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The new digital storm - learning to draw anime

Written By Jamille West

Today digital art is taking the world by storm and providing you and your neighbour down the street access to some epic tutorials and tools to explore new mediums and become the artist you have always dreamed of. The reality is Covid has brought a whole new era of influence to the world of art. Not every student around the world has access to a wonderful array of art materials such as watercolours, acrylics and oil paints, pencils, charcoal, paper and more. But the digital option offers a more accessible solution.

So, what are people drawing digitally? Anime is amongst the most popular characterisations to be captured on a digital screen.

So, let’s digitalise our own anime characters together. Here are five key steps.

Step 1 choose your outline:

This is a fun step for all creative ends and allows for imagination to flow in the type of anime character you want to draw but for this tutorial, we will provide you with an image of our own. Once you have chosen the image upload it to your software; Some of the programs out there are photoshop, Corel painter, retell 5 and procreate the possibilities are endless. The next part of the step is to lower the opacity of the sketch and create a new layer over the original image. You can then proceed to start with the features of the face.

Step 2 the eyes

Remember to make a new layer before you begin this step. Depending upon the type of gaze, in this case, let's take some weight on the eye, give your character a strong look ad to accentuate the eyes by choosing a thicker brush. This makes the eyelashes nice and thick. Make a note to draw the outline of the lashes first and fill them in with the Fill tool, the one that looks like a little paint bucket. If you are concerned about the edges being too pixelated change the area scaling a few points above zero.

Step 3 hair

A reminder to follow with a new layer for this step once again. Outline the whole head of hair from the roots to tips but follow the way the hair moves. The next trick is the paint bucket tool again to fill in the hair with your desired colour. Once you have completed this, cover any pixels with the brush or erase any imperfections. The next part is the fun one. Make thin lines around the air to give the head a realistic sway of the strands. Then choose the transparent brush tool and create highlights on the hair to create depth, keeping in mind the shape and flow of the hair.

Step 4 Clothes

Remember that new layer? Create a new layer and outline the flow of the jacket with those same brush strokes you have been using, but with more careful direction on the creases and folds. In this case, the coat is thicker so ensuring you pronounce the wrinkles here will give it that three-dimensional look. Continue these same steps with the other arm before you move on to the hands

Step 5 hands

Hands down this will be your last layer and final drawing aspect before the part where you get to run through the layers and fill the figure with colour and tones. Outline the hands based on the original image and use the layer mask tool to hide the area of the hair that interferes with the hand. Depending on your program the tool should be titled ‘create layer mask’ and can be located under the auto selection tool, once you have selected the area you desire to be masked.

So, ‘walla’ you have yourself your very own digital anime character. You can now add those colours and key features, perhaps you want to add a scarf like we have or colour the nails.

The freedom is up to you. Joining the digital art storm does not undermine the world of art traditions. But enhances and builds upon what has already been transmitted for centuries, but with a different and very new media. Accessible to everyone and anyone with a smartphone or Apple device,

art has never been more popular, and the lockdowns have proved as much. So, we encourage you, to join the digital storm and create your own pieces of art because everyone can draw if they just give it a go and think of the wonder that awaits!

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