Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Drawing MANGA style

Having received a copy of How to Draw MANGA in Simple Steps by Yishan Li, to fully scrutinize. I thought the best way to do it was to try drawing one of the Manga style characters following the step-by-step method of doing so directly from a page from the book.

Being a 2D artist who sketches and draws the figure and form of people and animals pretty accurately in a purposely naive illustrative style and being a fan of comic book art, I decided to reproduce a copy- cat image of the character shown in (FIGURE 2) digitally, using a graphic's tablet (for the first time properly), alongside Photoshop computer software with which I am more familiar. 

So below is the page I chose to copy. I 've never been very good at approaching my creativity in a trained way. What I would usually do is just look at the character completed (the guy in colour in the picture below) and line draw a version that would match him pretty well.

Page is page 13 from the book 'How to Draw MANGA in Simple Steps' byYishan Li

The source material presented in the book I mentioned above, has, in itself, a wealth of instructional content to enable you to get very good at mimicking the art style quickly. My attempt at using a tablet to draw is very amateurish as you will see, and there are so many digital artists who could teach you the art form much, much better.  Least, this way, I can offer a few trouble shooting tips.

Instead of trying to draw an even oval for the face, I selected an oval shape from the side panel. Later found I couldn't erase the hard lines in favour of the more desired chiseled look overdrawing I had produced 

Probably should have continually selected more layers to amend errors more easily. I used the eraser tool a lot to tidy up the lines.

above you will see the problem developing with oval face, also notice the first signs of me gravitating from the source example and my own style of drawing coming through (just can't help it!)

Instead of blocking I favour the more sketchy approach and I find myself not following exactly Li's tips to achieve a like-for-like composition. I have to make a bigger collar and have my guy holding on to that instead of his arm floating

With the colour and tones added I produce an acceptable version of a Manga character but one that does not resemble much the character from the book on page 13

I might be a clever clogs pencil sketcher/pen on paper doodler usually, but I have to say this approach for me is a whole new ball game! My free form skills were heavily restricted and stilted by the mechanics of the tools I was using. My son, who works the other way and finds it easier to draw using the computer and who creates better stuff if he follows this kind of stage by stage instruction, thought that I should have hand drawn on paper all the steps above to demonstrate and not provided the evidence in screen shots. My thoughts however, is though I found it all very frustrating with the practice bringing about such limitations, I do believe one can produce some fabulous Manga creations using this book as a guide, whether it be digitally (with more practice in my case), or traditionally. I like originality however, and so make no excuses for being original! 

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Also available from the same series  How to Draw PEOPLE in Simple Steps

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