Transform detailed / realistic creatures into cute / kawaii

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Introduction

Are you afraid of monsters? Or do you love them? No matter! This tutorial is for both cases!
If they scare you, this is the solution to your problems, and if you love them, then you will love them even more!
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Welcome to the tutorial on how to transform realistic / detailed monsters into cute and kawaiis!
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I have categorized the monsters according to their shape and figure. Also under my own category of creatures of my own monstrous creations.
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I'm not very good at realistic drawings, so images are just examples. You can make your own monsters to transform them or you can use references from other artists too. We will not need to do a complete work of art to make it adorable.

In addition, they will be quick sketches used only to learn the theory more than anything, so remember to practice a lot! : D
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It is worth mentioning that this tutorial serves to make all kinds of characters and creatures cute too.

Creature 1: Human Shape (essential elements)

As the first part we will be using a creature with humanoid form. If you already know how to draw cute people, this part will be much easier for you.
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First of all we will draw our sketch. In this case I will draw a cyclops (a little deformed).
For this occasion (contradicting what is known about sketching) we will thoroughly detail our sketch.

If you wish, you can draw the face, hands, etc. Always detailing the most important and representative of him.
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For example, on this occasion I draw the face of my cyclops highlighting the "essential elements" of him, such as his hair, his fangs, and I even think of other details he might have, such as an earring.

When you are OK with your creature, try drawing it in another pose, to familiarize yourself with it.
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This time, try to make your head, hands and feet a little bigger.
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Try to simplify the forms and start eliminating unnecessary details.

As we can see, in this drawing our cyclops still has many unnecessary details, such as the lines of the eye, its short pants have many scratches, shadows and muscles, etc.

So, now we have to do the same pose, but making the head even bigger, the stroke of the body more curvy. As you can see, this time the eye has more prominence, because it is the "essential element" of our creature that characterizes it. We also see that his ponytail has already taken shape by rounding it up more, even his muscles and short pants are rounder.

Now, try to make it even simpler. I recommend making a rounded structure.
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We will add more expressiveness to your face using rounded shapes. Again we have to look at the essential elements of our character. For this, we will analyze our first sketches.
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Looking at all its details, we will determine which are the most important, those that would make it recognizable anywhere.

In this example, I took the following elements of my cyclops (apart from his eye, obviously):
- He has a sharp tooth.
- A ponytail.
- Shortpants
- An earring.

The more you start to notice the essential elements of your character, it will be easier to transform it into something more and simpler, and it will still feel like "the same" character.
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Also, as a result of this, you can create new shapes and experience new, rounder, shorter or longer designs. The personality of your initial character could even change by becoming so cute.

Now, it depends on your own style to make the lineart and the color. The important thing is to keep the roundness as much as possible.
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My suggestion is that you avoid this type of lines if you want to do something even more kawaii. Try not to add many details, remember to highlight the essential elements.
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Soon, your character will become increasingly simple and round, therefore more cute.

I've finally opted for this design. Although I personally prefer the previous versions, I have used this to make it as simple as possible and more beautiful.
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You may notice that, despite its simplicity, it maintains the essential elements, which are the most visible: tooth, earring, ponytail.

Now you can also paint it in your own style. You may notice that I used opaque colors, but a little softer than usual. This will give the feeling that it is cuter, you can even use pastel colors if you wish.
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In the case of humanoid figures, adding pink cheeks makes it look more adorable.

Creature 2: Beast Characters (Simplifying and Exaggerating)

Already knowing the essentials about the essential elements it will be easier for us to continue.
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As we did before, we must make the structure. In this case, the beasts can be as they want, depending on the world in which they live. Now we are making a random beast made by me.
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Make the sketch by adding many details, even more than those of the Cyclops. Do not worry if you feel you are overloaded with things, the important thing is to make it seem as plausible as possible.
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As advice, you can look for references of animal structures to guide you, although in this case it was all more random, because it really is not important in the case of monsters of this type.

Again, you can add more details and personality to your monster. As it is a beast it will cost more to give it a personality. The important thing is that you go drawing and observing it to know it better.

Look at the type of fur he has, the animal he looks like or how it would look on a stuffed animal. This will help us to simplify it later.

As with the Cyclops, identify the essential elements of the monster to make it simpler.
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In this case we have large eyebrows, horns, hairy hair, sharp teeth, a pattern of spots and a tail.

Make a different pose, trying to make it more round and simpler.
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Try to make your face more expressive, exaggerating its size.
Eliminate elements that are not essential or that can be distracting to the personality of our monster.
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In this case, since the monster is hairy, it will have a more chubby appearance, so I remove the tail and the claws, keeping the essential elements of the eyebrows and horns.

Simplify edges, exaggerate proportions. If the character is a little fuller, make him fatter. Especially if the character is hairy, making it round makes him look more chubby and therefore, more adorable.
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You can vary in shapes, sizes and personalities, keeping the essential elements and simplifying their shapes.

With these creatures it will be a constant dance of Simplification and Exaggeration. Simplify the shape, but exaggerate its size.
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Here I simplified the hair, exaggerated the size of the face and the pattern of its fur. Everything became more round.

Finally, I simplified the hair with some lines and enlarged his face more.
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Then when I painted it, I dedicated myself to adding some details that make it more fuzzy and adorable.

Creature 3: Animal-like (Simplified Known Structures)

To create monsters in the shape of known animals we have to use the structure of these based on a reference or in our own knowledge. We can also mix if we want to make a kind of chimera. You can search the internet for structures of two animals and mix them, for example.
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In my case I wanted to improvise a sphinx, mixing the human thorax with a lion's body.

As we learned, we will simplify our monster. We try to make new poses, different sizes, etc. The important thing in this case is to keep the PROPORTIONS so that it really looks like a real animal.

As I mentioned, maintaining proportions is very important in this creature. That is why to simplify it, I took the structure of a cat, because it is a cuter version of a lion.
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Simplify the size further and exaggerate the essential, while maintaining the proportions.
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To make her more adorable I drew her smiling. I also drew a strange Egyptian eye on his chest because there was an empty space there. I didn't like this at all, so I decided to change my pose.
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It is important that if there is something you do not like and is replaceable, remove it.

Try to make new poses, and make your character more chubby.
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Simplify elements such as hair, eyes and body in detail, but exaggerate its size while maintaining the proportions.
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In this case I made the smallest wings and floated them.

While simplifying my sphinx, I cut my hair, made it more expressive and removed the wings.
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In this case I feel that the wings were an essential element, but I still deleted it because it was too distracting.
Because of this, I put a kind of tattoo in the shape of wings on his thigh. You can also do this if you find an essential element too distracting, making it part of the decoration on your body, shield, cape, etc.

Add color

Creature 4: Incorporeal Ghosts and Monsters (Importance of abstract and essential forms).

This time we will try to draw abstract creatures in a kawaii way.
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The simplest ghosts are based on circular shapes. They are very easy to do, just add big eyes or cheeks.
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You can even use two circles to make your ghost cute.
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With everything learned so far it shouldn't be difficult with these.

However, what about those disembodied spirits? There are times when they are too abstract to identify what they are.
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To do this you have to look for elements of the drawing that are similar to something and try to guess or speculate what they are. Spirits are generally deformed, so almost any form is fine. The important thing is to maintain the Essential Form.

Maintaining the Essential Form is very important because your ghost can maintain its abstract form even by acquiring a simplified form, being not so different from the original.
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Keeping the shape, you can improvise and create a good ghost using your imagination. In my case, my ghost has a bristly hair on the sides, and keeps some juggling balls. That's why I decided that it could be a ghost clown and I put his nose, which I will regret and we'll see why.

Again, we begin to simplify and exaggerate. I have made his head bigger, as well as his eyes.
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I removed his nose since it did not appear in the original outline, so it was a very large distracting element that made him look different from the original.
Try that when you add new elements, they can be recognizable both in the original drawing and in the kawaii version.
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For example, I used the circles to be circus balls, but you can make the same figure a ghost cat juggling wool balls.

Finally we paint it. This time I made it darker and added some stripes to simulate the original sketch.

Creature 5: Monster Now Simple (Simplify what is already simple)

The simple is difficult. Sometimes there are monsters (like the Slimes) that are so simple that you will ask yourself. How can I simplify something that is already simple?
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It's difficult but not impossible. Even the simplest creature has some essential element that makes it unique. In this case I use an example Nightcrawler.

Using what we have learned in this tutorial, you can make a cute version of anything!
Only remember:
- Rounded shapes
- Essential elements
- Simplify and Exaggerate
- Maintain proportions (if required)
- Maintain the Essential Form.

Yes, even Slimes can ... right? I think we have to work on that!
(Adding eyes makes it easier, just like the mouth, but they would lose the grace of being a monster without a face, so we better make it very round and use cute colors!)
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If you want me to deepen more about the colors or a more worked process of a character let me know in comments!

Thanks for reading this tutorial! It is the first one I do! I hope it has been useful to transform your monsters and detailed and realistic creatures into a more cute and kawaii version of themselves, and that you can make these versions of whatever you want! : D

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