Getting Started With Drawing Anime

Getting Started With Drawing Anime

The anime/manga style is more widespread now than it has ever been. Beginning in Japan and other Asian countries, its popularity has skyrocketed in the West, with many budding artists adapting their work to its style. But drawing anime or also referred to as manga drawing can take some adjusting even for some experienced drawers. Here are some helpful tips to get you started with anime drawing people and other anime drawing ideas that will get your creative minds into exploration mode.  

Study Other Anime Artists


To master any art form - including anime anime face drawing or other anime drawing ideas - it is essential to study how other artists have risen to the top. Check out manga graphic novels at the library or watch anime movies and pause them often to really appreciate and analyze the work of some of these manga drawings. 

As you study, take time to look at how minimal lines and strong colors are used to enrich an image, show you what's going on, or to portray a character. Study everything you can, from how water splashes to which facial features are drawn to show certain emotions. The more of a knowledge base you have, the more material you will gain to incorporate into your own artwork and anime ideas.



Drawing Anime People With Limited Lines


Most anime drawing tends to rely on a minimal technique, communicating as much information as you can with the fewest lines possible. In some ways this can make it an easy art form to pick up, but there are also challenges any artist will encounter along the way.

Some challenges that drawing anime people could be, for example, communicating emotion in an anime face drawing. This challenge will often require a strong knowledge of the style, and of how other artists practice their techniques. So don't overlook these possible challenges when drawing your own anime faces. 



Begin Simple, Keep It Simple


To begin your anime girl drawing or anime boy drawing, you will want to start with a light line drawing, to properly compose the artwork and show you where everything goes. You can use ink to darken these lines later, once you have erased any mistakes and finalized the composition and anatomy.

Keep in mind that in anime, certain features are exaggerated on purpose, while others are diminished. For example the nose might be very small and the eyes abnormally large when compared to normal drawings. 

The whole point of manga drawings is to not draw a realistic anatomy, but to conform the artwork to a style that is more in keeping with Japanese animation. For anime face drawing, the eyes will be more dominant, while the mouth and nose will be smaller. Almost always the hair will be simplified, kept to just a few lines to outline it, and hint at texture or styling. So don't get overcomplicated with that hairstyle.

Drawing Girls in Anime


Anime girl drawing is one of the most versatile parts of the genre. They can be drawn as fashion models, voluptuous warriors with exaggerated armor and weapons, or as thin schoolgirls. Depending on the style or concept you want to draw, here are some basic principles for anime girl drawing.

To help make anime girl drawing easier, you might consider having a ready-made face to trace and then transfer to your drawing with graphite paper. Of course, be sure to make your various characters differ in some way. See if you can give them a better hairstyle, different body look, or a different mode of dress. And be sure to vary some of their facial features as well, like making the eyes slightly bigger or the nose slightly larger.

Whatever helps to distinguish the characters, they can still be based on a single template, which can then be adapted to conform to whatever art style you like. Taking these steps will help keep anime girl drawing easy. And share some of your ideas with friends who also like to draw anime.



Drawing Boys in Anime


While there are certain templates like in drawing girls, there can often be a little more variety with anime boy drawing. You can have boys who are as skinny as rails, or fat enough to be almost spherical, or giant muscular hulks who have clearly worked out too much at the gym. The possibilities are almost endless and your imagination can run wild here. Don't be afraid to play around with any ideas you might have.

When it comes to anime eyes for boys, keep in mind that they are usually shaped by straight lines and sharp angles, whereas girls' eyes are almost always outlined by curves. The same goes for the hair as discussed earlier about the girls' anime hair. Keep it simple and don't complicate the hair when drawin manga boys. 


Familiarize Yourself With Anime Eyes

Speaking of eyes, drawing anime eyes appears easy at first, but they come in a variety of styles. It can be difficult to pick the types of eyes you want your character to have. But let's look at some ideas that could help you.

Some of the anime eyes will look semi-circular or even fully circular, while others will be slightly more almond-shaped and realistic. Sometimes they will look almost like the eyes of cute animals to imply cuteness or innocence, while others can look like slits, to hint at a character who is more mysterious or evil. Don't forget to put big highlights in the eyes as well to emphasize their shine or reflection.

In keeping with the minimalist approach to drawing anime, drawing anime eyes is all about capturing the most emotion and character in the fewest lines possible. It is a deliberate exaggeration of reality so the viewer can immediately see the character's feelings and hints of their personality.

Experiment with at least a few different styles until you begin drawing anime eyes that suit your character best. Eventually your own manga style will evolve over time as your confidence grows.

Start Big, Then Go Small


In almost all drawing styles, and anime/manga, the best artists start with the large shapes and overall composition of the piece, then go into the smaller shapes and fine details when that is complete. Don't get caught up in making sure the fingers are exactly the right shape or the highlights in the eyes are big enough, if you have not yet finished drawing the legs or the background. Remember, just start big and then work on the small stuff later.

Use Drawing Guidelines


A guideline, for those of you just getting started, is a line you will draw temporarily, then erase later after your drawing is complete. Its purpose is to help you put things in the right place as you increase your experience.

A vertical line down the middle of the face is a very popular guideline in anime drawing, because it helps keep the face symmetrical. No matter how many times they have practiced, the masters normally still rely on guidelines to help them put everything in its rightful place. So don't feel any less if you use the drawing guidelines, that's what helps professionals be more efficient.

Practice Basic Drawing Exercises


The master anime pros got to where they were by drawing lines over and over again. Curved, vertical, slanted, horizontal, jagged - whatever type of line you are working on, keep practicing it. Practice does not make perfect, but it makes professional.

Drawing the same line over and over again might seem boring or unnecessary, but it is absolutely vital to help an artist master their craft. By doing that one line many times, you become more confident and encode the motion of your hand into your muscle memory. This might be the most overlooked art technique of all: repetition. It seems tedious, but it equips you to finish art projects you can be happy with. You will be more satisfied with your work, and wow your viewers even more, if you keep practicing. 

Conclusion:

The best way to get started with Anime/Manga drawing is to dive right into it. You can spend a lifetime reading about it, but we guarantee that the best time will be actually practicing and learning to draw anime. We have included a few guidelines here to help you. The final advice on drawing anime is to purchase a book with some samples. 

The Master Guide to Drawing Anime: How to Draw Original Characters from Simple Templates

Bestselling how-to-draw author Christopher Hart helps you improve your anime drawing by providing insight into the six most popular anime types: schoolgirls, schoolboys, preteens, vengeful bad guys, humorous personalities, and fantasy figures. The templates for each are all included in this anime drawing book, plus step by step guides to help you achieve your drawing goals. 

About the author

John Thatch

John Thatcher is a computer science educated artist. He uses technology to solve artist problems. His friends don't like it when he speaks of himself in the third person. But John does it anyway, because he's a rebel.

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