Chibi Art (a.k.a Super Deformed): "Chibi" is a Japanese term for "small". Chibi art is used a lot to convey humour or cuteness (kawaii mono). It's a deceptively simple process I'll take you through now.

Step1: Two heads are better than 1

Chibi characters are only 2 heads high. Start your drawing by stacking 2 same sized ovals on top of each other.

Step 2
: Big head, Little body

Now that you know how little space you have to make the body sketch in some cute little pose. Use similar techniques to construct this body as you do a regular sized body. Build a mannequin out of basic shapes. The arms and legs taper to a rounded point.

Step 3a: Hands - do's and dont's

DO: make a small, well formed hand like a baby's hand. Chubby forearms tapering into dainty little fingers.

DON'T: Make a Mickey Mouse styled cartoon hand

Step 3b: Feet - do's and dont's

DO: Taper the leg down to a tiny nub. You don't really need to define the knees. Make a small line to separate the foot from the leg. Like a tiny balerina foot. awwwwww.. dats so cute.

DON'T: Make a Disney-esque little Lu Lu foot. The leg should come straight down into the foot. Don't actually define the typical wedgey foot.

Step 4: Define the key features.

From here it's pretty easy. Slap on some clothes and start adding details. The mouth is like the letter "D" turned on it's side. The nose is not defined as a strong line. It's best to leave it out all together or define iy with shading if you decide to color it in.

Step 5: Cleaning up:

Use a kneaded eraser (see Materials) and blot away your lighter support lines while darkening in the lines you wish to keep. Voila

And there we have it. A nice little Chibi friend to call your own..ain't she sweet?!

Maybe I'll make a keychain out of her.


Back to Tutorials