Draw manga characters: all the basics about drawing manga

Draw manga characters: all the basics about drawing manga

Today it gets a bit more special on our blog. Are you a fan of Japanese comic culture?? Then this article is for you: It’s all about the theme Drawing Manga Figures !

In the big picture, we’ll take a look at what makes a manga and what you should know about the culture of Japanese comics. Then, of course, there are tips for you, too, if you Drawing manga characters yourself would like.

The following content will guide you through the topic today:

  • Types of manga
  • Special types of manga characters
  • Typical characteristics of a manga drawing
  1. Ethnically neutral appearance
  2. Childish scheme or "Kawaii"
  3. Symbolic language as an expression of feelings
  4. Face and hairstyle
  5. Background
  • Which material is suitable for drawing manga figures??
  • Adding color to the drawing
  • Manga figures: How to draw the rough proportions of face and body
  • What clothes should I draw for my manga characters?

What is manga and where does it come from?

The word "manga" is simply the Japanese term for a Comic . However, a certain style of drawing has developed under this name over the years, which is associated with the term especially outside Japan.

Cartoons has existed in Japan for a long time. Already in the 8. In the nineteenth century monks are said to have begun to draw comics.

Today’s manga, however, only came into being when Japan opened up after a long period of seclusion in the 19th century. century more and more globalized .

The clash of Western and Japanese cultures created the modern manga . This can still be seen today, because manga combines stylistic elements of both comic cultures with each other.

Especially because of the internet there are more and more well-known Manga artists , that show their works, for example on Instagram.

Manga and anime: these are the differences

In connection with manga, you have probably heard the term Anime encountered. Many people in our cultural area are not exactly clear about the differences, which is why the terms are used synonymously.

In fact, an anime is simply a animated manga . So you can say manga is the drawn, silent comic on paper. Anime is the comic series and the movie respectively.

Different types of manga and manga characters

If you are involved with manga, you will regularly Japanese terms meet people you may not know. Often refer to either manga for a specific target audience or manga characters with special characteristics.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common terms take a quick look to shed some light on this for you.

Types of manga

On the one hand, mangas are Target audience distinguished. In Japan it is much more common than here to create offers separated by gender already in childhood. In addition, they are divided into age groups.

This is how different types of mangas , which deal with different themes. In addition, mangas for children, for example, look different from those for adults.

  • Kodomo: Mangas for little boys and girls.
  • Shojo: Mangas for female teenagers.
  • Shonen: Mangas for male teenagers.
  • Josei: Mangas for adult women.
  • his: Mangas for adult men.

Special types of manga characters

Besides there are also special types of manga figures , Which are characterized by a characteristic design. The main ones are:

Chibi: These are small, squat figures with a disproportionately large head. Often a normal character is depicted as a chibi to show certain emotions, such as being in love.

Super Deformed: Chibi is a subcategory of Super Deformed. This is understood to mean any manga character that is portrayed in an extremely distorted way. Often certain body parts are shown very large and all others very small or not at all.

Manga character drawing: The main points

No matter what kind of manga character you want to draw, there are certain characteristics which make the style so distinct.

Although a character does not necessarily have to fulfill all of these characteristics, they often. However, when drawing, you should be careful to always some of the criteria described to implement in your drawing so that it becomes typical manga.

Typical characteristics of a manga drawing

In the following we show you the 5 main characteristics of a manga drawing.

#1: Ethnic neutral appearance

The fact that manga emerged from the combination of Western and Eastern culture can be seen especially in the ethnically neutral appearance of the characters.

Although it is sometimes criticized that manga characters are modeled on Western. However, by the Japanese artists and fans, this is mostly very different seen.

Rather, manga characters should not carry distinct ethnic characteristics. This way many people can get identify .

You can do this by adding elements like mouth, nose, eyes and ears greatly simplified depict.

In addition, the skin is often deliberately left white, i.e. not dyed at all or only slightly pink. So it has unnatural white color , which should appear neutral.

Mangas and origin

#2: Childish scheme or "Kawaii"

Kawaii means something like "adorable", "cute" or "sweet". In Japanese comic art, certain stylistic elements are used that are considered "kawaii".

Except in certain genres, manga characters are often drawn kawaii. In the German cultural area you probably know this as "Child scheme" .

This means that the eyes and the head will be enlarged represented, while, for example, the nose and the body proportionally scaled down become.

The whole character becomes very roundish shown. This is what we humans perceive as cute or sweet.

#3: Symbolic language as an expression of emotions

It is also common in Western comics, spoken language or symbolic facial expressions of the characters to represent certain emotions.

In manga, however, artists take this to the extreme. Thus Mangas possess a whole symbolic language .

If you want to depict these correctly, you should be more deeply employ .

Browse through your favorite mangas and pay attention to how the artists for example lines, crosses, waves or squiggles use to express certain emotions.

#4: Face and hairstyle

The face of a manga character often follows a certain Scheme , beyond the kawaii concept described above. But it also depends on the function, character and gender of the character.

Female characters for example, are often depicted with a round or heart-shaped face and very large eyes. Male figures on the other hand, have oval, angular facial features and smaller eyes.

Common or villainous characters are often depicted with a narrow face and narrow eyes. Moreover, they are shown almost petrified without emotions. Even characters who have experienced something bad often show similar characteristics.

Manga characters draw sad mean

Typical are also the Hairstyles : Women usually wear elaborate long hairstyles, braids or very voluminous, shoulder-length hair. Male characters Often possess spiky hair sticking out from the head.

Also the hair color is not based on nature, but very much represents the character of the character. Here it also helps to use Color effect to deal with.

#5: Background

A typical feature of western comics is to draw the figures rather detailed and the backgrounds rather simplified.

With manga, it’s the other way around: the characters tend to be simplified and the Background for it often very realistic and elaborated in detail.

This is to allow the viewer to dive deep into the story and at the same time fully identify with the character. The Background is thus with the Manga very important and significantly contributes to the effect of the finished drawing.

So if you want to draw a background for your manga, really take time for this. Pay attention also to a realistic perspective .

Only when your character’s emotions are strongly in the foreground, you can simplify the background. Often it is then also quite omitted .

Draw Manga background

Drawing Manga Characters: Tips for the practical implementation

So, that was already quite a lot of basic knowledge about drawing manga figures. Finally, let’s talk about what you should do to get started with the practical realization need to know.

Which material is suitable for drawing manga figures?

Many commercial mangas are computer graphics . Real manga artists draw their figures by hand, of course, but then often digitize them.

When you meet owners of a Graphics tablets or are a good Drawing program on your tablet, you can try if you like digital work.

If you by hand on paper If you want to draw a picture, you must still try to create a very clean, tidy image.

For this you best make a bright Preliminary drawing with pencils to. So a basic drawing kit is a good start.

Additionally you should Fineliner or use other very thin felt tip pens to trace the lines if you are happy with your preliminary drawing.

Adding color to the drawing

Mangas can be quite black and white stay. To do this, you shade them after outlining with pencils after.

But you can also give your manga colored design. Various methods are suitable for this. Colored pencils or brush pens are particularly suitable, because they allow you to work very cleanly and achieve the desired "clean" look.

Manga figures: how to draw the rough proportions of face and body

Every artist has his own style in manga. That means: You can here do not really do anything wrong , as long as your picture makes a visual unit at the end. 😊

Nevertheless, a manga often follows certain proportions. This is especially true for the face. The most important element in manga Eyes Draw.

If you want to draw a face for your manga character, follow roughly the following steps to do so Proportions :

  • The upper half of the face belongs entirely to the Eyes the character. divide it again into two halves: the lower fill the eyes, partly to the edge, the upper the Forehead .
  • In the middle of the face is the rather small Nose .
  • The Mouth lies centrally between nose and chin and is also rather small and narrow.

With time, you’ll get a feel for how to modify them depending on your expression and figure. But for now they are a good Guideline .

Important: You should draw big eyes in manga, they are one of the most important characteristics.

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