How to draw manga characters

Hint: To learn how to draw manga characters, you need to come up with their personalities. And for, that, you need to look at yourself.

  • Take a piece of paper and write down the things you like to eat, the places you like to visit, the hobbies you like to do.  Every detail about you will help you in your quest to draw manga characters.
  • Then, sit back and enjoy this article. Once you read it and study the drawings I made a long the way, you will understand where the list you made above can guide you on how to create your own characters.

Hint: challenging your drawing skills is the only way to get better at it . So, raise the stakes. Try to draw two, three or even four different characters at once!!! \(^o^)/

First, get down the basic sketches. Don’t go crazy for perfection. Just get the sketches down.

Is this going to be a cover page for your manga? Or a scene? Is it part of a larger project? If it’s a scene, then remember to add details of where your characters are. If it’s a larger project, like you want to draw the cover of your manga story, then aside from drawing manga characters, also include details of where these characters will be….
Here is what my first sketches looked like.
Hint: I cheated. I only took the screenshots once I felt they were presentable :P
So if your first sketches weren’t presentable it’s fine!!!

Right away, as I was sketching, I pictured two girls. Maybe, I thought, they were laying on the grass looking up at the camera. Maybe this was a “spring” photoshoot for a magazine. I had so many ideas, but at this point I didn’t know much about these characters.  So, the only way to find out was to keep drawing.

Hint: Even if you are doodling, having a backstory for your drawing makes the drawing itself interesting :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once I had their eyes, their personalities were starting to come true. The shape of eyes on the girl on the right were not the usual way I draw a girl’s eyes, but I like exploring new things in my drawings! When you come across a “mistake”, meaning a shape you didn’t intend to do, but looks good, just go with it. See where it takes you!
In case you didn’t know, one of the key features in manga is the difference between the eyes of an adult and the eyes of a younger manga girl.
The younger girl will always have bigger, rounder eyes. This gives her sort of like “refreshed” and “innocent” look. Therefore, it is often related to “teen” manga girls. However, I have seen many types of manga in which all of the women had big, round eyes. So, it really depends on you and how you like them.
An older manga girl, maybe in her twenties and older, will have smaller eyes. This gives them a “matured” look.
Keep in mind, however, that no rules is set in stones. If you can break them and pull it off, then break them. (☆^ー^☆)

 

 

 

 

Next, what you want to do is add accessories. By now, you should have a vague idea of who they are. Don’t go for the obvious. Have fun! Play around with different clothing styles and you will be surprised with what you will end up. To me, it was almost natural that the girl on the right liked rock-like clothes and gothic accessories. But, as I said before, one thing you can do to make your manga unique is to bring a little bit of you in it. I love to eatAnd cooking to me is fun! So what better way than to make the “rock” girl be actually a chef!
Hint: This is where your list can help you!!! Grab one of your hobbies and use it to creature the unique features of your manga characters!
For the other girl, I wanted to do something just as unique, but I couldn’t help it! She was so cute and sweet… I had to keep her that way!

I tried many shirts for the younger girl and opted for a “jumpsuit” like design. It’s Girly, so it has flower designs. And why not? A simple, yet cute necklace. Notice how I reshaped the shoulders on the girl on the left. If she is younger, it only makes senses that her shoulders wouldn’t be as wide.

I don’t know how much you know about inking. But, there are many different ways you can ink.
I like to ink in a way that still shows it’s a drawn image. Meaning, I traced the lines more than once each time to make then thicker and a bit more pen-like.
Ideally, It would be best if I also started inking in a more “clean” way. But that could be another post ;)

 

The picture above is what my drawing looks like after I have inked it. I still have a bit more details to draw, but the hardest part (at least for me) it’s done. Adding details, coloring, perfecting it, and adding backgrounds is fun but it also takes time.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with. If you think I need to take more pictures as I draw, let me know. Usually, I get too much into my drawings that when I realize it’s time for me to take a picture, I have already jump quite ahead :P

 

And again, Ganbatte!!!  O(≧▽≦)

Naomi Husband
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Naomi Husband

Fun facts about me:
-My actual last name is Husband.
-I am obsessed with Cheese ^o^
-Before drawing manga, I studied writing, photography and the art of forgiving.
- I could use some physical activity.
-Although I have always loved dogs, lately a stray furry friend is stealing my heart.
Naomi Husband
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6 thoughts on “How to draw manga characters

  1. your article is so helpful, I feel like I could try to make my own drawings now. Your website is really helpful, encouraging and interesting. Keep it up!
    Oh and just one more thing, in the 3rd sentence you forgot a “to” (when you said “the things you like eat” and on your presentation of yourself you spelled your name and last name without any space between them (like this: “NaomiHusband”).

    1. I am so happy to hear that!!! ^o^
      And thank you for spotting those mistakes. I will try to change them in a heartbeat :D

  2. You share interesting things here. I think that your blog can go viral
    easily, but you must give it initial boost and i know how to do it, just type in google
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