How to draw anime poses

Written by andrew dewitt
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How to draw anime poses
A Classic Anime Action Pose. (Illustrations by Andrew DeWitt)

Anime is truly action-packed: characters fly across the screen, smash foes through buildings, hack giant trees down with a single sword strike and level entire cities with special powers. One of the reasons that Anime is so action-packed is that the characters have dynamic poses. These poses allow for the action of the entire scene to be heightened. Here's how to draw a basic high action Anime pose, a character dashing forward with a weapon. Follow along as you learn how to take a basic skeletal frame and create a stunning Anime pose.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Black ink pen
  • Kneaded eraser

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Begin by drawing the basic skeletal frame. Drawn on oval for the head, a rectangular shape for the chest and a triangular shape for the pelvis. Add circles for the shoulders, elbows and knees. Add hands with circles as well. Create the feet with oblong oval shapes. Connect these with simple lines for the arms and legs. Draw the gun with a rectangle.

    How to draw anime poses
    The Skeletal Frame.
  2. 2

    Draw a cross or "t" shape on the face. This will later be used to mark out the eyes, nose and mouth will go. Note the placement of the limbs. The arms are down and to the side. One leg is straight while the other is bent with the foot behind it. This shows the action of running.

  3. 3

    Flesh out the skeletal frame. Add cylinders for the upper arms, fore arms, upper legs and calves. Make sure that the upper leg cylinders are wider at the top than the lower leg cylinders. Add circles to the chest for breasts. Inside the face, draw eye guidelines with oval shapes on the horizontal section of the cross.

    How to draw anime poses
  4. 4

    Draw around the cylinders and connect the parts of the body to give the frame a more human form. Draw the hair with jagged shapes around the head. Add pupils to the eyes with small circles inside the eye. Add eyebrows with small lines above each eye. Draw the nose with a small sideways triangle. Add the mouth with a small line. Underneath this line add a small triangle to show the shadow of the lower lip.

    How to draw anime poses
  5. 5

    Finish detailing the sketch. Add irises by drawing around the pupils. Add eyelashes with small lines on the sides of the eyes. Create the costume by adding some boots and a jumpsuit. The jumpsuit can be drawn with simple lines coming off the shoulders and running down the body to the pelvis. Finish the gun with parallel lines running down the length of the gun.

    How to draw anime poses
    The Final Inked Drawing.
  6. 6

    Ink the entire drawing. Let the ink dry and erase all the pencil lines and guidelines. Go back in and touch up any details that were not inked with your pen.

  7. 7

    Colour the drawing if you wish. This is an optional step. Look at the coloured drawing for ideas. There you have it. You now have the basics of a dynamic action pose for your Anime characters. You can use this drawing as a template for other characters. You can use the same skeletal frame to draw a man, child or even a robot. You can easily switch out the hand gun for a rifle, knife or even a giant sword.

    How to draw anime poses
    The Final Colored Drawing.

Tips and warnings

  • Use this article as a template. Faces, weapons and hairstyles can all be changed out for something else.
  • The placement of the limbs and hips is where most of the action comes from in an Anime pose. Pay attention to the skeletal frame.
  • Be sure to let the ink dry before erasing.

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