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How to Draw Anime Male Character: A Step-By-Step Guide

"Character Design & Development demand the insanity of your own personality. You don't just imagine one, you've to become one" - PS Tavishi


You are going to learn the easiest way to draw an anime male character. This is a step-by-step guide that covers all the possible drawing aspects for a beginner. To inform you beforehand, we are going to draw the image shown above using a few simple steps.

Now, let’s stick to the topic and start the process.


  1. HB Pencil
  2. Ink Pen (for highlighting your character outlines)
  3. Rulers
  4. Coloring tools
  5. Paper
  6. Screentone (for adding texture)
  7. Raised beveled ruler (for avoiding smears)

Divide the body parts into different sections

The first step is to structure the full image into appropriate proportions. The real figure can be a bit different, but this rule generally applies to all sorts of character drawing.

Most of the time, the proportions are all equal sizes, however, you do have the liberty to personalize it in your way. I have kept 1, 2, and 3 of equal sizes, while 4 and 5 are of different sizes. If it looks fine then there’s no problem in playing with the basic principles.

As you must have realized, the structure is a line drawing of the anime male. His joints are shown through small circles on shoulders, elbows, waist, knees, and ankles.

The character is standing slightly tilted. So, his right leg looks shorter than the left one. The right leg is bent to support his slant upper body. This will become clear as we draw the parts of the structure.

First, we are going to start with the face, then the body, and finally, conclude with the legs. We will use the guidelines to draw each part.

Drawing the face

Drawing the face

1. Face

Step 1: Draw the oval shape for the face. The shape can differ based on the type of face you want to draw. Sometimes, you may need a square or a circle. Here the character has a long face, so we have drawn a vertically elongated oval.

Step 2: Draw a midline so left and right features are drawn symmetrically. Draw two parallel lines below the forehead for leveling the eyes. Draw a single line at the bottom for lips. These lines will also help you draw leveled ears.

Step 3: Make the chin a little pointed. Draw the lips on the drawn line such that equal space is left on both sides. The character doesn’t have full-blown lips. You need to draw two lines with smiling curves and leave the space for teeth. Next on the midline, draw a pointed nose. It doesn’t have to be human-like, a side pointed nose works better in anime and manga. Now coming to the eyes, first start with the upper lid, then with the lower. The character is standing tilted with his eyes in the front. So, pupils will not be in the center but on the side. Now, finish the look with the eyebrows. Remember male characters usually have straight eyebrows, so don’t make it too curvy.

Step 4: Complete the look with a spiky hairstyle. The character’s left ear is hidden and the right one is clearly visible. Make sure the hair doesn’t fall over the ear. The hair is another layer on the character’s head, it doesn’t cover his features. This is one of the most basic hairstyles so quite easy to draw. Now, complete his face with shading or you can choose to color it instead.

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Drawing the body

Drawing the body

2. Body

Step 1: Examining the physique of the character. The basic outlines are drawn as shown in the leftmost image. The joints and hands are shown through circles. His left hand is partially visible so the circle is also drawn accordingly.

Step 2: Draw small parallel lines on both sides of his elbows. In this step, we have simply drawn the lines and joined the points to give his body shape.

Step 3: Erase the guidelines. The resulted image will look quite similar to the final one. You need to draw the lines to show his t-shirts, also draw the fingers such that four of them are clearly visible and the thumb is hidden behind them. Now comes the shading part. Shade his clothes to show the folds in sleeves and near his waist. Make sure to give a clear perspective to his neck as well, as shown in the final image.

Step 4: Color the final result.

Drawing the legs

Drawing the legs

3. Legs

Step 1: Drawing the legs is the easiest of all. Start with two straight lines where knees are shown through two circles. Then draw two small lines joined by another two circles to draw the character’s ankles. The lines are not equal. Depending on the character’s standing look, the lines are given different proportions, so draw after a detailed examination.

Step 2: Draw the character’s legs. At this step, the difference between legs is clearly visible. The right leg is slightly bent and the left one is completely straight.

Step 3: Draw his trouser as shown in the image. Erase the basic structure of his legs.

Step 4: Complete the look with shading. Make sure the difference in legs is easily identifiable.

Final look

Final look

Final look

Processing from basic structure to final look is quite easy with the images. The intricate part is shading. You shouldn’t shade the complete character. It needs to look realistic. Shading on sleeves, waist area, and trouser is crucial in any character you draw. Shading also helps you describe a character’s stature as in this example, shading helps us to know the character has bent one of his legs while is standing straight on the other.

Try to draw these characters using the above steps


Try it yourself

These four characters, shown in the image, share a similar structure to the one we just completed. Try these out yourself by first drawing their basic structure and then drawing the features and clothes accordingly.

Keep on practicing! Keep on learning!


Drawing: Manga: Learn to draw step by step (How to Draw & Paint) by Jeannie Le

© 2020 Prachi Sharma

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