How to Draw Kawaii

Kawaii is the Japanese “culture of cuteness”. The Kawaii drawing style includes larger-than-life, rounder-than-balls and cuter-than-fluffy-cotton characters and images for entertainment and decoration purposes. It is an art form that creates forms and shapes with rounded features and big eyes, something that gives a very expressive look and communicates through the emotions of the eyes.

The graphics are bold and very easy to attain. Characters on mugs, pencil cases and other things such as Hello Kitty, Cinnamoroll and Pusheen have become sensational must-haves when it comes to simple yet cute and expressive possessions. Such art forms have not only become Japan’s signature identity but have also become a part of televised cartoons and other commercial platforms like toothpaste or candy advertisements.

This article will help you in learning how to draw different Kawaii objects and characters through simple, step-by-step instructions.

For drawing a Kawaii Girl:

Step 1: Draw round eyes

The first thing about Kawaii characters is this that all of them have very large, round and sparkly eyes. Their eyes express a plethora of emotions, ranging from happiness (with glittery sparkles around the eyes) to sadness (with glistening tears in the eyes).

Drawing the eyes is simple:

the eyes is simple

As you can see, these eyes of a Kawaii girl are drawn with the help of two rounded-oval shapes: the first one is a smaller oval at the top right of the eyes while the second oval is much bigger. The shapes must be slightly apart from each other.

The colors black and white are necessary to add the unique effect of Kawaii drawings. For drawing the eyes, you will need just a paper of any lighter color and a black marker.

Step 2: Draw the mouth

Once you have drawn the eyes, proceed to make the mouth. It is extremely simple and this trick makes it easier to draw the mouth just below the eyes.

below the eyes

The tip is to just write a very rounded letter “W” to get a cute mouth.

Step 3: Add freckles or dimples to the cheeks

We want to draw a cute little Kawaii girl, don’t we? Adding spots or dimples to the cheeks make the drawings cuter and more attractive.

more attractive

We can already see a very cute face!

Step 4: Add Eyelashes

Eyes are a beautiful asset. Not only do they help us see but also enhance our beauty and personality by expressing our deepest emotions. Kawaii drawings are all about expression. Adding short eyelashes will give your drawing a realistic touch.

realistic touch

The picture shows a cute little face smiling brightly at us, although we didn’t actually draw anything that resembles a smile. That is the beauty of Kawaii!

Step 5: Add a little something extra

The Kawaii girl you just drew needs some kind of an accessory to go with her whole character. The Japanese trend not only encourages femininity but also acknowledges its role in bringing out the best in a character.

Let’s add a little red bow on the side of her head, shall we?

head, shall we

There you go, a simple bow on the side, filled in with red, pink or blue colors, will go a long way to make your Kawaii drawing splendid!

For drawing a Kawaii Cupcake:

Step 1: Draw the bigger details first

Cupcakes come in all shapes and sizes but their outline is always the same. Start by drawing a cupcake base and a little cone-shape on the top to represent the frosting/icing.

The outline should be drawn with a pencil to avoid mistakes:

avoid mistakes

Step 2: Add decorations to your cupcake

Who doesn’t want their cupcake to look beautiful and cute? Some cupcakes are so cute that we feel guilty about eating them!

Circular patterns, hearts, stars and the peaky shape of the frosting all are available for you to choose the look for your Kawaii cupcake.

Kawaii cupcake

Choose boldly. It is your cupcake after all!

Step 3: Draw the face

Copy the method of drawing the face as directed in the first section of the Kawaii girl. Alternatively, you can simply draw two big, round eyes, a small, cute, smiling mouth of any shape (a wide vertical letter “C”) and some freckles or dimples.

freckles or dimples

If you draw a straight line in the middle of your cupcake, it will help you draw symmetrically and make sure that nothing is crooked. This cupcake has two googly eyes, a light smile and two blushing points in its cheek area, just beneath the eyes.

So cute!

Step 4: Finally, trace with marker and fill with colors!

Once your pencil drawing is completed, simply trace it using a marker of any color of your choice. It can be plain black too and you can fill in the details with colors of the frosting, the eyes, the mouth and the blush points. The canvas is yours to own!

yours to own

Remember to erase the pencil markings. What a sweet little Kawaii Cupcake!

How to draw a group Kawaii drawing:

Step 1: Draw an outline

Using different colored pencils draw the outlines of the bigger shapes of your group Kawaii drawing. Make the characters overlap to create a doodle design. There are many shapes and characters in Kawaii and you can use all or some of them belonging to the same theme for this.

theme for this

We have an ice-cream, a cupcake, a donut and some pancakes in this outline. Using colored pencils always helps to make the drawing easier to create!

easier to create

This looks much better doesn’t it?

Step 2: Draw some decoration items beside the outline

We have an outline of sweets now. Why not add in some little candies, strawberries and marshmallows in the sides to make the drawing look appetizing, cute and beautiful?

Use a light pencil to draw on top of the main outline, in the lower areas and sides or on top of the donut and pancake to give your drawing a more realistic look.

more realistic look

These will also fill in the blank spaces of your drawing when it is finalized. You may also make these extra shapes when you are drawing out some other theme. For example, while drawing a Kawaii group of girls, you may add accessories like bows, ribbons and pocket mirrors.

Step 3: Draw the facial details

Now that all the basic shapes are in place, add details such as eyes, mouths and accessories to each character. Refer to the steps shown previously if you are confused. Always remember that the purpose of Kawaii is to express through simplicity so it really isn’t a difficult thing to do!

thing to do

The picture shows such a delightful array of tiny details such as bubbles, smiles, winks, messages of love and more.  As mentioned before, Kawaii is an art form filled with expression; these tiny details will help you create something that is easy to make yet very expressive.

Go ahead and fill the canvas outline with countless beams of your creative imagination!

Step 4: Trace the outline and fill with colors!

The final step is always fun and relaxing. Take a black, blue, green, red, yellow or purple marker and trace out the outline you made with pencil. Use your sense of colors and imagination to use the right colors for each of the objects. A good way to accomplish this without being overwhelmed is to do one shape at one time instead of doing many shapes simultaneously.

shapes simultaneously

Look at the final piece! Such an adorable drawing with so many cute faces and expressions in one place!

Now you can erase the pencil markings and start filling in your drawing with colors of your choice. You may exceed the colors of reality and infuse your drawing with colors unseen and unmixed before. Not to forget, you may use not only crayons and color pencils but also gel paints and oil paints to give your drawing a glossy texture and a very bright and optimistic look!

It was a very easy thing to learn wasn’t it?

Conclusion

Kawaii drawings help you explore the various dimensions of art forms that help you form shapes and characters with a personality of their own. But that’s not all! Kawaii also opens up portals through which you can reach all angles to make an impression on your friends, family or business clients.

Japan uses this tradition of Kawaii as a huge marketing tool, making it one of the most recognized forms of art throughout the world. These small, round and cute figures not only attract little children but are also an important part of fashion for young adults, especially females.

We hope this guide helped you learn a new drawing skill. Now you can continue doodling on your notebook but with style!