What are the best anime art school online course for anime and manga illustration drawing?

Italia Otaku
11 min readApr 21, 2024


What are the best anime art school online course for anime and manga illustration drawing?

Are you an anime and manga fanatic, yearning to bring your own characters and stories to life? Learning to draw in this captivating style can be your key to unlocking boundless self-expression!

Transform your passion into skill — unleash your inner artist, embrace the power of your pencil, and start your creative journey today!

1. Anime Art Academy


Spring into Anime Art Mastery — Save Big on Courses!

Ready to level up your anime and manga skills? Anime Art Academy’s Spring Sale is your chance to unlock your artistic potential!

  • Bundles Discounts: Snag 20% OFF our popular lesson bundles. No codes needed — savings are ready to go!
  • Subscribe & Save: Get 10% OFF subscriptions and single lesson packs. Use code SPRING10 at checkout.


(There is also a free taster course at this page if you want to try freely)

Imagine learning how to draw manga and anime directly from the pros — actual Japanese animators, illustrators, and manga creators! That’s exactly what Anime Art Academy offers.

  • Learn at Your Own Pace: With online video lessons, you can fit learning into your busy schedule, no matter where you live.
  • Get Expert Feedback: The best part? You get personalized advice from Japanese professionals — it’s the closest thing to having your own anime sensei!
  • Exclusive Access: Anime Art Academy is the only place to get this combo of English-language lessons and direct guidance from top Japanese artists.

Ready to make your anime dreams a reality? Start your journey with Anime Art Academy today!

What Makes Anime Art Academy Better?

  • Learn from Japanese Pros: Master the latest anime/manga techniques directly from industry experts.
  • Get Unlimited Personalized Feedback: Improve rapidly with tailored guidance from professionals.
  • Save Money: Access top-tier instruction at a fraction of the cost of traditional art schools.
  • Join a Supportive Community: Connect with fellow artists, share your work, and find motivation on Discord.
  • Try Before You Buy: Sample free lectures to ensure Anime Art Academy is the right fit for you.
  • Flexible Learning: Choose from different course styles to suit your needs and skill level.
  • Pro-Level Support: Receive career guidance and help getting started in Japan if you reach professional standards.

Experience the Power of Pro Feedback: Real Examples from Anime Art Academy

Don’t just learn how to draw — get personalized guidance from seasoned manga and anime artists to level up your skills! Here’s a taste of what you can expect in our paid courses:


How to start drawing manga with Anime Art Academy

This course offer a free taster course: you can start it right now and check if this feels good enough for starting your drawing journey (the free lessons included are below:

Drawing anime faces from a 3/4 angle(6:52)

Draw beautiful anime style hair to elevate your character(5:14)

Draw sparkling anime eyes to bring your character to life(7:06)


Anime/manga drawing course for children

As stated in the FAQs of the course, the course can also be taken by a child, even if they recommend an adult supervision.

Is it good for beginners?

Yes, many of their courses are specifically made for beginners!

2. Manga Art School — Complete manga and anime Course (Udemy — From Scott Harris)

Course link


  1. Comprehensive Learning: The course covers all core fundamentals and advanced stylization techniques necessary to draw professional and authentic Manga and Anime characters. Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate artist, you’ll find valuable insights to elevate your skills.
  2. Authentic Stylization: Unlike other courses that may leave you with characters that only “almost” resemble the Manga style, this course teaches you to achieve genuine Japanese Anime and Manga stylization, ensuring your artwork stands out with authenticity.
  3. Clear and Structured Lessons: The modular design of the course makes it easy to grasp concepts logically and coherently. You can progress chronologically through the modules and revise at your own pace, eliminating unnecessary fluff and accelerating your learning.
  4. Rewarding Assignments: Each module’s assignments reinforce theoretical concepts while providing a sense of accomplishment and progress. By engaging in hands-on practice, you’ll witness tangible improvements in your artwork, bridging the gap between theory and application effectively.
  5. Versatile Learning: Whether you aspire to draw characters for Manga, Anime, or specific genres like Shoujo or Shounin, this course equips you with foundational stylistic rules applicable across various Manga and Anime styles. Moreover, it encourages you to develop your unique artistic style while staying true to Japanese principles.


  1. Focus on Facial Features: While the course extensively covers drawing facial features and head structures, it provides limited emphasis on other body parts such as the torso, legs, hands, arms, and footwear. This might leave some learners seeking more comprehensive guidance on full-body character drawing.

Overall, Manga Art School offers a robust learning experience for aspiring Manga and Anime artists, providing the necessary tools and guidance to master authentic character stylization. Whether you’re starting from scratch or seeking to refine your skills, this course caters to a wide range of learners with its structured approach and hands-on assignments.

Other courses from Scott Harris are also highly rated, so you might want to check his other courses about manga drawing!

3. Anime Academy: Characters and Backgrounds

Course Link

This course from Christina Wu/Dubell (Character Artist) is another top rated course for Anime and Manga Illustration Lovers (She also has other courses with high ratings, teaching you how to draw anime outfits and clothes, poses and also how to draw chibi anime characters.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Basics of drawing anime bodies
  • Techniques for drawing anime faces
  • Line art methods
  • Creating illustrations with characters
  • Character design principles
  • Drawing different types of characters
  • Background drawing
  • Various head views
  • Basics of perspective
  • Storytelling techniques

Course Content:

  • 15 sections
  • 139 lessons
  • Total duration: 69 hours and 13 minutes


  • Enjoyment in drawing
  • Basic knowledge of Photoshop or any preferred digital drawing program
  • Preferred: Drawing tablet, though pencil and paper are acceptable


This course serves as your comprehensive guide to anime drawing, illustration, and character design. From mastering the fundamentals of drawing the human body to learning digital painting techniques and composition, this course covers it all.

Whether you’re a complete novice or seeking to enhance your skills, this course will provide you with a solid foundation to create your artwork at an advanced level. By the end of the course, you’ll have the confidence and skills to craft your characters and illustrations with ease.

What’s Included:

  • Access to 16 sections of the course
  • Step-by-step guidance through each lesson
  • Over 60 hours of clear and effective content
  • In-depth tutorials on Photoshop basics
  • Detailed instruction on drawing anime characters, including facial features, poses, and clothing
  • Insights into perspective drawing and background creation
  • Techniques for digital painting, including color and lighting
  • Guidance on storytelling and character design
  • Tips for composition and illustration making processes

Who Should Take This Course:

  • Beginner artists interested in drawing anime
  • Artists looking to learn basic anatomy
  • Those interested in character design and illustration


  1. Comprehensive Content: The course covers a wide range of topics, from basic anatomy to advanced illustration techniques, providing learners with a thorough understanding of anime drawing and design.
  2. Step-by-Step Guidance: Each lesson is structured to guide learners through the process systematically, ensuring clear comprehension and skill development.
  3. Hands-On Projects: The course offers practical projects that allow learners to apply their newfound knowledge immediately, enhancing retention and skill acquisition.
  4. Lifetime Access and Support: Enrollees receive lifetime access to course materials, along with personal contact with the instructor, real-time tutorials, and in-depth commentary, ensuring ongoing support and learning opportunities.


  1. Longer Videos: Some videos may be longer than necessary, potentially leading to viewer fatigue or information overload.
  2. Audio Quality: The microphone quality could be improved, as background noise may distract learners during instruction.

Overall, this course provides valuable insights and practical skills for anyone interested in anime drawing and illustration. With its comprehensive content and supportive learning environment, it offers a rewarding learning experience for aspiring artists of all levels.

How to start drawing manga as a beginner

Getting Started with Manga and Anime Art: A Beginner’s Guide

Manga and anime have captivated audiences worldwide with their distinctive art styles, expressive characters, and dynamic storytelling. If you’re inspired to create your own manga or anime-style art, you’re in for an exciting journey. This guide will walk you through the basics and provide essential tips to help you start your artistic adventure.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into drawing, it’s crucial to understand what makes manga and anime art unique:

  1. Simplified features: Manga and anime characters often have large eyes, small noses, and exaggerated expressions.
  2. Stylization: Proportions are often altered for artistic effect, such as elongated limbs or oversized heads.
  3. Line work: Clean, confident lines are a hallmark of manga and anime art.
  4. Screentones and effects: Many manga artists use patterns and visual effects to add depth and emotion to their work.

Essential Tools

To begin, you’ll need some basic supplies:

  1. Paper: Start with standard printer paper for practice, then move to higher-quality sketch paper as you improve.
  2. Pencils: A mechanical pencil (0.5mm lead) and a set of graphite pencils (HB, 2B, 4B) are good for beginners.
  3. Erasers: Both a standard eraser and a kneaded eraser for detailed work.
  4. Pens: Fine-liner pens in various sizes for inking.
  5. Markers: Optional, but useful for coloring and shading.

Developing Your Skills

  1. Master the Basics of Drawing

Before focusing on the manga style, ensure you have a solid foundation in general drawing skills:

  • Practice basic shapes: Circles, squares, triangles, and ovals form the basis of most manga characters.
  • Study anatomy: While manga art stylizes the human form, understanding real anatomy will improve your drawings.
  • Learn perspective: This will help you create dynamic poses and interesting backgrounds.
  1. Study Manga and Anime Art

Immerse yourself in manga and anime to understand the style:

  • Read manga and watch anime, paying close attention to art styles.
  • Analyze how different artists draw facial features, hair, clothing, and backgrounds.
  • Try copying your favorite characters to understand their construction.
  1. Practice Facial Features

Manga and anime faces are distinctive. Focus on:

  • Eyes: Often large and expressive. Practice different eye shapes and sizes.
  • Noses: Usually simple, sometimes just a line or dot.
  • Mouths: Can be very expressive, from small and cute to wide and dramatic.
  • Hair: Experiment with various hairstyles, focusing on flow and volume.
  1. Develop Character Designs

Creating unique characters is essential in manga and anime art:

  • Start with basic body shapes, then add details.
  • Experiment with different body types and proportions.
  • Design distinctive hairstyles and clothing for your characters.
  • Consider your character’s personality and how it might reflect in their appearance.
  1. Practice Dynamic Poses

Manga and anime are known for their action scenes and expressive poses:

  • Use reference photos or pose drawing websites for inspiration.
  • Start with stick figures to capture the basic pose, then add flesh to the skeleton.
  • Exaggerate movements for dramatic effect.
  1. Learn Inking Techniques

Inking is crucial in manga art:

  • Practice with different pen sizes to create varying line weights.
  • Use thicker lines for outlines and thinner lines for details.
  • Experiment with hatching and cross-hatching for shading.
  1. Explore Backgrounds and Environments

While characters are the focus, backgrounds add depth to your manga:

  • Study perspective drawing to create convincing environments.
  • Practice drawing common manga settings: school classrooms, city streets, nature scenes.
  • Use reference photos to understand how to simplify real-world details into manga style.
  1. Understand Panel Layout and Storytelling

If you’re interested in creating manga comics:

  • Study how professional manga artists layout their pages.
  • Practice dividing a page into panels to tell a story.
  • Learn to guide the reader’s eye across the page effectively.

Tips for Beginners

  1. Start Simple
    Don’t try to create complex scenes right away. Begin with simple character busts or headshots, then gradually increase complexity.
  2. Use References
    There’s no shame in using reference images. They can help you understand proportions, poses, and details.
  3. Practice Regularly
    Set aside time each day to draw, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.
  4. Embrace Imperfection
    Your early drawings won’t be masterpieces, and that’s okay. Every artist starts somewhere.
  5. Join Online Communities
    Engage with other aspiring manga artists online. Platforms like DeviantArt, Instagram, or art-focused Discord servers can provide support and feedback.
  6. Take Advantage of Online Resources
    There are countless tutorials, both free and paid, available online. YouTube is an excellent source for drawing demonstrations.
  7. Develop Your Own Style
    While it’s good to study existing manga styles, don’t be afraid to develop your own unique approach.
  8. Experiment with Digital Tools
    Once you’re comfortable with traditional media, consider trying digital drawing. Many professional manga artists use digital tools.
  9. Study Japanese Culture
    Manga and anime are deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Understanding cultural references can enrich your art.
  10. Be Patient and Persistent
    Developing your skills takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Neglecting Anatomy: While manga stylizes the human form, a basic understanding of anatomy is crucial.
  2. Inconsistent Character Design: Ensure your characters look the same from different angles and in different poses.
  3. Overcomplicating Early Work: Start simple and add complexity as your skills improve.
  4. Copying Without Understanding: Don’t just copy other artists’ work; try to understand the principles behind their techniques.
  5. Ignoring Perspective: Even in stylized art, proper perspective is important for creating believable scenes.


Starting your journey in manga and anime art can be both exciting and challenging. Remember that every professional artist was once a beginner. With dedication, regular practice, and a willingness to learn, you can develop your skills and create the manga and anime art you’ve always dreamed of.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and find your own unique style within the broad world of manga and anime art. Whether you aspire to create your own manga series or simply want to draw your favorite characters, the skills you develop will serve you well in your artistic journey.

So grab your pencil, open your sketchbook, and start bringing your imagination to life in the distinctive and captivating style of manga and anime art. Your artistic adventure awaits!