Mamerto Adan is an engineer by profession, but a writer by night. He loves toys and knives. He also has a martial arts background.
The Art of Drawing an Anime Girl
Anime eyes alone are art pieces. They are not the beady orbs that one sketches on a face; they are complex lines, circles, colors, and shadows that bring a character to life.
Master the Face First
Anime faces are about as complex as any other drawn faces. Given the level of detail, they are not simple cartoons; they are basically a reconstruction of a real human face. We need symmetry, forms, and alignments, or else our anime face will look malformed. The size of the face should also be considered. Small faces denote younger ages or female genders. Larger faces are for guys. Consider your sketch a failure if your face is not the right size.
Bring Your Anime Girl Figure to Life
Once you've learned to draw the eyes and face, you can do a full-body figure. This article will show you step-by-step how to bring your awesome figure to life. In this case, we will do an anime girl. Now I have enough overly cute lolis in my Facebook feed, so we will do a sort of emo girl to give me a break. With that said, prepare your pens and paper and start sketching.
The Eggs and Sausages (With Line Frame) Method
This approach is not originally mine. I got this from a guy in the show called Art Attack years ago. As I recall, his name is Neil Buchanan, and he speaks in a heavy English accent (heavy for me). To his fans, the guy is now a rock star, and he stopped hosting the show years ago.
Anyway, he suggested doing the eggs and sausages method when doing human figures. As a rough draft, you will draw a series of eggs and sausage shapes. The sausages are for limbs like arms and legs. The eggs are for the torso and head. The great thing about this approach is that you could do awkward poses with it.
I did my own twist as I discovered that I could control the pose better by starting with the wire (or stick) figure. And when you are sure about the pose, it could save me from erasures. It is easier to clean lines than circles when you are unhappy with the pose.
1. Start With the Wireframe and Decide on the Pose
As I mentioned, we will start with lines to easily picture how our anime girl will stand. Not only can we decide on the pose, but we can also set the overall proportion of our character. As shown below, our stick figure's height will determine the girl's overall height. Now use faint lines here. You may use pencils with faint lines or just draw the line lightly with a regular pencil.
2. Do the Sausages and Eggs
Enter Neil’s Sausages and Eggs method. As mentioned before, the eggs are for the rounder body parts, like the torso and the head. The limbs will be the sausages. The arms and legs are a series of sausages. We will use the lines as our guides in doing the pose.
Now, do note how faint the sketches are so it is easier to get rid of them when we are done.
3. Do More Sausages and Eggs
But then, a true human form never resembles sausage and egg shapes being put together (unless we are creating a mascot for a tire company). And female figures never look like that. Hence, we will make it more human-like by adding more sausages and eggs.
4. Define the Rough Outline
Now, we will make it more female-like. You may or may not erase your rough draft, depending on your style. Again, as we see here, our draft is still super faint.
5. Add the Eyes and the Rest of the Face
Now we will start adding the anime details, starting with the eyes. We first draw the cross guidelines so we know where to put the eyes, nose, and mouth. After that, we will draw the eyes.
Using the cross guidelines, we will add the nose and mouth. Refer to the illustration as a guide.
7. Draw the Hair
Anime hair is simply a collection of lines. It’s the style that we must decide, but anime hair is especially wilder for male characters. But we will give our girl here this spiky hairstyle, as again I'm fed up with lolis.
8. Add the Costume
I realized years ago that the usual anime girl costumes, like the sailor school uniforms, are too complex for beginners. And then there is my problem with overly generic, not to mention overly cute lolis. Hence, we will give our girl here simpler clothing. I have a weakness for female rockstars, and I had a crush on this emo girl back in my school days. So, our girl here will have the usual t-shirt and pants instead of skirts and blouses. The shirt will be tight-fitting but not revealing.
And lastly, we will clean and polish our anime girl. To finalize the drawing, we will clean the rough lines left by all those sausages and eggs. We may do minor tweaking to make the drawing desirable according to your taste. Then we will give our art some shading.
And we will end up with the character above.