• Anna

Ink work - Biro art - Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck from Bleach

Bleach anime poster


There was a time when I stopped watching anime in my teens and early adulthood. You can say that I was distracted by the vices and excitements of growing up and anime was temporarily put aside. As I got older and realised that I was really a child at heart, I started watching anime again. Bleach was one of the first anime's that was re-introduced to me along with Naruto. You can say this reinforced and brought memories of my love for anime.

A common theme of great anime is the focus on relationships amongst the main protagonist and the supporting characters. The friendship between Ichigo, Rukia , Orihime, Sado, Ishida is something to behold. I believe that everyone would like to have a set of friends like them, I mean, who wouldn't?

Feature character - Nel

After drawing a few odd characters, I wanted to draw a cute character that had personality. I was torn between Kon and Nel, but then I could always draw the other, another day. Just for clarity, I am drawing the cute Nel, not the gorgeous, sexy, adult version.

Nel Arrancar adult pretty from anime Bleach

Above: Anime still of the adult, gorgeous Nel from Bleach.


Cute and Kawaii Nel from anime Bleach

Above: Anime still of cute Nel from Bleach

For now, Nel won me with her absolutely adorable face. Not only is she kawaii, but she also has a lot of detail on her face. She has the skull on her head, the scar running from her forehead down her nose, and the red strip over her nose and cheeks. I thought she would be an exciting character to draw.

The drawing

Biro, Ballpen, Pen art of Nel from anime Bleach. Black and white anime drawing by Anna Legaspi Art

Above: Biro drawing on A5 paper. Anna Legaspi 2021

Tools used

  • Mechanical pencil

  • Rubber or eraser

  • Permanent Marker Pentel Pen

  • Bic Cristal Original pen

  • Bic Cristal Original Fine pen

  • Zebra Smooth pen

  • A5 sketchbook paper (170 gsm)

  • Music from my Jazz Anime by Anna Legaspi on Spotify to set the mood. I also listened to the podcast Serial Killers.


I recently purchased a Zebra smooth pen. It is by far, the darkest and boldest black ink I've encountered. It bleeds a lot, but as long as I keep cleaning the nib, it works great. I also had the chance to use a variety of pens in this piece and actually use them to my advantage.

The Bic Cristal pen would be the first I'd use. It draw the fine lines which allowed me to lay the direction of my strokes and create the initial light shading. Following this, I would use the Zebra smooth pen to mark the darkest parts of the drawing. I would then use the Bic Original pen to bridge the gap between the dark and light tones.

This drawing has taken me a long time, but is also my favourite so far, particularly the hair. I was initially skeptical about Nel's hair since I wanted to create more detail compared to the reference. I decided to take my time and complete her hair one section at a time. From then, I just played it by ear. I don't know why, but the more I plan my art, sometimes the more I get stuck. Although I wasn't sure how it would turn out in the end, I am extremely pleased with the outcome.

I kind of feel a bit weird with regards to the eyes on the skull. The reference had just pure black and I was wondering if I should add more to it. I didn't want to draw the skull eyes with black biro pen since that would've taken ages and it would be an ineffective way to fill it in. Therefore, I decided to use a black permanent marker. Funnily, the permanent black marker is 'lighter' than the Zebra smooth pen. To add more dimension, I added more of the Zebra smooth pen on top of the permanent marker.

Anna Legaspi Art, Biro, Ballpen, Pen art of Nel from anime Bleach. Black and white anime drawing by Anna Legaspi Art. Step by step GIFannalegaspiart, annalegaspi, Nel, Nelliel Tu Odelschwanck, Bleach, Biro art, Ballpen art, black and white, anime drawing, sketch, art,

Up Next

For next week, I'm finally creating an original piece using ink work. I've drawn a few characters now and I've learned a fair amount from the various references I've used. I'm excited to try the skills I've learned and apply it in creating something from my imagination.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my thoughts on Bleach and I hope my art has made a positive contribution to your day. If you like what you've seen so far and want to follow my art journey, please follow my socials or subscribe to get emails when I've got a new post.

Remember, It's not about creating the best art, but creating art that makes you happy!

All the best and until next time!

Lots of love and positivity,