Kawaii Drawings: Learn to Draw Kawaii in 6 Months!

Kawaii Drawings by PicCandleDo you wish you could draw like this? Do you want to be able to produce kawaii drawings anytime, anywhere, and on any subject? Yes, me too!

When I first discovered the work of PicCandle (the drawing on the right), I was mesmerised.

I thought, “OMG, these are amazing.” And then I thought, “I want to draw like this!”

My Grand Plan to Learn Kawaii Drawings in 6 Months

Can it really be done? Can I learn to draw like this?

At first I felt intimidated by how awesome the drawings look, and how difficult the task seems to be…

But I kept coming back to it in my mind, week after week.

One day I was listening to a podcast by Tim Ferriss on how to learn any skill fast. That’s it!!! That’s the answer to my challenge!

I decided to apply the techniques Tim talks about to learning how to draw kawaii. I am giving myself 6 months of (somewhat) focused practice to see what can be achieved. I say “somewhat”, because I am a Mum of a very energetic toddler :). So I have very limited time to practice.

Tim Ferriss’ Method for Learning Anything Faster

The method is to break down skill into the smallest learnable units. Then select and practice the units that have the biggest effect on the desired outcome (in this case, ability to draw kawaii).

To help remember the steps, Tim suggests an acronym DiSSS (ignore the “i”): Deconstruct, Select, Sequence, Stakes.

Let’s look at how each step applies to learning kawaii.

Deconstruct

What are the simplest skills that are required to draw kawaii successfully. I started by making a list (in no particular order). I just looked at the drawings I want to create and listed what I thought to be relevant.

  • Use of materials
  • Thickness of lines
  • Ability to draw perfect circles
  • Textures
  • Balance of light and dark
  • Colour
  • Eyes
  • Mouths
  • Face shapes
  • Body shapes
  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Clothes
  • Accessories
  • Storytelling
  • Emotion
  • Interaction between objects
  • Combining different shapes in an interesting design
  • Large visual vocabulary of images (knowing how to draw many things from memory)
  • Consistency
  • Perseverance
  • Ability to colour in large areas fast and even
  • Lettering

As you can see, it’s a large and unfocused list. All over the place! But that’s ok, next step is selecting the skills that matter.

Select

I would love some advice on what skills are most important. If you can help, please leave a comment with your thoughts. I would appreciate it so much!!

I spoke with a few friends who draw to select my top skills. I also used my own experience…

I’ve concluded that the most important skills to practice are “pen skills”. If I can master the foundational skills of drawing straight lines and (almost) perfect circles, I could then focus on memorising many kinds of faces etc. But I wouldn’t be stressed about my lines looking shaky and uneven.

The rest of the skills on the list still have to be practiced, I think… But later.

I eliminated “use of materials” and “colouring in large areas” because these will be practiced as part of other skills. I also skipped “colour” because it’s not directly related to the style of kawaii that I am learning right now.

Ability to draw many things from memory is something that happens over time. I am putting this skill as a future project.

Sequence

I have sequenced the skills as follows:

  1. Pen skills: drawing lines, circles, textures, etc
  2. Character design skills: faces, accessories, hair styles etc
  3. Storytelling skills: how to make appealing drawings that have a point

Set up Stakes

I have to set up stakes to make sure that I actually show up and do the work. How will I stay accountable? How will I get through the days when I don’t feel like drawing?

Well, making this a public experiment is my way of seting up stakes :)

My Learning Schedule

I am giving myself approximately 6 months to practice. To simplify things I am assuming 4 weeks in each month. I know it’s more, but I am creating a schedule that will go over 6 months x 4 weeks = 24 weeks.

Pen skills (Months 1 – 3)

Month 1

  • Week 1: How to draw freakishly straight lines
  • Week 2: How to draw beautiful curves
  • Week 3: How to draw (almost) perfect circles
  • Week 4: How to draw squares, triangles and other shapes

Month 2

  • Week 5: Ability to space out objects evenly
  • Week 6: Thick and thin lines: how to make outlines effective with line thickness
  • Week 7: What makes “good” design
  • Week 8: Using areas of light and dark to achieve “good” design

Month 3

  • Week 9: Textures  and patterns
  • Week 10: Lettering
  • Week 11: More lettering!
  • Week 12: Combining and collaging shapes in a “good” design

Character Design (Months 4 – 5)

Month 4

  • Week 13: Eyes and mouths
  • Week 14: Faces, expressions
  • Week 15: Head and body shapes
  • Week 16: Hands and feet

Month 5

  • Week 17: Clothes
  • Week 18: Accessories
  • Week 19: Hair styles
  • Week 20: Interaction with objects

Storytelling (Month 6)

Now, I know 1 month is NOT enough to learn storytelling. This is just an introduction. My aim is to learn a few scenes that can be used for kawaii situations.

Like building a visual vocabulary of images, storytelling is an on-going practice. I will start simple and build on it.

Month 6

  • Week 21: Storytelling
  • Week 22: Narrative
  • Week 23: Evoking emotions
  • Week 24: Humour

Drawing Results Week by Week

Subscribe to my newsletter to receive exclusive drawing tutorials and get updates before they are up on the website!

Woo hoo! The challenge is all done :) Thank you so much for coming along on this journey. ♥

One Response

  1. Emily Karson March 11, 2017

Add Comment