An anime girl drawing is a cool piece of artwork that a lot of artists love to draw. Being an open-ended topic, anyone can draw one depending on their skill level. This guide is will go over the critical thinking process and technical skill needed to learn how to draw anime girls.
From the cute to the serious, an anime girl drawing will have an infinite number of styles. It could be as simple as a small cute character to a fully blown realistic girl. In terms of general perception, it seems popular shows like Sailormoon has popularized a certain style.
This style has big round eyes and a small mouth that is common to a genre aimed at girls, not surprisingly. In these genres, the main focus is on grace and femininity where colors are often rich and bright. One of the major motifs that represent these ideas are magical girls.
This guide will be an analysis and actual drawing process on drawing such a motif. Step by step instructions will take too long. Instead, it will focus on asking questions and problem solving through challenges presented by this unrestricted trope in order to create an incredibly rewarding drawing.
The first question should always be, "what kind of an anime girl drawing do I want to make?" References will help answer this question because there will usually be a few that speaks to the artist. If there is something that is inspirational, then it's worth deciding to pursue.
The sketch can be as simple or detailed as the artist likes. In no means is the sketch representative of the final drawing. Instead, it is a check on the artist's skill to imagine the drawing and draw it accordingly. What limitations are encountered? How can one overcome these limitations?
In my demonstration, I have drawn a few lines to indicate magical items floating around the magical girl, who is also floating. This is my own personal challenge as I think about how to proceed with filling in these placeholders. I am also deciding how much of the sketch is needed before I move on to the next step.
Tool wise, the majority of the sketch is drawn with a large chalk brush. However, the individual white stripes are hard smudged out. There is no defined pattern design as the idea is to finish generating the idea. Once most of it is done, I will use the sketch as the basis for the finished drawing.
What is the best way to organize the drawing? While the sketch turned out decent enough, clothing, body, etc. will need to be organized. If time is a concern, then the minimal amount of layers will be needed. Since this drawing does not have a time limit, then I am free to experiment.
Organization can look like this: one layer for the face and body, one for the hair, one for hair ornaments, and a few for the different levels of clothing. The advantage of having multiple layers is that I can introduce specific affects that target the layer only to give a certain style.
As I closely draw in the individual shapes that form the drawing in its own separate layers, I make sure to organize it in primary folder groups like foreground, middle ground, and background. Once everything has been drawn in, the layers are locked in place so I can chisel out the details.
In each object layer, I turn on a specific style called 'outer glow' in Photoshop, which essentially creates an outline to emulate an anime style. After that, I manipulate the perspective and elongated the drawing to give her a better figure. Having these layers in groups makes it easy to manipulate many layers at once.
While a black and white drawing does add to the time spent to complete it, there are two distinct advantages: the first being able to work on texture details without worrying about color swatches, while the other advantage is that color can still be changed even when it is added in later.
So how can color be added? There are many ways to do this. The easiest way would be to paint in the selected color using a 'soft light' blend mode setting in the airbrush. Other methods will involve using 'layer styles' to assign a color to a layer object or use clipping masks to assign a color through a new, topmost layer.
Sounds confusing? Not at all! That's what it means to reason through the options available. The former is simple but makes it harder to edit the colors with one click while the latter methods requires more computer resources and layers but allows faster editing in Photoshop.
No method is set in stone as long as it gets the desired affect and meets time constraints. Extras like the glowing cross are done with 'layer styles' set to outer glow and a layer mask to 'erase' into the cross to reveal her hands and the rest of the body underneath. The pixels in this top most layer remains undamaged.
On the subject of layer masks, this is an extremely useful set of options for this final step. Remember how there are rings around the initial sketch? This step is where something concrete is made to fill in this placeholder. First, I would need to draw it out.
Any circular patterns is actually very easy to draw. It will require just drawing one point of a complex design. For this demonstration, some straight and angled lines are initially drawn, which are then flipped and duplicated. Then, this point is duplicated several times and rotated a set number of degrees.
If done correctly, a circular complex design will form. This is the topmost layer in the entire drawing. From there, all I had to do was change the perspective of it and then use a layer mask to reveal the character once more. Now I have an orbital ring that is both in front of the character and behind her as well.
This process is repeated once more to create the magic circle underneath her feet. After all this is done, the final steps would be to improve on the colors. Just like before, it will require critical thinking and knowledge of the drawing software to get the desired effect.
Gradients are a great way to improve color clarity. What would be some of the available options? Well, there are adjustment layers which are basically very quick vector type effects that can be placed on top of the drawing. Since it is considered a layer, stuff like blend modes, layer masks, and clipping masks are possible.
Comfort level of the drawing software is key to critical thinking. Photoshop has its own tools just like any other drawing software. Nevertheless, take the time to reason out what needs to be done based on the drawing tools available. Overall though, I am happy with how this particular anime girl drawing turned out.
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