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DigitalScratch



Joined: 06 Jul 2013
Posts: 341
Location: Area 51
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:22 am Reply with quote
Good advice. If you really want to try drawing in an anime style than you’re going to have to study every medium, just like any artist. Whip out those art books from professionals, take screenshots of anime you want to emulate, and practice every single day!

May I offer one tip? I’ve been doing art for years now (if you type my username in google you’ll probably find my tumblr blog), and this is the most important thing I’ve learned. Regardless of what style you want to have, if you want to be good you’re going to have to learn from Realism. That doesn’t mean be perfect at Realism, you don’t have to produce perfect photo-copies. But you have to study real life rules if you want to break them for a manga style.

It’s the biggest weakness I see in a lot of art students who only want to draw anime, and I think the main reason why a lot of art teachers are very critical of them. They’re not comfortable with stepping out of the “anime style” comfort zone and they’re also the most likely to be stubborn about it. If you’re serious about making anime art and you really want to make a manga that people will recognize, don’t fall into that pit! Even the best mangaka out there only got better because they stepped outside their comfort zone.

When you take an art class, don’t be scared about sucking at Realism and try it! It’s 100% going to suck at first but when practice it enough, not only will your Realism style get better but what you learn will translate into your Manga style too. And you don’t need to pay $$$ for special classes. Go online and find free websites where you can practice drawing the human figure. Or just study your hands and feet in a mirror and draw them! Borrow books that teach how to draw people, or watch YouTube videos from Western professionals. It’ll all make your style better!

Also, don’t be afraid to show off >:0 Be proud of what you can do as an artist!
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Andrew Cunningham



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 288
Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:34 am Reply with quote
Another really useful thing would be to watch Urusawa Naoki's Manben TV series, which has a lot of fly on the wall cameras filming a range of fantastic artist as they work.
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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:44 am Reply with quote
From what I hear, Araki's book on manga creating is also a good source.
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:14 pm Reply with quote
It's interesting that all the sequential storytelling sources are American, considering that manga has its own conventions and logic on storytelling and timing. Likewise, manga-specific art guides are likely most essential for page layout, which Japan does very differently from other cultures.

I'd also be curious is there's a manga equivalent to The Complete Film-Maker, which is considered the authoritative guide on the logistics of creating art in its field and is by Jerry Lewis of all people.

Also, a good way to get a wide overview of western pagebound (in a book) art styles would be to get the newly released Signs and Wonders: 100 Haggada Masterpieces, which covers works from 1300 to the present.
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I_Drive_DSM



Joined: 11 Feb 2008
Posts: 127
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:40 pm Reply with quote
I'll first admit I'm not an artist of any sort. I dabbled in it years ago in the dawn of the internet when I was still in school but it might as well have been a century ago and if you ask me to draw anything now it's pretty rough. I like to blame it on my constant computer use for work since I hardly use an actual pen or pencil anymore, although considering there's such things as stylus and such that's not a valid excuse.

I remember when many of the first 'How to Draw Manga' books came along, I bought a good deal of them - still have them on my shelves - and one thing that particularly sticks out about them that I remember well is that the books would often describe techniques or processes to go through but not do a very good job of actually explaining how to do what it's trying to explain.

The most glaring example of the prior is tones. It actually took me a while to realize that tones in manga are literally cut overlays added to artwork to emphasize shading. In all the art I had created and was taught prior to that realization I had never heard of utilizing an actual layer of 'tone' to create a shadow. You can possibly argue that how was I ignorant not to realize that people didn't actually apply dots physically one by one to shading, but remember manga in the US in the 90s was nothing like it is nowadays; effectively it was piece meal and selective. Sure there were plenty of styles and such to go off of but the relatively low pool of properties were simply chalked up to what we got. Nowadays I'm sure there are people that have 30 browser windows on their phones linked to various manga they're reading *raises hand*.

I have to say from an opinion stand-point I'm a little irked by any mention of a later "art style" being adopted and feel it's possibly a poor way of looking at how manga/anime is being interpreted outside of Japan. While artwork is rightly a personal evolution of sorts as noted, a particular art style can be very effective if it's correlating to a particular genre or expectation of a series, and the door swings both ways. When Sailor Moon Crystal was released I quite enjoyed the more detailed manga-esque character designs that honestly are a bit of departure from more modern simplistic styles. On the other hand when I watched Ai Tenchi Muyo the more modern design styles really turned me off and I felt like I wasn't watching Tenchi Muyo -anything.
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-SP-



Joined: 23 Apr 2018
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:47 pm Reply with quote
I have only seen the ones by American artists, and they themselves should be learning "how to draw manga", since their art is usually really bad.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:01 pm Reply with quote
I brought on of these once, it was honestly a waste of money. It was just generic early 00s, though some looked a bit 90s, looking characters(like background characters from something like FMP). The whole thing is a bit of a cash grab, they labour under the impression of there being an Anime template. And while there is common designs for every era, and nearly all follow some universal aspects, human-ish designs and giant eyes, no way can these teach you what you need to know.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:04 pm Reply with quote
FilthyCasual wrote:
From what I hear, Araki's book on manga creating is also a good source.


"Manga in Theory and Practice" by Araki-sensei is an amazing, simple read. I highly recommend it, as it provides a good look into storytelling techniques without trying to dictate how one "should" do anything. He splits it between Characters, Story/Plot, Setting, and Theme, and each chapter focusing on each helped me a lot when delving into my own work.

As someone else said, learning realism is the best thing you can do for yourself, but also drilling yourself on line quality can help. I practice drawing straight lines, arcs, circles, cubes, pyramids, cones, and spheres all the time. They help me keep my line quality consistent.

Of course, avoid anything by Chris Hart. I don't particularly like him as a person, but his way of teaching the "anime" style is very stereotypical and he carries a cartoonist background going in, so he doesn't really keep a consistent style, nor are his characters and art always even... autonomically accurate. To put it lightly. I could be wrong, but he cares more about marketing his books than selling quality, it seems.
The old graphic-sha books are better, but a bit outdated. Try to import other books from Japan. Even if you don't know the language, the visual guides are often excellent.
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Aquasakura



Joined: 01 Jan 2014
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Location: Chesterfield, Virginia, U.S.A
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:13 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Then she asked me a question that surprised me: “Why do so many of these overseas manga creators draw in such an… old-fashioned style?”


I giggle a bit when I read this. I never thought that there were many non-Japanese artist who were emulating character designs that were old, but when I think if some of the How to Draw Manga art books and the tendency for people to copy I can see that being the case.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

As for me there was a time that I wanted to create my own manga. It started when I learn of the book titled How to Draw Manga by Katy Coope, and I use the book to practice drawing, so as a result character designs were copies of the arthur's. Then I got inspire to create my own manga from watching a video game base anime title Comic Party by OLM, Inc. Later on I learn of the artist name Ken Akamatsu when I discovered one of his manga titled Love Hina, and fell in love with how basic yet cute his character designs were. So for a time I copied his way of drawing characters, but overtime I started to add my own touches to it. At some point I stopped copying his way of character designing entirely and began to draw my characters my own way which is where I have left off when I stopped drawing.

I do draw once in a while, but not as often as I use to. Also I abandon the idea of creating manga in pursuit of I feel I was destined to do in life. I still would like to improve my drawing skills, and besides wanting to get better at drawing anime, I would also like to illustrate environments as well as do realistic self portraits of characters from manga/anime I an interested in drawing.

Quote:
If you make comics/manga, what is the best, most useful or memorable advice you've ever gotten?


As I have not seen this being suggested so far it looks like I would share one advice. Practice gesture drawing. It would help in making your characters not appear stiff. Plus it's a handy skill when you want to sketch something for future reference, but you need to be quite about it for whatever reason. I have not master this technique so far, but I understand how useful this is in the long term.

Here are two videos from youtube to help one get started:

The first is from the channel Proko and the video is titled How to Draw Gestures. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74HR59yFZ7Y While you are at the host has a couple of other videos relating to gestures I recommend checking out (especially the one concerning the bean technique). https://www.youtube.com/user/ProkoTV/search?query=gesture Oh and his other drawing relating videos are nice as well.

The second is by the channel Stay Creative Painting and it's titled How to do Gesture Drawing (12 Tip Tutorial) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGZqQ1NH1Mw&t=0s&list=PL2EA206A04654D8AF&index=51

As for books I recommend Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton (the host of the channel Proko I mention above seems to have taken lessons from this book as the information he shares is similar or exactly like the information you will find in this book.) and companion that with Classic Human Anatomy: The Artist's Guide to Form, Function, and Movement by Valerie L. Winslow. These two books will help in getting the foundations down for drawing anatomy in which one can transfer to drawing characters for their manga.

Juno016 wrote:

Of course, avoid anything by Chris Hart. I don't particularly like him as a person, but his way of teaching the "anime" style is very stereotypical and he carries a cartoonist background going in, so he doesn't really keep a consistent style, nor are his characters and art always even... autonomically accurate. To put it lightly. I could be wrong, but he cares more about marketing his books than selling quality, it seems.


Yeah the books by him are not the best when it comes to learning to draw manga. Plus much of those illustrations are actually from other artists that contributed to his books instead of himself (at least from the ones I have found). I do have one his his books, but the one good thing I can say is that I do like to redraw the characters feature in those books in my own way.


Last edited by Aquasakura on Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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forexjammer



Joined: 01 Dec 2017
Posts: 114
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:18 pm Reply with quote
If you want to learn how to draw manga or anime. DON'T buy books guide from western artist. Please. Go to /ic/ or something and download Japanese books and learn from them instead.
Western books are great for fundementals but manga or anime is no no.
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1238
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:13 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, we don't need more "How-to-draw-manga" books which is mostly about drawing human figure and poses in currently popular cartoony manner. There are tons of regular "how-to-draw" books which are suitable for young artists to develop fundamental skills than jumping onto stylization. Before anime/manga got big, previous generation of kids used to copy cartoon and comic book characters of their time and that doesn't mean that all those kids (now adults) became Disney animator or Marvel comic artist. Drawing only in anime/manga style stunts the growth of potential artist because it limits the needed visual vocabulary expressed in his/her art. That's another reason why Answerman recommends exposing oneself to media other than anime & manga. Crawl, Walk, then Run.

I'm not in position to give out advice even though I went to art school. I just want to express my views from what I've seen.

I've seen kids begging their parents to buy them those how-to-draw manga books from Kinokuniya bookstore in San Francisco where it has whole shelf section full of Japanese and English "how-to-draw-manga" books. Without practice and commitment, most people don't make it as professional.

Trying to emulate anime/manga character style is fine at first as kid, but anyone who wants to be taken seriously then learning and practicing to draw real life people, objects, and environment is crucial. That's no brainer. Other than learning to draw from observation, I also have to stress on developing visual storytelling skills since manga/comic is a storytelling medium.

Personally I can't get into majority of comic books because their storytelling is uninteresting. That is due to fact that artists seem to be more invested on draftsmanship than storytelling. When I randomly pick up a comic book, I always get bombarded with long-winded narrations which deludes itself as some kind of grand epic story even though it's just lazy storytelling doesn't want to bother with effective illustrations. In my opinion, comic with simple illustration can tell good story just as much as overly done "graphic novel" style comic full of narrations.

What we need is a book that helps artist to develop visual storytelling skill using panel-to-panel composition and pacing. Not another drawing manga character book.
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Xiximaro



Joined: 03 Feb 2017
Posts: 82
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:28 am Reply with quote
I think it was Murata who streams his drawing of One-Pan, that should be helpful too
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
Posts: 4176
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:32 am Reply with quote
I have a couple of these; the "perspective" one is pretty good.

But I cannot say anything in this thread that hasn't already been said.

Draw from real life too.

I think having little plastic figures also helps when you need a model for a challenging angle.
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TheAnimeRevolutionizer



Joined: 03 Nov 2017
Posts: 258
PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:33 pm Reply with quote
I think everyone here has had something poignant, thoughtful, and insightful to say. I'm really glad to read and be shared knowledge that is crucial and vital to drawing manga that we all share in common.

Some things from me about drawing anime and manga: Anime is an art of subtlety. About as much as every other person on the street goes on about how anime "doesn't have a true style because it's not independent and showy enough" is because the style we all see right now draws upon tradition and it shares a common place of design which all artists find a good solidarity with. It is important to find your own style, but that is such a goal of such distance it might as well be called a lifelong goal. And something to give some notes to them, it is not something you can just create on the fly. It takes time. It requires your natural feel, it requires your input and direction to shape, and there is such a point where this goal eventually becomes superficial. I've known a lot of people who gave up on anime because they were so focused on trying to find a style, they went off further than they knew where to tread before even carefully getting to know the surroundings before hand. It's true, train and build your skills to a good level, but do not throw yourself into the abyss if you have a style or not. It's a process of knowing what you can put out and how you want to harness it.

I'm honestly surprised about that article that was mentioned in the post. It's a good read, and I hope that honestly points art teachers (especially here in the States) in the right direction. Something like that would have been a godsend back in the day, where teachers just didn't care what you wanted to learn and what they had to teach you for the national agenda, and you had to adhere, or else.

Some things from me about getting to work on a story, and the concepts that build up one: Akira Toriyama much to everyone's surprise is actually a big fan of movies. Case in point, don't hesitate to draw upon your interests and what you like and enjoy.

And as everyone said before, find some sources on cinematics, choreography, and sequential storyboarding. Seriously, along with one's imagination, the story that guides your comic along, and good art, execution is the keystone that ties this and much more altogether.

Some things from me about related and crucial to working in manga and anime: If there is one thing I can take from my enjoyment and pursuit of anime and manga, it's that there are moral and virtuous considerations when you go down the route of being an artist. One of them that I strongly felt from this path since the start and realized it only a few years ago was the value of makoto, or sincerity. Anime and manga was able to capture the hearts and minds of fans only because of how this was ingrained in the best of them. It's why out of such an era like the late 1990s and 2000s where western animation was floundering, anime came like a storm. Heck, it's why back in the late 1980s, Japan was able to economically tower over most of the globe. When you draw manga, you aren't just drawing awesome comics from Japan, you're a part of that history and cultural impact, wherever you are from and Japan, from then on out. Give it your all and with what you can bring to the table. Get serious or go home.

Another thing is work ethic. I'm not going to lie: being an adult, and no matter how fun, how enjoyable your job and career is, work is the necessary discomfort. I know plenty of you get this already, but for you young ones, drawing manga is no exception. In fact, the only exception I can think of about manga as work is the fact that it requires your utmost dedication, and especially if you want to work on a series. I'm not even talking about being on the job for Shonen Jump or a publication- I mean that if you want to work on your own stuff, and even for a webcomic, you have to be there for all of the process when you start it. It will depend on the work, but make no mistake, you screw up like Bleach, it could be all over. So when you need to work, you gotta work. You can't just take the day off and think that you got a slush fund and royalties waiting for you.

I have more to say, but I think this will cut it for now.

Give it your all!!!!!

EDIT: For any of you wanting a bit of insight on a mangaka's work setup and their art tools, I'd recommend picking up Fall In Love Like A Comic by Chitose Yagami, and especially Vol. 2 and the end chapter Nana and Mickey's Heart-Racing Manga Lesson.


Last edited by TheAnimeRevolutionizer on Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Thaumana



Joined: 08 Jul 2017
Posts: 32
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:44 pm Reply with quote
Great thread and article!

Okay, I have to admit... I have been drawing manga-style stuff since my youth around the early 2000s and also collected some of those mentioned "How to Draw Manga" books back then. There was this series with the same name published by Graphic-sha featuring manga samples by artists from japanese research groups and I honestly learned a lot from them, from drawing basics to specific subjects and genres. They actually were not so bad. Despite the fact that the content of examples worked a lot with stereotypes it was still one of just a few tutorial sources back then which offered authentic and overall information related to the manga media (especially in Germany where I live).

Of course the manga and anime series I enjoyed to read during that time were also valuable references.

I even owned a how-to-manual by Akira Toriyama, although retrospectively it was not the best book to teach you about drawing in general (Somehow one of his advices I still remember well was about inserting acquaintances in your work who can serve as inspiration and the importance to draw girls always pretty while boys can be depicted ugly regardless).

When it comes to guidebooks I would also recommend that one particular title nowadays.
Juno016 wrote:
"Manga in Theory and Practice" by Araki-sensei is an amazing, simple read. I highly recommend it, as it provides a good look into storytelling techniques without trying to dictate how one "should" do anything. He splits it between Characters, Story/Plot, Setting, and Theme, and each chapter focusing on each helped me a lot when delving into my own work.

Same. I binge-read that book multiple times in preparation for my first online manga release a year ago and it was extremely helpful to broaden my multimedia and popculture horizons. Learned also a lot about analyzing stories and found my joy to rewatch movies and series again while focusing more on the visual and narrative aspects.

Still eager to learn since learning to draw and to tell a story is virtually a never-ending story and a creative challenge itself. That's why most mentioned advices and all the shared experience here hit so close to home. =D
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