Kawaii is related to everything cute and cute in Japanese popular culture. It is a whole phenomenon and lifestyle that began in the 70s in Japan and is currently also popularized in the West.
Kawaii is also a very versatile drawing style, because it is very good for both children and not so children to start drawing.
In this tutorial we will learn how to draw easy Kawaii drawings step by step, taking advantage of all the potential that the Clip Studio Paint tools (from now on CSP) offer us.
1. Kawaii Drawing Sketch
To start sketching our illustration, it is important to take into account that a Kawaii character is created by joining rounded shapes.
Create a [Layer] > [New Raster Layer], and name it “Sketch”
In the toolbar we locate the icon of the ruler or press the U key, a Subtool panel [Ruler] will be displayed, select [Symmetric ruler], and in the "Sketch" layer draw a vertical line in the middle of the paper
Now select with the Pencil tool (P Key) Sub Tool/Color Pencil, once selected in the tool properties use the stabilization between 80 and 100.
This will make the line more precise and the elements rounder. Avoiding pointy finishes will get a more uniform Kawaii sketch.
With this TIP that I just gave you, draw a circle with the lower part more flattened to give the character an adorable appearance.
The body of a Kawaii character has to be the same size or smaller than its head; for this reason we draw a new smaller circle just below his head and create his body, two other circles in the shape of an egg-shaped shape to create his legs (in this case he is sitting).
In the next step the details are added; inside the circle (head) draw big eyes almost at the bottom and then between the eyes draw the mouth. In the upper part we draw the hair in a circular shape. Add a sailor hat to your liking and details such as the scarf, if you can think of any more, go ahead and let your imagination run wild!
Once the sketch is finished, we are going to give strength to the line with the help of the "vectorized layers" function of CSP. When working in vectors we can very easily modify the curvature, thickness and color of the line.
[Layer] > [New Layer] > [Vector Layer] name it “Lines”. The position for this layer is above the “Sketch” layer
We select the pencil tool > Darker pencil > Tool properties. [Darker Pen] > Brush Size > Pen Pressure (off) and Stylus Brush Density > Pen Pressure (off).
Now we have achieved a pencil with a dark hue, rounded tips, ideal for a Kawaii line.
Using the sketch that we have created as a guide, we will go over the lines that make up the main drawing; head, body, feet... will go with a greater thickness and the secondary lines that are usually those that are inside, will use a smaller thickness.
3. Kawaii coloring
Coloring is the most important part of this tutorial, pay close attention, because with it, our Kawaii character will come to life and sweeten the final finish.
Create a [Layer] > [New Raster Layer] and name it “Color”, positioned under the “Lines” layer and hide the layer called “Sketch”
Toolbar > Pen (P) > Marker > Fill Mono and start giving color to the different parts of the drawing, face, hair, eyes... To your liking, give free rein to your creativity. I recommend using a pastel color palette.
Once you have given the first color base and with the help of the "Operation" tool we will give our illustration a level coloring.
Select the “Operation” icon in the menu and then click on any line, and a window with Tool Properties will open. [Object] from here give the desired color to your line.
If you like how the black line looks, you can also choose to leave it black. It doesn't have to look the same as our Sailor.
Create a [Layer] > [New Raster Layer], name it “Volume”
In this layer we are going to give a color a darker tone than the one used in the "Color" layer, if you have used a pastel blue for the sailor's hair, now you must choose a darker blue, I remember the "Color Adjustments" tool ” that will help you achieve the optimal color in this process.
Go filling in the different parts of the character with the "Fill Monkey" tool, to get volume focus on the corners and remember to follow the rounded strokes.
With the help of the Airbrush/Shadow tool, we will give the final touch of color to our drawing.
4. Ideas y Tips
In the same way that we have created this Kawaii sailor, we are going to create elements that accompany it; animals, objects and a setting according to the illustration. I'll give you some examples, but I hope you dare to create new and beautiful Kawaii characters that accompany your sailor to sail!
The settings that accompany the Kawaii characters are simplistic, focus on making beautiful characters and use gradients and simple shapes for the background that remind you of storybooks.
Create your own pastel color palette: If in the future you plan to make more drawings of this beautiful style, what better than having your own color palette ready to use? This will give personality and originality to your characters and works.
The Kawaii is beautiful, round and shines a lot, in my illustrations there is never a lack of shine, whether in the form of circles or little stars.
Clip Studio Paint gives us a lot of tools to experiment and create new ways to get better results in the final finish, I have made the tutorial as simple as possible for everyone. For this reason, I recommend that you spend a few hours trying all the tools that Clip Studio Paint offers you to draw Kawaii style.
Did you like the tutorial? Have you been wanting more? Here I leave you with some videos to practice with kawaii drawings to color step by step.
Kawaii drawings of Unicorns, Cats, Dogs, Pandas and many more things on our YouTube channel.