3 Ways to Draw Manga

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3 Ways to Draw Manga
3 Ways to Draw Manga

"Manga" refers to drawings made in a style based on Japanese art, usually published in Japan. This article can help you start learning manga drawing techniques, as well as guide you through the anime styles with which to that you can learn.


Method 1 of 3: Manga Basics

Step 1. Draw a manga head model.

Use it as a starting point for the face.

Step 2. Start with a manga hair

Hair is usually one of the traits that instantly identifies a character in a manga style. Once you're comfortable with these steps, move on to more complicated styles.

Step 3. Add manga-style eyes

Like hair, eyes are instantly recognizable as a stamp of the manga design.

Step 4. Add some facial expressions to your manga faces

They can help communicate emotion in your characters.

Step 5. Draw a girl in manga.

Step 6. Draw a boy in manga. Change hair, eyes and facial expression as you wish.

Step 7. Try to draw an entire character. Incorporate the face, hair, eyes and expression as you draw.

Step 8. Add unique clothing styles from the manga

Start by tracing the garment in a basic shape and then erasing unnecessary lines.

Step 9. Or try designing gothic manga outfits like top hats and petticoats

Step 10. Give your manga characters a little animal by drawing a dog

Once you've learned the basic technique, try adapting to different types of race.

Step 11. Add wings to your manga character

Step 12. Draw a robot in manga

Try matching shapes on different robots as you become more comfortable with the technique.

Method 2 of 3: Learning from anime

Step 1. Draw eyes in anime style

Do this by hand, or try it on your computer.

When you're done, try using your anime-style eyes to express emotion

Step 2. Draw a basic anime character

Step 3. Draw a boy anime style.

Step 4. Draw a girl's face using anime drawing techniques.

Step 5. Add a cute little anime-style animal to your drawings.

Step 6. Try drawing an anime-style fairy or angel.

Step 7. Face the supernatural and draw an anime-style vampire

Method 3 of 3: Drawing a Standard Manga Figure

Step 1. Copy but don't trace

By plotting, you only draw at that moment and nothing else. Copying is better. By doing this you have a concept of what you drew. Find a simple character in a manga you like or on the internet. More possibly head images. Hair should be relatively easy to draw. Fan arts can look as good as the originals. Practice drawing the images you found so you can "feel" the manga style.

  • Things to note:
    • Eye Styles: This varies a lot, not just between mangaka, but also between characters from the same series. The eyes are a very expressive feature in the manga and the character's eyes can tell you everything about them.
    • Proportions:

      the manga style is all about manipulating proportions, your character can range from three to eight/nine heads tall. Compare it to a normal human figure, which is usually six or seven.

Step 2. Draw "stick figures". This is your character's default sketch. Draw the lines where the arms/legs will be and their position. Draw the circle for the head first, a line for the spine, a line for the shoulders (just below the head so it has a neck), a line across the hips. It may be easier to draw circles for the joints. You are drawing a stick figure. This Step is to lock the proportions and find out what your character is doing; Standing? Seated? In a heroic pose?

  • More things to note!
    • Don't be too worried about getting the proportions wrong: practice more! You can usually copy more images or copy a page from your favorite manga.
    • One day you will discover a style, a shape you WANT to draw, a shape where the characters look cool to you and everyone else. Practice a lot for that day to come.

Step 3. Put meat on the stick figure

Add weight and depth to the different parts of the stick figure and do well.

  • Head: Indicate which way the character is looking with a line and then add the chin and cheekbones. Keep in mind that the chin can be very pointed, depending on your style. Smaller cheeks and a round chin indicate cuteness.
  • Chest/Chest: Block it with a circle or simple prism - more rectangular for men and more triangular for women. For female characters, the waist should be thin and open to round hips; for men, the shoulders are much broader and the hips are narrower.
  • Hips: can be indicated with a sphere/circle.
  • Limbs: must be indicated with ovals or cylinders, with circles/balls for the joints.
  • Hands and feet: These can be kept simple for now, although you might want to indicate their positions.

Step 4. Refine your figure

don't worry about details for now, but clean your lines and make your figure clearer. A soft rubber can be useful here.

Step 5. Start adding details

Start designing the clothes that match your character. Shonen-style characters will have flashy and heroic outfits, comedy-style characters will have weird or sloppy outfits. Draw hands, feet and place eyes, nose, mouth, hair, etc.

Step 6. Clean everything up and get ready to finish with ink

Erase any guide lines. Again, a soft rubber is useful here.

Step 7. Cover your drawing with paint, more possibly with an Indian ink pen and paint if desired.

Practice again and again. Once you're confident, start getting referrals from other manga. Good luck with your mangas!


  • Don't give up if someone says your drawing is bad. You will improve over time.
  • Be very patient; drawing takes skill and practice.
  • Start drawing manga before you get an instruction book (if you can) so you can get your own style instead of copying someone else's.
  • Practice folds and shadows, too. Comedy characters generally have fewer creases.
  • Use a pencil so you can erase any mistakes.
  • Your head must have the right proportions. For starters, this is a common mistake.
  • If you have your own anime figures, put them in front of you as you draw.
  • At the end, very carefully run the ink pen along the main lines.

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