Made in Abyss | How to Draw Nanachi

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Made in Abyss is insane. That sums it up pretty much for me. I didn’t know what to expect when I first started to watch the series. The characters are very close to chibi like (big head, small bodies). Not a fan of that style. So I was more than hesitant at the beginning. But what captivated me was the more than awesome story and more than awesome color scheme. It reminded me of Studio Ghibli animes. I really like the colors in this anime.
The first episode was already more than enough to be hooked. The Abyss, the Artifacts, the White Whistle characters. All are brilliantly mystified. I could almost say that this series is for the kids but damn! This series is brutal and ugly. Even “slightlysexual. Japanese just knows how to do this stuff. Back to the brutality, which totally surprised me. Especially the story of Mitty and Nanachi is just brilliantly written. That is also the thing that made me want to draw Nanachi. Nanachi has endured a rather lot.
So here is my tribute art to Made in Abyss. All credits belong to the writer Akihito Tsukushi.
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Devour reference images

I searched through DeviantArt, Google, Pinterest, my own folders. Reference images should be gathered as much as possible. Mostly I looked for colors, facial expressions, clothing details and such. It is always important to include needed things for the character. Mainly so, that the one watching the image recognizes the character. Giving the viewer those good feelings.
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Drawing is hard but with practice becomes easier

I had a rough and rocky road with this one as it just didn’t come to me naturally. I had to create a few iterations before finally finding my way of showing Nanachi. First I thought of doing half body image but it just didn’t go right. Then I changed to full body… and no. Then it just came to me, drawing just the upper body/head.
You should always try to find different viewpoints to draw from.
This wasn’t an easy one for me. I struggled quite a lot. Thankfully when I had the head right, everything became easier.
Nanachi_2nd_version-min

Draw from reference, it’s not your character

When drawing fan art, an artist should preserve if so chooses to keep the critical elements. Elements that define the character. If I would have drawn different eyes or head shape, I think Nanachi would have been lost. It is of course up to you to decide what you want to do with the character. I usually aim for a “realistic” interpretation of the characters. Trying to keep the main elements in check.
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Make the drawing complete

I almost thought the drawing to be complete when I added the last shadow (Shading 3). The colors were correct, shading was complete and all was looking very nice. Why not call it complete and done? When you feel the image is done, you should still question yourself. Can you do something better, is there something that you could add? Something that makes it even better? Luckily I asked myself these questions.
Nanachi_2nd_version_cel_shading_rendering-min

Bad Dream is born of past and future thoughts

Nanachi didn’t have it easy. I wanted to bring that feeling clear by placing a background that hints where the nightmares happened. After placing the background I got the final color scheme in place. Placing some thought out fill light (the red one) to appropriate places the drawing came to life.
Nanachi_2nd_version_completed-min

Hopefully, you enjoyed this short fan art tutorial post and got some new ideas for yourself. Have you watched the series and if so. Did you enjoy it? Leave a comment below.

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About Okuha

Passionate about digital art, loves drawing anime, building a business and running this project where you can get a massive amount of resources for digital art, learn new skills, and develop your art business to new heights.

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