I started by doing research and sketching from references. By the end of the week I was ready to create my own design and to document the drawing steps, so that you can make one too!
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Kawaii Collage Sketches
I really wasn’t sure where to start with kawaii collaging, as I haven’t done this before. So, when in doubt — research! I turned to my “secret” teacher Zainab Khan and started copying some of her collages. I did it very rough. I was not looking to produce a final drawing, but rather to learn the techniques and the process.
I also purchased her Etsy practice sheet for ideas on drawing kawaii expressions.
Then, naturally, I decided that it’s time to create a collage of my own. Scary!! Why does it frighten me so, when the time comes to create my own designs? I don’t know… maybe these are remnants of my school days, when we were graded on everything…? But I digress.
I had to push through my resistance and just draw something. I told myself that it didn’t matter how good or bad it comes out, I just needed to do it.
After 30 minutes of internal panic I produced two sketches, and then it was time to make dinner. When I returned to my kawaii collages a couple of hours later, I was surprised to find out that they were not a complete write-off, as I thought. They were actually ok. Ok enough to post here…. umm… publicly. And a comment from my husband, “Wow, these are gooood”, helped too ;).
Here they are. On the left is my practice collage loosely based on this PicCandle design. On the right are sketches of two kawaii collages of my own.
I did these drawings very quickly, without much planning. It was the end of the day, I was tired and not thinking. Just putting pen (and pencil) to paper. Not too bad!
This experience gave me confidence. Next, I decided to draw a “planned” kawaii collage, so I can analyse and document the creative process. This way I can do it again, and I can share it with you!
Anatomy of a Kawaii Collage
Here is my drawing result :)
Ok, it’s not perfect. But it’s a good starting point. I need to keep practicing, and to make lots more drawings!
So, is there a repeatable process I can follow to create these collages? Yes! Below are 5 steps to follow. Let me know in the comments if they work for you. Or maybe you have steps of your own?
It’s actually not that difficult, once you understand the process.
How to Create a Kawaii Collage in 5 Easy Steps
- Pick a theme and decide on (or research) a few characters to collage
- Draw the main big shapes and put faces on them
- Fill around the big shapes with medium-sized fillers, such as clouds, leaves, spirals etc
- Embellish the design with lots and lots of different little charms, like stars, triangles, mini-flowers and swirls
- Fill gaps with textures, and add textures to characters to make them interesting (I created a post earlier with 40 textures to use for kawaii drawings)
Kawaii Collage Tips
- The real secret to collaging is to use images that are ALREADY cute. Just arranging not-so-cute images in a collage does not improve the cuteness factor.
- Use a variety of shapes, tones and textures. Make the faces look in different directions, alternate plain areas with textured areas, use objects that are square, skinny-and-long, skinny-and-short, round, pointy, odd-shaped, etc.
- Apply principles of good design to balance the drawing and make it pleasing to the eye
Do you have any tips for creating kawaii collages? Let me know in the comments!
Drawing Time Diary
Monday, Jan 30: 1 h 50 mins
Tuesday, Jan 31: 1 h 45 mins
Wednesday, Feb 1: no drawing
Thursday, Feb 2: 25 mins
Friday, Feb 3: no drawing
Saturday, Feb 4: no drawing
Sunday, Feb 5: 50 mins
Total drawing time: 4 h 50 mins