Want to learn how to practice manga? Then you’re in the right place! I call it “how to practice manga,” because if you ask any artist, the key to getting better is to practice. Most tutorials just show you really pretty pictures that the artist did and it kind of expects you to just copy and redraw the same thing perfectly. This is different — I’m going to share with you actionable tips for drawing manga to help make you a better artist…
Here are 10 things you must know in order to successfully drawing manga!
I use to try those “How to draw books,” and I hated it. I’m not here to just draw pretty pictures, instead I’m going to share something truly useful by pointing out some essential tips along with beginner mistakes to avoid to help you successfully start your mange drawing journey!
Don’t stop here! Be sure to check out Craftsy’s online class Drawing Anime Style for up-close instruction on how to create incredible anime-style characters!
1. You must study real anatomy.
Any “How to Draw Manga” tutorial that says you don’t need to know actual anatomy to draw proper anime is lying and you should burn it immediately. For any stylized art you need to know how the real body is put together before you start exaggerating. This is a fine line between making something look stylized, and something that looks like you don’t know what you’re doing.
2. Use references
Sometimes this is hard to do because it takes up extra time, but if there is something you do notknow how to draw go online and look up a reference. It will make your art look so much better. Look up poses, look up props, look up environments. Do not try to draw something out of your head, because you will miss important details.
3. Use guidelines.
I use to hate guidelines when I first started and it took me awhile to warm up to them, but trust me it helps. It helps you quickly put down a pose, compare the body shapes and sizes. Artist that use guidelines are less likely make anatomy errors. Every professional, and I do mean every professional always starts with a skeleton before they draw their character. If you haven’t been using guidelines yet I advise that you do.
4. Do not just copy your favorite artist.
There is a fine line between studying your favorite artist and copying them. What ends up happening when you copy other artists is you end up copying their flaws, purposefully. Which is you need to break down what parts of their art you like and examine why you like it. You don’t want to be a carbon copy of someone else.
5. You need to be ok with criticism.
This is probably one of the harder ones. Artists say they are ok with criticism, but what they mean is they are ok with having go through one ear and out the other. Every criticism is valid even if phrased in an impolite way. Because something was off about your art that made someone have to point it out. Don’t just say “It’s my style” because your style may just be wrong. You don’t have to take every criticism but you need to listen.
6. Do not listen to friends and family.
Friends and family will always say your artwork is perfect, and I’m here to tell you they are lying. Sometimes artists end up feeding into too much positive feedback that they get too content with their artwork and they stop improving. Always seek out people that will give you an honest feedback instead of “oh that’s cute” “Oh that’s really nice”.
7. Avoid shortcuts.
Avoid shortcuts. You shouldn’t just avoid drawing any parts of the body that you don’t want to draw. Such as hiding the hands, always drawing characters from the waist up. It’s better to at least draw it, be bad at it and keep improving, than ignore it altogether.
8. Avoid character discrimination.
If I had my way, that’s what I’ll just draw all the time. We all have a certain ‘type’ of character like to draw. We also have a specific gender preference we like to draw. I want to tell you there are infinite types of people you can draw, don’t just stick to just drawing pretty girls, pretty boys, teenagers etc. You should learn how to draw everyone.
9. Don’t get discouraged.
Sometimes it’s hard to get discouraged when you see other artists that are better than you — especially the younger artist. But trust me everyone had to start somewhere, try to use them as inspiration instead of getting yourself down.
10. Have fun!
Getting better at art can be frustrating and sometimes it may feel like I’m scolding you, but drawing should be fun Unless you are getting paid by someone else to draw something (like I am) no need to panic just relax and do your best.
Manga drawing exercise to help you get better!
OK with that being said. I will be giving you an exercise, that will open us in to our first actual drawing tutorial. Draw at least 2 characters full body, can be whoever you want. Write down 10 things you want to be better at.