Chibi is a term for something small, often used for a style of drawing that includes big, round heads and smaller, cute bodies. Keep reading if you want to know how to create a chibi version of your own style!
♥Drawing from Knowledge of Basic Anatomy | The Differences between Basic and Chibi♥
Where other styles generally have longer faces, Chibi styles always have very large, round heads, as shown above. Though they are round, chibi heads often have a small point at the chin.
When drawing facial features, Draw the eyes the way you normally would, except very big and round. In the example above, the eyes take up a 5th of the head. Not only should the eyes be large, but the pupils should be large too.
Eyebrows tend to be either very thin, or short and thicker. Which you choose depends on your style. I tend to draw them at half the length of the eye.
Noses in most chibi styles are small and/or round. They should be placed just under the eyes.
Mouths can have lips, but keep in mind that they don't usually have very bright lip color. If there is, It is usually a light red or pink.
Take note that the farther facial features are from each other, the older characters tend to look. Similarly, the longer your face is, the older and less chibi it will look.
When drawing your bodies, don't be afraid to make the head very large! The smallest you should make your head is probably a 5th of the height of your character.
As for the neck, it should be quite small. Chibi necks are often very skinny compared to the head, but not too skinny compared to the body.
As for the rest of the body, it is quite similar to average stylized anatomy but with a few changes. One change that you will probably love is that you don't need to add much detail to the hands! Another note is that chibi bodies rarely have a lot of muscle or curves.
Feet are usually either quite small or look like little stubs as shown in the image above.
TIP: For most styles of anatomy, elbows reach down to the belly button. The top and bottom of both arms and legs are usually the same size.
♥Starting from Scratch♥
When drawing the head, no matter what angle you are using, you always start with a circle that has been split down the middle horizontally and vertically. The horizontal line represents either the top of the eyes or the eyebrows, depending on your style.
If you are using a front view for the face, the vertical line will represent the middle of the face. But if you are using other angles, it will be different things.
For angles in between side view and front view, it will mark the middle of the head, where you will put either end of a curved line. This curved line wraps around the head, both giving the circle the illusion of being a sphere, and showing the middle of the face.
When drawing a side view portrait, this line will show the middle head, but not the face. Where the two lines meet is where you will draw a circle. This circle will always be on the side of the head, as shown above. If you feel your head, you'll notice that on either side is an area where it is quite flat. This is what the circle represents.
You may use this animation for reference for the curves of the face.
(Note: The model I used in this animation is "Ball Body Joint by 黄鼠[YellowRat]" and can be found here:
The best way to understand anatomy is to break the body into 3d shapes.
The top and bottom of the arms and legs are tapered cylinders, the ribs and joints are spheres, the hips and hands are egg shapes, and the feet are triangles with two curved sides.
Start with this basic pose. First, using a reference, draw a stick figure with your head to map out the pose. you should still add joints to the figure. Next, place 3D shapes in the places for body parts. When drawing the hand pose, block out the shape of the hand like rectangles, then round them out. After placing in your shapes, outline the shoulders, the back, and the stomach and erase the guidelines.
TIP: The back is almost never a perfect straight line, but a curved line that goes inward halfway down, and one that goes straight the rest of the way.
When using a reference of normal anatomy, try using the section where I explain the differences between basic and chibi anatomy so you know what to change to fit the style!
Since bodies are made up of 3-dimensional shapes, it's important to know how to draw them. Every so often, take some time from your day to practice drawing some shapes. It's especially important to practice the main shapes in a body, including spheres, cylinders, tapered cylinders, and cubes.
Don't forget to use references!
Another great exercise for perspective is picking a pose you like, and quickly sketching it out in different perspectives. Adding a short time limit can also help with your skills of quickly sketching poses too.
The best reference for this activity is using a 3d model from the program to change the perspective. If you do not use Clip Studio Paint, there are quite a few apps that allow you to edit 3d models. From my experiences, Magic Poser is the easiest to use, and an app called Poseit has the best reviews. You can download both from Google Play here:
Make Your Own References!
Can't find a reference you like? Try making your own! Record a video of you making a pose, pause it at a point you like, and use it as a reference.
Need help using references for your drawings? Trace and draw the shapes in the pose over the photo, then use this drawing as reference.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article! I hope this helps you drawing chibi body types. Don't forget to take time every so often to practice, and don't be scared to make mistakes!