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.
To draw manga, start with a basic outline of the head. Use sharp, zig-zag shapes for the hair, and large, expressive eyes. Draw a small nose and mouth, keeping the focus of the face on the eyes. For the rest of the body, start with the basic outline of torso, legs, and arms. Add unique clothing to the character, like a gothic style, and accessories, like bags, pets, or hats. For a less detailed character, you can borrow styles from anime to make the character look more like a cartoon.
Refine your figure. Still don’t worry about details for now, but clean up your lines, and generally just make the figure clearer. A kneaded eraser can come in useful here.
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…
Try drawing a whole character. Incorporate face, hairstyle, eyes, and expression as you work.
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.
“Manga” refers to comics and graphic novels created in Japan, but this style of comic is popular worldwide. To draw manga or illustrations in a manga style, you’ll need to practice sketching facial features, clothing styles, and other elements common to manga. You can also incorporate elements of “anime” — Japanese animation — into your drawings, as well.
Ink your drawing, more possibly with a nib pen and color, if desired. Practice over and over. Once you are confident,start reference with other popular manga on paneling and story. Then good luck with your manga!
Español: dibujar manga, Deutsch: Manga zeichnen, Italiano: Disegnare Manga, Français: dessiner des mangas, Português: Desenhar Mangá, Nederlands: Manga tekenen, Русский: рисовать манга, 中文: 画日本漫画, Čeština: Jak kreslit mangu, Bahasa Indonesia: Menggambar Manga, 日本語: マンガを描く, العربية: رسم المانجا اليابانية, ไทย: วาดมังงะ
Three Methods:Manga BasicsBorrowing from AnimeDrawing a Standard Manga FigureCommunity Q&A
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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.
With that being said, I will give you two exercises to get started:
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Draw a template of a manga head. Use this as a starting point for your manga characters.
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.
Look at where the clothing scrunches up on a figure and add lines there. If you need more help, use a reference image to give you a better idea of where the wrinkles should go.
Make the hand larger than the body and draw it in front of the body.
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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.
Draw anime-style eyes. Do it by hand, or try drawing on a computer. When you’re ready, try to use anime eyes to express emotion.
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.
Start adding detail. Start drawing in the clothes, making sure they fit the form of your character. Shonen styles character will have fancy heroic clothes,comedy style has carefree or strange clothes draw the hands and feet, and fill in the, eyes, nose, mouth, hair, etc.
Use a pencil and draw lightly so it will be easy to erase your starting lines. Make sure that your head has the right proportions. For beginners, this is a common and easy mistake. Manga and anime characters don’t have to have huge eyes to qualify as manga or anime.
A lot of manga and anime characters have eyes that are very close to actual human anatomy! Start drawing your manga before you get an instruction book (if you do) so you can gain your own style, rather than copying someone else.
At the end, very carefully go over the main lines over in nib pen. Make sure the hands drawn are relatively the size of the head, usually smaller. If you have your own anime figures, put them in front of you while drawing.
Sketch the main shapes first, then go over the lines. Practice folds and shadows too. Comedy genre characters usually have lesser folds. If you do not know how to draw certain figures or objects, do your research online as reference.
Try creating animal-based characters, such as catgirls or rabbit-inspired chibis. It will help you to add personality to your characters too: just think about the personality of the animal. For more inspirational ideas start watching anime, draw your favourite characters and then draw your very own original anime characters.
Adding details to the eyes will add more life and dimension to the character. Learn anatomy and study the human body before even attempting a full body. This will give you more body proportions as well as the right anatomy.
Practice drawing facial expressions for your characters, as these are important. There are many useful resources available from Pinterest and Google Images. Search for ‘drawing expressions reference’.
Draw most body parts with straight lines instead of curves. Facial features can be curved.
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Try observing real life objects to see where the light would fall. Shadows will usually be under folds of clothes and hair, and lighter areas will be opposite to this.
Draw the “stick men” This is the basic framework of your character. Draw the lines for where arms/legs will go and their positioning. Draw the circle for the head first, a line for the spine, a line for the shoulders (a little below the head, so there’s a neck), a line across for the hips.
It may be easier to draw circles for joints . You’re drawing a stick figure. This step is to block out the proportions and figure out what your character is doing; Standing? Sitting? A heroic pose? More things to note! Don’t feel too worried about your proportions being messed up, more practice then! Usually you can go on and copy more pictures OR copy a page from your favorite manga.
They can guide you on how to get an “active” drawing. One day you will realise a style,a way you WANT to draw,a way where the characters look right to you and everybody else. Practice hard for that day to come.
Give your manga characters a pet by drawing a dog. Once you get the basic technique down, try adapting it to different breeds.
Copy, but don’t trace! From tracing you only draw it in that moment nothing more. Copying is better, doing so then you have a concept of what you drew. Find a simple character on a manga you like or on the web.
More possibly headshots, Make sure they have relatively easy to draw hair. Fan art can be just as good as the originals. Practice drawing the pictures you have found, so you can develop a “feel” for manga style.
Things to note: Eye Styles: This varies greatly, not just between manga, but also between characters in the same series. Eyes are a very expressive feature in Manga, and a character’s eyes can tell you all about them.
Proportions: Manga style is all about manipulating proportions, your character may be anywhere from three to eight/nine heads tall. Compare to a normal human figure, which is generally six or seven.
How do I make my picture look professional even though I am an amateur?
Draw a manga boy. Change the hair, eyes and facial expression as you see fit.
Find a point in which you want the wind to be coming from. Then, you can estimate how long the character’s hair is and make it flowing the opposite of where the wind is coming from.
Flesh out your stick figure. Add weight and depth to the various parts of your stick figure and you must do it well. Head: Indicate which way it’s facing with a line, and then add the chin and cheekbones.
Remember that the chin may be very pointy depending on your style. Shorter cheek and round chin indicates cuteness. Chest/Torso: Block it in with a circle, or a simple prism – more rectangular for guys, more triangular for girls.
Make sure that with girls, the waist is thin, flaring out into rounded hips; while for guys, the shoulders are much wider, and the hips are narrow. Hips: Can be indicated with a sphere/circle. Limbs: Should be blocked in with ovals or cylinders, with circles/spheres for the joints.
Hands and feet: Can be left simple for now, though you might want to indicate their positions.
Pictures to look at for practice, especially for eyes (you can’t draw if you don’t know how to; study on how to flesh out and add detail)
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Add unique manga clothing styles. Start by tracing the clothing over a basic form, then erasing unnecessary lines.
You can’t. Impatience will ultimately destroy your style in an effort to get professional looking manga. Take your time and get better as you go.
Add manga-style eyes. As with hair, eyes are an instantly recognizable hallmark of manga drawing.
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.
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How do I make a character seem to be reaching towards the viewer?
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!
Blending pencil (used when shading not required at the starting point)
Try drawing gothic-style manga clothing. This usually incorporates features such as top hats and petticoats.
Here are 10 things you must know in order to successfully drawing manga!
Add some facial expressions to your manga faces. These can help communicate emotion in your characters, expressions are very important in drawing manga.
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.
To draw the same character is kind of tough. Have an original image of the character for guidance, and use templates of people in different positions/angles and imitate them. Keep a sketchbook to try out different perspectives until you’re happy with them.
Draw a manga robot. Try combining the shapes into different robots as you get more comfortable with the technique.
Manga are typically done in black and white, but you can color it using things like watercolor, gouache, Copic markers, etc.
Do in pencil first, then lightly shade it before drawing in the lines you want with ink/pen.
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.”
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Add shading in the iris and white patches, as if your character was looking into a light.
Start with manga hair. Hair is usually one of the traits that instantly identifies a character as manga-style. When you’re comfortable with these steps, move on to more complicated styles, and add shine to the hair in zigzag patterns.
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.
Clean up and get ready for inking. Erase any other guidelines, and make sure you know which ones you want to keep. Again, this is one place a kneaded eraser comes in handy.
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.
Use the ‘head’ rule: the body is roughly 5 heads tall and the shoulders are 2 heads outward.