[Easy! ]Character illustrations stand out! 3 step composition method




I always draw the same diagonal bust-up, I tried my best to draw the whole body, but it just doesn't fit on the screen! I've been studying composition, but I can't really apply it to my illustrations!

We will solve these problems! The compositions I'm going to introduce now are easy to do even for beginners, so be sure to watch until the end to create an illustration that will go viral.

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What is “composition”?

First of all, let's review. What kind of composition is useful for character illustrations?


When you hear the word `composition,'' it sounds complicated and you want to avoid it, but don't worry, the `composition'' used when drawing character illustrations is not that complicated.


So what does "composition" mean here?


Simply put, "It's about putting what you want to convey in a frame."


Everyone, think about it carefully. Illustration is communicating your ideas to others through illustrations rather than words or sentences.


A tool that will help you get your ideas across is composition.


Just as there are patterns and rules for documents that are communicated, there are also rules and patterns for the composition of illustrations that are communicated. If you follow it, things will go well.

Now let's move on to practice!

As an example, I will create a rough illustration of ``a girl passing by someone she has a crush on in the hallway.''

Step1. Decide on the frame (rule of thirds)

Even if you were suddenly asked to draw a composition on a completely white campus, it would be quite difficult.

So, first let's draw the frame.


All you have to do is compose the frame you drew using simple shapes.


When practicing, you can write as you like without worrying about the frame ratio.

Tips: You can easily add a frame by using Clip Studio Paint's "Shape" sub tool "Rectangle".

After deciding on the frame, place a simplified character.


If you don't know where to place your character, use the special technique Rule of Thirds.

I'm sure many of you have heard of the rule of thirds. To explain it simply, it is a composition in which the frame is divided vertically and horizontally into thirds, and the main character of the illustration is placed on that line.


Furthermore, placing the main character somewhere among the four points where these lines intersect will create a well-balanced picture.


This is a very useful composition that can be used in both portrait and landscape frames.

If in doubt, try arranging them using the rule of thirds.

Place the character using it as a guideline.

Step 2. Decide on the shot

Next, decide on the size of the person in relation to the screen.


In other words, decide how much of the human body to show in the frame.


It's a full-body pose, a bust-up, or a close-up of the face.


This is called a shot.

There are seven shots: long shot, full shot, knee shot, waist shot, bust up, close up, and super close up.


Knowing this will give you more ideas for character illustration compositions.


So how should you choose your shots?


It depends on what you want your illustration to convey or show.


For example, if you want to show the character's face and expressions the most, a close-up is the way to go.If you want to show the character's face as well, but you want to tell where the character is and what they are doing, you can choose a bust that also shows the background. Up or waist up is recommended.


If you want to further convey the situation, knee shots and full shots are effective.


If you want to further convey your worldview, you can make it longer.


In most cases, the closer you get, the more subjective the picture becomes, and the closer you pull it out, the more objective the picture becomes.

This time, I want to convey the excitement of a girl, but I also want to express the story of ``I passed the person I like!'', so I decided to wear it up at the waist so that the background can also be seen.


Once that is decided, adjust the size of the character. The boy is just part of the background, and I'm going to cut it out.


The composition is almost complete, but in order to make the illustration even more complete and attractive, let's be a little more conscious about finishing touches and directing the eye.

Step 3. Add eye guidance

Eye guidance is a technique that guides the viewer's eyes to the part you want to show by arranging elements such as the background and accessories in a rhythmic manner.


Directing the eye may seem like an advanced technique, but just like with composition, don't think about it too hard, just memorize it as a simple formula.


We will introduce three commonly used eye-guiding mechanisms.

1. Flow from large to small

People's gaze tends to flow from large objects to small objects.


In this way, the main character of the illustration should be placed from the large object to the small object.


It also creates a sense of perspective, with large objects in the foreground and small objects in the back, which is highly recommended as it can bring depth to illustrations that tend to be flat.

2. Follow the line

When people see things lined up, their eyes unconsciously move along the lines.


Even if the lines are not actually drawn, you can feel the invisible lines.

Therefore, if you place the thing you want to show most at the end of the line, people's eyes will naturally focus there.


This is a good example of exaggerating the concentrated lines that are often used in manga.


If you don't know where to place the motif to create a conductor, you can place the saturated line in your draft to easily place the motif.

3. Guidance by contrast between density and density

Look at this picture. The dots are evenly arranged, with no sparseness.


There is nothing particularly eye-catching.

Now, if you change the arrangement of the dots and intentionally leave a gap in one spot among the dots, which are not uniform, but have a high density, the eye will look at that spot strangely.


The same is true vice versa.


This technique is especially suitable for illustrations with many motifs. Please, try it.

In this illustration, the girl is the main character, so I used the lines of the window, trees, etc. to guide the eye.

Here is a rough composition with clean lines. Draw an illustration using this as a draft.


What did you think.


This time, I introduced tips for creating great-looking compositions in 3 steps. You can start with just one, so give it a try!


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