I heard a lot of stories where art students would tell me, how their art teacher doesn´t like it when they draw Anime. And now obviously a lot of students are confused. Why are art-teachers and artists against drawing Anime?
So is it bad to draw Anime? No, it isn´t! Anime is a very specific Art style and art-teachers generally want to teach you the fundamentals of drawing first before you start to draw in a specific style. So as long as you learn the fundamentals, you can eventually draw in any style you want.
Why you shouldn´t only draw Anime.
Anime is a very specific art-style that a lot of people find appealing.
The Anime style is very minimal compared to other art styles. But you shouldn´t only draw in the Anime style because you will limit yourself in your ability to learn how to draw.
Don´t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with drawing Anime but before you are drawing in an abstract style like Anime you should know what you are actually stylizing.
So you should definitely draw from reality.
Try and draw a real-life Object as closely as possible.
Look at how the light interacts with the object and how the shadow is cast. Look at the colors, that the object has, you will be surprised how many color facets a simple object can have.
And then take what you learned by drawing something as realistically as possible and apply it when you are drawing Anime.
You are going to be surprised at how much your ability to draw Anime will improve by just learning from traditional art and applying that to your Anime style.
But if you only stick to drawing Anime then you will only copy a simplified style of the reality without ever knowing what the artist, whose style you are copying, actually simplified or left out in the first place.
And your drawings will just look wrong or weird. So always keep in mind, that Anime is just an abstracted stylized illustration of the reality. So study the reality in order to do your own abstracted illustrations like Anime.
And that is the reason, why so many art Teachers don´t want you to draw Anime right away.
They want you to learn how to draw the reality and they want you to understand the fundamentals of drawing so that you actually know, what exactly was simplified in an anime Illustration.
Oh and by the way: Simplified does not mean easy. Even though Anime is a simplified illustration does not make it easier to draw!
Why a Lot of Artists Tell You Not to Draw Anime.
Like I mentioned above, a lot of art-teachers and artists will tell you not to draw Anime. But they don´t mean that you just shouldn´t draw Anime ever. What they mean with “Don’t draw Anime” is that you shouldn´t only draw Anime.
You should do character studies from real-life and figure drawings. You should learn all the fundamentals of traditional art and then. And then you should take what you learned there and use it in your Anime drawings.
So basically these Artists are telling you to not ignore the traditional way of drawing and the fundamentals of drawing. There is nothing wrong with drawing Anime but there is something wrong with only and always drawing Anime because that will hurt your ability to learn how to draw awesome and believable Anime characters.
There is also a common misconception, that anime is easy to draw. Which is not really the case.
Why Should You Learn the fundamentals?
The fundamentals are very important if you want to learn how to draw anything in a believable way and that includes Anime. Fundamentals are so Important, in fact, that when you would ask 100 professional artists what the number one beginner’s mistake is 90 would answer with: “Beginners don´t have a basic understanding of any drawing fundamentals.”
Again, if you want to draw something in a believable way then you have to understand how we perceive the world around us. How does light work and how do we see light. Same thing with color and Anatomy.
Once you understand how these things work, then you will be able to depict them accurately enough to make them look believable!
There are a lot of different Fundamentals but the most Important fundamentals are:
You don´t have to master them all but you should at least understand every one of them at their core.
Do Art-Teachers just hate Anime?
I´m not gonna lie, there are art-teachers out there who flat-out hate Anime. They don´t like the style and they are annoyed by it because so many younger people are inspired by Anime and try to draw it and so these teachers are confronted with it a lot.
But it the end, I think every art teacher just wants to teach his knowledge and if you want to draw Anime, then do that but also try and listen to your teacher and give the thinks, he or she wants to teach you a chance. And maybe it will help you improve your Anime drawings.
Should I stop drawing Anime?
NO, definitely not! If you enjoy drawing Anime, then do so. Anime is a very interesting art style, that I love.
In fact, you can learn how to draw anime eyes right here, and in this guide, you will also learn what to look out for and how to learn the fundamentals as well as how these fundamentals help you in drawing anime.
But all I am saying is, you shouldn´t only draw Anime and be open for other art styles and traditional as well as digital drawings and Illustrations.
By learning from all these sources you will be able to develop your very own Anime style without the need to copy other artists. But that is only possible if you are open to inspiration and influences from other styles!