How to Draw a Manga Chibi Kitten

Learn how to draw a chibi kitten from art instructor Chris Hart in this Howcast video about manga art.

Maybe you haven’t thought of drawing a manga cat, but what about a kitten? What about a Chibi kitten? Who can resist that? So let’s give that a try today.

You’ll notice on this guy, that the head is oversized and really cute because his eyes and muzzle are so low and the body is very tiny, but still chunky. And that’s some of the keys to making it cute. But here is the underlying construction so you can see clearly what goes into making it cute. You see the body here is done in a sort of kidney bean shape, which means that when we curve in here at the back, we curve out at the bottom and the tummy is rounded and goes forward.

Okay, then we’re going to start with the muzzle. The muzzle, like the eyes, is very low to the bottom of the face. That makes it cute. And here’s the bridge of the nose – very tiny. Now, if you give him a big nose, it’s not going to be as cute. So we’re going to give him a very tiny little nose right here on the center line. See how that center line goes down the middle? Now we’re going to add an ear. Just a little tiny triangle of an ear. Now, kittens in general have ears that are very big in proportion to their heads. But cartoons and manga kittens have tiny ears.

Tiny triangle of an ear and we’re going to make it facing this way. And the reason is he’s looking over here, so he probably hears something over there. And a cat’s ear can point in a direction in which it’s hearing. Okay now we’re going to give him some whiskers. So we’ll give the whiskers a little thickness and make them kind of spiky, which is what we think of when we think of manga hair. We think of it sometimes on some characters as spiky.

And then to make him look like a real samurai, we’re going to give him a headband. Now, the headband is rounded. See how that’s curved? If you make this flat, the head’s going to look flat. Okay, and notice that I bring the other side right here under the hair. And what does that do? It gives it overlap. The hair is overlapping the headband, which gives a look of depth. And to even accentuate that more, we’re going to give a little shadow. And you could add any kind of motif you want. Kind of a happy sun.

And notice that even though this here is covered with clothing, we generally draw the entire figure. It gives us the placement. So we’ll just color that in a little bit. And this is our samurai Chibi kitty.