Master the Art of Drawing 80s Anime Style: A Step-by-Step Guide


Are you a fan of the vibrant and dynamic art style of 80s anime? Do you dream of creating your own characters in this iconic style? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the process of drawing 80s anime style step by step. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, you will find valuable tips and techniques to bring your characters to life. So grab your pencils and let’s dive into the world of 80s anime!

Understanding the 80s Anime Style

Before we delve into the process of drawing 80s anime style, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what defines this art style. The 80s anime style is characterized by its bold and exaggerated features, intense colors, and expressive emotions. It draws inspiration from various sources, including manga, western cartoons, and pop culture of the 80s. By mastering the key elements of this style, you will be able to create captivating and nostalgic artworks.

The Key Elements of 80s Anime Style

To create authentic 80s anime style drawings, it’s crucial to pay attention to the following key elements:

  1. Big Eyes: One of the most distinctive features of 80s anime style is the large, expressive eyes. They are often round or almond-shaped and take up a significant portion of the face.
  2. Wild Hairstyles: Characters in 80s anime style often sport wild and gravity-defying hairstyles. These hairstyles can be asymmetrical, colorful, and have exaggerated proportions.
  3. Expressive Facial Expressions: Emotions are exaggerated in 80s anime style, with characters displaying intense expressions. Whether it’s a wide-eyed look of surprise or a mischievous grin, facial expressions play a crucial role in conveying emotions.
  4. Dynamic Poses: 80s anime style is known for its dynamic and action-packed poses. Characters are often depicted in mid-action, with exaggerated movements and dramatic angles.
  5. Bold Lines and Colors: The use of bold and thick lines is a characteristic feature of 80s anime style. Colors are vibrant, saturated, and often applied in a way that creates a sense of depth and dimension.

Getting Started: Essential Tools and Materials

Before we start drawing, let’s make sure you have the right tools and materials at your disposal. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Drawing Pencils: Invest in a set of quality drawing pencils with different hardness levels. This will allow you to achieve varying levels of shading and line thickness.
  • Sketchbook or Drawing Paper: Choose a sketchbook or drawing paper that suits your preferences. Make sure the paper is thick enough to handle different drawing techniques.
  • Erasers: Have both a kneaded eraser and a regular eraser handy. The kneaded eraser is useful for lightening areas without damaging the paper, while the regular eraser can be used for more precise erasing.
  • Inking Pens: To achieve bold and crisp lines, consider using inking pens or fine liners. Look for pens with different tip sizes to allow for varying line thickness.
  • Coloring Supplies: If you wish to add color to your drawings, gather a set of colored pencils, markers, or watercolor paints. Experiment with different mediums to find the one you enjoy working with the most.

Step-by-Step Guide to Drawing 80s Anime Style

Now that you have your tools ready, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of drawing 80s anime style:

Step 1: Sketching the Face

Start by sketching a rough outline of the face using light pencil strokes. Remember to keep the proportions in mind, with the eyes usually taking up around one-third of the face. Pay attention to the placement of the nose, mouth, and ears as well.

Step 2: Adding Facial Features

Once you are satisfied with the basic face structure, start adding the facial features. Focus on the eyes, giving them the characteristic large and expressive look. Experiment with different eye shapes and styles to create unique characters.

Step 3: Creating Wild Hairstyles

Move on to sketching the hairstyle, letting your imagination run wild. Remember to embrace the exaggerated and gravity-defying nature of 80s anime style. Play with different shapes, lengths, and textures to give your characters a distinctive look.

Step 4: Refining the Facial Details

Refine the facial details by adding the nose, mouth, and ears. Pay attention to the placement and proportions to maintain a balanced look. Use light pencil strokes and gradually build up the details.

Step 5: Adding Expression and Emotion

Now it’s time to bring your characters to life by adding expressive emotions. Experiment with different eyebrow shapes, mouth positions, and eye expressions to convey a specific mood or feeling.

Step 6: Sketching the Body and Pose

Expand your drawing by sketching the body and pose of your character. Remember to keep the poses dynamic and action-oriented. Exaggerate the proportions and movements to create a sense of energy and excitement.

Step 7: Inking the Final Lines

Once you are satisfied with your sketch, use inking pens or fine liners to outline the final lines. Emphasize the boldness of the lines and experiment with line thickness to add depth and dimension to your drawing.

Step 8: Erasing the Pencil Guidelines

Erase the pencil guidelines carefully using a kneaded eraser or a regular eraser. Take your time and be gentle to avoid smudging or damaging the inked lines.

Step 9: Adding Colors (Optional)

If you wish to add colors to your drawing, now is the time to do so. Use colored pencils, markers, or watercolor paints to bring your characters to life. Pay attention to shading, highlights, and color combinations to enhance the overall impact of your artwork.

Step 10: Adding Finishing Touches

Finally, add any finishing touches to your drawing, such as additional details, textures, or backgrounds. Take a step back and evaluate your artwork to ensure it meets your vision.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What if I’m a beginner with no prior drawing experience?

    Not a problem! This guide is suitable for beginners as well. Take your time, practice each step, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Remember, every artist starts somewhere.

  2. Can I use digital tools instead of traditional ones?

    Absolutely! While this guide focuses on traditional tools, you can adapt the techniques to digital drawing software as well. Just make sure to familiarize yourself with the software and its features.

  3. How can I make my characters more unique?

    Experiment with different combinations of features, hairstyles, and outfits. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and let your creativity shine. Drawing inspiration from real-life people, other artists, or even your own imagination can help you create unique characters.

  4. Are there any specific tips for coloring?

    When coloring, start with light layers and gradually build up the intensity. Use references to understand how light and shadows interact with the colors. Practice blending techniques to achieve smooth transitions between different shades.

  5. Where can I find inspiration for my 80s anime drawings?

    Immerse yourself in the world of 80s anime by watching classic anime series, reading manga, or exploring art books and online galleries. Study the works of renowned 80s anime artists and try to identify their unique styles and techniques.

With this comprehensive guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge and techniques to master the art of drawing 80s anime style. Remember to practice regularly, experiment with different approaches, and most importantly, have fun on your artistic journey. Let your imagination soar and create captivating characters that pay homage to the golden era of 80s anime!

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