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How to Draw the Four Basic Anime Poses: Running, Ballet, Punching, and Throwing

Anime has become a popular and stunning touchstone of culture, as well as an unforgettable mainstay in not just animated media globally. With this in mind, who wouldn’t want to learn how to draw a character in some of the most recognizable styles available in anime?

Anime Character Illustration

As great as it would be to be able to churn out drawings of Goku or Vegeta, I’m afraid it won’t be as simple in the beginning.

Drawing an anime character entails doing what nearly all other animators do: designing an actual character for their character. How boring would Vegeta be if he didn’t have his trademark frown, self-serving smile, and attitude of unapproachability?

Vegeta’s creative animators made him a force to be reckoned with, and viewers of the show will instantly recognize that he’s a character you don’t mess with. This is character drawing, or developing and drawing your character’s nuances, expressions, and overall attitude.

A general formula for creating a face is used by anime characters. Typically, measurements on a potential character’s face contain particular measurements of the distance between their features.

The distance between the chin and the lips, for example, is normally around ย โ…›, whereas the distance between the tops of the eyes and the bottom of the nose is usually ยผ.

Learn 2D Anime Animation

2D Anime Animation Training Good Drawing Techniques

Anime, like any other art form, has several strategies for ensuring that you, the artist, stay on top of the best approach to depict a character’s activity. Let’s have a look at some good techniques that will ideally lead to strong drawing habits.

Investigate Real-Life Anatomy

You’d be shocked at how much anime characters share with real-life human movement. We don’t associate animation with much of our own, unique physique.

With anime, these characters perform practically all of the same body movements that humans do, and brushing up on even the most fundamental tenets of anatomy will greatly assist you in animating your characters.

You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Fail!

I know it’s difficult to hear, but being an artist is fraught with failures and disappointments. Anime is no stranger to folks who become irritated, encounter artistic hurdles, and so on.

Although it would be amazing to start drawing world-class animation as soon as you pick up a pencil, getting the basics down naturally will most likely be a challenging trip, and that’s good!

Failures and setbacks should not deter you. Even the most gifted and well-known artists had a difficult start in their careers.

Allow for Criticism

This is the most difficult obstacle for me to overcome. Many people are naturally resistant to receiving negative feedback on their work. However, if you work as a professional artist or attend art school, you will face criticism regarding your work.

Everyone is unique, and some people will be critical of specific areas of your work while others will find something wrong with everything. This is when constructive criticism comes into play.

Ideally, you want someone to give you constructive feedback rather than crushing your dreams. When someone critiques your work, don’t take it personally; anime has very high standards.

Basic Anime Poses

Having a properly drawn anime face is a tremendous accomplishment, but what happens when you try to animate that character?

You must begin somewhere.

That’s why we’ll go through the fundamentals of the most common positions, how to draw them, and which works best for you.

What’s the point of being one of the best anime artists living today if you can’t correctly posture these well-drawn characters?

You want to make sure that whatever you’re attempting to portray with your work is appropriately conveyed; otherwise, your message, art, and characterization may fall flat.

If you’re not familiar with posing anime characters, you can end up sketching awkward, stilted, and inefficient characters.

Running Pose (Step-by-Step Instructions)

Any good, action-packed anime has a variety of running positions for the characters. Whether the anime character is rushing to or from an adversary, evading physical pain, or simply running late for a class, the running position is one of the most well-known and regularly utilized poses in anime.

How to Draw the Four Basic Anime Poses Running, Ballet, Punching, and Throwing

Let’s go over some of the principles of the running position before breaking it down step by step.

We will only look at the principles of running for this posture because there are numerous levels of running (sprinting, jogging, etc.).

Creating a Torso

The first step is to draw the torso of your character. The torso directs the remainder of the character’s body. Try drawing the character’s torso at a ยพ angle, with the top slightly bending toward the ground, in the running stance.

It’s worth noting and useful to add some minor features to the torso to help you sketch the character more fully. Detail the outline of the shoulders, for example, to give you a better idea of what to draw around and fill in.

Drawing the Head

This is a simple task. Simply design your character’s head at about the same angle as the torso, so it lines up slightly. This might also change, if your character is sprinting, you could have his or her head parallel to the ground. But for the time being, let’s keep things simple.

Adding the legs

The person begins to take shape as the legs are drawn. You must accentuate the forward motion of the legs by sketching the appropriate shapes and lining up the legs in a realistic running position.

What you need to do is draw one leg that lines up with the head and torso, forming a straight yet tilted line that runs through the character’s complete body.

With the other leg, point the knee nearly straight forward. Physics should be considered when it comes to the feet. This means that the foot connected to the leg closest to the body will be bent at the toes, indicating that the character is pushing off with that foot.

Creating Arms

This is where a lot of your character’s energy manifests itself. You should draw the arms in the opposite direction that you draw the legs.

For example, have the character’s right arm lifted while his left leg is behind him, and vice versa. Maintain an elbow bend in your arms.

Creating a Neck

The neck will be roughly parallel to the rest of the character’s body. This is a straightforward step that ties everything together.

The Ballet Pose

This stance demonstrates your character’s flexibility and can be a very useful pose to sketch to get all of the fundamentals down.

Drawing the Torso

As with the running stance, we begin the Ballet pose with the torso because it creates the majority of the movements. When contrasted to running, the body will be considerably twisted in this instance. Bend it back, as if the character’s face is pointing more or less to the ceiling.

How to Draw the Four Basic Anime Poses Running, Ballet, Punching, and Throwing

Drawing the Head

Draw the head with the chin leading the rest of the head’s movements upward, keeping the face tilted upward in mind. Don’t be shy about using yourself as a model!

Drawing the Legs

The Ballet position takes on a life of its own at this point. The legs in the ballerina stance are at a far steeper angle than those in the running pose. They should look like they’re doing a split or some intense leg workout. Make sure your front leg is bent at a perpendicular angle to the floor. Keep in mind that ballet dancers are usually on their toes, so sketch the feet accordingly.

Drawing the Arms

Your character’s arms will be totally bent behind them. They should be drawn straight rearward, mainly in line with whichever leg is in the back.

Drawing the Neck

Once again, the neck aligns with the bulk of the torso and the remainder of the body.

The Punching Pose

When a character punches forward, they are in the punching position. Let us investigate.

How to Draw the Four Basic Anime Poses Running, Ballet, Punching, and Throwing

Creating a Torso

Start by drawing the torso bending forward. This position will now be familiar to you because it roughly mimics the sprinting pose. If you’ve done your research on references or anatomy, you’ll know that you need to portray the character leaning forward to demonstrate that they’re putting a lot of power and weight behind this motion.

Drawing the Head This is a simple phase in which you simply sketch the head tilting forward as the rest of the body does.

Creating Legs

Consider the sprinting pose for the legs in this pose once more. The legs will be separated, with one leg dominant over the other and in front. The front leg will be flat-footed, while the back leg will be elevated onto its toes.

Creating Arms

This is when the punching pose really shines. Draw whichever arm you wish to punch straight out in front. Then, draw the opposite arm back, near to the chest. Someone should be clutching something close to their shoulder and armpit with a closed hand.

Creating a Neck

When drawing the neck in a punching position, it will be tilted forward and motley tucked toward the front of the body and under the chin.

Throwing Pose


This stance is quite similar to the running and ballet poses. It occurs when your character throws something with great force.

Drawing the torso

In this stance, the body should be approximately parallel to the ground. You should have your leg slightly raised, as if you were figure skating ahead on one leg.

Drawing the Head

Drawing the Head Because the character should be looking forward here, align the head with the torso.

Drawing the Legs

Make one leg perfectly straight and point down to the ground when drawing the legs. The other leg will serve as the action’s impetus, trailing behind the character in a quirky manner.

Drawing the Arms

This is the most significant part of throwing. Both arms should be drawn entirely outstretched, but in opposite orientations, with the front arm inclined downward and the back arm tilted upward behind the character.

Drawing the Neck

The neck should be in line with the majority of the body, specifically the head and torso, thus this is very simple.


It’s clear that anime has had a huge influence on popular culture not only in Japan but all across the world. Now that you’re more familiar with the techniques used by prominent artists and studios, as well as some basic how-to instructions, you might be able to draw some of your own manga or even start animating some of your own work.

Just remember to follow certain good practices and remember the principles of animation, and you can find yourself animating like Hayao Miyazaki, Osamu Tezuka, Hideaki Anno, Junji Ito, and Akira Toriyama.

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