Drawing original characters is a great way to start drawing again, start drawing anime again, or just to have fun experimenting with new styles. Creating your own template for other people to use is also a great way to start drawing again!
Anime characters are typically very simplified shapes. This allows for much more diversity in character design, as you can play with the shapes and proportions of the templates. For example, a tall, thin shape can be used as a base for many different characters.
This article will go into some detail about how to draw an anime character from a simple template. This article will use some basic shapes and proportions as templates, but you are welcome to use any that you like! Some people prefer different ones than those listed here.
Find another character you like
Once you have studied the basics, you can start making your own original characters. Start by looking for character templates online and in books to find the basic shapes needed to draw a character.
An anime character typically has a rounded face, sharp nose, shortish hair, and long and slender limbs. You can make your character any gender or any skin color, however.
Just make sure your character is proportioned correctly and has personality. That is what makes a good character!
An easy way to start drawing your own original characters is to start with a blank template and add some features of another character onto yours. Mix and match until you get the personality and looks you want!
Try drawing your character in different outfits and scenes to make them more interesting. Also try giving them different personalities and traits like an addiction or a favorite food.
Look at their features
After you have chosen the character type, you must look at their features. What do they look like?
If you are drawing a human character, then you should draw a white or very light skinned person. Unless your character is anime only, then they should have black hair. Their hair should be medium length and texture.
If you are drawing a animal character, then you should draw fur or very short hair. You can choose any color of fur or skin for your character.
If you are drawing a mecha character, then your character should either be metallic or plastic looking. You can choose what colors to use for them, but make sure they are organized and cohesive.
These tips help make your characters more original as they are not typical looks for characters of that type.
Create a template
Once you have decided on your character’s gender, shape, and personality, you can start creating the template for your character.
The best way to do this is to draw a simplified version of your character using basic shapes. Start with a circle for the head, then add in the features- a nose, eyes, and mouth. Next, add in arms and legs, and finally dress them in clothing.
This is a great way to make your character unique. Add in different shapes of heads, weirdly shaped bodies or unusual clothing styles, and your character will look unique!
Once you are satisfied with the template you have made, try drawing your character again from scratch using only the details that are specific to them.
Draw your character using the template
Once you have your character template, you can start drawing your original character. Start with drawing the face shape, then the eyes, then the mouth, and then the hair.
Many artists use the technique of starting with the hair because it is a sequence of shapes that can be drawn in any order. For example, you can draw the outline of the hair first and then fill it in with texture or you can draw the texture of the hair first and then add the outline.
Either way, these are two separate stages of drawing the hair that can be done in any order. The same goes for coloration; you can choose to paint them in any order as well.
Some artists choose to draw their characters wearing underwear or clothing before drawing the skin so that they have a solid surface to draw over. This helps with body features like belts or jewelry that need to be drawn over the surface of the skin.
Experiment with your character
Once you have your template set, then it’s time to start experimenting with your character. Try different hair styles, clothing styles, and face shapes to see what looks best.
Try making your character taller or shorter, giving them longer or shorter limbs, and trying different hairstyles to see what looks best on them.
Try drawing your character in different poses to see what they look best in. Is your character casual or formal? Does they feel more at home walking, sitting, or lying down? Drawing them in these positions can help showcase that.
Once you are satisfied with your character, try drawing them in various scenarios to see how they respond. Do they look formal in a business meeting, but casual when out with friends? Draw both scenarios!
Try adding some things that are unique to you or that fit your character. Then again again test them in scenarios to see how they respond.
Find more templates to use
As mentioned before, finding templates for drawing anime is the best way to get started. You can find many online and even in book form, so look around for the best ones for you.
Many people have made their own templates to use as well, so check those out! Some even have their own pages you can download to use them.
Some of the best sites to find templates are: drawanime.com, anime-templates.wikia.com, www.google.com search: anime character template
All of these sites have different types of templates you can use to draw your character. Try some out and see which ones work best for you!
Some people also like to mix and match features to get the look they want.
Create your own template
Once you are comfortable drawing basic character shapes, you can start to add your own touches and quirks to your drawings.
Try making your own character template where you add your own features and differences in proportion and shape. This way, you can draw your characters with your own style!
As well as being a great way to develop your artistic skills, creating your own template can be a fun way to organize your thoughts on character design. You can organize features by color, shape, or proportion—or all three!
Combining colors, shades, and textures can help you organize the details of a character’s appearance. Shading one side of a face or head in black may indicate that this person is secretive or withdrawn. A tanned complexion may indicate that this person is outdoorsy or has certain characteristics.
Proportion can play a big role in character design as well. One could be very tall and have long limbs, while another is shorter and more compact. A third could be very thin with little muscle tone.
Learn how to shade and add background elements
Once you have mastered the basics of drawing anime characters, you can move on to more complex elements. One of the most noticeable is shading.
Shading is when you add darker tones to the surfaces of a character to make them look three-dimensional and real. This is also called rendering or finessing.
How you shade your character depends on what type of anime style you are drawing in. Some styles use very little shading, while others use very intense shadows. Some are in between these two extremes.
Also, note that some styles have very distinctive ways of rendering colors or shades. For example, many use what are called pastels, where the colors are soft and lightened versions of their true colors.
Then there are those that use very dark tones, almost like charcoal or pencil strokes! Either way, learn how to render in your style to make your art look more professional.