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Fast and Easy Drawing Idea – Draw This Again

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In this article, I go through one of the easiest but also fastest drawing idea imaginable. “Draw this again” is arguably one of the best drawing ideas you can have. It’s a lot of fun, you get to see how you have improved over the years, and you get to compare your old and new drawings.


Key Takeaways

  • Draw this again” is a fast and easy drawing idea and, overall, a fun challenge to take on.
  • You can compare your old and new drawings and see how and in which areas you have improved.
  • You don’t need to “invent” a new idea.
  • You can use your old drawing as the inspiration for the new one.
  • You can expand or simplify the original idea and see how your imagination has improved over the years.

Starting Point for the Drawing

I have always loved these ‘draw this again challenges’ and ‘draw this again’ themed drawings. It’s probably the best way to see your artistic progress.

When I was younger and still drawing with traditional mediums. I drew this angel vs. devil illustration. I named it ‘Life and Imagination’ back then. I think it showed what imagination could do.

Old Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
Old artwork done with Copic markers and Sakura Pigma Micron pens

In the center of the drawing was a tree, representing both sides, good and evil. Yggdrasil, if you may call it. I haven’t photographed too many of my earlier traditional works, but this was one I was super proud of and wanted to commemorate.

Digital art and the new art style

Time passed, and I moved on to create art digitally. Years went by, and art style changed a lot during those years, from semi-realism to anime and cel shading, finally settling to the latter one.

Ever since I switched to digital art, I have had this desire to draw this particular drawing again. Now that I had found my anime art style and thought I was ready to draw this again, I jumped on it and started the drawing process.

The concept for the drawing

The concept stayed the same. It didn’t change too much down the road. There is still a balance of good and evil present in the illustration in the form of an angel and a devil. And in the center lives a totem of balance. I switched the tree in the previous drawing to a symbol of an unknown element. It is like a stone, but a tree also, but in gold.

Brainstorming and Initial Thoughts

The nice thing about the draw this again challenge is that you don’t need to brainstorm the concept too much, but you might want to think about how can you expand what has already been drawn.

I wanted the drawing to show life and imagination. So I needed to gear up and take the illustration to another level. Now, in a way, I already knew the drawing would look so much different just because I was drawing digitally.

Finding ideas for the drawing

I always start my drawings by collecting reference images as much as needed. I always try to combine elements and ideas from multiple reference images. Creating a new version of already established ideas, I think that part is called creativity in some way.

You combine things and pictures you have seen before with something that hasn’t been seen before. That part is the imagination and creativity that lives inside you.

Sketching the Devil

When I have the needed resources at hand, I start to draw the first idea down. I started with the devil.

I do not want to make the drawing look too much the same as the original. There has to be an evolution of the drawing, and I want to show it. In the original illustration, the devil was like a stone statue with a living snake on the forehead.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
Rough sketch of the devil

I wanted the devil to be alive and quite intimidating, to show that it has some serious strength and power. Now, I am only focusing on the devil and nothing else. I do not think about the whole illustration yet.

Focusing on the facial expression first

The first thing I always draw is the face, and I have to make it look good. People always focus on the facial area first, especially on the eyes, so I also need to focus on that part first.

For me, drawing gets interesting after I have outlined some elements to final status or close to final. The face is the first thing I draw when I am designing characters. And I create a lot of them. So when I have the facial expression completed, I can move on to other elements.

I had a lot of ideas for the devil and some ideas I left out, such as the gate in the background. It was a lot of going back and forth. So at this point, I decided that I would add the wing that was already present in the original drawing. I didn’t include the snake as I felt that wasn’t needed.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
A gate at the background, which was later ditched

If I hadn’t added the wing, it would have deferred too much from the original drawing, so I guess it was a good call. I think the sketch was complete, and I could move on to the next one, which was the balance totem.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
Added wing to the background and to the foreground

Sketching the Center Object

Repeating myself here, but I started to look for references for the centerpiece. I have this folder called ‘Inspirational’ on my computer, and every time I find a picture that resonates with me, I save the image to this folder.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
The initial concept of the “tree” or the “Balance Totem”

It’s convenient that I had once saved some cool-looking sketches of rocks, so I chose those to be the main idea for the centerpiece.

I knew from the start that this piece had to have two different sides of the same thing; the other going corrupt and the other side flourishing of life. I didn’t want it to be precisely the same idea I had with the previous tree, so I did something slightly different.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
I also tried adding a cube kind of object to the middle, but it didn’t work out with the overall concept
Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
Rough sketch of the centerpiece called Balance Totem

I designed a platform that would hold the totem and also added a river and some natural elements to showcase the size. However though, the idea just didn’t come through, and I decided to simplify the design a bit. Removing the river and trees, and other parts from the illustration.

At one point, I also added clouds to the drawing to emphasize the size of the totem. That didn’t work out either, so yet again, I removed those.

As you can see, creating a new illustration (even with an idea in place) is sometimes a lot of trial and error. That is because you are expanding the initial idea you had. though you also have the option to contract and simplify the original idea.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
The sketch of the Balance Totem

Sketching the Angel

I struggled a lot between doing a gentle and fragile kind of looking angel. Or would I go for a ‘challenger type’ of angel? I went for the challenger. The “devil” is already looking slightly intimidating, so I thought the angel should also be kind of a threat but in a good way — someone who could challenge the devil in a fight.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
The rough sketch of an angel

I once thought that using reference images was somewhat cheating. Now, I think they are critical to have.

I really can’t draw without reference images. Surely I can draw simple elements and objects, but when things get complicated, reference images help.

Lips, eyelids, all those kinds of things had to be checked and looked to see if I was going in the right direction. When I finally found the perfect facial expression, challenging yet kind, I was happy and could move on to the next part, the hair.

I love drawing hair. I wanted it to be flowy and give this very airy feel to it. So I had to draw a lot of flowy lines without too much thinking or controlling the brush strokes. This way, I could create a lot of hairlines fast.

Drawing wings for the angel

Drawing the feathers and the wing(s) was a challenge. However, when I finally got a nice idea behind the structure and how to form the wings, it was a lot smoother road from there.

If you are facing a challenge with some particular elements, you are trying to draw. One solution could be that you get a concept behind it — a way to draw things in a way. How to approach the illustration and what kind of result you are going for. And, when you have that, you have a much smoother road ahead.

I got the small feathers concept to my head and started to build from there. Once I got the angel completed, I was ready to draw all the lines there were (devil, totem, and angel), and damn there were a lot of them.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
The rough sketch of the angel

Drawing the Line Art

I started with the devil as that was the first one I drew when I started this illustration. Progressing the drawing systematically.

I chose a 6px width brush that had this charming texture, knowing that there was going to be an insane amount of lines to be drawn.

Choosing a small brush, I knew the image wouldn’t get cluttered with too many thick lines. I also ensured that I had the correct canvas settings before moving on to the drawing. One thing you shouldn’t miss is adjusting the canvas size.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
Compiling the sketches together

Size of the drawing

The original illustration was made up of 3 x A3 papers. So it was only natural to select that size for this illustration too. I’m also used to drawing at that size when doing single illustrations. Though in this case, there were 3 x those, so it was a bit different.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
3 x A# sketches compiled together. Showcases the amount of line art needed to be drawn.

Making a mistake when choosing a canvas size would be awful. I mean, drawing this complex artwork only to realize you had the wrong settings can be devastating, to say the least. I have experienced it before, and luckily I had a happy mistake there, but not always does it go that way. Ensure you have the correct settings in place before moving on with the line art.

I knew that drawing the line art would take time. So I decided to do it in small pieces. Otherwise, I would have injured my hand and especially my mind.

The line art part felt like a marathon. It even felt like it would never end. Luckily though, I got it completed even though it took a massive amount of time. Also, looking at the line art later and the fact that I chose 6px width rather than 7 or 8 was the right decision. It would be a shame to realize you had the wrong brush size when you had completed a piece as massive as this.

The line art process was pretty straightforward. You only have to draw on top of the sketch lines, and that’s it. Making minor adjustments along the road, here and there. To make it better overall. There is no need for you to follow the sketch lines precisely. Just make sure to get the lines to look good.

Coloring the Drawing

I decided to start the coloring process with the angel. I felt it was an inferior drawing compared to the rest. So I decided to put all the effort in and make it beautiful. I noticed some mistakes in the line art part, so I first fixed those. Also, during the coloring process, I noticed some colors leaking. So I corrected those as well.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again

I have this weird habit of wanting to get the drawing to a certain point, just like I mentioned before. I want to get the drawing to look good to get that good feeling for myself. The feeling makes the drawing process that much more enjoyable.

While coloring the angels clothing, I quickly noticed that it didn’t go well. So I had to fix it a bit. I also wanted to add some decorations to the hair. Now, this is something you don’t want to do too often, adding elements at this stage of the drawing.

Like I have said previously, correcting mistakes later on is difficult and very time-consuming. So ensure you have thought out at least 95% of the drawing in advance. So you don’t have to add elements later on.

The design of the angel felt empty

When I looked at the image, I felt it was missing details. So I made a few changes here and there. Like I mentioned, the decorations and those kinds of things. Luckily I could backtrack a bit and make the changes at this stage without too much of a hassle. It would have been a disaster if I had made the changes significantly later.

While I colored the angel (the first time/the first pass), I knew I would most likely change the colors a bit in the end, so I left some room for improvement. I had to think through the coloring carefully, considering the size of the drawing and its complexity.

At this stage, I hadn’t yet started coloring the devil. So, of course, the devils’ colors also affect the angels’ colors. There has to be a nice contrast between the beings, and thus I left the final coloring right to the end of the process.

Have to say that having a specific process on drawing illustrations helped here. I already know when and how I will be coloring the devil. So, I can already plan how the devil will come together—all thanks to a particular drawing process.

Coloring and shading the balance totem (angel side)

So when I felt the angel was completed. I moved on to the ‘totem’ part. Yet again, the starting point was to lay out some primary base colors here and there to get some vibe to it. To see where it goes.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again

Quickly moving on to shade the totem, I placed a light-colored background and selected the same shading color that I previously used while shading the angel.

The shading process was pretty straightforward and also quite fast to produce. The angel had a light source directed from the front (because of the outer rings light source things). Totem, on the other hand, had a light source from above.

I am used to shading with a light source up above. So the process was quite straightforward. But for now, I had only created around 50% of the drawing.

So instead of telling how I colored and shaded the devil and totem. I will give you a quick summary of how it all went.

Coloring and shading the devil’s side

With the devil, I wanted a very sinister look for him, and one way to emphasize just that was to use a light source beneath the character. This way, I could give him a more powerful presence than if the light would have come from the front, just like with the angel.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
Light source coming from below helps create a more sinister look for the character.

I also knew the devil was to be ‘in the shadows,’ so I chose rather dark colors for him. Coloring was pretty easy, though quite laborious. After I had a nice feel for the colors, I started the shading process. As mentioned before, I chose a light source from below and went with it.

If you are having difficulties depicting light sources, search for a reference image and try to figure things out from that image.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again
Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again

The balance totem

I slightly started to shade the totem already in the devil drawing but soon noticed that it’s rather hard to make it consistent when I don’t see the other half.

It was time to unite the drawings together. I had previously split the drawings into two halves just for computer performance. But I went for it, and luckily my computer could work with the huge pixel size.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again

The image at this point is quite big. 29764px x 7016px in size, to be exact. So it is quite a large file and illustration for the computer to render.

Now I had only one illustration to work on. I could easily see how to shade the totem and also how the colors were working on both sides, devil vs. angel.

This, however, created a dilemma. How do I color the totem so that the coloring would be working on both sides at the same time? I had quite a few ideas, but none of them worked as nicely as the idea of coloring it in gold.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again

Gold as a color gave me neutrality and also unified the two very different sides nicely together. Gold also gave me this god-like, divine feel for the totem. Making it look like a statue of worship. It made it strong and unwavering, something to lean on and something to respect.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again

Final Thoughts

This drawing was quite a challenge to draw. The drawing took me over 40 hours to complete. It weighs in at 2.5 Gb in size, with dimensions being 29764px x 7016px / 1260mm x 297mm / 49.6 inch x 11.7 inches. Even the final PNG file is 123 MB in size. So this was quite something to draw on.

I drew the whole drawing at the span of 106 days / 15 weeks. But in my defense. I took a lot of breaks between drawing sessions just because this drawing was so much to handle.

Fast and Easy Drawing Idea - Draw This Again

I also got bored many times while drawing it. Though never on my mind was I quitting or giving up on it. I wanted this drawing to be a masterpiece, and it is. I think this is one of those achievements I would like artists to take now and then. I know a lot of artists that have completed drawings that took 40-100 hours. Though in my opinion, the results have always been staggering.

I am proud of the end result and really do feel the increase in creativity in me. And so I think these ‘draw this again’ challenges are an excellent way for you to see how far you’ve come.

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On top is the original drawing created in 2006, and below is the digital version created in 2018
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Okuha

Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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