The Power of Love

Love is a powerful thing. More than a well-drawn manga, more than perfectly colored pages, what readers want; what readers crave is for a breath-taking love story that can make them fly away like cherry blossom petals.
And a Mangaka knows that.

Today, on Valentine’s Day, take a moment to reflect. Have you let your characters in your manga love who they want to love, or have you told them who to love?
Remember how it felt to love someone one. To miss them. To wish they were right there when you needed them the most. And maybe that person came and hug you. Feel that hug again and tell me if your manga has the same heart-throbbing moment. Maybe no one came and you ended up building shields around you to make sure you never believed in love again only to meet someone whom you couldn’t stop thinking about.
Feel that turmoil; that internal battle of control VS. fear. Love VS. rejection. Of yourself VS. the unknown and translate that into your work. Because if love is one of the main ingredients for a manga success, then you owe it to your readers to take them into the journey you know you are capable of.

Likewise, another great way to reflect on love and your work is by revisiting those Mangas that inspired you to be a mangaka in the first place. How did they create those powerful scenes? Was it a kiss? An argument that ended up in either character crying? A break-up?
What theme did the Mangaka explored? Betrayal? Deception? Second Chances? Love at First sight?
What an artists chooses to add or leave out in a scene is just as important so pay attention to that, too.

Last but not least, remember that romantic love is not the only love a manga has. A manga character loves many things. Friends, coworkers, classmates, places that means to them, family, their hobbies, their work, maybe they love a new pair of shoes they just bought, their diaries, tea, the list is endless.

Today, in Valentine’s day, I want to say: Thank you ^^ Thank you for all of your emails detailing me of how my posts help you. Thank you for commenting on my articles. Thank you for following The Mangaka in you in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and for liking our post.

You want to know a secret? You guys are my valentine! \(^o^)/

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone :D
Screenshot (122)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This drawing was inspired by all of you ^^

Have a post idea you think I should cover? Leave me a comment or shoot me an email and I will do my best to bring you my findings ^o^

How to Lose the Fear of Inking

1. Understand that you have mastered the sketching techniques and that, in order to not be limited to express yourself as an artist, you need to carry on to next step. This is true for any drawing stage. Once you master inking, then your next move could be to master inking with different colors, or to decide which coloring technique you will learn first. Once you learn how to color (be it digital or non-digital) then your next steps should be to master the next thing that can bring your drawing to the next level. Did you master drawing still life? How about living things? Moving things? Have you tried drawing sound? Smell? Touch?
In manga, once you learn how to stroke the lines of your pencil, adding ink to your drawing just gives it more of a finished look even if you never intend to color it. You have mastered sketching. If so, then you can master anything that comes with it :)

 

2. Realize that pencil strokes are not permanent. And depending on the paper you drew on, your drawing could fade with time. For drawings I would really like to keep around, I use “Acid-Free drawing paper” and because I hate to have loose papers all over the house, I buy sketchbooks that specifically say that. When I want to draw things that may or may not be important, I use regular sketchbook that is not acid-free because they are usually cheaper and contain double the amount of pages than the acid-free sketchbooks.
And here is where inking can save your drawing: if you happen to draw on the cheaper sketchbook because you were looking to draw anything and not your next master piece, and yet end up with a master piece, then you will not want it to fade because of the acid in the paper. So, inking that drawing can help you secure your work. Besides, when done properly, your drawing looks cooler when inked.

 

sketchbooks

 

3. Know that inking can help you master coloring techniques. Let’s say you have a drawing of a beautiful beach day and you are so eager to try your new watercolor set and then boom! You weren’t too sure how to paint with watercolor and now your drawing is forever gone… well, it doesn’t need to end this way. Instead of coloring the original drawing, you could, after your ink your drawing, make copies of the original  and use the copies, not the original, to try your new set of watercolor paint! Inking a drawing can help your printer make better copies. If you try to make copies of a drawing that you haven’t inked, then you are bound to get copies that will be missing a few lines because either the pencil strokes have smeared or because you drew with little to no pressure against the paper. Inking takes care of this. Once a drawing it’s inked, every single stroke will get perfectly photocopied for you to experiment different coloring techniques.

 

 

4. No one gets it right all the time. We all make mistakes and you shouldn’t see mistakes as failures but as proof that you are challenging yourself to swim in foreign waters. And that is a good thing. You want diversity and fun and surprise in your drawings. You don’t want it to be lifeless. You want to bring into your art parts of you and the world you live in and the more you do that, the more mistakes you are bound to make and the better your drawing skills will become. Take a notice of the dates of all of your drawings. Even in a couple of months you will see how much you have improved! Now, imagine how much will you improve in one year? Three years? Ten Years?… The possibilities are endless!

 

5. Did you know that there are more than a handful of inking techniques? This means that you can experiment and find the inking technique you feel the most comfortable! Personally, I think it is helpful to master more than one just because it adds more texture to your drawings. Of course, feeling comfortable with all of them is a plus! But the point is, don’t be anxious about not being good at one technique. There are many more you can try and master!

Inking Techniques
6. If you do mess it and you have already inked more than 50 percent of your drawing, it is totally okay to try and use a corrector! Of course, the less you use it the better. But I have seen drawings that have been corrected and you can’t really tell the artists ever used a liquid paper 0.0 Part of this is the liquid corrector they used. The higher the quality the less noticeable it will be on paper. It also depends on the amount of inking you have to correct. If you mess up a quarter of an inch of your drawing, it will be more noticeable than if you mess up one tenth of an inch.

 

7. Try to have fun with it! This is an important part that always gets forgotten. If you want to try something new the best attitude is to have fun and enjoy every part of it. I am really a nervous person so things can get harder on me than they actually are. So, before I let my fear of messing up consume me away, I always try to enjoy what I do and doing this relaxes me to the point that if I do mess up, I realize it wasn’t the end of the world ^_^

 
Share your thoughts \(^o^)/ What did you do to lose the fear to ink?

Claymore: A Feminist Review on a Popular Manga Series

 

-Disclaimer: as announced before, this is a school project and this review is meant to explore the different angles a feminist theory critic might take when reviewing Claymore. Feel free to leave your response to the review :D
-Every picture provided for this project was a courtesy of  [addlink url=”http://www.vizmanga.com” text=”http://www.vizmanga.com”]… you guys rock!! :D

 

Claymore: A Feminist Review on a Popular Manga Series

The first thing a person who has never read manga would ask is: What’s manga? At best, they would follow that question with something like, “what kind of book is it?” At worst the question might just go like, “how do you eat it?” But before we wander off about the second question, let’s answer the first.

 

What’s manga?

“Manga is a huge and lucrative business considered one of the most important Japanese cultural exports to the world today” (Ito, 2). Just like the United States, per say, has exported its culture through movies or t.v. series, japan has exported its culture through graphic-novel-like books which are widely read in Japan as well as around the world.

Just like the Marvel Comics (to name one) is widely popular in the United States, so it’s manga in Japan. In fact, manga is so popular among the Japanese people that it is purchased by anyone regardless of their age, education and social classes (Ueno, 1).
However, there are a few differences between [the Japanese] manga and [the American] comics and the main one, I would argue, would be that comics in the United States deal with more superhero-plots (think Spiderman, Hulk, Ironman) than any other plot. Manga, however, goes beyond the superhero-plot. And the proof of this is that manga is not just a book “type” but an umbrella that covers different genres depending on the targeted audience. Shojo manga, for example, “ is targeted primarily at girls from elementary school through high school, with themes like romantic love, and other themes such as fantasies, mysteries and so forward” (Ueno, 1). Ladies manga, on the other hand, “aims predominantly at adult women, dealing with things such as love, career, mother-child relations, divorce, among others (Ueno, 1). Claymore is considered a Shonen manga, which is a type of manga that targets male audience. Among the main themes that will always be found in a Shonen manga is action. And Claymore is full of it.

 

Introduction: Claymore, The Manga Series

 

claymore

 

Claymore is a “fantasy-horror manga written and illustrated by Norihiro Yagi” (Whittle, n.p.). The series are placed in a medieval world where electricity has yet to be discovered, so people mainly base their daily lives around candles, torches, carriages and foot-travels.
One recurring torment the people across towns have in common is that they are constantly hunted and eaten by monsters called Yoma who feed of human’s guts (Whittle, n.p.).
No human can match these monsters’ strength and, through unworldly experiments, an institution commonly referred in the series as “The Organization” discovered that, by inserting Yoma flesh into a person, that person can gradually match the monster’s strength enough to defeat them. Once a Yoma’s flesh has been inserted into a human body and once the human acquires these supernatural abilities, such people are considered to be “half-human and half-Yoma”. This is because certain characteristics that a normal human would have, like the need to consume food for energy and the need to sleep for at least eight-hours for example, decreases while some of the characteristics of a Yoma, like super strength and rapid regeneration, increase. However, a downside of the experiment is that eventually every “half-human, half-Yoma”, also known as Claymores, ends up becoming a Yoma. Thus the next target by any available Claymore.
It might be important to note that though man and woman alike can become a Claymore, only women are recruited by the Organization for they are able to last longer (than men) as a human before becoming a ruthless monster.

 

Claymore Analysis: Zooming in

For a girl reading these series it might feel empowering to know that women can and do pick up the swords to fight. In fact, this feeling might deepen each and every time a guy tries to step in to help a Claymore only to be put in his you-are-not-as-strong-as-me place when he realizes he is no match for neither the Yoma nor the Claymore.
However, there a key points a feminist magnifier would find conflicting with this series.

 

Key point #1: No diversity

Josh Viel writes, in his escapistmagazine.com article, “Now, the setting of Claymore isn’t particularly unique: In a fantasy world modeled on – what else? – medieval Europe, an organization consisting almost entirely of tall, blond, female warriors who wield large Claymores hunt down demonic creatures known as “Yoma” to protect humans.”
It wasn’t really until Josh pointed this out that it dawned on me: every single one of these super-powerful, fast, and veracious monster-killing Claymore is Caucasian and blond! There is no space for diversity among them whatsoever, which could lead a female reader, who has paid attention to this detail like Josh, to get the wrong idea that only Caucasian, blond women can pick up a sword and fight.
The series blames this at one point during the series by saying that those are the effects of inserting Yoma flesh into a women, but then how come the Yomas are, for the most part, black-skinned and dark-haired?

Towards the end of the series, a new Claymore is introduced in the series and, unlike the rest, Alas! She is brunette (not much of a diversity) but then the kicker: she is not as strong and as powerful as the blond ones…

If one is to argue about the importance of gender equality within a piece of work, then one must also fight that within these “equalities” –within the genders itself— there must also be an internal balance in order for every reader (in this case every female reader) to feel that they can be strong regardless of their skin and hair color or complexity.

And a group of female warriors that share the same physical traits might not really provide such balance.

 

Key point #2 : Claymore, a Shonen Manga?

[addlink url=”http://www.vizmanga.com” text=”http://www.vizmanga.com”], a popular site to read manga, categorizes Claymore as Shonen. And as mentioned before, Shonen targets male-oriented audience. But, what does it mean when something [be it a manga volume, a book, a piece of poetry and the like] is said to be male-oriented? With so many diversities in sexual orientation, and with the constant changes in gender-roles, expectations and misconceptions, what exactly does “male-oriented manga” mean?

Nathaniel Bell, in his ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ANIMATION article found in the examiner.com, says: “Overall, Claymore is an intriguing manga and decent anime. Finding a shonen with a female lead is rare enough but finding a story that can hold your interest isn’t always as easily spotted either.”
This brings to show that there has been a widely accepted idea that shonen is purely a male-ruled territory. With this in mind, then, I ask the question, if Claymore is truly a shonen manga, meaning that is meant to attract and entertain male readers, then why would it, like Nathaniel pointed out, portray women as the leaders of the series? Does it mean that Claymore is not a story meant to shine light onto usually silenced [female] voices when it comes to action manga, but that is meant to deepen our views that women, despite how strong Claymore warriors seem to be are, in the end, not as strong and powerful as men?

To explore this question, let us follow it up in the next key point.

 

Key point # 3: The symbolism behind becoming a Claymore

As stated above, within the series, Claymores are often referred as “half-human, half-yoma”. And that is because these female warriors are inserted Yoma flesh into their bodies. It is important to point out that most of these teen girls who sign up for this transformation do it voluntarily. Claire, the main character of the series for example, volunteered to become a Claymore to avenge the death of Theresa, a female warrior that was killed by a Yoma. Priscila, a former Claymore warrior who later became the monster who killed Theresa, joined the organization to become a warrior
to avenge the death of her parents who were likewise killed by a Yoma.

 

halfmonster

 

 

Once Yoma flesh is put into their bodies, these girls go through lengthy physical training and fighting techniques until they are strong enough to leave the organization to hunt for Yomas. To emphasize, the very thing Claymores are trained to hunt and kill is, literally, half of the very thing they are.
So, the paradox that a woman becomes strong enough to fight a Yoma only when she is inserted the flesh of the very thing she hates and that is rejected by the society (the gut-feeders monsters) speaks volumes about the symbolism found within the series.

Across towns, whenever the word “Claymore” is said, it is usually followed by judgmental gasps. Fear, terror, horror, and disgust are among the common reaction that the town people have. And this is shown from the very first volume (or book 1) when Claire, the protagonist of the series, arrives for the first time at a town to kill a yoma. It is not her first kill, but for the majority of the town people, it is the first time they see a Claymore.

 

claire

 

 

To the town people Claire is strong, but she is also a half-human, half-monster. She can protect the town by killing a Yoma, but that doesn’t take the stigma that she is also a monster. As a claymore, Claire has sacrificed the rest of her life and her humanity to protect and save people from Yoma and this does not, for the rest of the civilian world, take the fact that she is to be feared. : Come, do what you have to do to kill the Yoma, and leave.

If, for a moment, we were to think that Yomas in the series represent a part of womanhood that is usually rejected by male-oriented readers, then how would that change your view of the series as a whole?

Yes, women who become Claymores do so voluntarily, but once a Claymore, these warriors are under the direct control of the organization. Leaving it means death.

So, in a nutshell: If you are a woman and you don’t join them, you can be killed by a Yoma when taking a stroll on the city, or you can survive each encounter with a Yoma and always mourn your loved ones who weren’t so lucky, or you can join them, and hunt Yomas until you become a Yoma yourself or until you get killed in one of these hunts…

Is that fair? Is it fair that Claymore are only strong when they become half of what they want to kill? By becoming half of what the world seems to be disgusted by?
Key Point # 4: Portrayal of the Gender Dynamics within the Claymore world

Throughout the series, Claymores encounter men and women across towns. And usually, women are portrayed either grocery shopping, or tending their houses. It could be that the series tried to portray what a medieval gender roles were like. And if so, does the attempt of a realistic reader experience justifies the reinforcement of the expected gender roles within society? The First volume in the series sets out the tone of the story. It explains what’s going on, it introduces the main characters and their initial struggles within their world. However, the first volume also introduces us to many clues as to how women are portrayed within the series.
Let’s take a look at the first town meeting the reader is taken to. This meeting, which is of importance to the entire town for another gutless body has appeared on the streets, pretty much summarizes how important women are in the decision-making process within the communities they live:

 

town

 

In case if you miss it, let me point it out: not one women is present in this town meeting! Now, take a look again at the image above and see if you can find any….

Exactly.
Even though women are a vital part of their community (by all the things they do in their households and for the community itself) they are not present at the meeting when the chief is making the big announcement that a Claymore is to visit the town to hunt the Yoma.
In fact, as the series progresses, the absence of women in important decision-making town meetings, goes to show just how women are, again, presented in the series.

Every Inn owner in the series, every businessman, every person who has power, be it in the churches, in the cities, in the communities, even in the Organization itself, is a man!

In other words, despite the increase in interest to see in  comics magazines a reflection of women’s consciousness-raising and their position both within and outside the house (Ogi, 4), Claymore still portrays a rather distant world where career women might not truly relate to. “The following two roles are crucial to examining ladies’ comics as writing for women: the first is to present women’s desires when they are no longer girls; and the second is to offer role models to adult women” (Ogi, 4).
Therefore, maybe this series, though how appealing the idea that female warriors take the lead, is truly not a celebration of woman empowerment. Yes, Claymores are women and yes, they are strong and fight and kick asses, but in reality, they are still under male subjugation. They are still being stigmatized though they all are sacrificing their lives for the lives of others and not even that is enough for the town people in the series.

As a normal human, the women in the Claymore series have no say in what happens in their community, or their households for that matter. As female warriors who have volunteered themselves to fight off Yomas to death, they are still categorized as probably the next worst thing after Yomas themselves. So, I ask: What else must these woman give up in order for them to reach at least the status of owning a decaying Inn?

 

Claymore Analysis: Zooming Out

These Key Points are, by no means, the only to be point out. But those are possibly the very first ones that jump right of the page when you are reading the series.
As a whole, the series are extremely enjoyable, not because of the things the manga didn’t focused on, but because on the things they did. Female friendship is among the main themes within the series. The Claire, the main character, is a person willing to go to extremes for those dear to her. There is a sisterhood bond that ties these Claymores together and it is their struggles as warriors and their ups and downs what made, in my opinion, these series appealing to female readers.

So, let’s step back and wonder what the Claymore series means as a whole.
What do the series mean? I cannot answer. Haha. I can theorize and pull out my subjective rabbits of the hat, but in reality, each person, (siding with Post-modernism), will find their own meaning when reading the series.

Notwithstanding, as I put the Feminist magnifier down, I realize that there are people out there who might not read manga at all. There are also female readers who will not be attracted to the goriness in which Norihiro despicts this series. However, that doesn’t mean that female readers aren’t reading these mangas (myself included). Right now, “manga accounts for two-thirds of all graphic-novel sales in U.S. bookstores” (Ho, 1). So, even if you not everyone is reading it, there are some people that are. Therefore, it is good to be aware of what kinds of things are presented in a story. For female readers who might seek answers to what there are going through in life, revising and looking at a story from a literary perspective (not just feminism, but other theories too) might be just as useful. The perks and the liberties of the mind when one becomes aware of how things are presented and represented in a piece work does not only give insight into the someone’s else mind, but also an insight into society’s thoughts as a whole.

Work Cited

Ito, Kinko. “The Manga Culture in Japan.” Japan Studies Review.

Ogi, Fusami. “Female Subjectivity And Shoujo (Girls)Manga (Japanese Comics):Shoujo In Ladies’ Comics And Young Ladies’ Comics.” Journal Of Popular Culture 36.4 (2003): 780. Academic Search Premier. Web. 11 May 2015.

eno, Junko. “Shojo” And Adult Women: A Linguistic Analysis Of Gender Identity In “Manga” (Japanese Comics).” Women & Language 29.1 (2006): 16-25. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 6 May 2015.

Whittle, James. “Female warriors rule; Claymore (TV).” South China Morning Post. (May 6, 2007 Sunday ): 282 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2015/05/7.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/reviews/anime/6816-Anime-Review-Claymore

 

http://www.examiner.com/review/hack-and-slash-review-of-claymore-manga

http://vizmanga.com

Drawing a Halloween Anime Girl in a Witch’s Room

Every holiday should be an excuse for you to add a twist into your drawings. There are many things you can get inspired from, and a holiday-themed drawing can certainly give your blog or your Facebook page an up-to-date look. Here are the steps on drawing a Halloween-themed anime girl.

 

1. When drawing, always have at least an idea in your head. For my drawing, I new I wanted it to have “Halloween” written all over it, so that gave me the idea of drawing a girl in a witch’s room.
So first, I sketched the main character.

photo 1

 

 

 

2.Something I am noticing more and more is that the early you place the arms, the more visual control you will have over the body language of the character. Right away, after sketching her arms, I knew the character could be either excited or scared and this idea opened several doors of possibilities. 

 

photo 2

 

 

 

 

3. Every artist has their way of doing things. I like to draw with the flow. So, if nothing about the character seems difficult to draw, I keep sketching. So, I added the skirt and defined the character’s shoes a bit more. Whenever I do come across something difficult, then I leave it for last. I had rather stress over drawing the difficult parts when most of the drawing is complete, than stressing over, say the hands, when I know I still have much more to draw.

 

photo 3

 

 

 

4. The hair is one of the most attractive things in an anime girl, and I took a different approach to draw it. Over all, I have always liked wavy, well-mannered hair because mine is everything but well-mannered.  ^o^

 

photo 4 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

5. I never really pay attention to perspectives or angles until I am actually at that point in the drawing when I have to decide from what angle I am drawing. This is a bit risky, but that’s what makes drawing fun to me.  ^o^
With a ruler, you can easily draw the elements in the drawing. Just angle the ruler the same way the main character is angled in your drawing and keep that angle as a reference throughout the entire sketch.
So, in this case, my drawing was turning out to be as a tilted photographed and I loved that!

 

photo 1 (1)

 

 

 

 

6. As you add the details, keep in mind that every element in the sketch should follow the same angle. So you can either tilt the page as you draw or you can keep using the ruler.
To come up with ideas of what details to use, I strongly suggest the use of reference as an inspiration, but do not copy what you see. In the end, you want your drawings to be original.

 

photo 2 (1)

 

 

 

 

7. Something that many forget when drawing, is the floor. It’s actually rare for you to see on facebook or instagrams drawings where the artist includes the floor. If you think that adding a unique floor will add visual enjoyment to your drawing, then go for it! That’s an artist call. To me, is easy to decide. I trust my instincts. When I draw, I let my hand guide me. I try not to waste time erasing stuff. If I start to draw, say a window, then I am stubborn enough to sketch it until I feel it looks perfect to my eyes. In this case, I wanted to give the witch’s room a more haunting edge, so I sketched a floor made out of stones.

 

photo 4 (2)

 

 

 

8. And then, add the remaining details before inking or coloring your drawing!!!! ^o^
I really love this part the most, though I, myself, am still practicing with inking techniques. Here is a look on the final drawing before I color it. I ordered my first set of Copic Markers and can’t wait to get them!…. Really….. I have ordered it like a month ago now…thought it would arrived on time for this post….. oh, well.

Feel free to read more tutorials around this website  \(^o^)/

Yours, Naomi Husband.

photo (1)

 

 

 

 

How to Draw Anime Girl Profile -Basic Approach

There are many ways to draw an anime girl on profile. For this post, I decided for a more basic approach (Using a circle and a square as guide lines). I usually do it another way and I might actually do another post for that.

Draw a circle.

-when starting to draw keep in mind where your character will be in the background.

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draw a square.


-If your character is looking to the left, then place the square accordingly. Mine, for no particular reason, was looking right, so I placed the square at the bottom right side of the circle.

2

 

 

 

 

Grab a pencil and start to trace the shape of the head.


-At this step, the lines don’t need to be perfect. You want to get the main head shape down just so you can erase the circle and the square. Notice that at this point the mouth, the nose and the chin are too large. That’s okay because you can go back later and fix this.

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erase the circle and the square.


– At this point, I reshaped the nose, the chin and roughly drew the “M” shape around the mouth. To make the nose smaller, I moved the circle line more to the right and to fix the chin I redraw the it at angle. This gives the entire head a more feminine look.

 

4

 

 

 

Draw the hairline.


-Since this is a profile look, drawing an ear can be a personal preference. If your manga girl is going to have her hair out, it will probably cover her ear. Unless your character is wearing a hat or another item that can cover her ear you need to draw it. The ears should be line up where the eye will be. The size and the width of the ear it’s entirely up to you.

 

5

 

 

 

Erase the original head line.
-Doing this will give the sense that your character’s hair has taking over the back of her head.

 

6

 

 

 

 

Add the details

-At this point you can play around with your character’s hair, eyes, ears, and all the other details. Personally, I believe that you should try to portray a feeling when you a draw a character’s eye. If you have drawn this character before, then maybe you have a sense of who she is. If not, draw many expressions (or feelings) until you draw the one that makes you feel right.

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

And just add color!

 

8

 

 

 

 

-Also add shadows and extra lighting if need it.
-Adding a signature is optional. I personally like to add the main theme of the drawing if I have one. In this case it was Leaping. I was trying to draw a manga girl gazing at the sunset as she was leaping back to her most haunting memories.
Let me know what you thought of this post.
Thanks for visiting!!!  ^o^

 

 

9-20141011

 

 

 

Ganbatte \(^o^)/

Become a Better Manga artist- 10 Things you can do

Become a Better Manga Artist is the next step you should take after you master the manga drawing basics. Print this list, share it, bookmark it, or past it on your wall next to your desk. Whatever you do, make sure you cross them all out after you conquer them!

  1. Learn other drawing styles. Though your main goal is to become a better manga artist, learning and being able to draw other styles will broaden your skills and bring a new twist to your manga drawing. There are a lot of styles involved in the most successful mangas. Skip beat and One piece are just a few of them.
  2. Imitate at least one published mangaka. Imitating a published artist is important because it will teach you to draw in different styles. There is a beauty that can not be described when you are finally able to recreate a drawing done by someone who is already published in the industry. But this should be done for practicing purposes. I wouldn’t recommend you post or sale this drawing because, in the end, you are exploring. Only showcase what you feel confident to the world and what truly represents you as an artists. Anything else should be stored for your eyes only.
  3. Set yourself a deadline. This is fun and will keep you focus on your goal on becoming a better manga. Give yourself a month to come up and produce a one-shot story. Do this for at least three or four months. Then, push yourself to produce a one-shot story in three weeks now. Then in two. Then one. Repeat this over and over until you learn the fats and thins on what it takes to come up with a complete drawn and developed story. In a blink of months you will have a file full of finished stories. Who then, can turn and tell you you are not serious about drawing manga?
  4. Time yourself when you draw. Personally, I never thought about this. But in an interview I watched from Japan, a former mangaka said that when he is interviewing potential assistants, or when a publisher interviews a potential mangaka, two questions will be primarily asked: Show me some of your drawings and how long did it take you to draw each one of them.
    This interview was a realization. I needed to start timing myself to know how long did it take me to draw. I don’t think publishers ask you because they are only looking for the faster artist. Speed is important, that’s for sure, but I think that the publisher’s main goal is to know how long does it take you to produce a drawing. This will let the publisher know when to expect your finish work, so don’t lie when you are asked these questions. But now you know, time yourself.
  5. Know how to structure a story. Set yourself a whole Saturday (or whatever off day you have) and take notes of how the stories are played out as you read manga. It’s not rocket science, but it is important. Once you study at least four of your favorite manga, summarize your findings and keep this on your desk or make this the cover of your notebook. Use this summary as a compass to drive your story to success.
  6. Have a business card! In Japan, it is a custom that anyone in any kind of business owns a business card with their name, contact information (company information if applicable) and a description of who they are. This is both professional and smart. Imagine you are visiting New York, or any other major city, and you find out the person sitting next to you is someone who could potentially further you in you manga drawing career? Wouldn’t you want to have a business card that had your website in it in case you and this person started chatting about drawing? I bet you would! So, whenever you can, get yourself a business card with the most important information. And if you want to be even on a safer side, find a way to get a Japanese business card written in Japanese. Of course, you wouldn’t want to buy five hundred Japanese business card, but do get yourself at least one hundred if you can.
  7. Draw at least 500 different pages. It could be the same story, it could be many stories. But if you are serious about becoming a manga artist, then you should spend a good time drawing. Coming up with 500 complete drawings should not be done in one month. This should be done as a learning process and you will realize how far you have come when you compare your first drawing to your 500th. Five hundred drawings seems crazy, but there are many benefits from doing this: Not only will you be able to come up with faster drawings, but you will also have a portfolio. Lines will become more natural, poses and buildings you never thought you could draw, will be second nature. Just set your 500 goal, and go for it. Make sure you draw the characters in different scenarios, different time periods, and so on. Take these 500 chances to practice to challenge yourself to draw what you thought impossible.
  8. Come up with a set of main characters. The author and artist of Skip Beat confessed that Kyoko, the main character in her Skip Beat Manga, was a character she thought of since her teen years. Over time, this character went through several transformations and now Kyoko sits in the front sections of the Shojo Manga shelf. You could have one, two, or even five main characters. Draw them, get to know them and stick with them. By the time you are ready to jump into a story, any of these main characters can be the hero or heroine of your story.
  9. Come up with something that makes your stories or drawings unique. Ikeyamada Go is a well known manga artist in Japan. But at least three of his most successful stories talk about second loves and how can a character find through love after experiencing the lost of the first one. Not only does Ikeyamada Go writes stories with similar themes, but he also makes some of his character look similar to previous works. It has gotten to the point that I don’t need to see Ikeyamada’s name in his book. With only a glimpse of his characters, I can tell it’s him.
    You, too, should have something that makes your drawing unique. It could be a theme that means a lot to you, or a certain character you draw and redraw in similar ways over and over again. Whatever you decide, stick with it so when your readers find your work, then can recognize you even when they haven’t seen your name in the book yet.
  10. Believe in yourself. Though this is something you as an artist hear quite often, it’s almost impossible to remember how important this is. Belief in your skills, in your dreams and in your intuitions. I believe in Skip Beat, Inuyasha, Dragon Ball Z and many other mangas but only because at least one person believed in them first: their creators.

Draw a manga background step by step here is how

Before you draw a manga background:

Drawing a manga background is easy. But planning ahead can make it even a more enjoyable journey. Before you start sketching, it would be helpful to know beforehand in you want to include people in your manga background. If so, then keep in mind that all of the rules you will apply to the background (shadows, light source, among others) are also applied to the people within your drawing. Also, decide how far the background will be. Are you drawing a background that’s close enough to you that you can see the facial features of all the people in your drawing? Is your background so far away that people are but shadows in your drawing? Where is your manga character(s) ? What is your manga character(s) doing?

Of course you don’t need to answer all of this questions, but at least thinking about them can give you a good start.

Okay, let’s draw!!!
(If you would like to see the images large, just click on then!)

 

1. Draw a rough sketch of your manga background

Rough sketch of a manga background

  The sketch of any drawing you do doesn’t need to be pretty. Far from it. It should be visual aid, nothing more. And to stress that, I am showing you my very basic rough sketch of my manga background.
My rough sketch is not pretty, but it is helpful. With this, I have now an idea of how close my manga character is in the background.
I also know that I will be only drawing one manga character and that the character is in a private place, probably at her house.
Now it’s your turn.
Make a rough sketch of your manga background. Forget about it being perfectly drawn, just get the first ideas down. Where is your character(s)? What is your character(s) doing? What else is going on around your character(s)?

Hint: what your is character(s) doing can be a big clue of where the character will be and what elements are in your background. My character is happily chatting over the phone. It’s her house, so an open magazine on the floor and having her right leg playing with the phone cable as she gossips are clear clues that she is relaxed and that she is probably talking to someone she knows fairly well.

 

2. Refine your rough sketch and add more elements into your manga background.

Refining manga background sketch

After drawing your rough sketch, your next step should be to make the lines more clear. At this point, you should have a better sense of where your character is.
I redrew the lines of my sketch with an red ink so you could see the differences.
The house where the character is has a wooden floor, so with the red pen, I made rough lines in the floor. I also added details to the small stand on the side right of the page. The glass sliding door doesn’t have curtains, so I have added details within the glass door, so now we can see there is a balcony outside, which means she is likely on the second floor.
I have also added an extra wall which is where the phone is connected and a lamp drawn in half to give the impression that the rest of the lamp is behind the new wall…
Refining your sketches doesn’t neccesarily mean that you are just adding more elements into your manga background. It could also mean erasing elements.
What you erase is entirely up to you. You are the artist. ^o^ It’s your drawing. So feel free to experiment by adding and erasing elements until you are satisfied with what you see.
For my manga background, I deleted the cat (or dog) I had originally sketched. Also the bag on the hanger is gone.

Hint: Refine your sketches until you feel is ready to be inked.

 

3. Ink Your drawing

Inking a manga background

Grab your inking pen and trace the pencil lines of your sketch. The thickness of your inking lines depends on how you want it to look. Finer lines might give your drawing an elegant, yet fragile look. Thicker inking lines, might be visually perfect if you have added a lot of details. I drew a bookshelf with books so I figured I had inked my drawings with somewhat thick lines.
What you start inking is entirely up to you. I prefer to start inking everything but the characters.
Hint 1 : Feel free to add or erase elements at any point during your inking stage. I added a bookshelf to the left of the drawing and also the books and items in it.

Hint 2: Ink your manga background until is ready to be color. Don’t color your drawing if you still have some inking left to do. ^o^

 

4. Color your manga background with basic colors.

basic color (inking done)
Adding basic color to a manga background

When coloring, you should first start with basic colors (or the base color). This way, you can add shadows and lights later.
Coloring your drawing with basic colors will help you see how much you repeat certain colors so you can edit accordingly. For example, if you are coloring a Christmas manga background, then you would like to have more red and green colors in your drawing than if you were coloring and drawing a Halloween party. ^o^.

Hint: There are many different coloring techniques. I like to experiment. But for this manga background I wanted to start with basic colors and build from there. There are certain things I colored from start to finish early on (like the sky for example) and you will know why later ^o^.

 

5. Add darker tones and shadows to add depth into your drawing.

 

Adding a second color layer

This is, to me, the fun part. ^o^
The inking is done, the basic coloring is done. All that is left to do is to play around with the tones and shadows.
Notice how the lamp now has lighting effect. Also the wall and the bookshelf is slightly darker since the light source (the lamp) is behind the wall. Notice the lighting different in the wooden floor between the orange wall and the pants of the manga character. In summary, every detail you can add to further proof the light source, the more depth you are adding to your drawing.
Some manga artists like to draw less realistic manga or use lighter colors. Again, the choice is yours. Just as your favorite manga artists made their choices when coloring and drawing the covers of their mangas, you too should start experimenting with coloring and drawing techniques.
Hint: My personal advice on coloring techniques is to experiment with different techniques until you find the one you identified the most with.
^o^

 

6. Add lighting effects.

lights
Adding lighting effects to a manga background

Do you want to know why I colored the night sky from start to finish early on in the coloring stage? Because I wanted to know if I was going to have a moon peeking out through it. Having a moon, means that there is an additional light source. And by having the moonlight reflected on the floor and on the manga character, I further proof that the moon is really up in the sky. ^o^

I also added new shadows here and there. Like the shadow at the feet of the small desk on the left and the shadow on the wooden floor of the hanger, by the green wall.

 

 

7. Give your manga background the final touch!

After your coloring is done, take a last look at your drawing. Is there anything that will benefit your drawing if added? Are there more elements you can add to further proof your character’s personality?
Is your character in love with taking pictures? Then why don’t you add a camera somewhere in your drawing? Is your drawing too green? Then add another color that will balance out the green. In this case, I added a red sofa on the upper right side.
Don’t get lost with details. Sometimes drawing less is more. It all depends on what are you drawing and what you want the main focus to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you follow the steps, you should be able to draw your own manga background in no time. I will make another post in the future, but this time with a manga character outside of a building. It’s the same steps. The only thing that changes is the tone in which you color. Remember that during day, the colors you use when coloring will depend whether it’s a rainy day or a sunny day. Also, where you character is in a time frame will affect your choice of colors. A day on a beach has more yellow colors. Halloween has more brownish colors because of autumn…
But overall, don’t forget to have fun when you decide to draw your own manga background.
I will go back to drawing now. ^o^

What? You are making your own manga background now?

Ganbatte!!!! \(^o^)/

 

How to become a manga artist: mangaka

A manga couple colored with screen tones

One day, after reading your favorite manga, you start to wonder if you too can draw your own manga. Then all of sort of questions start to pop up in your mind. What does it take to draw manga? Who can draw manga? Anyone? Can you get paid for your drawings? If so, how much? Overall, has anyone really made a living (if not, a decent amount of money) to draw manga?

I really hope this is the first article you come across when you research “How to become a mangaka” because I myself have read lots of articles. I have followed the manga phenomena for about three years (and counting) now, so, even though I don’t claim to be an expert, I do claim to have learned something a long the way that can hopefully help you too. ^_^

  •     Can anyone become a manga artist?
    Manga artist and her drawing desk

    The answer is yes. According to Jaime, Here is her blog you can. The only thing you have to do is draw a manga and take it to publishers. I should also tell you that Jaime traveled to Japan herself and, in her quest to become a manga artist, she managed to get behind the scenes on what being a manga artist is like! Her blog/website is enjoyably delicious to read. So check her out, too!!

  • Is it really that easy? Well, you should know that the major blooming audience of manga is in Japan. So, learning Japanese might be one of the things you should seriously think about. As far as I know, Japan was the first country to produce Manga-style drawings. And the way it’s published and drawn varies from Western comics techniques such as marvel. In the United States, for example, comics are drawn right to left. In Japan, manga is drawn from left to right. This is just one of the many details you should know.
  • Can you get paid for drawing manga? Absolutely! Once you learn how to draw manga, and once it’s written in Japanese, then of course you will be paid if it gets published!! What I recommend is that you draw a couple of volumes before hand. This will give you a good head start. Because by the time they (the publishers) pressure you for your second manga volume, you can be secretly working on volume ten since you already drew up to volume 9. You meet your deadline and you keep progressing with your story and everyone is happy !! ^_^
  • What’s a volume? If you have the chance, please visit your near (major)bookstores. Here is an example of the volumes for Skip Beat!! Basically a manga volume is a book of at least forty-something drawn pages chronicling the story of your character. Other popular Mangas at the moment are Naruto, Kaichou-Wa Maid Sama and Vampire Knight.
  • Has anyone made a living out of drawing manga? Yes. The manga artists of the mangas above have made money. Lots of it. But I suggest you don’t get too much into “what’s the most anyone has made drawing manga” because, like with anything, there are people who have made millions, to people who have barely made any money.

If you are serious about becoming a manga artist, then give it your all!!! There is no dream you should give up just because the odds are against you. Japan has native artist that will give you a heck of competition. But, if you play your cards right, the fact that you are a foreigner might be to your advantage. I do think is important to learn the Japanese culture and language. I also think is important you find a manga you love and start studying it. Why do you love this particular manga?How does the manga artist drew the scenes? Did the artist include a lot of background details? Was it all abstract? How are the bodies drawn in this manga? Is there a lot of romance? Too much romance? None? How colorful is the manga? Is it black and white? Did the artist use a lot of screen tones? What are screen tones? How many different screen tones there are? These are questions to keep in mind. I advice you to think about this questions and start to write down the answers. I am literally a click away if you have any questions. You can also like my Facebook Page to receive instant notice when I make a new post. Follow TheMangakaInYou in Twitter where I also post new drawing tips.

  • And why have I researched so much about becoming a manga artist? Because I also want to become one. And hopefully, when I get my first manga publish, this website will help others achieve their dreams. Feel free to post any other blog you have found interesting in the comment section!!! Can’t wait to hear from you. \(^o^)/

By Naomi Husband

Ganbatte!!! ^o^

How to draw a manga couple

Konnichi-wa!!! \(^o^)/
Here is how to draw a manga couple step by step:

Today I finished drawing and painting a manga couple!!!! It took time to draw (too long in my opinion, but not because it was hard but because I draw like a snail ^^) and here is how I did it so you can also draw yours!!!!!
I mean, don’t we all love those scenes that makes your hear beat???!!!!

Okay, so first, you need “the skeleton” of your drawing. Meaning a rough sketch of your manga characters.

Manga couple

 

To me, the most magical thing about a Manga couple are their faces and that’s where I like to start.
To give it a more dimensional look, instead of wanting to draw them “flat” on the screen, I decided to drew this scene in an angle. Something you should practice a lot to understand the way shapes behave when the stand on their sides ^^

To differentiate the characters as I drew, I used different colored pencils.

 

Manga couple part 2

 

 

At this point, you can start having a little bit of fun. Decide how would you like their clothes to look like. Also, how old they are? Who they are? those are questions that can get you inspire of where your drawing is taking you.
Also, when I draw, I like to draw things simultaneously. So, instead of working with the guy first and then the girl, I try to keep drawing them at the same time. This gives me time to think about these two characters and constantly compare the chemistry between them.
Yes!!!! Chemistry ^^

 

 

Manga Couple part 3

 

 

 

 

 

So, at first I wanted to draw her with this romantic laced dress but then I noticed how casual he looked and decided to make them both look casual. I threw the idea of drawing a skirt too. I don’t know, sometimes a good pair of jeans can hold you just fine :)

 

Manga Couple part 4

 

After finishing with the rough sketch, I went ahead and started inking. By now, if you have seen my previous posts, I love to ink almost instantly. I don’t know. I just love to get the inking process out of the way!!!!
I always wonder which inking style best suits certain drawings. In the picture above you can see how the girl’s body is lightly inked and the guy has bolder inking lines.

I stopped for a moment to decide which inking style I was going to use. At this point, is good to know if you are going to color your drawings or not or if you are going to use screen tones instead.
I decided that I was going to use screen tones this time, so I ended up inking my drawings with a thinner pen.

 

Manga Couple part 5

 

 

 

Hint 1: Notice how I haven’t bothered with the hands yet. Since drawings hands is complex, I always leave them for last. Dunno, it just puts me at ease to know that I can go back to it later.

Hint 2: Drawing the details, meaning the eyes and other things, can come later. The main thing is to get your inking done. This will help you visualize how bolder the details need to be.

 

 

Manga Couple part 6

 

 

 

Once my basic inking was done, I started to draw a few shadows here and there with my ink pen. Did you notice that they finally have hands????? ^^
Also, I know that drawing a manga girl with jeans in this position can be tricky. You don’t want to make her proportions look too big or too flat. I suggest you go with your instincts.  I drew her pants a couple of times until I felt they looked cute but not exaggerated since I wasn’t going for it. If you choose to draw a girl wearing the skirt, then don’t forget to add extra shadows on it to show that there is actually a body underneath that skirt ^-^

Hint: Please please please have fun being a designer for your character’s. Don’t forget that no one likes to dress with simple clothes and so neither should your characters. Even if you want to draw their clothes simple, add a form to their clothes so they look more realistic :)

 

Manga Couple part 7
And here they are with screen tones!!!
I love how they looked ^o^
It was a moment where I patted myself on the shoulder and almost ran to the kitchen to eat my everything in the fridge as a celebration!!!
But I paused myself   ._.
I had to. I wasn’t done :)

When you use screen tones, you can use different ones depending on what you are coloring. For clothes, if you have more than two people in the drawing, you can repeat the same screen tone for, let’s say, one screen tone for all the jackets another one for all of the jeans and so on.
Since it’s just the two of them in here, I decided to use different screen tones for each of their pieces (if you enlarge this photo you can actually have a closer look and discover them).
Certain pieces should remain white, just to give a little bit of variety.

And here is the final look of our manga couple!!! :

Ryan, a middle school student, always had a crush on his classmate Mary, but he was too shy. He comforted himself by looking at her from a safe distance. His parents, however, were forced to move south, and he transferred schools without ever working up the courage to tell Mary his feelings….
High school came and, after moving back to his old town, he realizes that not only does he still likes Mary but that he actually likes her personality the most, more than her looks, more than anything, he likes her. And seeing her makes his heart ache.
One day, without wanting to, he overhears Mary telling her bestfriend that she has always liked Ryan, even after he switched schools, but that she believes he is out of her reach now because he has become the popular guy at school and surely he must like prettier girls.
Not believing his ears, but not willing to let Mary slip from him any further, he rushes out of his hiding place and spins Mary around until she falls in his arms.
This time he will tell her how he feels and will convince Mary that, beside her own fears, that she can’t really live without him too ^o^

 

By

Naomi Husband

Ganbatte!!!  \(^o^)/

Manga Couple part 8

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(≧▽≦)

How to draw a manga girl step by step

 

There are a lot of tutorials out there about how to draw a manga girl and the reason why I did one is because I think there is something more to be said about drawing a unique manga girl. In other words, drawing a character that resembles not what you have seen before, but one that resembles you as an artist.
Every time I want to draw a character on my own from scratch, I think about what makes me me. About what I like, about my experiences, about everything that inspires me. I also think about the mood. What is the character doing? What is her/his usual facial expression; the one he/she presents to the world?
So first, let’s draw a circle. And by circle, I don’t mean a perfect circle. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, nothing you sketch at this stage has to be perfect, or pretty \(^o^)/
Look at my circle! It looks more like a football ball badly shaped ^.^

 

I usually don’t draw the blue lines you are seeing in the picture above. It’s not that I can do without them, it’s just that I am lazy ^.^ But using them, gives you a more precise place of where to put the eyes, the nose and the mouth. Also, if you are using Manga Studio, create a different layer for the different colors you will use while sketching.
Let me be more clear. Once you have got a head shape you are satisfied with, create a new layer and draw the next features. If you do that and you label each layer with the color you are using, not only will you be able to safely erase something you have just drawn that you dislike, but it will be so much easier to navigate through your drawing in a more organize way ^.^
In the next picture, for example, when I went ahead to draw the facial features, I created a new layer, labeled “green” and used a green ink while drawing.

 

Hint: be consistent. If you are working on a layer that says red and you know you used red to sketch the head shape, then make sure you are using red and that you are editing exactly that, the head shape and not the facial features, for example.

After drawing the eyes, keep drawing the rest of the features of the face.

Hint: the way you draw the eyes of your characters and the mouth is important. You are trying to convey something, and these features should be drawn in a way that feels natural to you. Check out how other artists draw their facial expression and decide which one feels natural to you and add a little extra to make them different ^.^

I am not trying to get you to buy Manga Studio, but the good thing about buying it and using it for your drawing is that lets you hide what you don’t want to see when you don’t need to see them. In the picture below I hided the “blue” layer because I wanted to see how my drawing was coming along.

 

 

As you progress in your drawing, you will find yourself going back and forward, reshaping sketches. I reshaped the character’s chin and hair a couple of times until they felt right to me ^.^

I originally intended to draw just the head and the hair, but I felt like drawing the shoulders. I played with the way the shoulders look until I realized I wanted to draw this specific character as if I was taking a view of her slightly from above.

Hint: when you realize the perspective you are drawing, everything has to go accordingly. If the character is facing you, then the shoulders and the head and everything in the drawing should also “face you”. It should be symmetrical and proportionate.

 

 

At this point, I couldn’t resist and started inking. I know! Too early. But then again, once you have your intuition wires working, just follow them. There are no regrets if you do :)

 

There is something I want to point out here. When I ink, I like to ink in different layers as well. Since this is a close up, I inked the head, the hair and the shoulders in one layer and the facial features in the other. Again, it let’s you erase more safely. Besides, I inked the hair first and then I realized the eyes were sort of like peeking through her bangs, so I placed the “ink face” layer below the “ink” layer and got the chance to draw the eyes without worrying about erasing parts of the hair ^.^

Once you are done inking, you can erase the sketching layers to keep things organized. Create another layer, label it with the color you are going to use and start sketching details. I used purple ink.

 

 

The way every artist work is different, so work at your pace. However makes you feel comfortable. I was watching a T.V. as I drew, so I was drawing between commercials. But I kept drawing details in purple and once I was happy, I switched the ink to black, selected the layer that said “ink” and I would start inking. I did this because it gave me the sense that I liked what I had drawn so far and it’s going official now.
Again, working with layer makes things easy. Once I would ink the details, I would select the layer “purple” and clear the contents (as to reset the whole layer) and I would just keep drawing more details. I do this to make sure I don’t draw something by mistake. I know.. >_>
I go back and forward a lot. But I like it ^o^
It makes things fun for me and keeps me alert along the way.

In case if I haven’t mention it, this character is a model and she is walking down the runway. And as she was walking by, I took a picture of her from above ^o^
Since she is fashion-forward and she is modeling a designer’s clothes, I couldn’t call this drawing done unless I drew her some jewelry!

 

At this point, I was very satisfied with the overall look. So, once again, I switched the ink back to black, selected the layer in which I have been inking on, and started inking.

What do you think?  ^o^
I do want to point out, however, that nothing anyone draws comes out to look presentable at first. I have drawn things that I had to throw in the digital garbage. In many instances, I have had to stop drawing, get some air, do some other things and then go back. Sometimes it takes me days to come back before I am ready to try again. Thankfully I have the luxury of time. But if you are drawing and there is a set day to hand in your finish work, then you most be ready to try again even if you are not actually “ready”.
That’s why is important to practice. Draw a lot, even if you never get to use them in any publication. Know your limits, challenge yourself. Time yourself. Motive yourself. While you have the luxury of time and you are drawing to hone your skills, then no drawing is worthless!

Here is a final look. I will work on the shadows, color and the rest of the background and post it on a different post. I didn’t draw on my usual desk today because I am still taking care of my back. I feel better, thank you ^o^ But I still wanted to draw something and post it in here. So while I am resting, you can get busy and start drawing your own unique manga girl.


If you have any questions, comments or if you want me to do a post on something specific let me know \(^o^)/

 

And again, Ganbatte!!!

 

 

Sketching and Coloring a Manga page (or scene)

I hurt my back I couple of weeks ago..  >_>
So, I’m sorry I didn’t post anything for the past 2 weeks.
It was my fault. Sometimes I get too much into drawing and coloring and creating new manga characters that I lose track of my health.
It’s not healthy to sit for hours on your desk without stretching. Lesson learned :(

Okay, so for this post I will attempt to show how you go from having an idea, to producing the finished look. Because of my back injury I haven’t been able to finish it yet. But at least, what I have done so far might give you an idea of where to start.

Personally, I love sketching girls more than guys probably because I know more about a girl’s anatomy more than a boy’s. I already have drawn a couple of guys, but maybe I will make more posts about drawing both :D
Where do I get my ideas of what I am going to draw?
I usually like to challenge myself. So I start imagining action scenes that I would love to see in a movie. That’s where I pretty much get the rough idea of what I am going to do.
For this drawing, I sort of picture a girl falling from a roof. It’s an action scene, so she has sort of jumped from the roof while trying to aim her gun at her attacker.

Here is what I first came up with:

Screenshot (9)

 

It’s a very simple first draft, but this helps me get an idea of where I am going.
Personally, I thought she looked kind of floating; sort of like “laying” on the air. Not very action-like, so I started redrawing her upper body.

 

)

If you are using MangaStudio, layers will be your best friend. Use different colors for each layer to make your sketching easier.

 

Purple is not a color I like to use for sketching. I don’t know, there is something about red, blue and green that gives me a much clear sense of what stage drawing is. ^o^ But when I do use it, it’s for the basic details. I love high socks and short pants, so that was easy to come up with. For the shirt…. I kind of wanted a much tighter fabric. But I also wanted to show some movement, so I opted for long-sleeve loose shirt.
At this point, I start to ink. Even when I don’t have all the details figure out, inking gives me a sense that I am almost done with the technical part of drawing.
Once the inking process is done, I start to play around with colors. I right away wanted the light source to come from the top, thus I used many brushes and colors to get the “highlight” effect.

 

P.S. if you want me to do a post on coloring leave a comment and let me know ^o^

 

Now, at this point, I sort of started to freak out about the background. I did a lot of sketches and that’s when I noticed that this was a close up of the character falling. I thought I wanted to draw windows, or buildings (I am so doing that for another post ^_^) but I wanted her to be sort of like the main thing going on for this drawing so then I decided this was happening during night.

 

Hands and feet are big things for me, so I always leaving them for last.
Personally, I am not too sure about owning guns and stuff. But this was an action scene, so I had to go for my initial idea of drawing a gun.

So this is how far I have gotten because I was forced to rest at bed for two weeks and was not allow to put pressure on my lower back. Also my current chair is not ergonomic, something that needs to change soon ^_^

One of the things I enjoy is having an idea in my head, and turning it in a drawing I can easily share.
I will try to get back at drawing as soon as I can.
If you have any questions, let me know ^_^

Creating your own Manga Banner step by step

Manga Studio 5 is currently my best friend ^_^ With the multiple layer function and all of the flexible options it gives you, creating anything from your own manga to your Facebook banner is something that can be done within a couple of hours (depending on how experienced you are with the program). Here is how I did mine:

 

 

First, I created a layer and chose the G-pen to sketch my first ideas. Most people use pencils, or even brushes for their first drafts. Try all of the tools offer in manga studio and choose the one you feel the most comfortable with. ^_^ As a personal preference, I like to do my first drafts with a red-inked G-pen . I have taught myself to recognize any drawing in red as my first sketch and that distinction makes it easier when I am ready to polish my drawings.

 

 

Something I have found incredibly helpful when it comes down to perfecting the facial features of a character is the usage of grid view in manga studio. It gives me a better sense of where the facial features go in regards to symmetry. The grid view is a valuable time-saving gift for you don’t need to spend time drawing lines across the face to make sure the nose is not where the mouth should be. Hint: To use the grid view, click on “view” on the top menu bar and then click on the “grid view” option to display it. To turn it off, repeat the same steps ^o^.

 

 

The inking stage it’s still a bit of an unexplored territory for me. I am still in the process of developing my own inking style, but for the most part, I find the one I am using quite comfortable. To ink, I create a second layer (layer 2), decrease the opacity on layer 1 and with the ink on the G-pen now black, I started to trace the lines I had previously sketched with red.

 

 

Every artist works differently. I like to ink my drawing once I have a pretty good sense of what I want.  After inking, all I have to do is add more details!. I wanted the name of the website to be noticeable, so instead of just writing it at the center, I drew the letters so they looked as if they were actually drawn over “pages”. I could have written the website’s name in different ways, but I thought this was catchy enough. Once done,  I was pretty pleased with how the banner looked so far \(^o^)/

 

 

After I was done inking,  I spent about half an hour trying different backgrounds. It doesn’t show in here, but for this particular one I used a third layer and placed it underneath layer 2. Hint: If you want to color in Manga studio 5, placing the “coloring” layer under the ink layer will let you color your drawings without the colors going over the ink. If you are unsure what I mean, shoot me a email and I will make a post explaining step by step how to color.

 

In the picture above, you can see all of the many layers I used. I am very picky about the final looks on any drawing, so when making new changes on a drawing, I always feel more comfortable using a brand new layer in case I don’t like how the change turns out. Hint: Name the layers with basic keywords so you don’t lose track of which layer is which. It will save you time in the long run ^_^


In case you didn’t notice, by the time I was done, I had change the colors of the background yet again. Once I colored the letters (the mangaka in you) I noticed that I didn’t like how the green and that yellow went together. So I made a few changes. Want to see how it turned out?

 

 

 

I like drawing manga girls with different hair colors and styles but for the banner I wanted to keep it simple so instead I drew a manga girl and a chibi version of herself. Did you notice the chibi is barefooted? ^o^   I hope you found this post useful. If you have any questions about how to come up with ideas about your banners, then leave a comment and I might write under “Side stories” how I came up with mine.

Ganbatte!!  ヘ(^_^ヘ)(ノ^_^)ノ

Naomi Husband