Pro tips for drawing characters in movement: Let’s talk about jumping!

Today, let’s continue our series on moving characters, with a lesson on jumping! We’ll be focusing on three types of jump that are often seen in manga, but usually not in other illustration styles, or in real life. This makes them quite unique, and tricky! So let’s take a look at some tips for those poses today.

Cute, energetic jump

This super expressive jump is often seen in anime and manga, and is a popular pose for pop star characters, and excitable, “genki” characters.

Here I’ve chosen longer hair, to give the pose as much movement as possible!

Pro Tip 1

Having the elbow pulled in towards the body makes the pose look cuter.

Pro Tip 2

As we talked about in our lesson on legs, having the thighs twist inwards, and calves outwards, is seen as a cute, feminine way to stand. This can be used in jumping poses too!


This character has skipped up into the air. There’s a weightless feel to her, almost as if she’s floating.

Pro Tip

Both legs are off the ground, but aren’t raised too high, which gives the jump a smaller, lighter feel.


A popular move in action scenes – you might see this movement in some of your favourite fighting games! This character is dodging backwards at a great speed, to avoid an enemy’s attack.

Pro Tip 1

As we talked about in our articles about hair and movement – when a character moves backwards at speed, their hair needs some time to catch up. Having the hair flow up and out like this, in the direction the character is coming from, will give a sense that the body is moving too fast for the hair to keep up with. This adds to the drama of the scene.

Pro Tip-2

To give the impression that the character is launching themselves off the ground with a lot of power and speed, we can have some flecks of dust or dirt flicking off from the tip of the character’s toes. Adding a shadow will also really help to highlight the fact that they are raised up off the ground.

I hope you enjoyed today’s lesson on drawing moving characters! We’re looking forward to seeing all of your cool jumping poses! Good luck with your studies.

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