Hi everybody! ^_^
I am self-taught manga-artist and in this post:
- I’m going to tell about my step by step process of creating manga page
- I will show the process of inking a page from my manga in video-format as well.
I am Heiseihi and I love to draw comics in old-school shoujo-manga style!
If you want to know more about me, check my About page.
In case if you don`t know what the hell manga is – 漫画 it is japanese word used for comics. In modern pop-culture we have the wrong feeling that manga is only something big-eyed and black-white, no, it actually can be colored, realistic and anything possible to imagine. Basically it is a story told in pictures (text is optional here). And “shoujo” – is type of manga for girls =D So, shall we start?
The current manga-project I`m working on is Videira, which can be read on Tapas (former Tapastic) for free ^_^ link it is funny shoujo-romance gender-bender adventure taking place in the jungle of 19th century Brazil =D It is my experimental comics, drawing which I have tried many different media and drawing tools.
As I am not a full-time artist (drawing is my passional hobby) I draw slow as Snail, but no matter how few free-time I have for doing this, I’ve never given up on my art-passion and creating my comics.
Warning! I`m not trying to teach anyone here how to draw correctly (I am still in the process of learning myself).
I just want to share the way I do it. Hopefully it will be useful or at least entertaining.
Every manga page I make have 4 essential steps:
- draft (storyboard)
- pencil sketch
- ink (lineart) – I prefer to do these three 3 first steps on paper (I love traditional art)
- scanning and digital editing including toning with screentones.
1) Draft (storyboard)
I usually do it for the whole chapter or for a complete scene at once in a notebook – not to mess up with the page order later:
I actually had and accidents when this happened before – so, a little advice： if making comics takes you as long as me – you’d better make storyboards in a sketchbook and not separate pages (unless you manage to keep them in right order from the beginning XD ), for me it can take up to several years before I turn my storyboards into a finished chapter. And one more tip – now I have learnt that it works for me better when I draw storyboards with pen – not graphic pencil for the same reason. I always use 3H hard pencil giving thin pale lines to easily remove them later works for sketches, but not for storyboards. My storyboards usually look messy and crappy – but it`s ok – I make them to capture the general idea sparkling in my head I can fix anatomy and other stuff later when I’ll draw an actual page.
For example – 7th chapter of Videira: I have drawn it`s storyboard long ago even before chapter 3 and 4 and so many time has passed since: my light pale pencil lines have completely disappeared from the paper I could barely see them now and I could only guess what are they talking about. And this is why I use a pen for storyboards since then =D
2) Pencil sketch
Looking for my storyboard-draft I redraw frames clearly on separate paper sheets. Sometimes I happen to love some frames of my storyboard and realize that I could not repeat the same face expression if I try to redraw it – in this case my lovely light-table is always here for help – I trace my draft and Voila! I absolutely adore my light table which, I have bought in China for the extremely cheap price, while I was studying in Chinese university for a term ^_^ If you prefer traditional old-fashioned way of drawing over digital it is absolutely must-have thing! Recommend! You can ask anyone to make it for you – it doesen`t seem very hard to make.
is my favourite part after storyboarding. It feels like meditation to sit on my couch and ink pages listening for music or audiobook.
Here I won’t speak about inking tools – I have tried a lot of them! It may get a little too wordy (it already did XD) – I’d better dedicate a whole different post to them.
Here is a video of me inking page from the 6th chapter of videira – speaddraw couple of hours in 3 minutes. It usually takes me longer when the page have more frames and more complicated background, poses, more black ect. I have chosen this page for video because t is simple and I could finish inking in one sitting =D
4) Digital editing
So, I have finally finished drawing lineart and scanned my page! Yay! Time to open champaign – right? WRONG! D: Here comes the most painful and time-consuming page-making part for me at least – digital editing X_x Firstly I open my drawing in image-editing program – it can be anyone – personally I prefer to use Photoshop – adjust brightness/contrast and clean the scan from every single little dot and scratch which may left after scanning (I am not sure is there such word as “scanning” – it is the process of using scan-maker to transform your drawing from paper to digital format). Than I make tones and shadows using screentones. And the final stage is adding text to bubbles.
Many people don`t have such time time-waste as page-cleaning because they draw lines digitally and they just put screentones and finish quickly. I have tried this way – but I enjoy drawing on paper and it doesn’t mae my eyes hurt, besides I love result more when I draw traditionally.
If you prefer the real paper or just don’t have graphic tablet yet:
Make sure your scanner’s size matches the size of paper-format you have chosen for drawing or bigger then paper. Otherwise it i going to turn into a huuuge pain in the ass. lol. Trust me, I’ve been there. The First and the Seconf chapters of “Videira” made on A3 and B4 formats… while my scan-maker is A4… X_x and I had to combine every single page frame by frame after scanning.
Ta-dam! The page is finished! As a result I end up having something like this:
Hope that was useful and not deathly-boring.
Next time I`m going to talk about:
- 5 things I wish I knew BEFORE I had started to draw my manga-comics.
- Drawing tools I have ever tried and used for making manga.
- Cheap copic-markers alternative: Review of Chinese markers I use for coloring.
and more ^_^/~
Thanks for the attention!