How to draw a girl

This detailed step by step tutorial explains how to draw a girl in the anime style wearing a school or college uniform in three quarter view. It covers everything going from the basic structure of the body to a colored and shaded detailed drawing.

Anime school girl step by step drawingAnime school girl step by step drawing

Step 1 – Structure the Body

Anime girl body proportions and structureAnime girl body proportions and structure

The most important step in drawing the body is to first get the correct proportions.When drawing anime the proportions can be slightly different than for real bodies but similar principals still apply.

A good way to measure the body is by using the head. A normal body with the head included can be about as tall as 7-8 heads. In anime the heads tend to be drawn bigger than in reality so for this tutorial we will use 6.5 heads.

Start the initial proportions sketch by drawing the head and working your way down to the rest of the body.

A common way to indicate the joints is to draw circles. You don’t necessarily need to do this but it can be helpful.

The distance form the body to the bottom of the legs is about the same as the height of the head and the body combined.

The arms are slightly longer than the body (keep in mind that the arms in this example are being held up slightly).

Also be aware that the far side of the body (especially the arm) will be smaller than the parts closer to the viewer due to perspective.

For more information on perspective you can see:

Perspective Drawing Tutorial for Beginners and How it Relates to Anime

Understanding the Guidelines

Anime girl body part drawingAnime girl body part drawing

The blue lines in the above example are the guidelines intended to help you draw.As already mentioned the circles help indicate joints and also act as dividers to help space out the various parts of the body.

The oval draw into the head helps draw the shape of the top of the head. The reason you want to draw the whole oval is that it makes it a lot easier to see if you’ve made a mistake. If you only draw half you may find that it does not look right when you draw the second half.

The lines on the body help define it’s 3d shape. The middle line is used to help with the perspective as in three quarter view the farther away side will be a little narrower then the closer side The other line helps determine where the front of the body ends and the side begins. Basically you want to draw the initial shape of the body as a sort of block with sharp corners.

Step 2 – Draw the Facial Features

Drawing anime girl facial features three quarter viewAnime girl facial features three quarter view

There are already plenty of facial feature drawing tutorials on the site so we will not go into the details of drawing faces in the anime style.

You can see the following tutorials for drawing facial features in the anime style:

How to Draw Anime Eyes and Eye ExpressionsHow to Draw Different Styles of Anime Heads & FacesHow to Draw Anime and Manga NosesHow to Draw Anime and Manga Mouth Expressions

Some things you should be aware of is that since the face in this tutorial is drawn in 3/4 view due to perspective the features on the far side of the face will be drawn very slightly smaller and slightly lower down. You can ignore this small size variation unless you are drawing a very large close-up of the face.

As the far side of the face curves away form the viewer the far eyebrow and eye will also appear to be horizontally “squished” compared to the side that is closer to the viewer.

Step 3 – Draw the Hair

Drawing anime girl hair three quarter viewAnime girl hair three quarter view

For this particular hairstyle draw the hair following the outline of the top of the head and lightly curving in different directions as it hangs down.

Generally when drawing anime hair you will want to draw it in sort of clumps. Try and vary these in size and direction they point in for a more natural look.

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It can also be very helpful to think of hair as split into the front, sides, and back portions especially for this or similar styles.

For more on drawing anime hair you can see:

How to Draw Anime & Manga Male & Female Hair

Step 4 – Draw the Clothes

Drawing anime girl school uniformDrawing anime girl school uniform

Drawing the clothes is in a way a little similar to drawing the hair. As they will somewhat follow the outline of the body.

Drawing the Shirt, Sweater Vest & Ribbon

Drawing anime girl clothes on the bodyDrawing anime girl clothes on the body

For this particular shirt draw the sleeves fairly loose and draw the collar hugging the neck as it will be held closer to the neck by the ribbon.

Draw the sweater vest hugging the body fairly closely at the top and a little farther towards the bottom where it will sag.

When drawing the ribbon once again be aware that the far side will be smaller due to perspective.

Drawing the Skirt

Drawing anime girl skirt on the bodyDrawing anime girl skirt on the body

The school uniform skirts in anime often have sharp folds in them that curve around the body. Overall the skirt is sort of a cone like shape with the top cut off.

Drawing the Shoes and Socks

Drawing anime girl shoes and socks on the bodyDrawing anime girl shoes and socks on the body

For tight long socks they will basically exactly hug the shape of the legs. Keep in mind that the top part of the socks will be curved as the legs have a cylinder like shape that is below the eye level (again you can see the perspective tutorial mentioned earlier if you need further explanation).

The shoes will roughly trace the form of the feet.

For more on drawing clothes see:

How to Draw Anime & Manga Clothes

Step 5 – Draw the Smaller Details

Drawing anime school uniform folds and detailsDrawing anime school uniform folds and face details

Draw the smaller details of the face and the clothes. When this step is done you should a finished outline drawing of an anime girl wearing a school uniform.

Drawing the Clothes Folds

Anime girl school clothes foldsDrawing anime girl school clothes folds

Draw some folds in the clothes. Most of these will be closer to the bottom where the clothes start to sag as well as ares like the armpits where there is some pressure being applied to the fabric.

Draw the Skirt Fold Edges

Anime girl school skirt foldsDrawing anime girl school skirt folds

Draw some lines to give a hint of the edges of the skirt. These will only really be visible on the left side of the drawing as eventually the folds will twist towards the right so that the other side of the fold will not be visible.

Draw the Sock & Shoe Details

Anime girl shoes and socks detailsDrawing anime girl shoes and socks details

For the socks draw some lines going along the shape of the leg to indicate the patter of the socks. Draw these very lightly. Keep in mind that the legs are round so the distance between these lines should be greater towards the middle area of the leg that faces the viewer and less with each stripe after that as they curve more and more along the leg.

For the shoes you can simply add the smaller details of their design to make them look more interesting.

Step 6 – Color & Shade the Drawing

Anime girl in school uniform color and shadingAnime girl in school uniform color and shading

The first step of coloring an anime character is not complicated, simply shade in each area with the appropriate color.

The style of shading used for anime is known as “Cel Shading”. Cel shading means shading a drawing in a way where there are no gradients.

In order to make the shading more believable we will first consider our light source. In this case it will be on the top left of the drawing. This means that the shadows will be on the bottom right.

The major shadows will be on the neck, below the chest and below the skirt as well as on the right side of every part of the body.

Shading & Coloring the Face & Hair

Anime school girl faceAnime school girl face

On the face the main shadows will be cast by the hair, nose and bottom lip. There will also be some shadow on the eyelids. The head will cast a large shadow on the neck as well.

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For the hair the shaded area will be the inner back part of the hair. You can also add some highlights in the hair to give it a more shiny look.

Shading & Coloring the Torso Area

Anime girl school uniform torso areaColoring and shading anime school uniform torso area

For the torso area as already mentioned the major shadow will be below the chest. There will also be smaller shadow around the folds as well as a shadow on the bottom right of the vest as it is facing away from the light source.

Shading & Coloring the Skirt

Anime girl school skirtColoring and shading anime school skirt

For the skirt the shadows will be inside the fold areas. However once the folds turn more towards the right side of the drawing the shadows will become less visible.

The skirt will also cast a shadow on the legs.

Shading & Coloring the Shoes & Socks

Anime girl shoes and socksColoring and shading anime girl shoes and socks

The socks and shoes will really only have shadows along the right side same as the body. You will want to add some reflections in the shoes though to give them a shiny appears. Don’t make the highlights too bright though or the shoes can look like they are made of glass.

Face Proportions

Female face drawing proportionsFemale face drawing proportions

In the above example you can see the general position of various facial features. Please note that this is only a guideline as facial features and their positioning can vary from face to face.

With that said this guide can still help you avoid making major mistakes when proportioning a face.

How to Draw a Face

  • Draw the entire shape of the head first.
  • Create a rough sketch of all of the facial features and do your best to insure they are correctly placed before drawing the smaller details.
  • Keep different parts of you drawing in roughly the same state of completion.

Step 1 – Drawing the Female Head

Female head drawingFemale head drawing

To help you make sure that both sides of the head will be of equal width and that the facial features in later steps will be evenly spaced start your drawing by first making a vertical line through the middle of your drawing area. Next draw a circle for the top part of the head and from that project two lines that first go to the jaw area and then curve inwards and go down again at a sharper angle to finally form the curve of the chin.

As this is a female face for the sake of this tutorial we will make the chin fairly small and narrow.

Step 2 – Refine the Shape of the Head

Female head shape drawingFemale head shape drawing

For this step you can slightly adjust the shape of the top of the head as it will usually not be a perfect half circle. You can also add a hint of the cheek bones.

After you are done with those you can go ahead and erase the circle guideline but leave the middle line.

Step 3 – Proportioning the Face

Female face proportions drawingFemale face proportions drawing

To create guidelines for the first set of facial features divide the face into four parts using horizontal lines. You will want to draw the lines from the hairline area of the head (located slightly below the top of the head) down towards the chin in a way where you will have three evenly spaced section of the face plus the smaller hairline portion for a total of four.

Step 5 – Placing the Nose

Female face drawing nose placementFemale face drawing nose placement

Draw the nose starting near the inner tips of the eyebrows. For the initial sketch simplify the nose into flat planes for the front, sides and bottom.

The nose will narrow towards the bridge and widen from there towards the bottom of the face.

Please note that the nose is one facial feature that can differ greatly from person to person. An average nose like the one in this tutorial will generally go slightly past the middle portions of the three even divisions. Longer noses can go farther down.

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Step 7 – Placing the Eyes

Female face drawing eye placementFemale face drawing eye placement

Draw another horizontal line directly through the middle of the head (you can remove the other horizontal lines at this point) and on it draw the shape of the eyes (just the outline). Place the eyes far enough apart that you can fit another eye in between them. The space on the sides of the eyes should be slightly less than the width of one eye.

Step 8 – Placing the Mouth

Female face drawing mouth placementFemale face drawing mouth placement

Position the mouth by first drawing a horizontal line between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin. This line will represent the bottom of the bottom lip. Going up from there draw a horizontal line for the mouth and another one above that for the top of the top lip. The bottom lip tends to be bigger than the top so proportion your drawing accordingly.

Step 9 – Drawing the Facial Features

Female face facial features drawingFemale face facial features drawing

Drawing Female Eyes

Inside the shape of the eyes sketched out in previous steps draw the circles of the irises with the top part slightly covered by the eyelids and the bottom just touching the bottom eyelid.

Please note that bigger wider open eyes can make for a more younger and feminine look.

For more on drawing eyes see:

How to Draw an Eye Step by Step

Drawing a Female Nose

A line drawing of a female nose can be a little tricky as the more you define it’s shape the less feminine the nose may appear.

Based on the earlier proportions sketch draw some lines to indicate the nostrils and sides of the nose. Afterwards draw a hint of the tip and the bridge.

For more on drawing noses you can see:

3 Step Nose Side View Drawing Tutorial

Drawing Female Lips

Draw the top lip like a flattened “M” shape.

The bottom lip tends to actually be two evenly split curves that join at the bottom of the mouth to form one bigger curve.

For more one drawing lips you can see:

How to Draw Lips From 3 Different Views

Female Ears Drawing

As the ears will be covered by the hair we will not go into drawing their inner shape in this tutorial.

For drawing ears you can see:

How to Draw an Ear Step by Step – Side View

Eyebrows

As we are simply doing an outline drawing of the eyebrows in this tutorial drawing them should be fairly simple. For a more feminine look simply try and make the eyebrows relatively thin.

Step 10 – Drawing the Outline of the Hair

Male face drawing hair outlineMale face drawing hair outline

How you draw the hair will differ based on the hairstyle. For this particular example the hair will basically be split into two major shapes going from the parting line. As there is more hair flipped to the left side of the drawing that shape will be bigger than the shape on the right.

Step 11 – Drawing the Hair Details

Male face drawing hairMale face drawing hair

To add detail to hair draw in some lines flowing from the parting line down along the shape of the hair. Add in some other lines that still follow the general direction of the hair in various places along the overall shape of the hair. Try and vary these in their length and distance from one another.

After you finish the hair the tutorial is pretty much but if you want to add some eyelashes you can follow the step below.

Step 12 – Drawing the Eyelashes

Female face line drawingFemale face line drawing

Draw the individual hairs of the eyelashes with slightly different distance between each of them but at the same time try and make the overall distribution fairly even. Eyelashes tend to grow more towards the outer half of the eyes (away from the middle of the way). The hairs of the eyelashes sort of fan out as the follow the curved shape of the eyelids. The eyelashes themselves are also curved but this will be less obvious for the eyelashes that are pointing directly at the viewer.

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