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Copy Ninja training guide by mayshing Copy Ninja training guide by mayshing
CD's fun Artistic copy Ninja training guide. Based on my own experience in copying... (I might color a few if i feel like it)

My own style falls somewhere in level 40-50, in the normal anime range. My copy skill is pretty high at this point if i want to spend the time for it...


:police: Don't ask me:

What Level is ________ (insert series) according to this chart?

What level am I? (my style, my work, my etc)


You can figure it out based on the chart, you are smart, you can't be too far off.

OK... ok, if you DO ask, I might answer if i feel like it. ;D
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Featured Qs:

"Why not copy photograph?"

- It's okay to copy photograph, but it's not the highest level of practice, it's also easier to make excuses for yourself for not achieving the best result with a photograph than another artwork. (Photographs are better as reference material for original work, not as good as studies samples for leveling up) But this explanation does not apply to all cases, I do use photographs, when they are really good they help. But copying another master's strokes to fix your own is not something you get from copying photos.


"How come some cartoon characters are on lower end of the scale they are much more complicated than that!"

A: READ the DISCLAIMER.

It's a lot faster to learn to "COPY" those characters based on shapes and proportion compare to "realism" or "anime and hero cartoons with anatomy" which you have to have additional anatomy knowledge to copy one really accurately.

Animation character designs ARE DESIGNED to be COPIED! They SHOULD BE EASIER to redraw and copy thus they are on lower end of the scale.

And don't lump drawing skill of copying with animation skill together. They are TWO SEPARATED SKILL SET that has core-relation to one another but you CAN have great animation without a great drawing. (Ex: Animation Vs animator)

That's why an animation with both "great animation" and "great drawing" like Beast in "Beauty and the Beast" is so precious.



"I disagree with your scale"
A: No one said you can't make your own~ :heart: You are welcome to make another and share with me which one is more difficult to you. It varies by different people.
Some who are used to realism will think Cartoon is mad hard, and those who are used to cartoon will think realism is mad hard.

I started in the middle, so I charted it based on the layers of knowledge required and time spent required for the difficulties and levels.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


:w00t: How to use:
Use the chart to compare the level where you are at in terms of your own style, and your ability to copy other people's style.

+ When to move up: If you have been copying simpler style, and can do them well, move up.

+ When to move down: When you have trouble with more complex styles, try some really simple lower level ones, you might get a few lessons you have never learned before to apply to more complex styles!

+ note: There are some skills that doesn't come from copying, if you can copy very well but cant apply to your own work when you want to, you need to try other methods (like real life models, and still life.)

+You can skip level practicing, aim for the highest, that's the point of this guide. But if you have trouble with the highest level, doing lower ones help.

+the whole point of copying is to play detective with the artwork you are copying, you have to keep asking yourself and figure out "why is the person making a stroke here? Why is the person using the color there?" If you don't do that, copying is useless.

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:dance: Sharing: You are allowed to print this, to use this chart to show anyone who need to know where they are on practice level. As long as it's non-commercial.


+ Benefit of copying: It forces you to get rid of your usual habits and learn to adapt something new, and learn the observation skill of the artist at higher level than you.

People in the past has used copying to practice, it's not a crime.

It's an important skill to level up in!

Think of it this way, when you are at level 99, and you still draw manga/anime/cartoon, you can really tell people "This is my style and I choose to be this way!" because you can also do all other styles and prove them wrong!


:iconwahplz: If you DO copy, do not, DO NOT post it on Deviantart (unless its public domain artwork, like classical paintings.) because this is a GALLERY SITE, not a STUDY site. You can post them on photobucket or facebook, tumblr, blog, no one cares.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconyukike:
Yukike Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah question: would characters from animes like Kill La Kill be considered manga/anime characters or mid-level manga/anime characters? The fashion and anatomy of the characters (in Kill la Kill) seem to be very detailed but it's also very stylized as well, almost to the point of being kinda surreal...

Also wanted to say that it was very fun going up the levels of the copy level chart in my sketchbook XD Thanks so much for posting!
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Hmmm..... I would consider it slightly harder than Naruto in the higher ranking for anime/manga because some of its details are hard to keep on turn arounds and different angles. :) 
Reply
:iconyukike:
Yukike Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, I see! Thank you very much! (recently I've been copying kill la kill frames, so I wanted to find what level I should aim at next...guess I'll be copying stuff from the category right above it XD)
Reply
:iconn0ha:
N0ha Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice work but i have a question: what if i can copy almost anything very well with the proper shading and proportions but when it comes to drawing from my imagination it becomes very hard to do simple poses (unless in the typical front view) ?
do i have then to undergo a different kind of practice ?
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Yes, that's in area of gesture drawing and still life drawing from different angles, you need ability to see shapes in 3D in your mind as well as enough gestures to get used to pulling it out fast. 
Copying will train your observation skill for distance, shapes, and color but not forms and structure.
Reply
:iconn0ha:
N0ha Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks a lot ... actually i just started gestures and figures 2 or 3 months ago but the improvement is too slow (if there's any improvement!) ... what makes me feel very upset is that i draw since i can remember i mean all the time and that only improved my "copying abilities"since i can do great in copying and coloring but i'm no match for amazing artists in my age ! :(
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Gesture wise, you need to match what a normal art student will do in 4 years at least, each class we do at least 60-90 gestures in a session.
And we do this for 3-4 months on minimum. 
We have at least 2 years of figure drawing, (18 months) 1 class on anatomy. (3 months)
Thing about self-study that's harder is potency, kind of really need to do enough to grasp the concept and it may take weeks for an individual. 

Try to match to the same amount as someone in class and get critique weekly, like on a sketches forum tread,
when on forum make your voice of appreciation really clearly, encouraging more comments, and you will get there. 
Reply
:iconn0ha:
N0ha Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm highly thankful as it's my first time getting advice in ART ! :) 
...so I've been uploading a few of my art please have a look at my gallery.
Thanks again for your time and the precious information :) 
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014  Professional Filmographer
I just took a look, you def have good sense of shape, the next step is form, so try this youtube channel and best wishes: www.youtube.com/user/ProkoTV
Reply
:icongirlanimeprincess:
GirlAnimePrincess Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm pretty sure I'm somewhere between 32 and 37.  Gonna start grinding hard!
Reply
:iconcartoonowl:
CartoonOwl Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
First thing:
INSTANT FAVE BECAUSE YOU CALLED COPYING ART TO LEARN IS "COPY NINJA" (to my friends im considered the "Copy Artist Ninja" lol xD)

Second thing: AWESOME chart! I love how you put everything into "levels" by how difficult it would be.

Third: I like the advice to NOT post the copies to DA. I mean, that is if they aren't fanart (I copy the STYLE for certain fanart--like drawing like Naruto if you are drawing a fanart of something from naruto--but a lot of times I don't post it on here because Im a horrid colorist and I don't want to bombard the world with sketches, no matter how detailed they are. orz.)

Fourth: I am striving to be at level 100 (although ill probably only hit level 99 if I work hard until I die because 100 is impossible, lol) and I feel like the famous artists are the people one can learn a lot from (I am guilty of looking at some of Davinchi's for anatomy help...)

Fifth: I REALLY ENJOYED THIS. Thanks for making it! :D
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Professional Filmographer
np. :) Glad it helps!
Reply
:iconcartoonowl:
CartoonOwl Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay! :D It does, a lot! Actually, a LOT of your stuff really helps! :iconsquee-plz:
Reply
:iconarmygeneral13:
Armygeneral13 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm at level 30. Is that good for a 15 year old?
Reply
:iconakkichan15:
akkichan15 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i'd say im at least at lvl 45-49 :P
Reply
:iconwannab3otaku:
Wannab3Otaku Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for this! Its motivated me a lot after i found out im somewhere in lvl 41-49 and i should keep pushing forward! Thanks again!
Reply
:iconvitorleone13:
vitorleone13 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
acho que estou no lvl 71
Reply
:iconhensenfm:
HensenFM Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
hahahaha realy like game MMORPG
so cool
Reply
:iconpiedonut:
Piedonut Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Student Artist
good
Reply
:iconusayfudo:
UsayFudo Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Student General Artist
Nice :D
Reply
:iconchristi109:
Christi109 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2012
.....I know this sounds silly, but could anyone check my gallery and see what level I'm at?
Reply
:iconfuegokid:
fuegokid Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012  Student Filmographer
This is quite useful, thank you for taking the time to make this~
Reply
:iconassassinxmaster:
assassinxmaster Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
im level 41-44

i suck at drawing hands and feet
Reply
:iconshamanfighter100:
Shamanfighter100 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012
I am level -5...scribbles
Reply
:iconjust-like-that:
just-like-that Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Seems useful. Do check out my gallery and comment. Thank you!
Reply
:iconakkichan15:
akkichan15 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
i can draw from level 41-49! :D i cant draw realistic or simple kind of drawings, its strange really haha XD awesome tutorial thingy!
Reply
:iconninja-of-the-curry:
Ninja-of-the-Curry Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2011  Hobbyist Filmographer
I can't draw to save my life. I think i'm at best level 2... but awesome tut!
Reply
:iconsqueek98j:
Squeek98j Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm level *looks up drawings of mine and compares them* 1? lol! <3! amazing tutorial thingy! <3
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Professional Filmographer
nah you are not level one... Not from your id unless u didn't draw that.
Reply
:iconsqueek98j:
Squeek98j Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
...AH YES! I had to think for a minute to remember what it was! And yes! I did draw it...i think during Math class when i was bored! lol! and thank you soooooooooo much!
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Professional Filmographer
:highfive:
Reply
:iconsqueek98j:
Squeek98j Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
<3!
Reply
:icong-trio:
G-Trio Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2011
Thank you. :) Really appreciate your effort to share.:hug:
Reply
:iconzorrowl:
Zorrowl Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011  Student General Artist
Level 43! :D
Reply
:iconsamano:
samano Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
So what do you think of my collection?
Reply
:iconaurorawhite:
AuroraWhite Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
at the very least, I can use this to track the progress of my sketching improvement or use it as a guide to where I should improve because I keep thinking anime is the highest level... and so on... this is useful so thanks for the upload~
Reply
:iconaurorawhite:
AuroraWhite Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
WAAAA~~ :D usefull~
Reply
:iconliciandragon:
LicianDragon Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is really interesting! I'm not one for copying but it's nice to looks at :) (think I might be at level 55 right now :giggle)

A message to other artists reading this!->Do not copy a particular artist to much! Each artist eventually develops his or her own style. If you copy someone to much, you'll get stuck in that style and everyone will know it(I'm looking at you sonic/disney style artists :stinkeye:)
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional Filmographer
agree with you. The reason i listed a bunch of styles is because some ppl never move on.
Reply
:iconliciandragon:
LicianDragon Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, ok :)
Reply
:iconkishykashy:
kishykashy Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
i dont really like the level system to rate the artists themselves, maybe if it was for how close to realistic but in my opinion an artist who develop their own style after learning anatomy would be a higher level than artists just copying anatomy. i mean i can just copy i dont really have a style, and if i really spent A LOT of time id probably be 30-40 or 41-43 on this but artists who are obviously to me to be better and have a better understanding of anatomy than me would be 20-24 or 25-29 just because of their style even though IF they drew realistic they'd be 80-90 (and i mean photocopy realistic)
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional Filmographer
this is a training chart for copying not a artist identity rating chart. o.ob I ought to be upset if that was. lol
Reply
:iconkishykashy:
kishykashy Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
oh, ok ^_^; sorry for the misunderstanding.
it seemed with the levels, and telling people to get to the next level, that just made me confused.
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional Filmographer
no problem. ^^; I know it can confuse people at times.
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I think you got the goal of this chart incorrectly. If the artist has passed knowing anatomy and can copy master painting accurately the person won't need this chart. This is for kids development. Really. But some older artists haven't even gotten to the point of a kid's development might need it as well.
Reply
:iconaiko-hirocho:
Aiko-Hirocho Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Student General Artist
oooh GW Fan :3
Reply
:iconkiku902:
kiku902 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011
lol im at level 1 -.-; and i still suck xP

but thanks for the guide~!!
Reply
:iconmasterofspirits777:
masterofspirits777 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Realy nice thing ) Thanks ) It's can be usefull.
Reply
:iconlittlechaoticgirl:
littleChaoticgirl Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
depending on my gallery can you tell me what level am i in ? if you can please ^^;

[link]
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Filmographer
45-49. And a bit lower because you haven't shown a perfect copy yet. Your coloring level is slightly higher but i don't have a chart for it yet. ^^bb If you get your linework cleaner, and pay more attention to shapes, you are ready to move up.
Reply
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