Since teaching that first class last fall, I’ve wanted to do one that’s more about drawing. As a fan of Mark Crilley’s, I thought it would be fun (though a little intimidating) to try and emulate his teaching style. If you’ve never seen his tutorial videos, they are usually step-by-step drawings along with Crilley’s encouraging, educational, and often comedic narration.
Chibis, a main feature on Crilley’s channel, seemed like a natural fit. They’re fairly simple, so learning the basics would be accomplishable in a one hour class. Plus chibis are inherently cute and funny, which I knew a lot of the kids would like.
Because of some scheduling conflicts, the class was moved from last fall to earlier this month.
In preparation, I made a quick guideline for chibi proportions. The focus of the class was going to be on the animated expressions, but I wanted to give the kids an idea of the head:body ratio that defines chibis. I’m not totally happy with the drawing (his face is too high, the forehead is too big) but I had to go with it.
You’d think with months of time beforehand I would have everything done earlier than the day before, but…between studying for important exams and battling old procrastination habits I didn’t have much time in the end.
I also made a sheet of basic heads for them. (I’ll have a picture and free download coming soon!) That way we could go over the expressions without having to draw a new head each time (if they wanted). I decided to add hair to the first two heads as example hairstyles.
In many of Crilley’s videos, he also recommends viewers think of designing their own characters instead of copying just what he does. I wanted to communicate that message to the class; just because I drew a girl with a ponytail doesn’t mean they had to. Art is all about creativity and I didn’t want the kids to think my way was the only way to do things (which it certainly isn’t).
These I actually did in the car a couple hours before the class. I searched the internet for a variety of expressions that were both fun and useful. Though it was a little hard limiting the number to 11. But the sketches were useful as a basis to go from. Some of the kids had specific emotions they wanted to know how to draw, and having those references made it easier for me to lead the class.
Using a big whiteboard, I drew a chibi head shape and then filled in each expression as we went. Some kids mainly used the example heads, while others changed to drawing their own. Either way, all of them did really well. The chibis were really cute! A lot of the kids added creative touches to create their own characters.
Make sure to hit the arrows on the slider below to see their awesome artwork!
I think it went great. Sometimes it’s hard to tell when the class is quiet. But some had encouraging ‘thank yous’ at the end, and were happy to share their chibis. (Thanks for sharing, everyone!) Like the bookmaking, quiet seems to equal focus. Hopefully the kids had as much fun learning about chibis as I did teaching them.
Side note: I want to give a big shout out to Mark Crilley and his amazing YouTube channel. He’s an awesome teacher and his videos taught me most of what I know about chibis. Not only that, but his channel was a major influence in my decision to start pursuing art seriously. His how-to-draw books are also really helpful and inspiring, and I highly recommend them.
If Mark Crilley should ever read this: THANK YOU for all of your videos, books, words of wisdom, and the all-important blushies!