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Draw Manga - Complete Skills by Sonia Leong

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Draw Manga Complete Skills by Sonia Leong

For beginners up, everything you need to know. Includes 28 teaching videos to view online. This combined book and video-guide to drawing manga will allow artists of ANY ability to master this hugely popular drawing style. The 256 page book is packed with step-by-step tutorials on every aspect of manga drawing, basing the instructions around traditional sketching and colouring techniques, and including digital tools for rendering and finishing artwork. The author is highly accomplished professional artist Sonia Leong, who is also creating 28 two-minute video demonstrations designed to link specifically to the content of this book. These video clips are hosted online, and accessed from the books pages using QR codes (or URLs), making this one of the most user-friendly manga tutor books on the market. Readers will learn how to build up characters from basic shapes and measurements, get the anatomy and poses absolutely right, add crucial design elements to enhance drawings and stories, render artwork in different styles and mediums (including digital), and even start to create comic pages and sequences for publication in print or online.

28 two -minute video demonstrations online which are linked to the content of the book

256 pages of step-by-step tutorials on every aspect of manga, including digital tools for finishing and rendering work

Authored by renowned manga artist and author, Sonia Leong, winner of the first Tokyopop Rising Stars of Manga (UK & Ireland) competition in 2005

Table of Contents

Prelims (5 pp)

Introduction (6 pp)

Manga is a dynamic and diverse comic art form originating from Japan. Its popularity is not only down to its looks, but also due to the wide range of its audiencethere are characters and storylines for people of all ages and backgrounds. Perhaps you want a cute childrens story featuring adorable animals? Or would you prefer an intense political thriller, with darker, more realistic drawings? Manga is not just a style, it is a medium through which to tell stories and express yourself.

What is Manga?

Origins, history, and development

Current meaning, styles, and global reach

About this book

Chapter One / Drawing figures (58 pp)

All Manga artists need to start by learning how to draw characters based on real-life proportions and anatomy. This first section provides essential groundwork for drawing figures, from first principles through to keeping them consistent through different poses.

Head and facial structure



Other angles

Other shapes, gender, age

Facial features

Eyes, brows



Ears, fantasy ears



Basic principles (coverage, origin points, direction, styles, finish)

Textures (straight, waves, curls, thick, frizz, afro)

Lengths (short, mid, long, very long, how to get ends and styling right)

Complex styling (plaits, braids, buns, combinations)

Tying it all together (movement, angles, shading, character traits)


Summary of differences in style, head-to-body proportions

Body and limb distribution, real life lengths/measurements

Flesh and muscle focus

Weighting and action lines

Interaction and multiple figures

Perspective and foreshortening

Depicting differences in age, gender, build, body types



Chibi proportion focus

RPG/semi-Chibi focus

Action/Shounen hero focus

Chapter Two / Creating Characters (22 pp)

Character development is the next stepdesign appropriate costumes, props, and settings. Learn how to create realistic folds in clothing, draw fancy weaponry, and gain the fundamental skills in drawing backgrounds.


Body coverage and layering

Folds, draping, and movement

Fastenings and embellishments



Extraordinary elements

Anthropomorphism (animal features)

Sci-fi/fantasy features (markings, wings, cybernetics)

Mecha robots

Props and accompanying items

Close combat weaponry (swords, knives, sticks)

Projectile weaponry (guns, bows)

Other props



Chapter Three / Settings (10 pp)


Choosing and researching



Putting into practice

Placing characters in environments



Natural world

Chapter Four / Rendering Techniques and Processes ( 60 pp )

Once youve mastered your drawing skills, it is time to bring your characters to life with different mediums and shading. Learn how to use watercolors, markers, and other affordable materials to create a pleasing finish. Use your computer to create beautiful images.


Rough drawing to prepare for inks

Finishing as pencil piece


Inking over pencils to prepare for colours/shading

Finishing as inked piece

Colours and shading

Choosing colours and palette

Basic shading principles (light, shadow, highlights)

Intermediate techniques (coloured shadows, backlighting, gradients, sharpness)

Advanced techniques (subsurface scatter, saturation drop-off, different materials)

Traditional media

Colour pencils



Screen tone

Mixed media combinations

Digital media

Tools/software required

Core skills for digital manga: Selection tools; Colouring tools; Layering

Preparation for digital colouring

Vector style line art and fills

Cel-art shading

Airbrush shading

Digital painting

Screen tone

Mixed media combinations

Chapter Five / Character Library (56 pp)

To provide inspiration, here are a variety of characters shown step-by-step from beginning to end in a mixture of traditional and digital styles.

Contemporary characters

Primary school (male and female)

Secondary school (male and female)

Young footballer boy

Young equestrian girl

Punk musician teenage male

Gothic/rockabilly teenage girl

Casual adult male (graphic designer)

Casual adult female (romance novelist)

Formal adult male (banker)

Formal adult female (editor)

Pensioner couple (male and female)

Historical characters

Medieval knight

Medieval princess

Renaissance artist (Leonardo Da Vinci)

Tudor noblewoman (Henry VIIIs wives)

Elizabethan pirate (Captain Jack Sparrow)

Georgian lady-in-waiting (Marie Antoinette-style)

Regency gentleman (Mr. Darcy)

Victorian lady (Lily Langtry or Sarah Bernhardt)

Japanese-specific characters

School kids in Japanese uniform (male & female)

EGL girl (Elegant Gothic Lolita)

EGA guy (Elegant Gothic Aristocrat)

Decora girl

Visual Kei guy




Kimono (male and female)

Sci-fi and fantasy characters

Mecha pilot

Space marine

Steampunk explorer

Bionic agent

Vampire lord

Elven archer

Catgirl dancer




Chapter Six / Making Manga (30 pp)

You can draw the characters and their settings but how do you make a comic out of it all? This section is the culmination of all the skills you have built up throughout the bookit teaches you how to lay out your panels and pages to tell your stories in an exciting and intuitive way.


Recommended tools, materials, and practices

Page setup and guidelines

Writing/directing scenes for Manga

Drawing comic pages

Reading direction and page flow

Intuitive panel order

Speech bubbles focus (size, shape, placement, fonts)

Sound effects and other devices

Panel shapes to influence pacing/understanding

Example layouts and uses

4-panel gag strips focus

Publishing comic pages

Traditional and digital considerations

Sizing and quality

Page 6 Copyright © 2012 Quarto Publishing plc

Screen tone focus

Cover and logo design

Web publishing

How to market your Manga

Resources (2 pp)

Glossary (2 pp)

Index and Credits (5 pp)



Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response - Read further details and keep up to date with our temporary changes here.

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