I never got super duper into comics when I was younger – which is odd, really. So I never really got into drawing characters. And figure drawing in art classes involved a bit too much nekkid for my sensibilities. The only time I’ve ever really had to try to draw the human form much is when I got forced into picking some class to replace the Latin I wanted to take at Brown summer school when I was between my junior and senior years of high school. I picked costume design – because that seemed like the next best thing, if Latin was going to be cancelled. So I drew a lot of headless, handless, footless bodies – just torsos for awesome clothes to fit onto. Creepy, creepy mannequins (the fact that our final project was MacBeth certainly added to the creepiness factor).

So, I’ve never really gotten into drawing figures. And before I tackle the whole realistic humans thing, I think drawing fictional or exaggerated characters is a good start. And doing a style of drawing where everything is *purposefully* out of whack proportionally takes a lot of pressure off. So, chibis it is!

Actually, I had a general idea that I wanted to start with anime style stuff. And then a fellow henna artist (Jessica L.S.) suggested that I look into chibis. So I did. And I got this book. And now I am giving it a go.

What are chibis? “Chibi” means “small” in Japanese – and it implies cute. They usually have huge heads and tiny bodies.

Here is my first completed, colored chibi drawing – it’s my friend Monica. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Japanese right now, and is learning it, in hopes of eventually going to Japan. She hasn’t seen the drawing yet. (It’s about 1:30am right now….so I’ve sent it to her, but she is sleeping, as are most people with normal jobs and stuff.)

I need to get better coloring stuff. This was colored literally with crayola crayons… and then inked with a calligraphy marker, because it was the only thing that successfully made solid black lines over wax.

If someone buys me a nice full set of Prismacolor colored pencils or really nice artist markers, they will be my next chibi study 🙂 Coloring them in is kind of essential.

Chibi Monica

Chibi Monica