I have tried those “how to draw books” and I hated it. I’m not here to just draw pretty pictures. Instead, I’m going to share something truly useful by pointing out some essential tips along with beginner mistakes to avoid to help you successfully start your manga drawing journey!

Sometimes this is hard to do because it takes up extra time, but if there is something you do not know how to draw, go online and look up a reference. It will make your art look so much better. Look up poses, look up props, look up environments. Do not try to draw something out of your head, because you will miss important details.

Here are 10 things you must know in order to successfully drawing manga!

Draw at least 2 characters’ full bodies. They can be whoever you want, but try to pick two fairly different characters.Write down 10 skills or techniques you want to improve in your manga drawing. Focus on those things whenever you draw.

There is a fine line between studying your favorite artist and copying them. What ends up happening when you copy other artists is you end up copying their flaws, purposefully. You need to break down what parts of their art you like and examine why you like it. You don’t want to be a carbon copy of someone else.

Getting better at art can be frustrating and sometimes it may feel like I’m scolding you, but drawing should be fun! Unless you are getting paid by someone else to draw something, no need to panic. Just relax and do your best.

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Josei characters are more realistically proportioned than the exaggerated shoujo artwork.

You shouldn’t just avoid drawing any parts of the body that you don’t want to draw, such as hiding the hands or always drawing characters from the waist up. It’s better to at least draw it, be bad at it and keep improving than ignore it altogether.

Clearly these aren’t drawn by the same person. However, are there any set or common differences in drawing or animation styles between those targeting different demographics (shoujo, shonen, seinen, josei)?

As @nhahtdh said, this is very broad, but I’ll try give an overview.

Want to learn how to practice manga? Then you’re in the right place! I call it “how to practice manga” because if you ask any artist, the key to getting better is to practice. Most tutorials just show you really pretty pictures that the artist did and it kind of expects you to just copy and redraw the same thing perfectly. This is different — I’m going to share with you actionable tips for drawing manga to help make you a better artist…

If I had my way, I’ll just draw the same characters all the time. We all have a certain “type” of character like to draw. We also have a specific gender preference we like to draw. I want to tell you there are infinite types of people you can draw; don’t just stick to just drawing pretty girls, pretty boys, teenagers, etc. You should learn how to draw everyone.

Shoujo contains a lot of flowery imagery and tends to emphasise the figures of genders – broad, manly shoulders for guys; short,slim, long-legged girls. Many of the female characters have huge eyes with eyelashes that stand out. Usually, colors used in shoujo are lighter. Many times, colors like pink, light brown, yellow and light blue are used.

With that being said, I will give you two exercises to get started:

Shounen art is usually sharper and more defined than shoujo art. Obviously, there will be more action sequences with many dynamic angles and poses. Shounen tends to use more darker colors such as black and dark blue.

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I used to hate guidelines when I first started, and it took me awhile to warm up to them — but trust me, guidelines help. They help you quickly put down a pose and compare the body shapes and sizes. Artists who use guidelines are less likely make anatomy errors. Every professional — and I do mean every professional — always starts with a skeleton before they draw their character. If you haven’t been using guidelines yet, I advise that you do.

Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when you see other artists who are better than you — especially the younger artists. But trust me: everyone had to start somewhere. Try to use them as inspiration instead of getting yourself down.

Friends and family will always say your artwork is perfect, and I’m here to tell you they are lying. Sometimes, artists end up feeding into too much positive feedback and they get too content with their artwork and they stop improving. Always seek out people that will give you an honest feedback instead of “oh, that’s cute” or “that’s really nice.”

This is probably one of the harder ones. Artists say they are OK with criticism, but what they mean is they are OK with having it go through one ear and out the other. Every critique is valid even if phrased in an impolite way, because it means something was off about your art that made someone have to point it out. Don’t just say, “It’s my style.” Your style may just be wrong. You don’t have to take every piece of criticism, but you need to listen.

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I think it’s worth noting that sometimes shows can parody the art styles of other genres – like this scene from Kore wa zombie desu ka? with a stereotypical shoujo scene.

Obviously, the manga is very much artist-dependent, but I hope this gives a rough outline.

Within genres, styles can change also. 4koma manga consists of 4 panels and is usually comedy-oriented. Because of the lack of space, usually the artists prefer to use simpler-designed characters. This is similar to many comedy-based shows that concentrate on the jokes rather than detailed, deep characters.

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Any “How to Draw Manga” tutorial that says you don’t need to know actual anatomy to draw proper anime is lying and you should burn it immediately. For any stylized art, you need to know how the real body is put together before you start exaggerating. This is a fine line between making something look stylized and something that looks like you don’t know what you’re doing.

Seinen manga is a similar contrast from shounen, being more realistically proportioned. As seinen caters for the older males, a lot of seinen targeted material is ecchi or H, so this can vary quite a bit.

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I know that every anime (and manga) has a different drawing style depending on who drew it.

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