Manga is the world famous style of drawing Japanese cartoons. It is also more popularly known as “Anime”. This style of drawing has captivated a lot of Anime fans all over the world and people of all ages. Here are some of the basics of drawing Manga.

Learn The Culture

If you really want to draw good Manga, it is best that you learn more about Japanese culture. Most Anime’s are based on Japanese tales and historic characters. It is also better if you learn to observe the different surroundings and places in Japan. This is so that your drawing would really have a Japanese feel to it.

The Hair

Characters’ hair is generally based on a variety of hair strand shapes. More often, these shapes have a grass like appearance to it that is more curved at the lower end. Just like real hair, they do have many strands. However, you do not draw each individual strands as is, instead, you have to draw it into clumps.

It is important to take note that there is a skull underneath your character’s hair. A lot of artists overlook this factor and usually end up drawing oddly shaped heads. It is better that you draw a hairless head first so that it would look natural when you add on the hair.

Clothing And Folds

For clothing, the folds are very important details that you should take note of. You should always remember to take into consideration the direction that the fabric would be pulled. That is where you should create folds. Also, remember to shade the parts that are not subjected to light, like grooves, places in which there is an overlap of cloth and areas within folds.

For female characters, the clothing usually cling tighter to the body. For male, they usually hang loosely. There are also body portions that folds always occur, whether you are drawing a boy or girl character. These portions usually include the shoulders, lower waist, ankles and knees. There is less creases on the cloth on the lower and upper leg, since they are usually hanging loosely or are simply pulled down by gravity. They only have folds when the leg is being lifted up.

The most common pieces to be seen are pants, shirts, skirts, kimonos and capes. Manga art is very fond of using capes and kimonos, especially if the setting of the story is somewhere long ago in the past. School uniforms are a favourite too, which usually consist of pants and coats for boys and white blouses and mini skirts for girls.


The eyes are the most important aspect of your character. This is what makes them different from other characters. Thus, you have to learn how to draw them correctly. For most cases, female eyes are drawn big. They are also more complicated than male eyes, since they tend to have a lot of shiny areas.

It is important that you select a light source, so that you would know where to put the white shiny areas on the eyes. For male eyes, they do have shiny areas but they are less obvious, than that of female characters. Male eyes are also narrower than female’s.

Most of the time, they are shady too in order to give life to the character, especially if they have a very mysterious personality.


Japanese Animation or Anime is one of the most beloved kinds of cartoons all over the world. These are basically cartoons that are based on Japanese Manga series, or comics that were brought to life by being animated. If you want to learn to draw Japanese Animation, here are the things that you should know.

They Are Based On Manga

One thing that you should remember when drawing Japanese Animation is that they are based Manga. Thus, the style of drawing would be pretty be pretty much the same, only that they are moving for the animated version. Here are some things that you should take note in drawing this style of cartoons.

Characters Have Wild Hairstyles

If you observe characters in this kind of genre, you’ll see that they usually have wild hairdos. More often, male characters have long hair. In fact, there are some shows that sometimes men are mistaken to be women because of their long tresses. Their hair colors are also wild too. You can see pink and green haired characters. The style of their hair could be very extreme also. Often times, their hair would be sticking up and out to different directions.

When drawing hair, all you have to do is draw them into clumps that would stand as hair strands. For female characters, ponytails, headbands, pigtails and loose hairstyles are common. For men that have long hair, loose let down hair is also in fashion along with ponytails. Bangs are also in for both sexes.

The General Male

Most male characters would be muscular. A lot of them are depicted to be warriors of some sort. A lot of them are also lean and tall. It is normal for you to see blue or even pink colored hair male characters. However, this doesn’t really mean that they are gay.

The General Female

Most female characters are depicted to have slim bodies and long legs. These features are also emphasized by the type of clothing that females wear. More often they wear clothing that shows off their long legs, especially if the setting of the story is in the modern times. The breasts are also prominent. Women also have sharper chins and snub noses.

Little People?

Do not be surprised if you get to see characters that look like little people. These are called “Chibi’s”. These are basically distorted versions of characters. Although proportion is a rule when drawing, Chibis are intended to have a distorted proportion. This is done to achieve a ‘cuteness’ factor. This type of drawing is usually applied for child-like characters. They have big heads, small bodies, big eyes and no nose.


For villains, characters are usually drawn to be more realistic. There is more shading to make their faces look scarier and the lines used are more crooked than smooth and straight. You could usually find them in the form of mafia’s or gangs. Big bosses are also usually not seen. Body parts such as hands, feet or a mouth smoking a tobacco are the commonly used images whenever the big boss is focused on.

Cute Vs. Macho

For cute Anime’s the drawings are often simplistic with huge eyes and a lot of hearts and touches of pink. However, for macho type of Anime’s, the characters have more details and are rendered to be more realistic.