How to draw manga

Learn how to draw manga with these top tips from Mina Petrovic, author of Manga Crash Course.

How to draw manga

You can learn how to draw manga like Mina Petrovic's Mad Hatter with these tips

Learning how to draw manga is no easy feat. It has a a very distinct style, and sometimes it can be hard to get started without knowledge of the basic principles. Even if you read a lot of manga comics yourself, you may find it difficult to pick out the subtle differences that make each of your favourite artists unique, and therefore find it challenging to develop your own manga style.

Artist Mina Petrovic, better known as Mistiqarts on YouTube, has made it simple for you, with her clear and concise tips on how to start sketching a manga character. Petrovic's tutorial channel boasts over 80,000 subscribers, and she also penned manga drawing book, Manga Crash Course – so you're in good hands!

01. The eyes

How to draw manga eyes 1

First, get the eyes right

"Distance between the eyes is the most important part-always make enough room as to fit a third eye between them," says Petrovic. "For this style, in both genders, nostril size is best to be as minimal as possible."

Click above to see her video tutorial on how to draw various styles of Manga eyes.

02. Sleek Lines

How to draw manga sleek lines

Sleek lines are key when drawing manga

"Lineart represents half the style – with thin, smooth lines as the main visual trait," Petrovic reveals. "It is always a plus if the clothing details are as frequent and as suitable for the character." Mina uses a lightbox to trace her initial sketches and create bold sleek lines.

How to draw manga mad hatter shadow

Petrovic uses a lightbox to trace initial sketches

"Shading is also a part of the linear, and consists out of smaller black shades, and big black surfaces, usually behind the character," she continues.

How to draw manga linear textures

Linear textures feature in manga-style illustrations

"Textures are simplified, in a form of parallel lines, also a part of the line work."

03. Colouring

How to draw manga colouring manga skin

Getting skin colour right is tricky

"As for colouring, some areas are covered in colour only at the shaded parts, for example, light skin," Petrovic adds. "Areas with or without full colour need to have at least two shades for each colour, to mimic 'cell shaded' look from anime."

manga hair colouring

Mimic the cell shaded look when colouring

"Leaving out white edges up front, for leather objects and clothes is a trick to save up on colour, and get a cool effect."

how to draw manga leather boots

Leaving white areas is a neat way to add reflection to bent fabric

"By leaving out white areas in the middle of a bent fabric shape, you get a smooth, satin like feel to it," says Petrovic.

04. Final touches

How to draw manga the small details

Get the small details right

"Even the smallest details are in need of careful decorating," Petrovic advises. "When doing a pattern on the clothing, make sure the pattern is following the shape of the characters body."

How to draw mange clothing details

White outlines again add that manga touch to clothing

"And lastly, white outlines can make all the difference, by marking all the objects and parts of the character which are closest to the observer."

For more information on manga, including tips and tricks, as well as full tutorials, check out ImagineFX Special, Manga Artist Vol. 2.

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Alice Pattillo is a staff writer at Creative Bloq, where she creates content for the likes of Imagine FX, 3D World, net and Computer Arts magazines. When she is not writing about VFX and digital art, she freelances for Metal Hammer magazine, watches too many horror films and reads comic books. Sometimes she sculpts monsters and has been writing her own comic book for over ten years (it's still unfinished…).