruction

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