How to Draw Manga

The Allure of Manga – Building Characters in The Traditional Art Form

One of the most highly praised art forms coming from Japan is known as Manga. Artists that specialize in this type of art have a certain level of skill that allows them to soar beyond the framework of imagination and creativity. In order to draw this style, a person must not only know anatomy, but how to change that into characteristics that are specific to the manga platform. Most people that want to learn how to draw this intricate style are often times attracted to a specific series. It’s in that series that unbeknownst to them, an attraction is created to the physical form of the art as well as the personality traits that comes through from the characterization. 

In theory, manga images are not hard to draw once you master the basic characteristics of anatomy. 

They are as such: 

A Cute Factor – Manga design pushes an “adorable” framework. Enhanced, enlarged eyes, almond shaped facial features, and a very small mouth is the standard often seen. Many faces in the manga world can look alike, and they are often times differentiated only by intricate hair models, wardrobe, and accessories that bring life to the characters.

The Face – Basic shapes are the building blocks of the overall design of the facial structure. The only recommendation for building faces in the manga tradition is to practice a great deal. Once you have mastered this component, you’ll be able to build upon the face and create illustrious manga designs. 

Hair – Hair design is often elaborate and intricate all the same. Manga characters often have long, flowing hair, rich in color and design. Fine lines and a steady hand will help in creating a good head of hair, and the only way to master this is to practice. Practicing fine lines and very steady linear motions helps create the hair flow necessary for manga art. 

Wardrobe – Every character has their own personality in this art form, and their wardrobe is more than just a functional set dressing. Ignoring finer lines and details will ruin the purpose of the image, so pay attention to minutia here. For instance, spiritual beings and characters will have floating pieces of clothing that adorns their dress. Warriors, on the other hand will have a fancy weapon, usually oversized and on their garb to enhance their purpose at all times. Without these subtle and sometimes overt pieces, manga character design falls short of the traditional art.

With the aforementioned simple starting points, you have a little bit of a push forward to enhancing and designing manga art. The next time you’re attempting to draw in this style, pay close attention to the aforementioned factors, as they build the characters you create and establish a great deal of framework. 

Images to this post by: Hect06 @


Anonymous said...

I have been draw a mixture of manga and aime for like three months now. I don't know what to call my work though. Ethier manga, anmie, or manga and ainmie. Could you help?

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