Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A foray into anime.

Dear Starbugs :)
I've been so preoccupied with work and exams that I've decided that I need a fun project that I can get into this holiday and somehow, don't ask me how, I stumbled across a five step introduction to anime drawing.

I've always liked drawing, but in the past I've stuck to either abstract art or sketches of animals and buildings and stuff. I stayed far away from people because it's far too hard and I don't have the patience for it. I decided to tackle anime because the animation of people gives you a lot of room to play around in.

These are my two basic attempts at it.

The facial structure and eye placement is really tough to get right, and because I'm obsessed with symmetry it makes it even harder for me. 

So, the next thing I'm working on is finding a technique to get symmetry of the eyes right. I'm tempted to measure and draw boxes and work within them, but I feel like that's the pansy way out. I want to be able to do them free hand. 

I don't know much about anime nor can I say I've watched much of it other than a few popular titles and a couple for a History course I did. So I'm looking to make some anime friends who are willing to teach me/direct me to films or websites... :D Pleeeeeeease? I'm always keen to learn new stuff. 

My main reason for avoiding anime, has been that what I've seen of it has been either very sexually explicit (which my poor innocent soul just can't deal with) or very violent. I've been lead to believe that anime generally deals with adult content, but I'm sure there must be some G-rated content? 

For those of my readers, who like me don't know anything about the world of anime, I do know some stuff. Anime is a style that first popped up in Japan in the early 20th century. The style that spread across the world was mostly developed from the 60s to 80s. Within anime, there are a variety of styles depending on artists and studios -- some using a realistic approach and  others the exaggerated stylistic approach. The latter is what usually comes to mind when I think of anime. Some are hand drawn and others, computer generated. 

                                                                                                                            Source: delinetciler.net via Ayca Pinar on Pinterest

                                                                                                                             Source: bloodelf.tumblr.com via D on Pinterest

                                                                                                                       Source: google.com via Ashleigh on Pinterest

These are different styles -- the first being the realist style and the second two, the more exaggerated ones. Anyway, that's all from me. I'll keep practising and post photos as I learn different skills. (Cue the watching of ten million YouTube how to videos...) 

If you have any tips or ideas or if you draw any anime yourself, then pop me a message. :) If you're amazing, then I'll make a post showcasing your work. If you want to send images, use my email address or my Facebook account. :) 

That's all from me for tonight.. I'm off to watch more Project Runway. :D :D 

Lots of love,



  1. I'm also just getting into anime, and I really like how it deals with really interesting and out-there stuff.

    I'd recommend anything by Hayao Miyazaki. He directed Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke. All three are brilliant and Howl's Moving Castle and Spirited Away are relatively accessible (despite being really surreal).

    I've only really watched one full anime series beyond pokemon or digimon, and that's Eureka 7. It started pretty averagely, but after about 10 episodes the storyline just explodes and has some amazing character development. It also deals with very interesting themes, about the nature of war or peace, the environment and human relationships. Death Note is one I'm busy watching, and it is really intense psychological thriller type stuff with a mix of creepy Japanese folklore/spirituality/mysticism/stuff.

    There are animes out there that don't use panty shots and severed heads to keep people interested, you just have to wade in. And IMDB helps.

  2. My boyfriend also mentioned Death Note, I'll give that a try. I'm actually quite excited that Spirited Away and My neighbour Totoro count as anime! :D I guess in my mind, when I imagined anime I really only thought of the very explicit stuff and I just didn't get it.

    I've done some research today though, and turns out most anime does deal with quite serious issues. I watched one last year in History about Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- they were completely terrifying of course, but it was so unusual to see something so serious in animation.

  3. It's actually really interesting how anime often deals with total annihilation. I think it is often a place of working out the scars of the atom bomb.

    Miyazaki is brilliant, and I really think you'll like Howl's Moving Castle. I also took a while to adjust to the fact that anime has a bunch of different forms. Even Heidi (which I first saw dubbed in Afrikaans!) is actually an anime!

  4. I've been reading so many guides to the art of anime and it is so amazing learning about how they convey expression, emotion, age, character temperament, etc. The amount of effort put into character design is just insane. I watched a video of a guy doing a sketch on his HP Pad and when he coloured her in, I think he put in like 7 layers just into one eye!

    Seriously underrated this for a long time.