How to Draw a Manga Character

Manga, or a Japanese-style comic, has found its way booming into the Western market. In 2006, they made nearly 200-million dollars in America, with sales reaching 4-billion dollars in Japan. It is no wonder why the art form has become popular amongst American artists and comic book junkies.

While the art form of a human manga character is slightly exaggerated, it still holds several similarities to the basic human body. We suggest you know how to frame the human structure before moving onto drawing a manga character.


Steps to Draw a Manga Character

  1. Draw the character’s pose with circles and lines and wrap it with a basic outline. Manga characters can be a bit “outlandish” in the way they move, so it is okay to go out of the ordinary. Our character will be a cute female manga character. She still maintains a fairly realistic body structure and height, though.
  2. You can move onto adding facial details. Unlike drawing a realistic human, facial features are hardly ever consistent with real life. Manga characters feature large eyes (especially on female counterparts, and simple half-moon or triangle shaped mouths. In many cases, noses look like simple check marks if they even exist.
  3. Many manga stories take place in outer space, but as so, their outfits and clothing need to be out of this world, as well. Female manga characters are usually decorated in clothing that shows off their bodies, featuring low-cut blouses and mini-skirts. If you aren’t confident when it comes to drawing clothing, grab a clothes catalogue and draw from the hotter styles listed there.
  4. It’s now time for you to give your character some hair. Hair in manga can be styled in ways real humans could only dream of doing. Male characters feature long and spiky hairdos, while girls may have long and curly pony and pig-tails. It can be layered excessively without showing the many strands of hair the head actually has.
  5. Once you’ve fully decorated your manga character, you can clean it up and prepare it for coloring. Many of the manga artists in Japan may just use grayscales for their comic books; however, with the expansion of drawing capabilities on the computer, many have switched to coloring their art. You can feel free to go all out on colors with your character. Hair can be pink, green or any other color you desire, and shading does not have to be spot on.

In many ways, drawing manga can become a much more simple way of drawing other realistic things. To the professional manga artist, though, it can be just as time consuming and challenging as drawing the humans true figure.

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