Doubt is something almost every artist will get after a certain time and it is quite hard to overcome it.
But trust me, with enough and the right exercise you will be able to draw Anime. But before we get to the exercises lets first off take a look, why you think you can’t draw.
So why can´t I draw Anime? If you are struggling with drawing Anime then it can have two big reasons. Either you didn´t learn the fundamentals of drawing and your drawings look off or you are being too hard on yourself. With the right exercises and time, everyone can learn how to draw!
Why do your Anime drawings look wrong?
Anime itself is a simplistic abstraction of the real world. But if you only draw Anime, then it will be very hard for you to actually draw it well.
I know, it sounds weird but the reason why that is is that when you are drawing Anime you are intentional leaving or changing thinks from the reality (You draw huge eyes compared to normal eyes for example).
But if you are doing this, you should know, what you are actually changing. Know the original before drawing the simple version. So that you know, what Lines you actually have to draw and what you can leave out.
So if the faces of your Anime characters look off, then maybe you should try and construct a realistic human head and then try to abstract from there. That will help you to understand how the human body is working.
And then you know where the Eyes have to sit and where the nose begins and ends. And all these little things that you will never really pay attention to if you only copy Anime.
So start to understand what Anime is abstracting and how the human body works at its basics and you will improve in no time!
Here are the top five Beginners Mistakes and how to avoid them!
So there are a lot of mistakes, that you can make when you start out with drawing. Don´t be afraid to make these mistakes and learn from them! This is really important. Everyone will make mistakes, so don´t get hung up on them and learn from them!
That being said, here are the top five Mistakes, that beginners make when they start out with drawing Anime.
1. Don´t just copy but try to understand what you are drawing!
One of the biggest mistakes most beginners make is to just copy what they are seeing. This is actually bad because you don´t actively draw, you are just copying. So when you want to draw the same subject again you can´t do it from your head.
If you instead actively think about the thing, that you are drawing then you will be able to draw it without any help much better.
So when you are drawing something then you should constantly ask yourself questions related to the subject.
Why is there a highlight, why is this part in the shadow, why is the drop shadow of the object like that, and so on. By constantly asking yourself these questions and trying to figure out the answers, you will actively learn about the object, that you are drawing.
And in time you will be able to understand the object and how it is structured or how it works. And when you understand something, then you will be able to eventually draw it from your imagination. That is how you build your visual library!
If you want to know more about this tip you can read my guide on drawing anime eyes where I go more in-depth with this tip and I also show my approach on drawing anime eyes as well.
2. Use Reference Images!
I, just like many other beginners too, was really reluctant to use References when I started out with drawing. But it is so Important to draw from reference Images!
Yes, there are Masters out there who don´t use reference but trust me, when I say, they did use reference in the beginning. And after they drew the Object 1000 times from reference they had such a good understanding of the object, that they are able to draw it from their Imagination. But every artist used reference Images or still uses them to draw.
How can you draw something, if you don´t know how it actally looks?
So do yourself a favor and use reference Images. It´s not cheating!
3. Learn the Fundamentals!
I mention this a lot but it is so unbelievably important. Learn the fundamentals of drawing! Even if you only want to draw Anime, you should learn the fundamentals.
Every artist needs to and I can guarantee you all the mangaka and Anime artists out there, who is really good, has at least a basic understanding of the fundamentals of drawing.
So learn Anatomy, color-theory, and Perspective. You don´t have to learn everything about them but at least know at its core how they work. And trust me, if you learn the fundamentals, then you will improve so much and so fast you will be surprised!
4. Don´t Compare yourself to Masters!
This one is really Important as well. Don´t compare yourself to all the incredible artists, that are out there.
You can look at their art for inspiration and you can study their style to learn from them but don´t compare your drawings to them and think of yourself, that you suck at drawing!
These Masters have been drawing for years and years and for a lot of them, drawing is their job. So they draw 40 hours or more a week every week for years.
They just have so much more experience than you, that you can´t possibly compare your skill level to them and think you will never be as good as them. You can get as good at drawing as they are but you have to exercise and draw a lot.
Do something for 10 000 hours and you will be a master at it. And that is also true for drawing.
5. Don´t just draw but do exercises to learn drawing!
So you want to draw Anime but as weird, as it sounds, don´t only draw Anime and don’t just do illustrations. You should also study and do some exercises when you really want to learn how to draw.
Make some studies about objects or the human figure. Draw something from a reference and then try and draw the same thing from your Imagination,
Try and change styles for a while to force yourself out of your comfort zone. And try to draw something, that you never drew before and learn how to draw it properly.
So don´t just draw or illustrate but learn by doing exercises!
You will learn how to Draw Anime if you follow this one Tip!
Yes, there is one thing I can tell you, that if you follow it then you will learn to draw Anime. It is a very simple tip but I guarantee you it will work.
So the best tip I can give you if you want to learn how to draw Anime is:
Don´t give up and keep on drawing!
Yes I know, you were expecting a magical tip, that I can tell you and you will all of a sudden instantly be able to draw Anime. But there is no such thing as instantly learning something.
You will have to put in the hours and you have to exercise and draw regularly. It may take a year or more or maybe even less but as long as you don´t give up and learn effectively then you will learn and even master drawing Anime!
Just don´t give up and believe in yourself!
Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.