Drawing Yukari Akiyama every day for a hundred days


Ach ja, as already teased in my previous drawing endeavor, the next character I would attempt to be drawing on a consistent basis is Yukari from Girls und Panzer. Why her specifically? I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine, but it might just be the tank autisms speaking. But it is a cute design, so I won’t complain.

So, since last time, how did my drawing skills improve? I haven’t particularly kept up with drawing regularly after the Kumoko post. I did attempt myself at backgrounds for a bit, but eventually gave up. Here and there, I also did some anime style drawings, but this didn’t really lead anywhere. Around half a year ago though, this changed after stumbling upon Posemaniacs. Since then, I basically do the 30 seconds drawing challenge (set to 90 seconds, lmao) on a daily basis. This helped me immensely with learning anatomy, drawing the human body in general and understanding how characters can be posed. I also started watching tutorials on specific parts of the body and am now following Excaliblader (Excal’s Art Tips), who gives great advice on common art mistakes and on how to draw anime characters.

I still wouldn’t really call what I am doing “learning to draw”, though. I am basically doing whatever most of the time, instead of actually focusing on areas I have problems with and studying anatomy, etc, but since I can clearly see some progress compared to half a year ago, I am also not doing necessarily bad per se. Is it enough to draw another character for a hundred days straight? Whether the answer would be a yes or no, it will be done regardless.

With that being said, once again, here is my way too detailed rundown of what I learned from drawing Yukari Akiyama every day for a hundred days.

The Design of Yukari Akiyama

Compared to Kumoko, explaining Yukari’s design is almost trivial. For the most part, she is just a normal cute Anime Girl™. In general, the characters in Girls und Panzer are neither particularly realistic or stylized and fall more into the moe blob territory. Her design also doesn’t really draw attention to a specific body part, isn’t notably sexualized and for the most part, she is wearing a simple sailor-style school uniform.

However, easier to explain does in no way imply easier to draw. Since, for the most part, Yukari does look like a normal anime girl, you really have to put effort into not just drawing a good anime girl, but also all the areas that differentiate her from any other human character, like the hair, eyes, expressions and stance/poses. No matter how much I botched a drawing of Kumoko, it was still very easily recognizable as Kumoko. I do not have this privilege with Yukari. If I draw her wrong, the drawing will barely resemble her.

Luckily, unlike with So I am a Spider, you can actually find production materials for Girls und Panzer and while the color designs are certainly a nice bonus, I am more interested in the character sheets themselves. Et voilà, front, back and side view, two sheets of different expressions and head angles, as well as a sheet for the tank uniform and the swimwear each. You love to see it.


From here on, you can analyze how the characters in Girls und Panzer are drawn in general, i.e. level of detail, head shape, eyes, mouth and so on, as well as the main features of Yukari.

Her eyes tend to be slightly closed, covering the top quarter of the iris, with the upper eyelashes starting leveled and then slanting downward in a soft curve going out to the sides. The bottom eyelashes are generally not drawn, but I guess the bits at the end of the upper eyelashes going down and slightly inside are supposed to indicate them. The lines (two per eye), which indicate the upper eyelids, further emphasize how the eyes are slightly closed. With eyes fully open, the upper eyelids and eyelashes go way up, revealing the rest of the iris and almost form a quarter circle. In line art, the transition between the sclera and the skin is not indicated.

There isn’t really much in terms of other facial features and the nose is also only indicated by the smallest of contour line, or the simplified head shape when in profile. I also didn’t have to bother with the ears, as they are always covered by the hair.

Speaking of which, if there is one aspect of Yukari’s design you need to nail, it is the Floof™. First of, the hair got volume! Depending on the reference, beyond just being pretty thick in general, it is also around one and a half to two heads wide. After having to draw it for a hundred times, I could go into endless detail on basically every single strand of hair, but I will try to summarize it in a more reasonable scope.

From the front, the silhouette of the hair is essentially just one big circle in the middle being overlapped by a smaller circle positioned a bit lower on each side and connecting again around the end of the neck. The outer hairline is mostly, with some exceptions, split up by smaller hair strands curving along the general shape of the hair, but broken up at times to create less smooth hair. The bangs over the forehead have a “normal” V-shape, are around the same length, but end up shorter in the middle of the face and curve (from her perspective) to the right. These are mostly grouped into six larger strands of hair, which can be broken up for additional detail, like smaller strands of hair. On her right, there is also an additional bundle of hair going almost straight to the side. Lastly, there is the hair that frames her face from the sides. These are actually just three simple lines creating this shape I can’t really describe, but it also serves as the “middle”-section connecting the bangs and the hair in the back. If you actually color it all in, it doesn’t look that overwhelming anymore.


With the exception of the direction of the bangs and this one additional strand of hair going out, the hair is actually symmetrical, though it is often varied in how the hair is broken up at places and where to draw additional details and extra hair. From the side, the hair also mostly follows along a simple cirlce, bar the area of the face and the back looks like the front, just without the additional detail of the bangs and middle section and some detail lines to indicate overlapping hair strands and depth instead. All in all, not that complicated… this fact obviously didn’t stop me from messing it up constantly.

And that’s about it. You could go into the different outfits, but for the most part, these are interchangeable anyway or not that interesting to begin with. Again, Yukari looks like any cute anime girl and her main characteristics are the eyes and hair. So, if you manage those and simply “add the rest of the girl”, you are basically settled.

Getting started and difficulties

Unlike with Kumoko, I didn’t start off with just drawing whatever came to mind. For the first few drawings, I literally just copied the Settei to get a feel for the character. This includes character height and proportions, but also just how to draw the head, hair and eyes. I also didn’t really spend a lot of time on these, partly because something something failing fast learning fast, but mostly because I didn’t want to spend as much time as I did with drawing Kumoko. I eventually abandoned this thought, because I am nowhere near a level where I can just draw something quick without much effort and have it turn out passable.

What really tripped me up was the head, or rather the face specifically. While I felt relatively confident fom the start in drawing the rest of the body, bar the more difficult poses, especially when the clothes cover up a lot of the more intricate details, I was relatively hesitant in drawing the head from any other angle than the front. The head is actually a really weird shape, even when simplified, and actually drawing a face, something I never really did in the 90 second studies, is a whole other beast. Perspective is hard and while I generally know how objects change their shape when viewed at a different angle, drawing them was and is still impossible for me. In fact, I realized I can’t even imagine simple shapes rotating or changing perspective in my head.

Like, I know how it is supposed to work, but without simplifying everything to a cube or sphere and literally drawing guidelines everywhere, I can’t for the life of me place any facial features correctly. Nose? Who knows where the tip ends. Mouth? Just draw a line somewhere at the bottom. The Eyes? Don’t even get me started. Basically every face I drew in 3/4 view looks wonky and wrong. The mouth constantly looks like a flat 2D surface, the nose ends up defying euclidean geometry above being put too low or too high and the eyes never have the correct shape for the current angle. Honestly, the only way I see this working out for me is literally copying references as many times as it needs for me to just remember how everything is supposed to look like, instead of knowing how to draw it correctly.

Also, while we are at it… why are my faces always so long? When drawing the head, everything looks fine, an then, boom, looong. Doesn’t help, that I didn’t really do much in terms of expressions. Also, why are my heads always so big compared to the rest of the body? And why are the legs always so short? God, I suck. There is a reason why Observation is a skill. You actually need to train that. Literally looking at references shouldn’t be so hard and then you start realizing 15 drawings in, that she is actually not wearing a pleated skirt, or how tight the collar wraps around the neck or how long the socks actually are… and while we are at it, the ribbon also never looks good and the shoes were the literal death of me.

Lastly, I did not do the Floof™ justice, a crime for which I should be punished to death. Especially at the sides, there is always a lot of volume missing, to the point it almost looks like it is simply flowing down. The lower parts of the sides also mostly look more random than having a specific form. I also messed up the hair flowing over the cheeks way to often, to the point it almost isn’t even recognizable as such. Different perspectives make this problem only more apparent and the way the bangs never really make sense is the final nail in the coffin.

From an exercise perspective, I fundamentally failed. Most of the times, this isn’t even Yukari I drew, but at best a dollar store variant OC based on her, considering how consistently I drew her wrong in the same way. This is also not a question of artstyle, because for that I would first still need her to be recognizable and second, have a consistent way of drawing things… which I don’t. My drawings look like someone who just started out drawing and hasn’t gotten good at any of the basics yet.

Ideas and Poses

Compared to drawing Kumoko, I guess you could say I became a lot less ambitious in what context I would draw Yukari in. In most cases, it is a simple pose that isn’t even connected to a specific action. She ist mostly just standing or sitting in front of an empty background, especially in the second half. For the most part, I have completely foregone any theme and just drew her idling in her school uniform. There are some days I drew something more specific, but these are few and far between and mostly came to me because I stumbled on some other art that inspired it. There are also drawing #25, #50 and #75, which are just references to other media… god, the Pokémon one looks so bad :D.

I also tended to be a lot more on the safe side in how I drew everything, but this was actually by design. It was clear from the get go, that I wouldn’t be able to draw anything with difficult angles or creative compositions. I mean, just look at any of the drawing where I attempted to add depth or any kind of foreshortening. As such, it’s mostly full or half body drawings with a very limited range of angles and sense of motion where you are mostly just directly looking at her. I mean, for learning to draw a character, this might not actually be that bad of an idea at first, but it also means that most drawings are rather boring.

In terms of the actual poses, I abused the hell out of Posemaniacs. I essentially used the 30 seconds drawing challenge as a random pose generator and kept on generating new poses, until I saw something I liked. I also sometimes looked through the poses of specific collections (Let’s be honest here, the “sexy” tag was the most helpful for surprisingly non-horny reasons), if I had something more concrete in mind. I then drew most of the body with these poses as a reference and later added the clothes and head on top. I guess there is one benefit to drawing traditionally: I literally could not trace, even when I really wanted to, so I had to be pretty selective in what poses I would even attempt.


And that’s about it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I have less to say than in my Kumoko post, especially when the bottom line is, that I suck at drawing and should never pick up a pencil ever again in my entire life… okay, maybe I shouldn’t go that far, but I can assure you that every drawing that looks fine was merely so by accident. It is also a bit demotivating to not see me improve the same way I did when drawing Kumoko. I would be lying if I were to say I didn’t improve at all, since the average drawing eventually looked slightly better down the line, but looking back at my favorites, these popped up completely random and are not indicative of how good I was at the time.

Something I didn’t know how to mention was my struggle with cleaning up the drawings. This was also made significantly more difficult, as my eraser slowly started disintegrating and being unable to erase for a good amount of the drawings. #64, is in tribute of it. May it rest in small broken pieces. I was generally also too lazy to first draw a sketch and then erase everything before drawing properly on top, which is why some of them look very dirty.

This time, I also actually bothered properly scanning the drawings, instead of taking a picture on my phone and perspective transforming them to fit. The scans themselves look a bit weird, since I didn’t want to separate the individual sheets of paper from the block, but at least the lighting is consistent and resolution goes brrr.

Lastly, I want to showcase some of my favorite drawings, as well as some special ones:

  • #65 is by far the best thing I have ever drawn. I absolutely cooked with this one, right? Not sure how or why this turned out so good, but I am damn proud of it!
  • #71 is a well deserving second place
  • #8, #11, #13, #26, #40, #48, #56, #67, #77, #78, #82, #86, #97, #98 and #100 belong all in the honorable mentions
  • #9 is just kinda nice. It is not the best drawn image, but between the vibe and the facial expression, it is very cute
  • #16 got accidentally hit by the Shoujo Beam
  • #30 is kind of mesmerizing… something about the eyes… and I like the background characters in this one very much
  • #38 could have been so good, if drawn correctly…
  • #58 is so cursed. This is actually my best attempt at drawing from a different perspective, but the eyes, in combination with the animal traits, just makes it so off-putting
  • #69 is the only time I drew Miho even close to resembling her actual design

I will continue to draw eventually, but for now, I want to take a small break. A lot of days, I barely had time to draw and at some other days, my motivation to do so was basically non-existent. I also realize that I really need to study some more basics, as they will only help me further down the line. Not sure if I will ever do these “100 drawings every day” again, but if I do, I already have an idea of what I am going to draw next time.

If you are interested in all one hundred drawings of Yukari, they are available on my Google Drive.

local_offer Girls und Panzer
folder Arts & Crafts
calendar_today 2024