Drawing from Memory?!

I’ve been watching “Draw-Off” series from Buzzfeed on YouTube lately. In each episode of this series, there are pairs of incredible artist/illustrator/cartoonist sit face-to-face and compete in a series of drawing challenges –my favorite is when they’re drawing famous characters from memory.

Screenshot from the episode “Animator Vs. Cartoonist Draw ’90s Characters From Memory”. I stan for Jackie!

It might sound easy peasy but it is obviously not. Let’s take Patrick Star for example. I’m sure everyone will recognize him easily. But can you recall what kind of pants he’s wearing, what his eyes’ color is, or whether he has eyebrows? Probably not.

We see a lot of characters every day in comics, in TV shows, and in memes. And yet, their details are incredibly hard to remember without a reference. Interesting, right?

After watching all episodes of the series, I feel challenged to do it too! ‘Cause why not? 😀

I chose to draw Maruko from Chibi Maruko-Chan, because she’s my favorite anime character since I was 6 or so. I think I can relate to her on so many extents at that time. She’s lazy + clumsy, likes to avoid homework/chores, fights a lot with her sister, and she likes manga that she wants to become a manga artist when she grows up. I also had the same hairstyle as her. Now that I write this, I realize we did have a lot of similarities. Hahaha😂 I never missed to watch the series at 7 AM every Sunday until it was -sadly- no longer aired on TV.

I still love her character until today and I also love to collect anything (and I really mean anything) with her image on it. I want to flex a bit so here, I’ll let you see my treasure, lol.

Please don’t judge me.

Okay now back to the drawing! No references used to create this piece. I did it digitally with Procreate on iPad; it took me 45 minutes. I tried not to copy Momoko Sakura’s style. I did it my style.😎 Here goes nothing (video taken from my Insta):

And here are the rough sketch, outlined version, and the final piece:




To be fair, the character is visually very simple: the face, the hair, and the (upper) outfit are not so hard to remember for I’m quite familiar with her images. I can’t clearly remember her lower outfit though, I only remember she’s wearing red skirt, white socks, and red shoes.

I’ve drawn her before and that doesn’t make this challenge easier. Oh, and another thing I’m struggling with is the coloring and shading. I suck big time 😀

My drawing doesn’t look 100% like Momoko Sakura’s Maruko, but I guess overall it still represents the character. I intentionally drew her not too chibi, and also made her smile a bit more mature, rather than her tilted-D mouth or that silly expression of hers (which is very adorable!).

Funny expressions of the adorably-silly Maruko. Taken from larasatinesa.com

In the end, I guess it’s a fun challenge and I find it refreshing because I’m drawing something I reaaaaally like. What do you guys think? Will you do this drawing-from-memory challenge too? Let me know if you do!

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