This tutorial will show you how to draw a muscular man’s body in anime and manga. It also includes a step-by-step breakdown of each muscle group.
This tutorial focuses on the upper body, excluding the arms. This is an example of a muscular, but still more realistic-looking character. This is important because sometimes, anime characters can be drawn in exaggerated proportions to appear enormous.
It is recommended to draw on paper with light lines until the end of the tutorial. This will help you to correct any mistakes.
You can also find more drawing tips here:
Step 1: Draw the outline of the body
Muscular bodies tend to be more muscular towards the top than towards the bottom. Because the muscles are “popping out” of the body, almost everything will have some kind of curve.
The outline of your body can be drawn as follows:
- To determine if the bodies are of equal width, draw a horizontal line across the center of the drawing area.
- If you find it easier, draw a hint of your head or the whole head.
- The neck should be extended from the bottom of your ears. It is possible to draw it just slightly wider towards the end.
- The trapezius muscles are drawn downwards by bending the neck in light curves.
- Draw the shoulders down from the trapezius with only one curve.
- A hint of arms is a good idea. As this is a muscular person, make them thick.
- Draw the body down from the arms, becoming narrower, and then create a “wave shape” around your waist where it becomes wider and narrower.
- As the body transitions to the hip/leg area, it will become wider from the waist.
Step 2: Position the Collar Bones
The collar bones can be seen by descending from the area where the trapezius muscles transition into the shoulders. You can show them all with one line for now.
Step 3 – Draw your chest muscles
The overall shape of your chest muscles should be slightly wider towards the center of your body than towards the edges. They should begin just below the collarbones and continue down to the shoulders.
Each side of your chest can be drawn with four sets. The first should be slightly in the direction of the shoulders. The next can be at the angle of your collar bones. The center line from the first step can be used to draw the third curve. The last curve can be drawn along the center line from the first step. It will curve slightly downwards and then back up in a sharp curve towards its beginning.
Step 4 – Draw an outline of the Abs
Begin drawing the abs by first tracing their combined shapes. This will give the character an “eight pack”, so make the muscles below the chest wider. These should then be transitioned into the next set of narrower abdominal muscles. The abs can be drawn with only two curve lines, as in the above example.
Step 5 – Draw an Individual Abs
Draw the details for each ab. This can be done by adding some horizontal curves between them.
It is up to the artist to decide if the abs curve up or down. Don’t draw them straight, or they will look unnatural.
Step 6 – Draw the Shoulder Muscles
Draw the shoulder muscles in a “cutting” motion. Then, they will be split into the arm muscles like the biceps.
Step 7 – Draw your neck muscles
You can see some of the neck muscles. It will be the “sternocleidomastoid muscle” which starts at the inner end of the collar bones and goes towards the ears.
These are explained in detail at:
How To Draw an Anime Neck and Shoulders
Step 8 – Draw your side muscles
Draw the muscle groups along the sides of your body. This will create two sets of muscle groups that “weave” together. You can give a hint of each with one curve for an anime/manga-style anime.
Step 9 – Finish the Body Drawing with the small details
To finish the drawing, you can add the curves and details of each muscle group. You can also erase your center line and add darker strokes to your drawing.
You will be adding details to the curves around your abs. A hint of curves can be added at the collar bones.
This tutorial should be completed once you are done.
It can be difficult to draw bodies. Drawing muscles can be a challenge because you need to show every detail of each muscle. Although manga and anime characters can be stylized to make certain muscles stand out or larger than usual, they still reflect the anatomy of real people. It’s important to have an understanding of the sizes and positions of various muscle groups in order to draw muscular characters.
This tutorial will show you how to draw the upper portion of a muscular male body. You can adjust the size of your torso and muscle sets to get a slimmer or more muscular character.
- Step by step Drawing Male Anime Characters
- Step by step Drawing an Anime Boy Full-Body