12 Tips on How to Get Better at Drawing Anime-Style Art

Many artists enjoy drawing anime because they are anime fans. Even though some artists and art teachers may not favor the anime style, it is popular among many artists. 

The style allows for creating good art even with limited drawing skills. To get better at drawing anime, you can follow some essential steps that will help improve your skills. 

In this article, I will give you 12 quick tips to help you enhance your drawing skills in anime art.

1. Anime is a Stylized Art. Learn Realistic Art First

Realistic eye
Realistic Eye by greyrts

There is an understandable reason why art teachers hate anime style. Because it prevents beginner artists from progressing their art skill

Anime is stylistic art. It’s grounded in reality, aka real humans. Sure, you will have large, expressive eyes and exaggerated facial expressions in anime. But in the end, they are still human.

If you can’t draw real humans, something always looks wrong with your anime art.

I heard this kind of advice from the Internet. To break the rule, you must first understand the rule. Without understanding the rules of realistic art, you can’t break the rules of realistic art and create good anime art.

2. Draw Every Day

Try drawing every day. Sure, I know many artists hate this advice because it’s generic. But it’s not wrong.

There are many benefits of drawing every day.

Firstly, it helps form a habit. Once this habit is established, it becomes difficult not to draw daily. Secondly, consistent practice enables you to progress in your art skills quickly. 

Drawing is a learnable skill, not just a talent. So practicing drawing every day can improve your drawing skills.

However, I don’t suggest drawing anime-style art exclusively. Vary your subjects, including everyday objects, and challenge yourself with difficult subjects to draw to enhance your skills.

3. Learn Basic Anatomy

As mentioned in my first tip, learning to draw realistic humans, including basic anatomy, is important. A solid understanding of anatomy lays the foundation for creating anime characters. 

Proko anatomy guide

Since anatomy is a fundamental aspect of art, investing in an art book or course is advisable

The most popular anatomy course is Proko. You can also purchase an Anatomy course from Udemy and Skillshare.

But, if you want a free tutorial perfect for beginners, you can read the book “Drawing the Head and Hands” by Loomis. It’s a classic art book and already entered the public domain. So you can download it for free legally.

4. Learn Figure Drawing

Besides anatomy, learning figure drawing is important. It makes drawing characters and poses easier. After learning anatomy, learning figure drawing is a must. 

It’s impossible for artists to draw the anatomy of their characters every time; it’s a waste of time. This is why, by using figure drawing, you can quickly draw your anime characters.

My favorite figure drawing book is Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton

5. Join Artists’ Online Groups

As an artist, you shouldn’t be alone while learning art. If you don’t enroll in art school, joining artist groups on Discord or subreddits dedicated to art is a good idea.

Reddit art community

Here is a list of subreddits dedicated to art

  1. r/Art – A general subreddit for art of all kinds.
  2. r/Drawing – Focused on drawings and sharing artwork.
  3. r/SketchDaily is a community that encourages daily sketching with different themes.
  4. r/Illustration – For sharing illustrations, both traditional and digital.
  5. r/ConceptArt – A place to share and discuss concept art.
  6. r/DigitalPainting – Dedicated to digital painting and artwork.
  7. r/ArtCrit is a community for constructive criticism of art.
  8. r/ArtFundamentals – Focused on learning the basics of drawing and painting.
  9. r/IDAP (I Drew A Picture) – A subreddit for sharing drawings and artwork.

6. Ask for Criticism

Asking for criticism is important. Even though there are positive and negative criticisms, viewing all feedback with a positive mindset is key to progress.

We are always biased in how we view our art. Some artists believe their art is better, while some are pessimistic and view their art as bad even though they are good.

Harsh criticism sometimes helps. Take harsh criticism with a neutral attitude. Don’t get emotional. Getting mad is a waste of time if you receive criticism online.

7. Learn Variations in Manga and Anime Art Style

Manga and anime showcase a variety of drawing styles, each serving different genres and audiences. 

For instance, Shōnen manga, targeted at young boys, often features action-packed scenes and adventurous protagonists. In contrast, Shōjo manga, aimed at young girls, may focus on romance and relationships, with more delicate and flowing lines. 

You must adapt your drawing style to fit the genre and narrative tone, whether it’s the hyper-detailed machinery of a mecha anime or the soft, rounded features in a slice-of-life series.

8. Practice Drawing Anime Hair and Eyes

Anime characters are distinguished by their expressive eyes and diverse hairstyles. Your ability to capture these features effectively can set your drawings apart.

When drawing anime eyes, pay attention to the shape and the size, as these often determine the character’s gender and age. Larger, rounder eyes typically suggest a younger, more innocent character, while narrow eyes can give a sense of maturity or intensity. 

To give life to the eyes, add highlights and multiple layers of shading to create depth.

You should explore how to draw and color anime hair and eyes from resources like Art Rocket – CLIP STUDIO For a comprehensive guide on styles and techniques.

The laws of real-world physics don’t bind anime hair, so here’s how you can get creative:

  1. Start with the hairline before adding the bulk of the hair, considering your desired style.
  2. Think of hair as a series of parts rather than individual strands. Draw these parts flowing from the crown of the head.
  3. Add Details with Bangs and Layers. Bangs are not just a fringe; they can alter the character’s appearance entirely. Use them to frame the face and emphasize expressions.

For step-by-step instructions that can help you start with the very basics, a resource worth viewing is EASIEST Way to Draw Anime Hair on YouTube.

9. Apply Color Theory to Your Anime Character

Harmony in your colors can evoke emotions and set the mood for your artwork. Using complementary colors adds contrast, while analogous colors create serenity. 

Pay close attention to the saturation and value of your colors, as less saturated hues can recede into the background. In contrast, bold, saturated colors can make elements pop forward, enhancing the three-dimensional feel of your drawings.

If you draw your anime character digitally, consider following the Ctrl+Paint course to learn more about color theory in digital art.

10. Learn Perspective and Composition

DrawaBox perspective tutorial

Your composition should guide the viewer’s eye through the artwork. Understanding perspective gives weight to your characters and objects within the environment, grounding them in reality. 

Practice one-point, two-point, and three-point perspectives to depict various angles and depths in your scenes for an authentic touch.

You can consider following the DrawABox course for a free comprehensive perspective tutorial. 

You can read our review here: DrawABox Review for Artist.

11. Dress Your Anime Characters

Choosing outfits for your characters adds personality and provides context for the story you’re depicting. Clothes in anime follow the same principles of motion and form as the body underneath.

  • Select outfits that reflect your character’s background, occupation, and personality traits.
  • Study how the fabric moves to create realistic draping and folds, enhancing the dynamic nature of your character.

Clothing can depict a static pose or convey movement, so consider how clothes interact with the body during various actions.

12. Developing Your Own Anime Style

While imitation can be a helpful learning tool, striving for originality is important. 

Start by imitating your favorite characters, then begin altering features and experimenting with different drawing styles. This will lead you to develop a style that is uniquely yours. 

For inspiration on style development, you should explore advice from art channels. Here is a YouTube video I recommend to watch: How I Improved In Drawing.

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Author
Kenny Houle
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

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