How to Draw Disney Characters

Disney characters have enchanted audiences for generations with their unique charm and vibrant personalities. Learning to draw these beloved characters can be a delightful journey into the world of animation and art, whether you’re a budding artist or a Disney enthusiast. With the right guidance, you can capture the magic of Disney on paper, bringing to life the whimsical worlds and fairy tale characters that have captured our hearts. The key lies in understanding the basic shapes, proportions, and expressions that make each character distinctive.

how to draw disney characters

Studying Character Designs

Before you dive into drawing Disney characters, it’s essential to study their designs. Disney characters are meticulously crafted with specific traits and styles that make them recognizable and endearing.

  1. Choose several Disney characters you admire and would like to draw.
  2. Look at various reference images of these characters, noting the shapes, lines, and proportions that define them.
  3. Observe how the characters are expressive in different emotions and situations.

By understanding the intricacies of Disney character designs, you will be better prepared to replicate their iconic looks.

Simplify with Basic Shapes

Disney characters can often be broken down into basic geometric shapes. Starting with simple shapes helps in building the foundation of the character’s form.

  1. Select a Disney character to draw.
  2. Identify the primary shapes of the character’s design (for example, circles for Mickey Mouse’s head and ears).
  3. Begin your drawing by lightly sketching these shapes to form a basic outline.

This approach makes the task of drawing more approachable and ensures that the proportions remain true to the character’s design.

Proportion and Scale

Getting characters’ proportions right is vital for your drawing to be recognizable as a Disney creation.

  1. Observe the character’s proportions on various reference images.
  2. Start with the largest shape and reference points, like where the eyes sit on the head.
  3. Ensure that smaller details such as hands and feet are in proportion with the rest of the body.

By focusing on proportion and scale, you can accurately recreate the character’s overall look and ensure your drawing is harmonic.

Fine-Tuning Details

The details are what bring your character to life and make it uniquely Disney.

  1. Once your basic shapes and proportions are right, start adding key features like eyes, noses, and mouths.
  2. Add accessories or clothing details that are distinctive to the character.
  3. Keep refining these details, erasing and redrawing as necessary until they accurately represent the character.

Attention to detail will elevate your drawing from a simple sketch to a recognizable portrayal of a Disney character.

Adding Expression

A key characteristic of Disney characters is their expressive nature. Their emotions play a huge role in their appeal.

  1. Decide on the expression you wish to capture.
  2. Adjust the character’s eyebrows, eyes, and mouth to convey the chosen emotion.
  3. Experiment with different expressions to bring dynamism to your drawings.

Mastering expressions can bring your characters to life and imbue them with personality.

Incorporating Color

Color is a defining aspect of Disney’s memorable characters. Each character often has a distinct color palette that is instantly recognizable.

  1. Identify the primary colors of the character from your reference images.
  2. Begin by lightly adding the base colors to your drawing.
  3. Gradually build up the vibrancy of the colors and add shadows and highlights for depth.

Through careful application of color, your drawing will start to look like a still straight from a Disney movie.

Mastering the Line Work

Sharp and clean lines are a signature of the Disney style, known for its crisp and fluid outlines.

  1. Once you’re satisfied with your sketch, begin to trace over your lines with a firmer hand or a fine liner.
  2. Maintain steady pressure and try to keep your lines as smooth as possible.
  3. Clean up any stray pencil marks for a neat finish.

Sharp line work will give your drawing a professional and polished look, true to Disney’s style.

Practice Consistency

To keep characters consistent, Disney animators use model sheets. To practice this:

  1. Draw the same character in various poses and expressions.
  2. Compare them to make sure they retain the same proportions and features in each drawing.
  3. Adjust as necessary to maintain consistency.

Consistent practice ensures that the characters remain true to their original design, no matter what position or expression they adopt.

Study from Animation

Disney animations are great study materials. By watching the characters in motion, you learn about their demeanors and gestures.

  1. Watch scenes featuring your chosen character closely.
  2. Pause on clear frames to study the pose and try replicating it.
  3. Notice how animation influences the character’s form and refine your technique accordingly.

Studying from animations can add a sense of movement and life to your drawings that static images cannot.

Embrace Your Unique Style

While accurate replication is admirable, infusing your own artistic flair into Disney characters can be rewarding.

  1. Begin by drawing characters as they are traditionally depicted.
  2. Experiment by adjusting features or adding elements to personalize your work.
  3. Develop a style that pays homage to Disney while reflecting your artistic voice.

Embracing your unique style can lead to original and compelling artwork that still honors the spirit of Disney characters.


Whether meticulously focusing on getting those iconic details just right or breathing life into characters through expressive colors and lines, these steps can empower you to recreate the magic of Disney. Each approach demands patience and practice, with the process being both rewarding and educational. The potential drawback is the time commitment required to master the techniques, but the joy of bringing Disney’s beloved characters to life often outweighs this.


Embarking on the journey of drawing Disney characters offers a delightful outlet for creativity and a unique way to connect with the magic of Disney. With patience, practice, and a touch of personal flair, your artwork will capture the essence of Disney’s enchanting world, offering a whole new appreciation for the beloved characters we thought we knew so well.


Q: Do I need special art supplies to start drawing Disney characters?
A: No, you can start with basic pencils and paper. As you get more comfortable, you might want to experiment with fine liners, markers, or digital drawing tools.

Q: How can I improve my drawings of Disney characters?
A: Practice regularly, study reference images, and learn from animations. Don’t be afraid to use guides like model sheets and pay close attention to proportions and expressions.

Q: Can I share my drawings of Disney characters online?
A: Yes, you can share your artwork online, but be mindful of copyright laws. If you’re drawing for personal enjoyment and not for profit, sharing your art can be a great way to get feedback and connect with other Disney art enthusiasts.

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