How to Draw Any Animal as a Cute / Chibi / Kawaii Character | Winged Canvas Art | Skillshare

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How to Draw Any Animal as a Cute / Chibi / Kawaii Character

teacher avatar Winged Canvas Art, Classes for Art Nerds

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Sketching the Chibi Animals

    • 3. Outlining the Cute Animals

    • 4. Colouring the Kawaii Animals

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About This Class

Do you love cute animals? Are you interested in learning how to create Chibi and Kawaii style anime animals? This class will guide you through shrinking animals into small characters. You’ll be guided through the step-by-step process of designing three different animals with Chibi proportions. By the end of this course, you’ll feel confident applying these proportions to any animal! 

By the end of this course, you will know how to:

  • Draw Chibi proportions
  • Reference three different animals
  • Apply anime features
  • Simplify proportions
  • Apply what you learned to future Chibi animal projects


  • My demo is drawn digitally using Medibang Paint Pro, but you may use any medium
  • If you're working traditionally, I recommend pencil, fineliner and coloured pencils
  • To learn how to use digital techniques, see our lesson: Intro to Digital Art in MediBang 


[Sketching the cute animals]


[Colouring the Chibi animals]

About the Instructor:

Felicia Bielby is a concept artist and art instructor. She specializes in 3D modelling and game development with a passion for the world of magic and fantasy! 

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Winged Canvas Art

Classes for Art Nerds


We are an online visual arts studio based in Ontario, Canada, and we represent a roster of professional illustrators, designers, and animators with a passion for teaching. We host virtual art parties, online events and custom workshops for schools across North America. We also design art resources‍ for classrooms and provide free art tutorials on our YouTube channel, helping self starters, teachers and homeschoolers access quality visual arts education from home. 

At Skillshare, we're bringing you special programs in illustration, character design, figure drawing, digital art and cartooning -- designed exclusively from our roster of talented artists! 

About our Instructors:

Fei Lu is a figurative artist specia... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Do you want to draw a cute TB animals and pets and an anime style? In this class, I will guide you through drawing TB animals with cute features and proportions. My name is Felicia in IMA concept artist and instructor at when Canvas. In the next set of lessons, I'll walk you through drawing three different types of TV animals using simple shapes, line art, and coloring techniques. By the end of this class, you'll have brought your cute animals to life with unique, lovable and squished oval features. You're invited to follow along with me step-by-step. If you're a beginner. Otherwise, feel free to experiment with these techniques to create different animal characters of your own. My demo is drawn digitally, but you can draw in the medium of your choice. I'd love to see what you create at the end. So please share your artwork with our community. Have fun in class. 2. Sketching the Chibi Animals: Today we're doing TB animals using your favorite creatures, pets as inspiration. Chubby is a Japanese slang, meaning short. So we're going to make exaggerated features on our animals like stubby limbs, really big heads, and really cute features to really get this form a stylized art. So I will show some examples. We have little cows, and they each represent a milk. So we have chocolate, strawberry, and I believe this is banana or vanilla. So this is a simple eyes cartoon version of them using very stubby little limbs. So very rounded shapes on this as well. And they are just two adorable, usually TV styled. Our meaning that they want to look really cute. So all of these animals that we're going to be making today are going to be just cute since they are small and round and chubby. Here are some examples of axilla models. So this is a very fun animal on itself. Artists rounded out their features and kind of made it more simple. So instead of having all of those little fingers that they have, this artists just rounded it all out to just make this nub or a little stub for their arms and legs and also adding little rounded shapes for the rest of their bodies. Kinda taking in the style of anime as well. For their eyes, they have some bright highlights in them as well. Not really a realistic sort of, I hear other sort of TV animals, different types. There's tons here, that's a fox, dog, panda, all different kinds of types. They're all just sitting down, prompt in their arms, right in front of another but very rounded shapes and very small features. We don't want to go for super realistic today. We are going super, super simple. I will start with my sketch today. I have a little reference in the corner. You can see a little bunny here. This is my pet bunny. I will be doing HEB version of him today. I'm going to have him lying down. So in the similar position as he is in this reference. And I'm going to start with the head. So for the head, she be styles are very round. While I'm going to start off with a very round head starting off from the top, you're going to create this little nub for his cheek, or almost end up like a bean shape. This will be the peak of the bunny. And I'll also very lightly draw a round shape for the head. I'm not sure where the head will sit once I'm done coloring, so I'm going to create a placeholder for it. So just a round shape. His head here. This is just a sketch for now. So you don't have to worry about having your lines super clean. If you have lines going across, don't worry about it. This is just our way of getting our ideas down. Just by sketching. I'll start by reading the rest of the body. The way his cheek will be. I'll just make a very round locked out of shape for the body. Very short to the ground. So it's not a very tall bunny, very round, much more around than you would normally see. Bunny egg around almost like a low bunny will be a big fun reading that very big round edge all the way around. Fixing up this rounded shape here. I want there to be a little bit of a way where he's sitting on the ground. So moving that rounded part to the ground a little bit and you're going to have a little tail at the back as well. A little fluff ball there. Now for the important part is ears. And now we're a very cute part for my bunny. I will do is face now for TV, any sort of characters, animals, you can use almost like an anime. I, if you'd like for it, Animate likes to use lots of shine and highlights. Into their eyes, and that tends to make a character or animal very cute. You can choose to have them slain and solid for mine, I'm going to make them quite round, almost like a oval shape, not a circle. I'm doing an oval shape for mine and there are decent size. I'm not making them too big or small. I think I might have a shine to mine as well. So I'm going to fill this all in with one color. This will be all the same. And then using my eraser, going to the eraser tool and I'm kinda making a small size. I'm just using the dial to make it a smaller size. And I'm going to erase a little circle in the top of it there. A little bit of a glimmer. Almost like the sun is shining right on them. It has a little highlight in there. And then with that, I will make a little bunnies knows. That comes down to as both very small features. Here. I'm not really exaggerating all those little fur or anything like that. This kind of keeping it very simple. Add some whiskers as well. Let me just a couple where I have my funny low. So this will just be my sketch for now. I'm going to move it to the side since i'll I'll do a couple today and then we'll continue with some lining and coloring. But for now I'll just do a sketch or my next one. I'm going to do a little sheep or a lamb, some sort of animal like that. I'm going to take reference from the Pokemon Wu Lue, if you know wou, I just wanted to do a little fun, fluffy sort of creature though. I will do that and I'm also going to have it in a different pose. So this bunnies kind of sitting down and sit in their comfortable, I'm going to have my other creature almost like leaping or galloping, right? So again, I'm going to start with the head. Very similar to the bunny. I'm going to have it come down and I'm going to make a cheek here. I think the side views or the animals are a lot more fun to do, especially with that little round cheek that they have. I'm just going to make that rounded out very lightly drawn out where I want the rest of the head to be. I don't think I'm going to keep it. So that's why I'm drawing super lightly. But just so I know where I would like to sit there. And now I can do a little fluffy parts. Though. This Pokemon Lulu has lots of For all around her. I'm making almost like these little bubbly patterns on her. Reading these really rounded out shapes here. Or like her bangs. Look like bangs. This kinda following that same style. Connecting these these, I guess they look like little half sees with rounded out shapes and it almost looks like very fluffy when you have that round texture in your hair up here. Other big long piece. Horns humming it from the side as well. And I will do their body. So for this lamb or sheep sort of animal here, I know that they have a long or a big round body. So what you could do is kinda put a big circle in shape their body. So you kinda have a good idea of where you want to put all those details for. I'm just going to make a really big ball. And then on top of this ball, I can move around it and do those herbs next to each other. Following that circle that I made. Just adding those big bubbly shapes. I'm going to bring it all the way. At the end of her chin here at the back, since this sheep will be galloping or running. I have stubby little legs back here around sort of feet. Not too much detail. The summer, rounded out rectangles, almost. Not very sharp edges. When you draw chubby characters, they don't have lots of sharp lines in the front. I have other feet big these like a little bigger. Want them to be studied in this ears coming off the side here. The one we'll be showing maybe a little bit of the other one on the other side. But it will be hidden since this shape is on a side angle. We'll just have it kinda. You can note from there. Now that I have the basic body for my animal, I'm going to do the cute little face, very similar to the bunny eyes I have. I'm going to have a build in ovals. And I'm also going to put a cute little I liked. I might make them further apart of grabbing my eraser again and putting a light at the top. A little nose. She does have a little smile, so I'll do that as well. Right there, my little TV animals so far. All to a cat. A cat. That's what I was going to do and I think it'd be cute. So starting with the cat, I'm just going to show you what I did before starting with the head. For this cat. I'm also making it a super round one. And it fits, fits the CI Venus a lot. Make them super short and around. It's also fairly funny as I'm drawing it to. How unrealistic it is. Making a little stubs for this cat's feet. So very round. And again, I'm not creating those really sharp angles to it. There are no straight lines. Even if they're a straight legs. I'm adding a bit of a round bend to it. But there are some rounded edges. This just makes it look super soft. Move my girl here, nice tail. Just fixing up a little bit of my sketch. I have lines going all over the place. We'll just clean it up a little. You don't need to, but that's just my preference. I can see it a little better. And also so you can all see the little better. Thinking if I should have a little color on this guy. And I'll put a little, little heart as the little medallion on them. I think with these with these three, I can get started on lining and coloring. Little bigger just so it matches. Set them. Just kinda shaping them out on my page a little bit, moving them around where I like them. I'm using the lasso tool right now to select a part of my drawing. And then I'm just going to size them up a little. 3. Outlining the Cute Animals: So now that I have my sketch, I'm going to create a new layer. So I just hit this button down here just saying Add Layer with a little age and a corner folded over. This is the Add Layer button. And now I can align over top of my sketch. So I'm going to make my drawing a little bit see-through. So by using the opacity slider up here, I can move it down a little bit to about 50%. So I can have it a little bit see-through and I can draw right over top. Going back to my bunny, I'm going to have a black outline for this first. I might make it a different color as I begin actually coloring the bunny. But right now I'm just going to work with black. I'm just going to go over my sketch following the lines that I made. Just going right over it. So now I have a very clean trying to work with instead of those little sketchy lines that I made, I'm going to leave this round bit that I made here. We're going to see if I actually need to keep it or not. For now. I'm just going to read you round portion of my funny. I'm going to rotate my canvas just so I can get a better grip on the angle that I'm drawing in. So my angle is a very awkward. I don't really want to move my wrist all around. If you are ever finding your hand is in an uncomfortable or awkward position as you are drawing, you can rotate your page around and that sometimes will help you with that. And they'll do the bunny ear details. For any of the details that I'm making on my bunny, they will be a smaller size as opposed to the outline of my piece. So I'm changing the size of my brush so I can add very thin outlines to the details and a thick border for the outline of my drawing. We want to make sure that the outline is the first thing that the viewer sees. As opposed to maybe like the whiskers on my bunny or maybe the nose. Those will be much more thin. Yeah, using using references is great. So you can learn from pictures. And then once you've learned, you can now kind of draw it without the image. It's always a good starting point to use references to learn. And then it's like once you get to that point where it's like you can grow without them, you can definitely challenge yourself. Then after, like Brian, draw without using anything. But all artists need IID references for everything. It's very, very hard to draw without looking at some sort of reference. Even the, even the best artists in the world use references. On my Lam, I'm actually going to be erasing these little cheeks here. I feel like I don't need to add linework to them. I can just kind of add them in when I start coloring. So I'm just about done my line work and then I can move on to coloring my little animal. That's super exciting. It's always the most fun part. 4. Colouring the Kawaii Animals: So right now I have a new layer for my coloring. I have it underneath my lining layer just so I'm able to color right underneath those lines and I don't have to worry about it going over top of them, so I will start coloring my bunny. So I start with the darks first. Though he ever need to start with the shadows or highlights? Always start with your shadows. Highlights should be the last thing that you worry about. That I have my sort of brown coat on my body. I'm going to add some little spots to him. He does have some orange, almost like ginger. First. Let's try to bite on how I want to do this. That is very splotchy, but I want to be able to still simplify it a little bit. So maybe I'll just do some light sort of line squiggles, splotches sort of thing around here. So some thick little zigzags, maybe. I'm adding some lighter colors so to the ear. Lighter little portions inside picture. It doesn't go too much over those lines. So I'm just getting my, my brown again. I'm going to add some lighter oranges is this little patch of hatches that I've made on the body. So I have an if data set tone and I'm just adding some, some later versions right over top. So it has more variety to it and it looks a little more interesting. Adding a little bit more detail than I actually planned on and making a little bit of extra for which is not needed. Don't have to have this much detail and just adding a little bit extra to it. I thought I'd be a little fun. And I can't forget. Tail here does have a little cotton ball tail. And make sure that's all colored. Right, I'm good to my blue here, light brown skin. I'll make sure to fill it in here. If you have solid lines, are solid shapes in your drawing, you can choose to use the paint bucket to fill in those areas very quickly. Or you can just kind of coloring it in like how I'm doing it. It's up to you and your preference. Continuing with this light brown, I'm going to go all the way around picking out where I have this brown color, then coloring it in with my brush. Very similar to just coloring in a coloring book. Billing rate in those solid, nice lines that you've made. And the nice fluff that's going all the way around is a white color, but I am going to make it not completely white since weight is very, very bright, I like to tone it down a little bit and not make it too bright. I will add a little bit of color, maybe a bit of yellow and butter. Cream. White is a very, very bright colors work with. So I kinda leave that for highlights or anything that is just super bright. So for the ends, like a tan color right over top of those little lines that I've made. Just filling in. The bottoms are these little tips of Lulu's feet. A little pink color. I'm just grabbing the same pink from the ear, putting it on there. Let's have a little a little braids air that are a different color from the rest. In this grade here is also great. So I'll stop it right at that bulb there. Where this, this last round that kind of ends is where I'll end that gray color. With this white. I will have a cream going on. Instead. I create a background color over everything. You can see how it is not a pure weight. It is more of a little creme of some sort. I think that just tones it down just a little bit, makes it look a little nicer. Oh, one more little horns here. Almost forgot about. Those. Will be a nice brown color. I think I'll add a little bit of detail on here as well. The braid portion, I'll have some highlights, little highlights here. So just by grabbing a lighter brown, I'm just very lightly pressing down with my opinion, lightly over that and create a nice little highlighter glow to them. And also within, within the ear, a little bit of a darker pink inside here, since this will be a bit of a shadow. Adding a darker instead. Underneath the fur. I can also add a shadow here if I like, going around the little bubbles that I've made. And now I can see the little kitty either make it a yellowy sort of cats. Hello here. Maybe for the color. The medallion might be silvery TO definitely want a pink little nose them. Adding inside frictions. Around. Here's maybe we'll have a different color. Maybe on the shine of my color, I'll have a little bit to better highlight. Since this is a silver little ag or medallion here, I'll add a little bit of a light shine up here. I'll add a besides in the body, we'll add some highlights on this kind of, uh, making little dashes, lines on them. Create little highlight something. Here's a nice little color for the background. Here's my little finished pieces, but I hope you guys had a lot of fun with this. I love the Chevy little style. It's super fun. So see you all later. Bye everyone.