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How to Draw Domo, the NHK Mascot

Updated on January 16, 2015
Hello Domo Kitty!
Hello Domo Kitty! | Source

Who is Domo-kun?

Born from an egg, Domo or Domo-kun is the official mascot for NHK, a Japanese TV station. He first appeared during their 10th anniversary in 1998, and has gained tremendous popularity inside and outside of Japan.

Though Domo may appear to be a scary monster at first glance, Domo Nation--the official US site for Domo--states:

Upon closer inspection we see that his monster-like features conceal a gentle soul with a body of pure fluff. Domo just can't stop watching television. Is this a problem? Perhaps if you're already a sloppy creature whose daydreams often lead to disasters.

Be careful not to disturb Domo, as he sometimes farts when upset.

Domo's friends are Mr. Usagi the bunny, Maya and Mario the bats, Tashanna or Ta-chan the weasel, Hee and Haw the flower twins, and a Little Bear. There is also the Fox trio, Hungry Bear, and Ghost.

Domo now has his own show, manga series, merchandise, and plenty of viral videos and images spread across the internet. Even people who don't know this strange little creature by name may still recognize his image. Thanks to his simple, yet, iconic design he has become a beloved figure worldwide.

So now that you know a bit more about him, let's see how our friend Domo-kun is drawn!

Step 1 - Drawing Skeleton

Cartoons are traditionally measured by how many "heads" they are. Since Domo-kun is ALL head this becomes a little tricky to do. So, due to his rectangular shape, I decided to measure him by squares. From head to toe, Domo-kun is roughly two squares tall

Start your Domo-kun drawing by drawing a rectangle that is around two squares tall, lightly in pencil or with a light coloured pencil that can be erased later.

Step 2 - Define Body

Now that you have your "skeleton" define Domo-kun's shape. His body is about one and a half squares tall, leaving his legs measuring in at about a half square tall.

I started defining his shape by rounding the corners of the rectangle and tracing the lines over. Continue to draw light enough to erase marks later. I rounded the head part a bit more than the feet part.

Then draw the legs. Split it down the center leaving a slight space in the middle and bringing the leg lines up about a half a square. Draw a rounded V between the leg lines to distinguish the body from the legs.

Mark off little rounded lines at the bottom of the legs to indicate feet.

Step 3 - Features

You can really draw Domo-kun's arms any way you choose, but if you want your drawing to really resemble the NHK Domo, note that his arms are thinner and longer than his legs. His "hands" are also wider than his arms.

I just drew one up and one down, as they are seen in many images of him.

Next, use your ruler to draw his mouth near the bottom of the top square of his body. It's a wide rectangle, slightly rounded at the corners, with four triangular, evenly spaced, teeth on the top and bottom.

Domo-kun's eyes are perfect little circles. Draw each one above the top corners of Domo-kun's mouth, close to the top of the head.

Step 4 - Lineart

Erase any unnecessary lines and trace over you pencil drawing with a pen, marker, or whatever else you'd like to use to create your lineart.

At this point you may want to fill in his eyes black, leaving a white spot or two in each to indicate light. Otherwise, he may look a bit soulless.

Step 5 - Color & Finish

Domo-kun's very easy to colour; he's only 4 colours! His body is brown, his eyes are black, his teeth are white, and the inside of his mouth is red.

You can use markers, crayons, colour pencils, or scan and colour your Domo on the computer.

Have fun and experiment with different poses, colours, and maybe even costumes for your Domo.

Have Fun Experimenting

Since Domo-kun's design is so simple, you don't really need to stress yourself out over your rendering of him being perfect. In fact, others have taken many artistic liberties when depicting him and people are still able to recognize him. Just remember his trademark features and you'll be set; rectangle body, square mouth, pointy teeth, and round eyes.

More on Domo

To learn more about Domo check out these websites:

Domo Museum (Official Japanese Website)

Domo Nation (Official English Website)

Domo (NHK) on Wikipedia


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