How to Make Fan Art (Beginner’s Guide)

Imagining a beloved character in a creative new way is a great way to create fan art. Alternatively, you may wish to create a tribute piece for your favorite television show, anime, movie, or video game..

You want to make your fan art good, regardless of what you intend to do with it.

It wouldn’t matter if you didn’t already love the character if you weren’t going to create fan art. Just make sure the work is good quality.

You can follow a couple of tips to make sure that it’s as good as it can be, and I will share them with you today! Here’s the guide to how to make fan art!

Learn How to Make Fan Art with Different 2 Methods

Method 1: Make Fan Art on Paper

Things You Need:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Color Pencil
  • Eraser

1. Gather materials:

Gather materials for fan art

You’ll need a drawing tool and a drawing surface. A pencil and paper are recommended. 

In the case of pencils that don’t come with an eraser, you’ll need to purchase an additional eraser. In addition to pens and markers, you’ll need paint, colored pencils or markers.

2. Find character that you like:

character of fan art

You will be inspired to create fan art based on this. Find someone who inspires you greatly if you cannot find a show or character that inspires you.

You can also practice drawing from sources by finding a picture of a person or character.

3. Make a light sketch for you character:

Make a light sketch for you character

There is no requirement that a character, or anime, is in the position that the original creator has positioned it in. In your drawing, you can draw the character in whichever position you like.

  • You can, for example, put your chosen character in a more lighthearted situation if the show you’ve been inspired by usually has a serious tone.
  • Almost every sketch begins with a basic outline that indicates proportions and body parts. Draw two ovals to position the torso after indicating the spine with a single line.

4. Don’t Imitate the Original Style:

Incorporate some of your own style while taking ideas from the original artist. 

For example, you may draw the character with more or less realistic features, change the proportions of the character, or make other objects influenced by the character, such as a fashion range.

  • By changing the art style, your fan art will be a unique take on the original inspiration. You can draw an anime character using a western cartoon style if you’re taking inspiration from it. You can draw characters from a live-action show in manga style if you’re taking inspiration from one.

5. Flesh out the sketch:

Look at your sketch from a different perspective and see where you could improve it. As you sketch, erase if necessary and continue until you’re satisfied.

Complete the rough sketch by adding details, such as pockets, hair, and facial features.

  • Depending on the style you choose, the amount of detail you add will vary. A realistic drawing will necessitate the most attention to detail, such as detailed facial features, folds and creases in clothing, and anatomically correct muscle shapes, among other things. In a cartoon, you don’t need much more than basic, bold clothing and hair shapes and a simplified version of body anatomy.
  • Consider what details of the inspiration you’re drawing from stand out and define the character, whether they are obvious, such as hair color, or subtle, such as eyebrow size. Fan art should carry over these details so that it can be recognized as an original character and not a fan art.

6. Go over your sketch with pen:

over your sketch with pen

To avoid mistakes, trace it over carefully and slowly with a pen after you have the final sketch. you have the final sketch. the final sketch has been done so that you can erase all the unnecessary lines.

7. Add color or shade to the character you have finished tracing:

Add color or shade

Markers and colored pencils are the most commonly used coloring materials. Keeping it uncolored is best if you shade it with a pencil.

  • Shade your drawing by envisioning a light source in one corner or on one side. It is important to shade appropriately the darkest sides of objects and body parts facing the light source.
  • Among the coloring options available are colored pencils, illustrating markers like copics, and digital coloring programs like Photoshop. Photoshop requires scanning your inked sketch first and then opening the scanned image.

Method 2: Make fan art for illustrators

1. Lay the groundwork:

There’s more to making fan art than you might think. To be able to draw Taylor Swift, you’ll need more than just an appreciation for the artist; you’ll need technical skills as well.

Her fans should recognize your work as being drawn by her right away. That’s the only way that your work will be recognized.

So, choosing a medium and learning how to work with it is the first step to creating meaningful art.

You can choose from hundreds of different art mediums. Examples include:

  • Chalk pastels
  • Charcoal
  • Oil pastels
  • Color pencils
  • Copic markers
  • Posca paint pens
  • Graphite
  • Markers
  • Watercolor paints

You may find something else in your house that appeals to you if none of these ideas appeal to you. You can use anything from spray paint to tape to make art.

Learn how to use it once you have decided what you will use to create your fan art. Consider seeking help from an artist who already knows the craft, enrolling in a class, or watching YouTube videos.

Make sure you understand the basics of whichever niche you’re interested in. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to mix and match various mediums and come up with creative ideas.

You’re bound to inspire anyone who sees your work when it is a combination of talent and passion.

2. Develop your own style:

Beginners should develop their own style by creating something unique that’s truly their own. Put your own stamp on everything you do.

In the case of @upthehillart, they depict Harry Potter characters in a modern way. While the concept originated with JK Rowling, she completely reimagined Hermoine and Pansy Parkinson for her version of the story.

Here are some tips for developing your own style.

Look At Different Illustrators:

Make a list of all the illustrators you admire. Try to figure out what techniques they use to create their art by examining their work.

In order to draw inspiration from a variety of artists, try to include a variety of them. Print or save a piece of paper with your favorite bits of each one. Eventually, you’ll discover your own style.


Practice regularly in a sketchbook.

In the beginning, most artists aren’t completely satisfied with their work. In other words, whenever you’re drawing for the sake of drawing, you are allowed to redo anything that isn’t satisfying.

You can change the size or color of your character’s eyes if you think they are too small or too dark. You’ll find your style template by keeping the features you like and modifying the ones you don’t.

You can also improve your technical skills by practicing frequently. In this way you can accomplish two tasks at once.

Think Outside Of The Box:

Despite the fact that Pansy Parkinson attempted to hand over Harry Potter to Voldemort, @upthehillart depicted her and Hermoine as a formidable power couple.

This would never have happened in the actual books, and it is this that distinguishes this artist from the rest.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a unique style, you can use this strategy to your advantage. Set up your favorite character in a situation in which they would not want to be caught dead.

For example, @lulusketches has a drawing of Stefan and Damon, who appear in the Hogwarts diaries, on her Instagram page.

3. Use a reference photo:

Fans around the world use reference photos to create their artwork. They ground them and resist the temptation to get creative.

Therefore, you should follow suit as a beginner.

It’s tough to limit your creativity as a rookie in the fanart business without negatively impacting your work. As an artist, you are accustomed to absolute freedom. This is no longer true.

Either you have a clone of your favorite character or an unrecognizable version of it. Avoid both at all costs.

You should resemble the Avatar character you’re paying tribute to, if you’re paying homage to that character. You can only call your work fan art if the viewer can immediately identify the subject. 

In addition, when choosing a picture, make sure it emphasizes the character’s main attributes. It keeps you from straying too far from the character, even if you adore them and have studied them well.

In fan art, a character is elevated and presented in the best light. Make sure to refer to reference images.

The photo, however, should not be taken as a rigid guide, but as a rough guide. You will lose the impact and depth of your art if you copy it, so the fourth tip is don’t lose your creativity.

4. Don’t limit yourself:

The line between original and unrecognizable is hard to find when you’re learning to make fan art. However, if you want your work to be meaningful, you will have to figure it out.

Your work is a tribute to a beloved character or movie as a fan artist. You do not have to replicate the same image exactly.

Your art won’t be impactful if you try to copy the image exactly. Your viewers will notice that it is restricted.

Stan Lee didn’t envision Spiderman to be what you sketch. It’s up to you what he becomes.

Since the finished drawing should resemble the person or character you are drawing, you only need to focus on its main features. Go as far as your imagination will allow, however.

As an example, the princess from Tangled only needs a frying pan and long hair.

You will restrict yourself if you lock yourself into a design or model, and that’s never a good thing.

Consider every project with a wide-eyed attitude.

5. Share your art with the world:

Art celebrating a character or its fandom is called fan art. Therefore, sharing your work with them is the best way to improve it.

The legality of publishing a fan art work is not dependent on whether it infringes the copyright holder’s right to make money from their copyrighted work.

There are several websites where you can post your work, including Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. Decide which platform is most popular among your fans.

Discover how other artists share their work. Instagram posts will need hashtags, and Tumblr posts will need fandom tags.

Take your time when choosing a social media platform. When you do it right, you’ll establish ties with people who share your appreciation for your art, meaning they’ll share your enthusiasm for it.

It’s also worth mentioning that the digital art community is generally very supportive, so they’ll be willing to give you feedback.

Depending on their assessment, you may end up with critical insights into how you can improve it, such as selecting different outfits or fixing certain proportions.

They can also help you manage the fine line between creativity and straying too far from your subject matter since they are also fan artists.

Others have done it – so can you

You can find inspiration in this short video. With his excellent fan art, Patrick Brown was able to transition from graphic artist to Marvel artist.


Before you can make a significant impact in your fandom, you must first learn how to create fan art in its most fundamental form.

You will never be able to express your thoughts in their most authentic form unless you have this. The disappointment that comes from disappointing your idols will stifle your artistic development.

Apart from that, consider all of the illustrators who inspire you. What, aren’t all of them technically savvy?

If you want to be as successful as they are, you’ll need skill sets that are similar to theirs. Take a few art classes to get a grasp on the fundamentals of different mediums and techniques.

When you’re finished, you’ll be prepared to create meaningful artwork.

You should make an effort to create something that is distinct from your previous experiences.

Take inspiration from a character with whom you have a strong emotional connection because the best art is created by artists who have a strong emotional attachment to their work.

In a nutshell, the key to creating impactful fan art is to create something that you are passionate about. If you are able to accomplish this, your work will not only have meaning for you, but it will also be inspirational to everyone else in your fandom as a whole.

I hope you have enjoyed this post on how to create fan art and that you have taken the time to read the other fan art-related posts that I have linked to in this post.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via Instagram or the Contact Us page.

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