Recently, self-taught artist Yuuki Tokuda posted an illustration her made of model-turned-pop-star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. It’s a wonderful piece by itself, but as an added bonus he outlines the steps it took to create this picture all on his Twitter account.

So you too can create your own Pamyu Pamyu by following his steps, all you need are a few supplies and a whole lot of dedication. To give you an idea of how much dedication, this illustration took over 50 hours to draw. If you still want to try, here’s how it was done.

If you’re not familiar with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, you might not have been one of the 50 million people worldwide who were charmed, confused, and/or creeped-out by her hit music video Ponponpon.

Although she was a working model and blogger originally, it was this video that catapulted her fame around the world along with her use of Harajuku fashion sense. She recently wrapped up a world tour entertaining her legions of fans.

We can only assume Tokuda is among those fans after spending over 50 hours making such a detailed and lifelike depiction of Pamyu Pamyu. So without further ado, here’s how it’s done.

First, Tokuda shows us the tools of the trade. You’ll need some high quality paper, a kneaded eraser, tissue, cotton swabs, a 0.4mm mechanical pencil, a regular 6B pencil, and 10B pencil.

Tokuda starts with the eyes. As he explains, the eyes are the most important part of the face. If you get the size and spacing even a little wrong, your picture can look like a completely different person. Tokuda had to make several attempts before getting it just right.

Five hours later and the eyes are finished. The outlines of the eyes were drawn with the mechanical pencil and the shading was done using a cotton swab.

Next up is the nose. Tokuda says that lines should only be drawn for the nostrils. Everything else should be just shaded in with a cotton swab.

One hour later and the nose looks like it’s coming out of the paper.

Then the mouth is made. The outline is again drawn with the mechanical pencil, and the shading which gives the sense of depth and color is done with a cotton swab.

Tokuda says that getting the right balance between the eyes, nose, and lips is the most crucial.

Now it’s time to draw the outlines of the face and hair. As you might have guessed, he drew the outlines with the mechanical pencil and then shaded it with the cotton swab.

Since a lot more shading is needed for the face, Tokuda uses the 10B pencil and rubs it into a small piece of paper. This creates a pallet for his swab-work.

Then the fun part begins: the hair. Strand by strand, Tokuda carefully and meticulously draws in each hair.

He draws the hair more densely in parts that have shadows, and more sparsely in parts that the light hits.

To add a deeper lighting effect, Tokuda uses the kneaded eraser. He pinches out a thin point in the putty-like material and “draws” in the light with it.

Each hair has to follow the right path…

Ten hours later, most people would probably be satisfied with this drawing and call it a day. Tokuda, however, feels this is only about 70 percent done and gets back to work.

He continues to blend in the hairs more and more, one by one. He alternates with the pencil and eraser.

He is thankful that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has straight hair, noting that curly hair is much harder to get right.

Another ten hours and the hair is finished. Now there are just a few finishing touches to be made. First, to get those eyelashes fuller.

Tokuda said that the eyes gave him the most trouble. In the photo he is using as a reference, Pamyu Pamyu is wearing colored contact lenses. He never drew a person with colored contacts before, he comments, and getting the right shade proved to be tricky.

He continues to touch up various places on the image making sure everything blends together just right.

Tokuda says that out-of-place hairs should also be included. If the hair is perfectly grouped together then the overall picture looks unnatural. So be sure to throw in a split-end or two.

The shadows around her neck were filled in with the 6B pencil.

Finally, he uses the tissues to “polish” the image up. This softens the shading on the face.

And we’re done: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in all of her kawaii glory. There’s nothing left to do but pass out on the floor for a day or so.

By the way, Kyary actually did see the painstakingly well-crafted picture of her on Twitter and commented thus:


It is nice that she saw it, but after spending over 50 hours drawing her likeness I would have hoped for a little more of a reaction. Oh well, everyone else thinks it’s an amazing job.

The lesson we can all learn from this is that it’s really hard to make a good drawing. If you do want to embark on this noble art, we recommend starting with someone easier like Michael Jordon or Vin Diesel.

Source: Twitter – Yuki Tokuda, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu via Naver Matome (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – warnermusicjapan