How to Make FanArt on a Computer? 5+ Suggestions

Making fanart is legal in the US as long as you aren’t using your art to make money. That may come under the infringement of the rights. So, considering you’re only doing this to pay homage to your favorite anime or movie characters, here’s how to make fanart on your computer. 

  • You need the right software and tools.
  • Learning the basics is paramount. 
  • Execute your own style. 
  • Add layers upon layers to build character and depth. 
  • Use tools according to the intensity you need. 
  • Don’t rush yourself. 
  • Don’t mind taking inspiration. 
  • But be original. 

8 Suggestions on Making FanArt on Your Computer 

1. Gather the Right Software and Tools 

If you were to make fanart on pen and paper, you’d need different tools. But on a computer, the things you need change altogether. You’ll be transferring manual data to digital form. If your laptop or PC comes with a touchscreen and a stylus, then it’s a win-win situation for you. Otherwise, you may want to buy a digital canvas that comes with its own stylus. 

There are other touch-sensitive tablets available for drawing such as the Wacom. However, when it comes to the PC, I always recommend buying a digital canvas. It’s easy to use – almost plug and play just by inserting its USB in the computer. 

To translate your manual art into digital form, you need software. I’ve been using Adobe Illustrator and it has returned with no problem whatsoever. Besides, you can also use Adobe Photoshop Sketch, Infinite Painter, ArtFow, and PaperColor. 

2. Learn The Basics 

This isn’t rocket science, is it? Thinking about a skill without taking action is a lost cause. You don’t want to indulge in daydreaming. So, learn the basics of making art first, before jotting down lines to make your favorite character the way you want. You could take courses online from Coursera or Udemy. 

3. Stick to Your Own Style 

Many beginners face the pitfall of copying the styles of other artists when they have their own unexplored sides. I highly recommend that you should work on developing your unique presentation. How to do that? Even now as you think about your favorite character, you have a sketch in your mind. That is your style. It could be cartoonish, with a different angle to the character or anything else you could think of. Stick to your imagination and let it flow. That’s how you’d be different. 

4. Add Layers to Produce Depth 

When you start out, you may draw flat images, which is great for starters. However, as you advance your skills, don’t forget to learn the art of adding layers for depth and details. With time, steer away from flat images to create flourished 3D art. Many established artists of today use basic drawing and then layers upon layers to add finesse to the final piece. While it may seem tedious, the final image will always inspire you.

YouTube video

5. Use Tools According to the Intensity You Need

When you build layers, you would encounter the need to change the intensity of your brush or stylus strokes. A tight touch or grip over your tools will produce hard lines but to draw things that need lighter touches, you’d have to adjust your wrist and fingers, not to mention, the tools you use to do that. It’s particularly easy when you’re using touch-sensitive equipment like Wacom, but software like Adobe Illustrator also lets you do that. The way you use your tools will make a difference in the end. 

6. Don’t Rush Yourself 

All good things take time and effort. Great pieces of artwork weren’t created in a day or two. They took months and in some cases even years. Therefore, consider your fanart as the next work of great art. If you don’t consider yourself worthy of it, then who will? But to reach that pinnacle, you’d have to give yourself time. Let your skills develop to the point where you could create pieces with minimum effort. Remember though, don’t rush yourself. My process always involves first studying the character, its motivations, and then blending all that with my own inspiration.

7. Get Some Inspiration 

Talking about inspiration, you need it to get things done the way you want. There is plenty of artwork online that could give you a glimpse into what other fans like you want and how they create their artwork by bringing forth their imagination. As Khalid Hosseini says, “Creation is a thievish process.” So, to create your masterpiece, you’d have to get inspired and fuse the different pieces of your inspiration from the learned people into your art. 

8. Don’t Lose Your Originality 

Originality is something that will take your art to the millions of people out there who love the same character. Let’s be honest, they consume content in large amounts on a daily basis. To get noticed, you’d have to come up with your own creation the way you imagine it. That is original as not everyone thinks like you. When you work on it, you’ll surely stand out among the rest. Also, you may think that a piece of art is better than yours and it may be, but that still doesn’t mean that you should imitate it. Instead, stick to your own style and be unique. Trust me, there are people out there who will connect to your art more than the one you think is better than you. 

Is fan art illegal?

If it doesn’t violate any copyrighted content, then any form of art is legal. Copyright content can still be created for recreational purposes, but selling or monetizing it is prohibited.

Which app is used to make fanart?

There are plenty of applications available on the market that could be used to create fanart such as Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Illustrator. However, you need to pay a fee in order to fully benefit from them. Some of the free applications are ArtRage and MediBang Paint.

Can I draw anime characters and sell them?

Drawing anime characters and selling them online or in the offline market is highly illegal and you could possibly be prosecuted due to Copyright infringement.

How to Make FanArt on Computer – Conclusion 

Making a fanart on a computer takes time and effort. First, you need the right tools and software. After that, you’ll have to start with the basics and keep on developing your skills until you’re comfortable enough to create art from the start. The rest is all about developing layers, sticking to your own style, and taking inspiration from established artists without losing your originality.