I’m kicking off a new irregular blog series where we’ll share some resources to help you get started with a cute new craft or hobby. This time it’s kawaii drawing and doodles. You might look at your favourite artists on Instagram and think you’ll never be that good but drawing is something everyone can do, and the more you practice, the better you get.
A lot of kawaii artists grew up drawing characters from their favourite anime but I never did, and my years of art school are no real help there. I picked up a review copy of You Can Draw Manga Chibis (UK / USA) to see if it would give me some tips. The book is aimed at children but that means it’s very clear and easy to use for total beginners of any age. It includes an overview of how to chibi-fy the human body to make it cuter, and step-by-step instructions for drawing different types of hands and feet.
There’s also loads of templates you can trace or copy including different poses and I was able to draw a chibi face that’s very different from my usual drawing style. I would have liked a bit more about facial expressions and how to colour and shade your drawings, but this is a good starting point if you want to draw people, kawaii style.
Kawaii Drawing Videos
There are lots more kawaii drawing channels on YouTube too. Draw So Cute has new videos every day showing you how to draw pretty much anything, from animals and food to your favourite kawaii characters. These are especially good for cards and journaling as you can find something for every holiday imaginable.
Kawaii Drawing Books
Japanese drawing books are great for beginners too, as you can learn to create lots of different objects and scenes with simple shapes. Pomadours Craft Cafe (Japan) has a great selection including this Girl’s Easy Kawaii Illustration Lesson Book with step by step instructions and lots of variations. Or you can learn to draw Sanrio characters in a similar style!
Pens For Drawing
You can start drawing with any pen, but it’s good to try lots of pens to see which you find most comfortable and easy to draw with as everyone is different. Your local art supply store is a great place to start or JetPens (USA) sell a big range of pen samplers to experiment with.
I hope this helps get you started with kawaii drawing! You can also check our Art & Drawing category for more books and tutorials, and I have a post with My Tips For Procreate, iPad Pro & Apple Pencil on my own blog. Let us know any other crafts you’d like us to do a beginner’s guide for.
(I received a digital review copy of You Can Draw Manga Chibis from Netgalley but all words and opinions are my own)
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.