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Top 4 Ways To Learn To Draw Manga – Starting It The Right Way

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Key Takeaways

  • Learning the basic art fundamentals is essential for manga artists.
  • Clip Studio Paint Pro is the best art software for drawing manga.
  • Skillshare is one of the best online course platforms for learning to draw and create manga.
  • Domestika offers unique and high-quality manga courses at affordable pricing.
  • Books and YouTube channels are other great ways to learn to draw manga.

Learn The Fundamentals of Drawing Manga

Every artist should study the art fundamentals to create believable art, but as a manga artist, you need to take steps a few inches further.

Below are the art fundamentals a manga artist needs to practice and learn during their art journey:

  • Anatomy: Understanding the basic human anatomy is essential to accurately depict the proportions of the human body in manga drawings.
    • Clip Studio Paint Pro, fortunately, has a 3D modeling tool that many professional manga artists use to aid in nailing down challenging poses.
  • Perspective: Understanding perspective is essential to create depth and dimension in manga drawings.
  • Composition: Understanding composition is essential to create visually appealing manga drawings and arranging elements on the page in a way that tells a story.
  • Light and shadow: Understanding how light and shadow work is essential to create three-dimensional forms and adding depth to manga drawings.
  • Proportions: Understanding the basic proportions of the human body is essential to create believable and visually pleasing manga characters.
  • Character Design: Creating unique and memorable characters is a crucial part of manga. Learning how to design characters that fit the story and convey emotion is essential.
  • Storytelling: Understanding how to convey a story through images is essential to create engaging manga. Learning how to use panels, dialogue, and pacing effectively is important for this.
  • Inking and line work: Understanding how to use lines, line art, and inking techniques is important for creating clean and polished manga drawings.
  • Backgrounds and Environment: Learning how to create believable and visually interesting backgrounds and environments is important to create a sense of place and atmosphere in manga drawings.
    • Again, Clip Studio Paint EX has a tool where you can transform a photograph into a background drawing (black and white). This will greatly speed up the drawing process.

You might see that color theory has been left out, and that was an intentional choice as manga artists draw using black, white, and shades of grey. However, what is more important than ever is knowledge of values.

Learn Through Online Courses

Many mangakas started to learn to draw manga by taking online courses and now make courses of their own. While YouTube is an excellent place to start the learning experience, having a structured course greatly improves the learning experience.

Skillshare, Domestika, and Udemy, all offer excellent courses on drawing manga while still being very affordable.

Manga Art School: How to Draw Anime and Manga

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Manga Art School course by Scott Harris is the ultimate guide to mastering authentic and professional Japanese Manga and Anime character stylization. If you are a beginner artist, this course will take your skills to the next level and help you achieve an authentic and appealing manga or anime style in your character work.

With crystal clear and easy-to-understand lessons, you’ll learn the core fundamentals and advanced stylization techniques needed to draw manga and anime characters like a pro. Plus, the rewarding assignments will help you bridge the gap between theory and practice, allowing you to see a rapid improvement in your own work almost immediately.

I’ve personally taken this course and see it as a good starting point for drawing manga.

Beginner’s Guide to Master Face Drawing

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In the Beginner’s Guide to Master Face Drawing course, you’ll learn an abundance of valuable information that will help you master the art of drawing faces, from the very basics of successfully drawing circles and lines, all the way up to advanced techniques like face proportions, structure, and shapes.

You’ll discover the key differences between male and female faces, and learn how to create a diverse range of styles without any kind of guidelines. Plus, you’ll get insider tips on studying your favorite artists to develop your own unique style.

Manga Comics for Beginners: From Concept to Creation

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Step into the world of Japanese art with Natalia Batista, a professional manga artist, and illustrator. Learn the whole process of creating a manga comic from scratch, starting from the initial concept to the finished comic.

In the Manga Comics for Beginners: From Concept to Creation course, you’ll discover the tools and techniques used by Japanese manga artists to make your work look professional and create your own manga page with traditional techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting out, Natalia’s course will take you on a journey to the magical world of manga.

Learn Through How To Draw Manga Books

Books are another excellent option for those who are more accustomed to working hands-on. Tutorial books offer a plethora of resources, including step-by-step guides.

Many books are comprehensive approaches to how to draw manga and its many variations in style and medium. If you’re still a fan of digital means, you can still download the eBook versions of these titles.

How to Draw Manga (Includes Anime, Manga, and Chibi)

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This guide is great for a number of reasons. For one, it takes into account that many different styles, variations, and mediums come into play with the genre of manga.

Manga is a print style, whereas anime is both an art style and a medium (of animation). Then, you have chibi thrown into the mix.

This book will explain the differences and teach you how to master each form. If you’re well versed in the anime art style but want to convert your art into a manga strip style, this book can also be a big help.

How to Draw Manga: Basics and Beyond!

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How to Draw Manga: Basics and Beyond!...
  • University, Manga (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 05/24/2019 (Publication...

One of the best pieces of advice for those just learning how to draw is to start small and work your way up. This book by Manga University does just that.

You’ll begin by learning how to block in forms and sketch out general shapes. Then, you’ll work your way up the ladder by specifying shapes, filling in details, and blocking in color or shadow.

But one important thing that Manga University does is consider that you won’t be a beginner forever. Their guide slowly advances in difficulty, allowing you to continue to develop and improve upon your talents.

Even once you feel that you no longer need a book to be your guide, it serves as a handy reference for many techniques, including color.

The Complete Guide to Drawing Action Manga: A Step-by-Step Artist’s Handbook

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The Complete Guide to Drawing Action...
  • shoco (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 09/03/2019 (Publication...

If you’re interested in drawing manga, it’s important to ask yourself what kind of manga you want to draw. That answer will guide you on which book will most enable your talents as an artist.

In particular, many people are drawn to action manga and their dynamic fight scenes that have become a genre staple.

This guide by shoco, or Makota Sawa, a well-known mangaka, spills all the secrets when it comes to creating explosive scenes that are packed with action.

While shoco does great going in-depth on his techniques and providing easy-to-follow steps, you might want to have a good foundation in drawing before tackling this book.

YouTube Channels

If you’re interested in drawing in the first place, that probably means you’re a visual learner! Consider watching Youtube and its vast amounts of educational guides, videos, and speed draws. It’s one thing to read about a technique and another to see it.

Learning from the artists whose styles you admire is also a great idea. Some anime and manga Youtubers have dedicated their channels solely to teaching others how to draw, and not only is their information incredibly helpful, but free as well.

Whyt Manga

Whyt Manga is a self-described independent manga and comic creator with a huge following. He does unique videos on drawing anime in the styles used by some of the most popular series. 

Fans of My Hero Academia or One Punch can learn to draw in the same style and learn what techniques and features differentiate them.

Whyt Manga has a collection of tutorials on both digital drawing and traditional drawing, and some of his most popular videos are on things like how to draw unique hairstyles or how to design the logo for your own manga.

Anyone who looks at Whyt Manga’s work can tell the professionalism that goes into it, making his Youtube channel a great pick for those considering a career in manga.

Manga Materials

Manga Materials is a Japanese-based channel with incredibly detailed guides on how to master even the smallest of skills needed for manga art. Their tutorials are all in Japanese but are entertaining and easy to follow despite the language barrier.

Despite the complexity and professionalism of their art, their tutorials range from true beginners to more advanced. They also offer tutorials on some more ignored aspects of learning to draw manga, such as backgrounds and environments. You’ll be hooked on studying their videos even if you don’t speak the language.

Kuzomari

Kuzomari, which is the pen name for manga artist Christopher Krady, is also a popular Youtuber among manga artists looking to learn the craft. Kuzomari works primarily with traditional art supplies, i.e., pen and paper. 

While he has quite a few videos addressing his audience on things like his biggest regrets in his art career, most of his videos are merely speed draws of his work in action.

This is monumental to learn from as a beginner and can also provide a wealth of inspiration. If you want to see a true manga artist in action, look no further.

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Okuha

Digital Artist

I’m a digital artist who is passionate about anime and manga art. My true artist journey pretty much started with CTRL+Z. When I experienced that and the limitless color choices and the number of tools I could use with art software, I was sold. Drawing digital anime art is the thing that makes me happy among eating cheeseburgers in between veggie meals.

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