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.
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.
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.
Divide the line into thirds.
Sketch the basic shape of the body by drawing two curves on the sides.
Cut a part on top to create some space for the neck.
Draw a circle under the neck—this will be the torso.
Draw a half-circle under the torso—these will be the hips.
Draw two curves under the hips to close the shape of the stumpy legs.
Draw the arms using another pair of simple curves.
Add a curve below the arms to close their shape.
Divide the head-circle into halves.
Chibis have tiny faces on huge heads. Sketch the area for the face as a simple oval in one of the quarters.
Add the hands…
… and thumbs.
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.
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.
Draw two curves on top of them.
Add the tiny mouth to better see the facial expression we’re creating.
Add the simple eyebrows.
Add the ear.
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.
Draw two smaller ovals inside. These are the pupils.
Draw a curve for the eyelashes.
Close the shape of the eyelashes. They should be thick and visible.
Sketch the shading for the eyes.
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.
2. How to Create a Chibi Girl in a Party Outfit
Sketch the upper part of the dress.
Sketch the rim of the dress around the legs.
Draw the frills around the rim.
Outline the dress.
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.
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.
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Draw the parting and one side of the haircut revealing the face.
Sketch the general rhythm of the rest of the haircut.
Outline the strands, keeping it as simple as possible.
Add some details to the strands.
Let’s add a final detail to the outfit, a cute bow.
You can now add the final, dark lines to the whole picture. She’s ready to go the party!
3. How to Draw a Chibi Girl in a Graduation Outfit
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.
Draw a closed hand on the end of the arm.
Draw the length of the diploma paper with some swirls on its ends.
Outline the whole paper.
Add the thumb.
Draw the characteristic “collar” of a graduation robe.
Sketch the rims of the robe: the bottom and the sleeves.
Outline the robe.
Sketch the rim of the dress underneath the robe.
Now, let’s add the haircut. Again, sketch the “helmet” at some distance from the head.
Sketch the front of the haircut.
Sketch the rhythm of the whole haircut.
Add the cap, step by step:
Add the tassel on one side.
Outline the whole haircut in a simple way.
Now you can add the final, dark lines!
4. How to Draw a Chibi Girl in a Sport Medalist Outfit
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.
Add the hands.
Draw the collar of the jacket.
Draw the rims of the sleeves and the bottom of the jacket.
Outline the jacket.
Give some details to the jacket to make it less plain.
Add the outline of the bottom of the shorts.
Finish the outline of the shorts.
Draw the shoes:
Add the medal on her chest.
Finally, the simple haircut. Draw the “helmet”, leaving some distance around the head.
Draw the side of the haircut in the front.
Sketch the rhythm of the rest of the haircut.
Finish the haircut in a simple way.
Now, just add the final, dark lines!
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:
DrawingHow to Draw Simple Cute Animals in Chibi Style (With Videos!)
Global InfluencesCreate a Cute Moldovan Chibi Character in Adobe Illustrator
Fan ArtHow to Create a Chibi Lollipop and Lullaby Munchkin in Adobe Illustrator
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.