Hello! I’m Yu Harukawa.
Here, I’d like to explain how to draw mini-characters.
Mini-characters are more compressed than normal character illustrations, so you can pack the charm of the character into a compact size. If some of you say, “I’m not good at drawing mini-characters” or “I want to draw them but I don’t know where to start”, I’ll teach you how you can create attractive mini-characters depending on how YOU want to draw them.
1.Head and body size
First of all, let’s talk about the head and body size of the mini-characters.
There are several types of head and body sizes for Minichara, and you can draw Minichara with a higher degree of perfection by changing the size according to your purpose and the image of the illustration you want to draw.
Before going into the explanation of how to draw Minichara, let me introduce three types of head and body sizes.
・2 Head Length
This is the most commonly used size for mini-characters. The body and head occupy exactly half of the total area of the character, and because the body is smaller than the 2.5- and 3-headed characters introduced later, more detail is required.
In addition, the head is large and the overall form is round, so it is possible to draw illustrations with a strong focus on its cuteness.
・2.5 Head Length
This is a length between two and three heads, and can be slightly longer than two heads which allows a wider drawing area and more spaces for detailed decorations.
・3 Head Length
This length is longer than the 2 and 2.5 head length. Since the body is larger, it is possible to draw detailed clothes and decorations, which helps to create an attractive design. The arms and legs can also be moved in a wide range, which is useful when you want to create a pose or design that stands out more. Plus the overall impression of the drawing becomes vertically sharp, which can be used to draw stylish illustrations.
So I introduced how to draw the three lengths of 2 heads, 2.5 heads, 3 heads, and what I recommend you do is start drawing the head length that you want to draw, or find the head size that you feel comfortable drawing after practicing blindly.
From here, I’ll explain how to draw the two smallest and compressed head size and length..
2.How to draw the face
When you draw a mini character’s face, the size and placement of each facial part, such as the eyes and mouth, can drastically change the impression of the character. For example, 2 heads length narrows the viewers’ focus to the head first since it covers half of the drawing.
Depending on the features of the character you are drawing, you can basically draw the eyes large and the mouth small. For a well-balanced face, try to draw each part in a way that they gather and point toward the bottom.
・Points to remember when drawing a profile side face
When drawing a side face, customizing the shape of the nose and mouth area can create a variations of unique miniature characters.
For example, characters with round and curved designs will give them a soft and cute image,
while a slightly pointed nose will give differentiations to these miniature characters.
You can also draw the character’s mouth open to create more individuality as well as originality.
3.How to draw the body
In the case of a 2 head length figure, the neck should be thin and the body should be round and compressed.
For example, you can draw the body like a teardrop expanding from the head down to the stomach.
Compared to regular-size character illustrations, the arms and legs of a second head length miniature character are much smaller, so drawing the fingers may require much detail.
There are also examples of designs where the fingers are simplified and rounded. For those who think “I’m not good at detailed drawing…” or “I like compressed cuteness better”, we recommend the simplified version. You can create an illustration that you like by combining these two ways, so please experiment with the image you want to draw and the design you feel comfortable with.
When drawing a miniature character, it is easier to achieve balance if you draw the hair while thinking about its cohesion and volume.
As mentioned in the previous section on how to draw a face, the eyes, mouth and other facial parts are placed at the bottom of the face. This gives you more room to draw the hair, so you can add volume and motion to the hair to make your character more attractive.
It is of course important to draw hairstyles that flow directly from the top of the head like short hair or long hair, but by adjusting the balance of the hair’s symmetry into twin tails and pony tails, you can draw various hair arrangements.
When drawing clothes I recommend drawing them slightly along the characters’ bodies and adjusting their fitting. Here I created a mini-character in the most compressed size of a two-head body length, and since the costume for the character is a hoodie with a relatively baggy silhouette, I will focus on drawing a relaxed impression..
I recommend drawing the decorations on the character as detailed as possible.
For example, here she will be wearing a hair ornament on her hair, but since the character’s twin-tail hair is quite large, her hair ornament should be large to match the head and body ratio.
This applies to other items and ornaments that are worn on the body or face, such as glasses, masks, and scarfs, and it is easier to achieve balance if you draw them in proportion to the body length.
On the other hand, small items such as earrings for the ears and bracelets for the arms are recommended to be drawn relatively small and detailed so that they do not occupy the viewers’ attention
5.How to make the mini characters more attractive
In order to let the character’s personality truly shine, drawing the character in a pose is the most effective. Adding motion to the body in its clothes, hair, and other parts will be effective with a touch of glamour.
For example, the hood of the sweater I drew earlier can be made to look like it is catching the wind by simply floating it a little.
・How to add effects
Adding effects and backgrounds that match your character’s image and personality can make your illustration more gorgeous and attractive.
Even adding a simple colored background to a single mini character can change the impression and make the character stand out.
Adding elaborately designed backgrounds and effects can also be useful in creating a cohesive illustration.
However, depending on the design and the amount of background and effects you want to draw, remember not to overdo it or the mini-characters themselves will be obscured.
If you want to make the character stand out or if you want to create a cohesive design, I recommend that you adjust your drawing according to the theme you want to portray.
How did you like this article on how to draw miniature characters?
I hope this will be helpful for those who are interested in drawing mini-characters.
Thank you for reading!
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Works from “Illustration Work Introduction”