Design of Kawaii-Style Characters

A course by Estudio Kudasai
Illustrators and Designers. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Joined March 2018
, Illustrators and Designers

Learn to create adorable characters inspired by Japanese culture

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 96% positive reviews (550)
  • 6700 students

Learn to create adorable characters inspired by Japanese culture

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 96% positive reviews (550)
  • 6700 students
  • 12 lessons (1h 54m)
  • 8 additional resources (3 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

Azul Piñeiro and Carlos Higuera—illustrators, designers, and founders of Estudio Kudasai—are die-hard fans of everything kawaii and Japanese. Their love for Japanese culture is evident in their signature style, which has caught the eye of many brands and led them to work with clients such as Cartoon Network, Papumba, and Disney Latin America.

In this course, they teach you the secrets to kawaii-style illustration with a focus on character design. Learn to draw their facial expressions and anatomy by playing with body proportions and discover how to create adorable animals to design a brand's mascot.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. What is this "kawaii"?
  • U3
    U3. Character from end to end
  • U4
    U4. Animals and pets
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Begin by getting to know Azul and Carlos, who tell you about their work, influences, and experiences living in Japan. They also explain what kawaii means and what this style implies.

Move on to working with facial expressions and the emotions they convey before illustrating your first kawaii character from start to finish.

Azul and Carlos talk about lines, colors, patterns, and other resources that you can use to set the scene and create your characters.

Next, learn to design animal characters that stand on two hind legs or on all fours and discover what yuru kyara are: character mascots for brands, institutions, events, and regions in Japan. Wrap up the course by illustrating your own mascot for a brand.

What is this course's project?

Design a kawaii-style character from head to toe, with a specific purpose in mind.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

Designers, illustrators, Japanese culture enthusiasts, and anyone interested in character creation.

Requirements and materials

No previous illustration experience is necessary for this course, but a basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator is recommended.


6700 Students
550 Reviews
96% Positive ratings

Estudio Kudasai

A course by Estudio Kudasai

Teacher Plus
Illustrators and Designers

Azul Piñeiro was embarking on her career as a children's illustrator when she decided to found Estudio Kudasai with graphic designer Carlos Higuera. Thanks to their shared passion for Japanese culture and aesthetics, they decided to specialize in kawaii-style illustration.

They didn’t have to wait long before an opportunity to live in Tokyo arose. Immersed in Japan’s visual culture and aesthetics, they decided to focus their efforts on disassociating the kawaii style from the concept of something childish to position it in the market as a communication tool for all ages.


  • U1


    • Presentation.
    • Influences
  • U2

    What is this "kawaii"?

    • What is this kawaii?
    • The formula of tenderness
    • Expressions that give life to our characters
  • U3

    Character from end to end

    • Head and body
    • Image and likeness
    • Colors, lines and wefts - part 1
    • Colors, lines and wefts - part 2
  • U4

    Animals and pets

    • Zoological kawaii: Illustrating animals
    • What is a pet or "Yuru Kyara"?
    • Where to start?
  • FP

    Final project

    • Character design kawaii

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus or PRO member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus or PRO member, when you complete a course you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates
Design of Kawaii-Style Characters. Illustration course by Estudio Kudasai

Design of Kawaii-Style Characters

A course by Estudio Kudasai
Illustrators and Designers. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Joined March 2018
  • 96% positive reviews (550)
  • 6700 students