How to Draw Goku: Anime Character Artistry

how to draw goku
how to draw goku

Anime has captivated audiences worldwide with its unique art style and compelling characters, and Goku from the Dragon Ball series stands as an iconic figure in the anime realm. Drawing Goku can be both a fun and challenging endeavor, requiring attention to detail and an understanding of the distinctive anime aesthetic.

In this guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of drawing Goku, unlocking the secrets of anime character artistry along the way.

What Do I Need to Draw Goku?

Before embarking on your artistic journey, gather the necessary materials to ensure a smooth drawing experience. Here’s a basic list to get you started:

  • Drawing paper or sketchbook
  • Pencils (2H for light sketching, HB for general lines, and 2B for darker lines)
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Fine-tipped pens or markers (optional)

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How To Prepare For Goku Drawing

Preparing for a Goku drawing involves gathering the right materials, studying the character, and setting yourself up for a successful artistic endeavor. Here’s a guide on how to prepare for drawing Goku:

  • Gather your materials
  • Reference Images: Gather a variety of reference images of Goku from different angles and poses. This will help you understand his anatomy, clothing details, and signature poses. Pay attention to specific features like Goku’s hairstyle, facial expressions, and iconic pose.
  • Study Goku’s Anatomy: Goku, like many anime characters, has exaggerated proportions. Pay attention to the size of his head in relation to his body, the length of limbs, and the overall anatomy. Goku’s eyes, nose, and mouth are distinctive. Study how these features contribute to his expressions.
  • Sketching Warm-Up: Before diving into the Goku drawing, spend a few minutes doing simple sketches or doodles to warm up your hand and get a feel for your drawing tools.
  • Plan Your Drawing: Decide on the pose you want Goku to be in. This could be a classic fighting stance or a more relaxed pose.
  • Create a Comfortable Workspace: Ensure you have adequate lighting to see your reference images and your drawing clearly.

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How to Draw Goku

Step 1

One of Goku’s most distinguishing features is his black, spiky hair. So, it is expedient to pay attention to the details of his spiky hair, distinctive gi, and powerful stance. Having a clear vision of the character will enhance the accuracy and authenticity of your drawing.

Step 2

Start with a light sketch to outline Goku’s basic shapes and proportions. Begin with the head, marking the placement of the facial features. Goku’s eyes are typically large and expressive, with a determined look. Capture the spiky hairstyle and add a rough outline of his body, focusing on the characteristic gi and belt.

Be sure to follow the reference image very closely as you draw, as it will help you to get the details and proportions for this part of the drawing.

Step 3

Once the basic sketch is in place, refine the details of Goku’s face and body. Pay close attention to the eyes, nose, and mouth, ensuring they match the character’s expression. Add definition to his muscles and clothing, emphasizing the folds and creases of the gi.

Goku often has a serene or determined expression, so be mindful of conveying his personality through your drawing.

Step 4

For a polished and finished look, consider using fine-tipped pens or markers to ink your drawing. This step involves tracing over the pencil lines with clean, confident strokes.

Inking adds definition and clarity to the artwork, giving it a professional appearance. Take your time and work deliberately to avoid smudges.

Step 5

To bring Goku to life, add shading and highlights to your drawing. Identify the light source and shade accordingly, emphasizing the contours of his face and body. Use hatching and cross-hatching techniques to create depth and dimension.

Add highlights to areas that catch the light, such as the tops of Goku’s spiky hair and the folds of his fists.

Step 6

Enhance your Goku drawing by adding a dynamic background that complements the character’s energy. Whether it’s a burst of energy, a martial arts dojo, or a scenic landscape, the background can contribute to the overall impact of your artwork.

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Where can I find good reference images of Goku?

You can find reference images of Goku online through official Dragon Ball sources, fan art websites, or by watching the anime series. Collect a variety of images to understand different angles and poses.

How do I capture Goku’s spiky hair accurately?

Begin by sketching the basic shape of Goku’s head and then add triangular spikes radiating from the center. Pay attention to the direction of the spikes and ensure they flow naturally.

What is the key to getting Goku’s facial expressions right?

Study Goku’s expressions in different situations. Focus on the size and shape of his eyes, the placement of his eyebrows, and the positioning of his mouth.

How can I make my Goku drawing unique?

Inject your personal style into the drawing. Experiment with shading techniques, add your own flair to Goku’s expressions or explore creative backgrounds.


Drawing Goku requires a combination of skill, patience, and a deep appreciation for anime character artistry. By following these steps and paying attention to the nuances of Goku’s design, you can create a captivating and authentic representation of this beloved anime character. So, grab your pencils and let your artistic instincts soar!



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