90s anime is one of the best I’ve ever seen.
I was born in 1992, and I grew up watching quite a few Anime that I grew to love, like Sailor Moon, Pokemon, One Piece, and so on. I was hooked to them.
I even had Anime coloring books that I loved so much!
Over time, however, the style of anime changed – more in 2000 and then again in 2010.
There is still a beautiful aspect to drawing in 90s anime style.
And in this post, I will teach you how to draw a 90s anime girl and how to draw in 90s anime style.
I will explain how you can color your character because even the coloring requires some level of learning.
Okay, let’s begin with the basics.
Tools I’m using to draw my 90s-style anime
I’m currently using:
And I’m using the Procreate software (which costs $10 one-time-fee)
I highly recommend looking at this superb online course that teaches you how to use Procreate.
You can draw this using pencils or a fine marker, or draw it digitally like me.
The tools you use don’t matter because the technique remains the same.
How to Draw in 90s Anime Style – Step-by-step easy tutorial for Beginners
If you are using digital art, please remember to keep your lineart on one layer and make it a reference layer.
Remember to keep each color on a new layer – this will allow you to manipulate any specific layer without affecting the others.
All these colors should be underneath the reference layer so that you’re not messing with your outline.
This will enable us to drag and drop colors easily if the area or section is closed completely by lineart.
The main thing to remember about drawing in 90s-style anime is that:
- The head shape changes – the heads are much larger on top than at the bottom.
- The eye style varies
- Even the nose is smaller
Let’s see how to get that 90s anime-style effect.
Step 1: Draw the head and face
So, we’ll begin with a circle and the cross-section of the circle.
This rough guide will help us draw the head easily and we’re going to use this as a template so it’s okay if the circle is not perfect.
Easy enough, right?
Now, extended the vertical line downwards – it should be half the length of the bottom cross-section.
This will help us draw the bottom part of the face.
Next, using this rough sketch as a guide, I’ll draw the chin.
Think of it as a V shape that is slightly curved and slowly comes down to a point.
It’s easy if you are using this template.
Next, let’s complete the outline of the head by drawing the top part of the head.
Just follow the circle from the template we drew earlier and connect it to the jawline – it’s not too difficult.
This particular shape will help you draw anime girl characters very easily, so keep practicing this shape over and over again if you want to get the hang of drawing anime or get these books:
Now, it’s time to draw the nose.
90s Anime style girls had small pinched noses.
So at the bottom of the circle template, just draw a small nose like this:
Next, it’s time to draw the eyes.
Step 2: How to draw the 90s-style anime eyes (and other details)
The eyes can be a little intimidating, but I have gone ahead and broken it down step by step.
Let’s draw the upper lid first.
Draw 2 C shapes and make sure you add some eyelashes – note the location.
This should rest in the bottom section of the circle.
Now, draw the lower lash line.
Remember: it’s much smaller than the upper lash line.
And don’t forget to add small eyelashes to this too!
Next, I want you to draw 2 large circles between the upper and lower lash line.
The bottom part of the circle will touch the lower lash line.
This is how the 90s-style anime characters looked back then!
And now, we will draw one more circle inside the large circle.
These become the main pupils of the anime character’s eye.
90s anime girls also had a lot of highlights inside the eye.
So, I’m going to draw 2 small circles at the side of the large circle to indicate the gloss of the high.
And again, we will draw two small highlights again on the opposite side of the eye like this:
We’re finally done drawing the 90s anime-style eyes.
Just draw a small mouth right under the nose to complete the face.
Doesn’t that look pretty?
Our 90s anime girl is beginning to take shape!
The rest of the detailing of the anime eyes will be done when we’re coloring. We can’t do it in this step.
Let’s move on to drawing the rest of the anime girl.
Let’s add ears to our character. It’s not too hard.
Next, I’m going to draw a simple neck and shoulders.
I will not cover drawing the body in this tutorial because that mostly remains the same.
It’s only the anime face that has changed immensely over the years.
Okay, I think we’re done with the major portion of the outline.
Now it’s time to draw the hair.
Drawing anime hair can seem hard, but trust me, if you do it step by step – it’s actually super easy!
And it’s a lot of fun drawing hair!
Step 3: How to draw Anime hair
Before even drawing the hair, I’m going to lighten the transparency of the head outline. This will make it easy for you to see how I’m drawing the character’s hair.
Next, I will draw a rough outline of what the hair should look like.
If you’re using pencils, just draw the outline very lightly so that it’s easy to rub afterward.
I’ll go with a very simple hairstyle. You can see my other hair tutorials here if you want to draw more hairstyles on your character.
The choices are endless with anime hairstyles. You can even get this book that specifically covers drawing anime hair.
Let’s start drawing the hair.
When you’re drawing anime hair, there are a lot of V shapes, but it’s all curved – like this:
Take it one section at a time. And do it at your own pace – this will help you draw hair easier.
Now, I’ll draw one more section.
It’s okay if you find it difficult – drawing hair requires practice.
Next, I’ll repeat drawing this same pattern on the other side of the face as well.
Once you’re done with the front of the hair, start drawing the back portion of the hair. Remember to draw the hair in the direction of the hair growth.
Just sit back and think for a moment how hair grows from the middle like this:
Even when drawing the bottom portion of the hair, remember to draw those pointy sections.
That’s how you’ll give your Anime a 90s-style look.
I think I’m happy with how this character looks, so I’ll just finalize the outline and rub off all the rough lines.
I like to take my time with this to ensure that the outline is perfect because it makes coloring very easy.
I will be left with this.
Now, you can go ahead and color your illustration.
Step 4: How to color your anime character
Let’s start with the skin.
I’ll go with a light peach color for the skin – as most anime characters are generally this color.
Next, I’ll choose a more warm peach color and draw the shadows on the skin.
Remember to draw shadows on:
- One side of the face (the opposite side the light touches)
- The ears
- The shoulders behind the neck
- The nose and chin
- And underneath the sections of the hair
Next, color the eyes any color you want.
I’m going to use my favorite color – purple!
Next, I will use a darker color than the eye color to add shadows to the eyes.
This is very important and will really help make your character look like a 90s anime style girl.
Next, draw some eyebrows on your character.
Now, it’s time to color the hair.
Use any color (anime girls have all sorts of hair colors) I’m going to use a subtle shade of pink.
Next, it’s time to draw shadows in the hair.
It’s very important if you want to add depth to your anime character and make it look realistic.
Draw a shadow in each section of the hair using a color darker than the hair color.
And remember to draw a small grass-like shape in the middle of the head (where the hair is growing and dividing into sections).
Take your time with this.
Once you’re done, it’s time to draw the highlights.
There are various types of highlights you can draw in anime hair, but I’ll go for something very simple in this tutorial.
Start by drawing a curved line at the top of the head.
Think about how the light is hitting your character’s hair when you’re drawing light and shadows.
This will help you color your anime character very easily.
Next, draw some curves underneath the highlighted line – make sure some curves are bigger than others.
Lastly, add some cuts on the top of the highlights to make the hair highlights look more organic.
You’ve finished learning how to draw in 90s anime style.
Drawing anime characters in 90s style isn’t easy initially, but as you keep practicing, it will get easier.
So, don’t feel upset if your drawings don’t look very good initially.
Just keep drawing more characters and mix and match different hairstyles and clothes to familiarize you with drawing diverse characters.
Try practicing drawing anime characters from different angles – like 3/4th view, side view, and back view.
All this will help train you faster.
You can even get these books to help you draw anime easily.
I have a post that you can read on how to find your art style if you are keen on developing your own style of drawing cartoons.
You can make things easier by picking up this Character Drawing Toolkit.
If you want to see more tutorials on hair and people, just comment below. You can check out my other posts on drawing over here.
I will be adding more drawing tutorials to this blog, so keep a lookout!
Want to practice drawing more Manga and Anime?
If you’re looking to improve your drawings faster and want to really draw as a hobby or even pick up drawing professionally, I highly recommend picking up this beautiful online course that teaches you how to draw manga characters easily from scratch.
Use code STRAYCURLS-10 to get a 10% discount!
This class will teach you how to draw manga characters from scratch and add personalities to them.
I found this class so helpful because she teaches how to draw faces from different angles and bodies with the right proportions.
Do take a look.
You don’t need any tools except a pencil and paper.
It’s a very detailed course and it’s not at all expensive.
And if you’re learning with pencils – that’s great.
But if you want to do this via a digital tablet and you are just getting started with ProCreate, I highly recommend this course: Procreate for Beginners: Digital Illustration 101
It will help you learn Procreate within a day or a week at most. I found it super helpful!
You may also enjoy:
- The Ultimate Guide to finding your art style
- How to draw a hoodie from different angles
- How to draw puffy sleeves
- How to color digital art
- How to draw a mermaid step by step
- How to draw a cartoon hand in several poses
- How to draw a pleated skirt
- How to draw skinny jeans
- How to draw a character with the hand on a hip