This article will show you how to avoid making frequent mistakes while sketching anime or manga and when drawing in general. On AnimeOutline, several lessons teach you how to draw various objects. However, this course is unique in that it also includes examples of how NOT to draw.
Poor Line Quality
The most common error made by new artists is poor line quality. Drawing a line with a series of little strokes is the first error. Not only does this slow down the sketching process, but it also results in lines that are uneven or seem like scratches.
The second blunder is to add extra overlapping lines that aren’t required. This might give the impression that a sketch is “superior,” although this isn’t always the case. What happens is that if you draw enough lines, one of them will almost certainly be at the correct location. Your eyes then notice that line, leading you to believe that the drawing has been “improved.”
Wobbly lines are the third kind of line (where they should be steady). However, this isn’t usually a conscious error. Sometimes all you need is more practice to develop a steady hand. DO NOT BE DRAWN IN THIS DIRECTION WHERE IT IS NOT REQUIRED.
The majority of anime and high-quality manga feature highly crisp and well-defined line drawings. If you want to improve your anime sketching skills, follow in the footsteps of the pros. Avoid scribbling and try to draw with long, steady lines.
It’s better to draw from the shoulder rather than the wrist when creating particularly lengthy lines. To put it another way, instead of moving your wrist when drawing these lines, move your shoulder/elbow. Sketching tiny details is easier when drawing from the wrist.
Overly Thick Lines
Line weight when drawing
Another typical blunder made by novices is line weight. Even if you have high line quality (length, steady lines), line weight should be considered. Making excessively thick lines might detract from the appearance of your artwork.
In anime, the lines are often thin compared to the characters, with little change in line weight. Manga, on the other hand, is more likely to have illustrations with varied line thickness.
Use thin lines throughout the artwork to create a drawing that appears like a screengrab of most anime. Use bigger lines to outline the overall contour of an item and thinner lines for the minor details for a more manga-style aesthetic.
The overall contour of the hand has a broader outline in the second example, similar to the hand drawing above, but smaller features such as the fingernails having thinner lines.
Poor Color Choices
Good vs bad color selection
This is a typical error in digital sketching since it offers fast access to dark or vivid colors that are difficult or impossible to duplicate on paper with pencil crayons.
Picking colors that merge or with the black edges or an item is a typical coloring error.
If you wish to utilize deeper colors, be sure the drawing’s outlines don’t get lost in the process. Draw outlines for that section of the drawing in white or a light hue.
Perspective vs no perspective drawing
As objects recede into the distance, they become smaller in perspective. Drawing in perspective is the ability to depict something in a convincing manner in art.
Drawings without perspective are strange to look at. However, even those who are not artists can usually sense something is wrong with them, even if they aren’t sure.
Perspective is very crucial in anime and manga for background objects and for creating more dramatic situations.
Distorted or Uneven Drawings
How guidelines help drawing.
When sketching anything that should be symmetrical, it’s incredibly simple to make a mistake and end up with a rough drawing. So draw some guiding lines to assist you in avoiding errors.
For example, if you’re drawing ahead like the one shown above, it’s a good idea to draw a line through the center of where you want the head to go. This will assist you in ensuring that both halves are more evenly distributed.
Misaligned or Misplaced Parts
How see-through drawing helps
Another typical blunder is drawing mismatched elements of the same item while a portion of the object is concealed.
If you stretch the lines of the sword/sheath in the first example in the preceding illustration, you can see that they do not align.
To avoid such errors, prepare a light “see-through” sketch of the entire item to ensure that both ends are accurately placed. After that, delete the areas that were hidden.
Confusing Other Styles With Anime
Although some styles resemble anime, they are not the same. Unfortunately, this is a common error made by even professional and semi-professional artists, who create figures that resemble dolls or cartoons.
There is a distinct set of characteristics that define anime. Here are a few examples:
Eyes that are large and have thick pointed lashes
The nose that has been greatly simplified (often just a dot in front view)a small mouth (usually with no or barely defined lips)
Chins that are small and almost pointed
Definitely, there are exceptions to some of these rules in anime and manga characters, but generally, you must confirm the style if you want an anime look.
Subject to Small for Drawing Area
Another typical rookie error is creating a too little (or too huge) drawing for the sketching space.
If you want to display the surroundings behind the people, it’s OK to draw little characters. For example, if you want to depict a lonely figure, make them very little and surround them with a vast empty room. It’s also OK to do a large number of little practice sketches on a single sheet of paper. For example, if you want to construct a portrait-style drawing of a figure like the one seen above, make sure your picture covers a large portion of the page. At the same time, leave enough “white space” on the sides of your design to avoid it looking crowded.
Inconsistency Between Different Views
Properly vs improperly sized facial features.
Beginners frequently make the error of misaligning or sizing facial features between different viewpoints of the same character. For example, the initial side view of the face in the picture above has a significantly narrower eye than the front version. Small errors like these might cause characters to seem different from different perspectives.
When sketching the same figure from several perspectives, double-check that the various facial features are the same size and aligned with one another.
Why can’t I draw anime that you may be doing wrong?
Doubt is something that virtually every artist will experience at some point in their career, and it may be difficult to overcome. But believe me when I say that you will be able to draw anime with enough practice and the correct tools. But before we get into the tasks, let’s look at why you believe you can’t draw. So, why am I unable to draw anime? If you’re having trouble sketching anime, there are two major causes. Either you didn’t understand the foundations of drawing, your drawings are sloppy, or you are overly critical of yourself. Everyone can learn to draw with the appropriate exercises and time!
Why do your Anime drawings look wrong?
Anime is a simplified representation of the actual world. However, if you exclusively draw anime, it will be quite difficult to draw it correctly. This is because when you draw anime, you are consciously abandoning or shifting your thoughts from reality (You draw huge eyes compared to normal eyes, for example).
So before drawing the simplified version, familiarize yourself with the original. So you’ll know what lines you need to draw and what lines you may skip.
So, if your anime characters face appear to be off, try building a real human head and then abstracting from there. This will assist you in comprehending how the human body functions.
Then you’ll know where the eyes should sit and where the nose should start and terminate. And other minor details that you would never notice if you merely copy anime.
So start by learning what anime is abstracting and how the human body functions at its most fundamental level, and you’ll be on your way to being a better animation in no time!
Top Beginners Mistakes and how to avoid them
Following are the top Beginners Mistakes and how to avoid them!
As a result, there are several blunders that you might make when learning to draw. However, don’t be scared to make blunders and learn from them. This is quite significant. Everyone makes mistakes, so don’t dwell on them and instead learn from them! As a result, these are the top five mistakes that newcomers make when learning to draw anime.
Don’t just copy but try to understand the core concept of what you are drawing!
This is truly awful since you aren’t drawing at all; instead, you are simply copying. As a result, if you wish to sketch the same subject again, you won’t do it from memory.
Instead, if you actively think about the item you’re drawing, you’ll be able to draw it far better on your own. As a result, whenever you’re drawing anything, you should ask yourself questions about a specific topic.
Like why is there a highlight, why is this portion in shadow, why is the object’s drop shadow this way, and so on? You will actively learn about the item you are sketching if you ask yourself these questions and strive to find out the answers.
And, with time, you’ll be able to comprehend the object’s structure and operation. And if you grasp something, you will finally be able to draw it from your imagination. That is how your graphic library is created!
If you want to learn more about this trick, check out my guide on drawing anime eyes, where I go over it in greater detail and illustrate how I approach painting anime eyes.
Use Reference Images!
When I first started sketching, I, like many other novices, was apprehensive about using references. However, drawing from reference images is crucial!
Yes, some Masters do not utilize reference, but believe me when I say they did initially. This is because they had such a solid knowledge of the thing after drawing it 1000 times from reference that they could sketch it from their imagination. However, every artist has utilized or continues to use reference images when drawing.
How can you sketch anything if you have no idea what it looks like?
As a result, do yourself a favor without hesitation, and please make use of the reference images. It’s not a ruse!
Learn the Fundamentals!
This is something I talk about a lot, but it’s crucial. Learn how to draw from the ground up! You should master the foundations even if you merely want to draw anime.
Every artist should have a basic grasp of the foundations of drawing, and I can assure you that every talented mangaka and anime artist does.
So brush up on your anatomy, color theory, and perspective skills. You don’t have to know everything about them, but you should have a basic understanding of how they function. If you understand the principles, you will improve so much and so quickly that you will be shocked!
Don’t Compare yourself to Masters!
This is also really important. Don’t compare yourself to all of the amazing artists out there.
You can draw inspiration from their work and study their style to learn from it, but don’t compare your drawings to theirs and believe you’re bad at drawing!
These Masters have been drawing for a long time, and for many of them, art is their livelihood. As a result, they have been drawing 40 hours or more each week for years.
You can’t possibly match your skill level to theirs and believe you’ll never be as excellent as them since they have more experience. You can learn to draw as well as they do, but you’ll need to practice and sketch a lot.
Don’t just draw but do exercises and practice again and again to learn drawing!
So you want to draw anime, but don’t just draw anime and don’t just produce pictures, as strange as it may sound. When you truly want to draw, you also need to study and complete certain exercises.
Make some observations of items or the human form. Then, draw something based on a reference and then try to recreate it using your imagination.
To drive yourself out of your comfort zone, try switching styles for a period. Also, try drawing something you’ve never drawn before to learn how to do it effectively.
So, instead of merely drawing or illustrating, practice by undertaking activities!
You will learn anime drawing if you follow this one tip!
Yes, there is one thing I can promise you: if you stick to it, you will learn how to draw anime. It’s a basic tip, but I can assure you that it will work. If you want to learn to draw anime, the best advice I can give you is:
Keep sketching, and don’t give up!
Yes, I know you were hoping for a miraculous tip that I could give you, and you’d immediately be able to draw anime. Unfortunately, however, there is no such thing as quick learning.
You’ll need to put in the hours, as well as exercise and sketch daily. It might take a year or even less, but as long as you don’t give up and study efficiently, you will learn and master the art of painting anime!
Try again and again and have faith in yourself!
What I Learned from my mistakes drawing manga
In 2009, I took Japanese classes with a girl who was creating manga characters next to me. I watched her sketch, and it seemed like magic to me how she could create a character out of nowhere.
My life totally get changed when I used to study the skill myself and develop my character!
Many manga artists have had similar pivotal experiences, with most of them including viewing their favorite anime, reading an amazing manga, or even playing a Japanese videogame. Many aspiring mangakas, on the other hand, have given up at the starting stage, claiming they are simply bad at drawing.
Realism vs Manga style
To be honest, I used to think that manga was a lot simpler than realism and that I’d never had to master all of the “boring” realistic things to draw manga well. However, while the manga style can be simplified to colors and sophisticated anatomy (particularly facial characteristics), many novices, including myself, have this perspective.
Your art professors may despise you for solely drawing in manga style – you run the danger of developing a poor attitude that will stifle your artistic growth. Because of that perspective, I’ve been stuck in my paintings for almost three years.
I’ve recently discovered that to become a competent manga artist, you must study art in the same way everyone else who draws in a realistic or semi-realistic manner does. I stopped making comics in 2015/2016 and learned how to draw realistically. Learning how to draw a good nose was quite difficult! Many manga styles have very simple noses, making it appear that drawing them is simple.
Common beginner mistakes (using my old art as an example)
Shortcuts to realism in the Manga style
Let’s have a look at this sketch I created in 2014, as I’m the most honest when it comes to critiquing my work:
First and foremost, I produced a red-lined version of this piece so that I could see precisely what I was doing wrong:
I made several rookie blunders, such as slightly asymmetric eyes, stiff “flowing” hair that appears artificial, and asymmetric ears.
Many more errors, such as the excessively large forehead – or at least the hat doesn’t appear like it would suit his head – result from a lack of anatomical understanding. (Yes, that is a male character.)
The nose and ears, however, are the most important. So, to begin, here’s a little ear tutorial:
How to draw and interpret (pointy) ears
Examine how I sketched the ears in the original drawing, then compare it to the reference:
I’ve emphasized the two most important characteristics of a healthy ear. If you Google “ear,” you’ll learn that these two characteristics vary a lot, but they’re always present in a healthy ear. You could be thinking now that “However, an elf ear like that character’s is an unbelievable feature! So, how does this relate to realism?” It’s as easy as that: Only realism-based fantasy sounds and appears credible. Unless you create an entirely new species with faulty ears. Even yet, learning how to draw a proper ear first is recommended to breach the rules convincingly.
Let’s go on to the next item, which I’ve already mentioned: the nose!
How to draw a nose in the Manga style
As you know, I used to have a lot of trouble with noses since I’d spent so many years with that pathetic excuse for a nose. Sometimes I strike it out of the park; for example, the “nose” in the work I’m critiquing appears believable by chance, but trust me when I say that if you learn how to draw a nose, you’ll be able to employ the really basic nose style that is frequently represented in manga art.
This triangle is intended to symbolize the nose’s shadows when viewed from the front! So you’ll have to change that triangle based on your light source! And how are you expected to accomplish that when you have no idea what a genuine nose looks like???
The line is typically designed to illustrate the nose instead of depicting the shadows from the side or 3/4 side perspective. However, this relies a lot on the light circumstances and the artist’s style.
Don’t make the same error I did by not learning how to draw a nose for so long. I would be better at sketching the nose today if I had addressed it sooner. But at the very least, I’m now able to warn you about it.
Words of encouragement
I’ve mentioned so many topics to study right now that you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. And, to be honest, you’re not the only one who thinks this way. Art is hard work, and manga art is no exception, but the good news is that if you keep studying, you’ll keep becoming better! The main issue is that improvement either requires a lot of hard effort or takes a long period, both of which are uncomfortable for us. When confronted with the difficulty of not getting healthier RIGHT NOW and without making any effort, many individuals become discouraged. However, a proverb goes: “Sucking at anything is the first step toward getting decent at it.”
Looking at other people’s (and my own) Improvement Memes usually cheers me up when I’m down about my art. It reminds me that if I simply keep going, sketching, and learning, I will undoubtedly achieve my present objectives. Art can teach you a lot about how to achieve your objectives or any goals for that matter. So be persistent, seek feedback, don’t beat yourself up, and keep your eyes on your objective as you climb the ladder! There’s a reason why it’s called an “art trip.”
Many young and now successful artists learn what they know via the internet. There are so many excellent materials available that if you truly want to improve your work, you should take your time and go through them all, step by step, day by day. Then there’s the daily drawing. I don’t have the time or inspiration to create something large right now, but I doodle on every piece of paper I can get my hands on. I draw eyeballs and little figures well; it’s better than nothing! Boredom doodles are preferable to not sketching at all! However, if you want to see tangible improvement, you need to do something other than doodling at some point.
To begin, I’ll offer you a list of items you should Google.
- Physiology (you choose what body part you want to learn about).
- Drawing using gestures.
- Expressions on the face.
- Composition of the panel
- Shadows and light (especially about the color of shadows).
- Body language is an important communication factor.
- Master’s thesis on photography.
- Practices in lineart
- Design of the characters.
Finding and Correcting Drawing Mistakes
Method 1: Check its silhouette
In case If you’re working on a digital platform, you may use black to fill in the outlines and make a silhouette to double-check your work. When seen as a black silhouette, details in drawings are highlighted. By squinting or gazing at your drawing from a distance, you might spot problems in the proportions, such as head size or limb length.
Method 2: Walk away and check it later
Every ambitious illustrator screams this. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. When you’re sketching, it’s natural to make mistakes. We all tend to lose sight of the overall balance of an illustration once we get into it and get hyper-focused on one aspect. When sketching, it’s difficult to keep many other things in mind (character expression, clothes design, line quality, atmosphere, etc.), much alone identifying faults. So, after a period of working on it, take a break and leave your artwork alone. You can make more objective conclusions regarding the drawing if you postpone the remainder of it until another day.
Even as an experienced artist, it’s incredibly simple to make mistakes when drawing anything. The most crucial aspect is being able to detect and correct them. Hopefully, this tutorial has given you a better understanding of what to look for. Don’t forget to go over the rest of AnimeOutline’s lessons for more information on drawing in the anime and manga styles.
See Also from Deviant Art