How to Draw Manga People on a First Date


Valentine’s Day is coming up, and there are few things more romantic than a first date. One of my favorite lines in a song (Sweet Avenue, by Jets to Brazil) is “This day could someday be/an anniversary” and it captures all that nervous hope and anticipation. Such a heady feeling!

Can you capture those feelings by drawing it in a manga scene? Irene Flores and Krisanne McSpadden will walk you how to draw manga people out on a first date. The flirty looks, holding hands… phew, you can practically see the hearts in their eyes!

Excerpted from their book, Shojo Fashion Manga Art School Year 2, you can find this lesson, along with more established couples, prom clothes and other great tips for drawing fashionable manga characters, all packed within the pages.



Manga without any physical interaction is going to be just as boring for you to draw as for others to read. Here are some classic date examples for how to get two figures to believably interact with each other.

1 Super simple stick figures are for getting the rough ideas of height and proportion. The heads are about the same shape, but the figure on the right needs to be a bit shorter.

2 Start sketching the pose. Don’t skimp here! Drawing characters interacting is a lot harder than drawing some guy staring off into the distance. Their poses need to be believable. In this case, the figure on the right is leaning on the figure on the left, and unless their bodies are  connecting, it won’t look right. Also keep in mind that they need to be in proportion to each other, or they will look off. The figure on the right is a small girl; it would look strange if her torso were larger than the boy’s, or her hips narrower.

3 Add more detail to the body to get those proportions right, and sketch out the features enough that you can see these two are believably interacting. Their lines of sight should meet up, their heads tilted toward each other. If the pose isn’t working, here is the stage to fix it. Don’t make the mistake of dislocating your character’s arm just so the two of them can hold hands.


4 Rough in the fabric. The girl’s clothes are tighter and will have less wrinkles than the boy’s hoodie, but her weight on him is going to drag his clothes around a little bit.

5 Coloring should tie the characters together. Make sure their light source is of the same strength, color and direction. They should cast shadows on each other as well, if one of them is blocking the other’s light.


Like your results? Give it to your crush; maybe they’ll get the hint and ask you out a date worthy of your awesome artistic skills.

And remember, nothing says “I like you” like giving your favorite artist some of these titles:

  • Mastering Manga With Mark Crilley: Learn how to draw your couple hugging and showing their affection, along with 30 great lessons that range from drawing the manga eye to plotting out an sequence. Need sound effects and dialogue? Mark Crilley will show you how.
  • I Heart Manga Dot-to-Dot: Connect the dots to reveal some flirty, fun friends and then color in the scene! Who doesn’t love coloring?
  • Shojo Wonder Manga Art School: Learn how to draw everyone from the rebel to the rock star that makes you swoon. But best of all, don’t forget about those BFFs. Best friends love you even when there’s not romance in the air!