Different Types of Proportions Across Anime Styles

Anatomy is one of the aspects of drawing and cartooning that scares the heck out of new artists and caroonists. Luckily, absolutely perfect anatomy is not necessary if you’re drawing cartoons. Sure, sometimes you might want your character to look attractive or follow a particular type of anime style or cartoon style, but that’s not always 100% necessary. Illustration allows you to experiment and create your own style of art. But you’ll find it helpful to learn some of the anime styles that already exist.

Cartoon art can ignore anatomical rules that realism artists obsess over. As long as viewers can make sense of what you are trying to depict, you can really draw however you like. How you choose to draw really comes down to what you want to accomplish as an artist. If you want to draw pretty gals and dashing men, you will probably want to get the anatomy down pretty well. But sometimes certain qualities on the male and female body are exaggerated or understated. This can be seen with the highly stylized eyes and the very simplified nose. Features that are generally considered attractive are made more noticeable.

But this does not occur in all circumstances. For instance, the mouth is generally considered attractive. But it is very difficult to draw the mouth attractively. So artists typically avoid drawing mouths in an attractive manner.

Another goal of an artist might be to draw characters in a way that exaggerates their personality or comical nature. Extreme emotions are often drawn in a distorted way to indicate that this character is not meant to be taken too seriously. Innocent and nonthreatening characters are often drawn with enormous eyes, frail bodies, and nonexistent mouths. Other cartoonists completely avoid drawing a character attractively because the goal is to get the reader to not take the character too seriously.

The most noticeable difference between different styles is how the head is drawn. Anime styles usually draw the head larger than it is in real life because artists want to draw attention to the character’s facial expressions. But if the artist is striving for realism, the head might be drawn with the same proportion as a real-life head. Heads might even be drawn smaller if the goal of the artist is to draw attention to certain bodily features. This can be done comically by drawing an extremely muscular character with a tiny head in order to emphasize the muscles. This is also done seriously in comics like shoujo where artists strive to create tall, slender characters with long limbs. (I would love to know why this is. Please email me at [email protected] if you know the reason). Finally, very comical characters and mascot characters are often drawn with very large, very round heads.

Other features to pay attention to are the limbs. Shoujo and some comical characters are drawn with Stretch Armstrong arms and legs. Additionally, bodies are sometimes drawn exaggeratedly slim, making a character look like Taffy from Clay Fighters. But traditional and realistic manga and anime usually strive to have realistic arms and legs. Usually, it is only realistic arms and legs that appear attractive. Shoujo gets away with this by striving to maintain the correct form of the human body, but who exactly finds ropey-looking characters attractive. On the other end of the spectrum, the ever-popular chibi characters are drawn with tiny bodies, short arms and legs, and enormous heads. These characters are drawn as mascots or drawn to emphasize childlike behavior. These characters win over audiences with their cute faces rather than shapely bodies.

These different styles are interesting and you might even want to use one of these styles in your next drawing or manga. But remember that you are not restrained by these guidelines. But these styles exist because they have worked in the past. If you understand why they work, you should understand what will work for your own style.

Source by Alex Marisol

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