Hello, my name is Mido Hachino, and I’m a freelance illustrator.

I’ve written a number of articles on how to change the color of a line drawing and how to apply underpainting.

But I’ve never been to any painting school, art college or an art school.

Yet I am now able to work as a freelance illustrator, creating illustrations for games, cartoon advertisements, character designs, and more.
In this article, I’d like to introduce my self-taught practice methods to those who want to become better at drawing!


1. Introduction

I started drawing illustrations digitally when I was in high school.
I started creating illustrations with a free drawing software called “FireAlpaca”, the predecessor application of MediBang Paint.

I couldn’t find them because I deleted most of my student work, but here is a comparison of my drawings from 2019 and my current drawings.

← Left 2019             → Right 2021

It’s embarrassing but there are so many elements of inexperience in the picture on the left that I can’t even begin to list the flaws, such as the balance of the face, the color saturation, and the way the shadows are painted.
From here I would like to talk about how I improved from this drawing.


2. Ask a friend

When drawing a picture, at first you think you did good, but then you think, “Hm? something’s wrong here.”
I couldn’t figure out what it was, so I showed my drawing to a friend of mine who went to the same art school as I did.

She told me, “The lines are messy. It’s too rough”.
“Really, that much????” So I took a close look myself.

■ IT IS !!!!

We all seen the making of an illustration where the artist finishes drawing in rough lines at one point, right?

▼ Image

From that stage, I prematurely concluded that this is how digital illustration are drawn.

So I stopped drawing the lines and went straight into painting over the lines with thick brushes.


3. Knowing my weakness

I realized my weakness in drawing lines because I gave up on it and skipped to thick line painting.

■ A rough sketch is not enough to picture the completed illustration.

Upon realizing this, I decided to do line drawing after I finish the silhouette.
In my case, it was easier to draw the line when I knew the silhouette rather than tracing the line.

■ I found that once I knew the shape and framed it, I could draw the lines.

It was around this time that I started drawing color roughs, and doing a clean drawing after getting an idea of the overall image.

Once I figured out what method I was good at, I became less scared of challenging line drawing.
Once you know your weaknesses, all you have to do is practice.

When there was an illustrator distributing a full-size drawing, I would download it to learn how many pixels were used for the line drawing, what colors were used for the shadows, and so on.


4. Drawing

There is a lot of talk about whether or not body drawing (dessen) is necessary to become good at drawing.
I never went to art college or art school, so I don’t know anything about actual drawing, nor have I ever actually looked at a plaster cast and drawn one.

I mainly use “morpho human body drawing” and “photo copying” as a way to practice drawing.
I spend a month copying a whole book of morpho human sketches, and if there is something I don’t understand about the human body, I look up books on art anatomy.

One thing to remember here is to not forget what your ultimate goal is.

There are many articles on various websites that recommend body drawing and croquis.
But rather than aimlessly practicing body drawing because it says so on how-to books, it’s important to set small goals like understanding the skeletal structures and muscles to improve and get used to drawing bodies.

▼ Photo Copying


5. Summary

This is just my way of doing things, so it does not mean that this is the right answer.
Please try practicing knowing your weakness and according to your own goals.
Just as you can get better at drawing, I also want to keep improving as well.
I hope you’ll use MediBang Paint and enjoy drawing more and more!

(Text and pictures by Mido Hachino)
Twitter / https://twitter.com/hachino_mido
Pixiv / https://www.pixiv.net/users/20266737