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How to Draw a Chibi

This post is part of a series called Celebration Week!.
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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Chibi is a subtype of the manga style, where the characters are given child-like features to appear cute (small body, huge head, large eyes). Because of this heavy exaggeration, chibis are very easy to draw—no knowledge of human anatomy required! And once you can draw a chibi base, you can give it various outfits and facial expressions, which is also not hard to do. Because of this, drawing chibis can be a great activity for a beginner!

In this tutorial, I will show you how to draw a base for a chibi girl, and how to create three various outfits for her: for a party, for a graduation, and for a medal ceremony.

What You Will Need

For traditional drawing:

  • some sheets of paper
  • a pencil
  • anything darker and thicker than a pencil (marker, fineliner, etc.)

For digital drawing:

  • a graphics tablet
  • one layer for the sketch (low opacity)
  • one layer for the final lines (full opacity)

1. How to Draw a Chibi Base

Draw the guide lines lightly, so that you can cover them with final, darker lines later.

Step 1

Draw a circle. It doesn't need to be perfect—you don't have to draw it with one continuous line. Remember that the smaller the drawing, the easier it is to draw such a shape.

drawing chibi head circle

Step 2

Draw a line under the circle, roughly as long as the diameter of the circle. This will help us find the ground under the character. Keep in mind that this is a classic proportion for a chibi, but it can be changed to create the effect you want.

drawing chibi body length

Step 3

Divide the line into thirds.

drawing chibi body proportions

Step 4

Sketch the basic shape of the body by drawing two curves on the sides.

drawing chibi simple body shape

Step 5

Cut a part on top to create some space for the neck.

drawing chibi neck

Step 6

Draw a circle under the neck—this will be the torso.

drawing chibi torso

Step 7

Draw a half-circle under the torso—these will be the hips.

drawing chibi hips

Step 8

Draw two curves under the hips to close the shape of the stumpy legs.

drawing chibi legs

Step 9

Draw the arms using another pair of simple curves.

drawing chibi arms

Step 10

Add a curve below the arms to close their shape.

drawing chibi full arms

Step 11

Divide the head-circle into halves.

drawing chibi head proportions

Step 12

Chibis have tiny faces on huge heads. Sketch the area for the face as a simple oval in one of the quarters.

drawing chibi face proportions

Step 13

Add the hands...

drawing chibi hands

... and thumbs.

drawing chibi thumbs

Step 14

Draw two circles on the chest to create breasts. Don't make them too big—the whole body of a chibi is about being small.

drawing chibi breasts

Step 15

Time for the huge, manga eyes! In chibis, they shouldn't be too complex, but they still should be expressive. Draw two curves in the upper half of the face.

drawing chibi eyes base

Step 16

Draw two curves on top of them.

drawing chibi upper eyelids

Step 17

Add the tiny mouth to better see the facial expression we're creating.

drawing chibi mouth

Step 18

Add the simple eyebrows.

drawing chibi eyebrows

Step 19

Add the ear.

drawing chibi ear

Step 20

With the face almost done, we can safely finish the eyes. Add two ovals inside the area we've prepared for them. These are the irises.

drawing chibi iris

Step 21

Draw two smaller ovals inside. These are the pupils.

drawing chibi pupil

Step 22

Draw a curve for the eyelashes.

drawing chibi eyelashes
drawing chibi full eyelashes

Step 23

Close the shape of the eyelashes. They should be thick and visible.

drawing chibi full eyes

Step 24

Sketch the shading for the eyes.

drawing chibi eye shading
drawing chibi eye shine

Step 25

If you want to finish your drawing now, take your darker tool/go to another layer and draw the final lines. If you want to give it an outfit, skip this step.

drawing chibi base

2. How to Create a Chibi Girl in a Party Outfit

Step 1

Sketch the upper part of the dress.

drawing chibi upper dress

Step 2

Sketch the rim of the dress around the legs.

drawing chibi lower part of dress

Step 3

Draw the frills around the rim.

drawing chibi frills

Step 4

Outline the dress.

drawing chibi skirt dress

Step 5

Create some accessories for the outfit—cute shoes and some jewelry. Don't make these details too complex; they should fit the simple style of the whole chibi body.

drawing chibi accessories

Step 6

Let's draw the chibi hair now. It's basically manga hair, just simpler. Draw a "helmet" around the head. Some distance is necessary to make the haircut look soft and light.

drawing chibi hair outline

Step 7

Draw the parting and one side of the haircut revealing the face.

drawing chibi hair bangs

Step 8

Sketch the general rhythm of the rest of the haircut.

drawing chibi haircut rhythm

Step 9

Outline the strands, keeping it as simple as possible.

drawing chibi simple haircut

Step 10

Add some details to the strands.

drawing chibi haircut details

Step 11

Let's add a final detail to the outfit, a cute bow.

drawing chibi bow

Step 12

You can now add the final, dark lines to the whole picture. She's ready to go the party!

drawing chibi party girl
Notice that the eyebrows are still visible under the bangs. This is a stylization characteristic to manga: as heavy as the hair looks, it shouldn't look totally opaque.

3. How to Draw a Chibi Girl in a Graduation Outfit

Step 1

First, let's give our chibi girl a more interesting pose. She'll be holding an important accessory, after all—a graduation diploma! Use simple curves to bend one of the arms.

drawing chibi bend arm

Step 2

Draw a closed hand on the end of the arm.

drawing chibi closed hand

Step 3

Draw the length of the diploma paper with some swirls on its ends.

drawing chibi paper roll

Step 4

Outline the whole paper.

drawing chibi dimploma roll

Step 5

Add the thumb.

drawing chibi closed thumb

Step 6

Draw the characteristic "collar" of a graduation robe.

drawing chibi big collar
drawing chibi collar full

Step 7

Sketch the rims of the robe: the bottom and the sleeves.

drawing chibi robe rim
drawing chibi robe sleeves

Step 8

Outline the robe.

drawing chibi full robe

Step 9

Sketch the rim of the dress underneath the robe.

drawing chibi dress under robe

Step 10

Now, let's add the haircut. Again, sketch the "helmet" at some distance from the head.

drawing chibi helmet haircut

Step 11

Sketch the front of the haircut.

drawing chibi base haircut

Step 12

Sketch the rhythm of the whole haircut.

drawing chibi dynamic hair

Step 13

Add the cap, step by step:

drawing chibi cap base
drawing chibi cap on head
drawing chibi cap perspective
drawing chibi academic cap

Step 14

Add the tassel on one side.

drawing chibi cap tassel

Step 15

Outline the whole haircut in a simple way.

drawing chibi full haircut

Step 16

Now you can add the final, dark lines!

drawing chibi graduation girl

4. How to Draw a Chibi Girl in a Sport Medalist Outfit

Step 1

Let's give our chibi girl a triumphant pose, with her arms up. You can do it by drawing the same curves as before, just in a different direction.

drawing chibi hands up

Step 2

Add the hands.

drawing chibi hands in the air

Step 3

Draw the collar of the jacket.

drawing chibi small collar
drawing chibi full small collar

Step 4

Draw the rims of the sleeves and the bottom of the jacket.

drawing chibi jacket sleeves

Step 5

Outline the jacket.

drawing chibi jacket

Step 6

Give some details to the jacket to make it less plain.

drawing chibi jacket details

Step 7

Add the outline of the bottom of the shorts.

drawing chibi pantlegs

Step 8

Finish the outline of the shorts.

drawing chibi shorts

Step 9

Draw the shoes:

drawing chibi simple shoes
drawing chibi shoelaces
drawing chibi shoe soles

Step 10

Add the medal on her chest.

drawing chibi medal
drawing chibi full medal

Step 11

Finally, the simple haircut. Draw the "helmet", leaving some distance around the head.

drawing chibi base for hair

Step 12

Draw the side of the haircut in the front.

drawing chibi plan haircut

Step 13

Sketch the rhythm of the rest of the haircut.

drawing chibi horse tail haircut

Step 14

Finish the haircut in a simple way.

drawing chibi simple horsetail haircut

Step 15

Now, just add the final, dark lines!

drawing chibi olympic medadlist girl

So Cute!

Now you know how to draw three cute, celebrating chibi girls, as well as any chibi in any outfit you want. If you want more chibi-related tutorials, you'll love these:

And if you're more interested in manga in general, you may also like these, as well as all the tutorials from our series Anime and Manga Illustration.

how to draw chibi girls in outfits

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