You don't need an advanced art degree to learn how to draw anime.
At the same time, it's unrealistic to think you can just grab a pencil and pad and start cranking out professional quality anime.
Here are some tips and suggestions that will help whether you are just getting started or you are looking for ways to improve your artwork.
1) Study your favorite artist or style, but don't copy them. Figure out what you like about them and then add your style and personality. Practice drawing so you can develop a feel for your own style.
2) Use guidelines. Guidelines will help you get the proper shapes, sizes, and proportions. Start with a stick figure as your main framework.
You need to have a basic understanding of human anatomy so you know how the body is put together and how it works to give you perspective.
Using guidelines will make
you less likely to make a basic anatomy mistake that makes you look like you
don't know what you are doing.
3) Starting with your stick figure, give it depth and weight by adding flesh. Use circles, ovals, and triangles, then refine your figure by filling in the details around it. Clean up the picture by erasing the lines you don't need any longer.
Fill in the face (eyes, nose, mouth, hair), hands, and feet. Finally, fill in the clothes. Once again erase the lines you don't need, and you are ready for ink.
4) If there is something you don't know how to draw, look it up! You can google images, poses, different props, and even different environments.
If you are unsure about something, looking it up will give you a reference point and you are less likely to miss important details.
It takes a little extra time,
but doing the research is how you learn and get better.
5) Don't just draw what you are good at, and don't avoid drawing what you aren't good at. If you want to go from being a good artist to becoming a great artist, you need to grow and learn.
Tackle the parts you struggle with and work on improving them. For example, if you have a hard time drawing hands, fill an entire sketchbook with hands. Practice until you are comfortable, and you will become a better artist for it
6) Don't get stuck in a rut. If you only draw 1 or 2 different types of characters, you are limiting yourself.
There are infinite possibilities for you
to branch out and improve your skills as you learn how to draw anime. Don't be
afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something different.
7) Listen to criticism, but don't let it defeat you. If you keep an open mind when well-meaning people offer criticism, it will help you to be a better artist. Don't take it personally. If there are aspects of your anime that you can improve on, wouldn't you want to know?
Sometimes other people can see
things with a fresh perspective that you can't see because you are too close to
it. At the same time, don't let criticism beat you down. Take it as an
opportunity to improve your art and move on.
8) On the other hand, don't only seek out people who aren't honest with you about your anime drawings. People who love and care about you might not be the best judge of your artwork.
Maybe they don't want to hurt your feelings, or maybe
they just aren't the best judge of anime. Even the top anime artists have room
for improvement. Don't get complacent and quit growing as an artist.
9) Unless you are getting paid to produce quality anime, this is not your job. That means this is your hobby and your passion, and what you do for fun. Don't let impatience and frustration take the fun away.
There will be
times when you get frustrated. There will be days when you can't see any
progress and you feel like you will never learn how to draw anime the way you
want to. These are the times you need to remind yourself that this is suppose
to be fun!
To get really good at anything, it takes time and practice and this includes anime. The key is don't give up.
Everyone starts somewhere, and everyone has room for
improvement. Keep practicing and keep learning. Over time you will go from
being a good anime artist to becoming a great anime artist.
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