10 Anime Photoshop Tutorials

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When I was growing up there wasn’t much of a mainstream anime following. In the United States, the only shows we had really been exposed to were “Pokemon” and “Sailor Moon.” That is how it was for several years, until one day the genre exploded. 

Japanese animation became a hit, and suddenly, we were seeing shows everywhere. “Cowboy Bebop,” “Naruto,” “Evangelion,” “Lupin III,” “Samurai Champloo,” “FLCL” … it was everywhere. Not just for kids, but for adults, as well.

For those who loved it, they would soon find themselves seeking out more. This would open the door to a whole new world of titles, both obscure and well known. True anime fans know how addicting the bright landscapes, rich storylines and fun characters can be.

If you find yourself wanting to try your hand at making some anime, your best bet is through Photoshop. It takes some time to get the hang of it, but these excellent tutorials will help get you there.

1. How to Draw Anime With Photoshop CS3 Tutorial

This is a very easy to follow and basic tutorial that guides you through the creation of forms in only seven steps. Of course, this will only provide you with part of what you need. But it is a good introduction to the subject. It doesn’t have photos, which is a bit of a disappointment. But the steps are easy enough to follow without them.

2. How to Color an Anime in Photoshop

Another eHow tutorial, this one is a lot more thorough. It covers coloring, which is a major part of anime art and gives it the depth it needs. This is broken down into base colors, shading, highlights and blending. It will take longer to get this one down, but it is a must-have for your bookmarks. Unfortunately, there are still no pictures, which is why it is good that is explains each step so directly.

3. Anime Fonts

Most anime art has some kind of text, especially if you are looking for a manga style. This page has some great fonts, including Bleach, Harry Potter and Naruto, along with different symbol sets.

4. How to Turn Yourself Into an Anime Character Using Photoshop

I love video tutorials, as they are so easy to follow. This one shows you how to turn yourself into an anime character. The video itself is only five minutes long, and the steps are a lot simpler than others I have seen – mainly, because it is using a picture instead of turning yourself into a character for a costume.

6. Anime Eye Brush

Everyone needs to know how to do eyes for anime characters, as that is where a great deal of their style comes from. But the eyes are probably the hardest part of the form. These brushes make it so much simpler, thanks to a DeviantArt user.

7. How to Use Shadow and Light Effects in Anime Style With Photoshop

Another important part of anime is the shadow and light effects. These are harder to do, thanks to the stark lines of the style. This tutorial breaks it down for you and shows you exactly how to apply both elements.

8. Adobe Photoshop CS3 Manga and Anime Tutorials

There are two tutorials here, one for anime and one for manga. They follow the format of the first tutorial on this list, with a simple set of steps and no pictures. But they explain each process a little better in this one.

9. How to Draw Manga Body Proportions

Another video with a great lesson, this 17-minute clip allows you to follow the artist to work on the proper proportions for manga drawing. Anyone who has read manga knows this is a very specific art, so it is a must-watch tutorial.

10. How to Draw a Manga Eye

Another eye tutorial for manga artists, this one is a nice video. So you take those brushes for later, with this initial tutorial showing you how to get the base down right. Once you have the actual shape down, you can upload the image into Photoshop and use the brushes to fill them in.


Anime is a great art style that tells a story with a simple image. If you want to learn how to do it, try these tutorials. They are informative, easy to follow and the perfect introduction.

Thumbnail background: “Anime Girl Eating an Apple”

Michelle is the editor of TekSocial, the user-generated sites collecting video reviews and technology how-to.