Drawing tools I have ever tried and used for making manga

Let`s take my manga Videira as an example – I am experimenting with the tools I use for drawing it until now.

I have used a variety of papers and pens. Let`s move straight to it:

1) A3 paper, gel pen, black markers, roting isographs

first chapter was drawn on A3 paper – it was the largest size I`ve ever used for drawing manga.
I have drawn my manga with pencil and inked using simple black gel pen + Roting isograph 0.1 for thinnest lines + Roting isograph 1.0 and random black markers from the nearest shops.
I couldn`t find neither isograps or ink for them in my town, so I had to by them online and wait for a couple of weeks until they arrive.
I liked using isograps but it was a little bit of inconvenient to fill them with ink and I usually ended up covered with ink from top to toe as well as my bathroom where I was doing  it XD
After having a kernel of 0.1 isograph broken I had to buy it online again, and wait for two weeks until it arrives… agrh! No matter how much I enjoyed using it, this was way too inconvenient considering the fact I had to constantly fill it with ink and I didn`t have any of the accessories in my town.
After receiving and replacing the kernel of 0.1 isograph, I had broken 1.0`s (thick line-making) isograph corps. And I was done here.

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A3, gel pen + isograpg

By the way, about the paper size – It was great to have an ability to depict the smallest details, besides, after scanning the page looked very neat and pretty, but here I had another issue – the scanning XD I had A4 scanner which is 1/2 size of A3 pages I was drawing at. I had to scan every frame separately and after that, combine them in Photoshop. Oh my! It was a disaster! But the result was very good. I actually can proud of the quality of pages of the first Videira chapter. But it still was not very practical and took a very long time, so I was looking for another materials

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ink

 

2) B4 paper, Ink, dip pen holder, g-pen, maru-pen

During the second chapter I have switched to B4 – this is standard Japanese format for manga pages, a little bit bigger than A4 and a little bit smaller than A3. Love this format! I have bought (online as well as I can not even dream of such paper to appear in my town…) wood dip pen holder G-pen, Maru-pen, and some others, along with B4 paper, Black Pilot and black Deleter ink and a couple of Chinese cheap ink bottles – black and white.

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ink

I had so much fun using these materials, imagining me like the true manga artist XD  As I had never experienced ink and g-pen I was so new and exciting but it took soooo long to make a single page. The line was much better it was alive and curvy. However, I still had scan-making issues as B4 pages were still bigger than my scanner and I still had to combine separate frames into one-page aster scanning.

 

I did draw 2nd and  1/2 of the 4th chapter ( as I had dawn 4th chapter before the 3rd) using ink and B4 paper.

3) A4 paper, sakura pigma micron multiliners

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B4, ink, G-pen

But I have continued experimenting and the 3rd chapter was done in A4 format (paper size keeps going down and down lol). Meanwhile I have discovered a new material – multiliners! And they were great they are such a life-savers. Love them. I personally prefer Sakura Pigma Micron Multiliners (I have tried some other brands as well as copic multiliner which btw did very good as well but Sakura pigma micron have stolen my heart) I am still using them and a random simple black marker to cover large black spaces.

Nowadays I am still experimenting with Videira looking the best possible materials which would provide both joy from the process and the result with good

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A4, multi liners

balanced speed and quality. I`m trying to draw some pages digitally in the 7th chapter, it is easier in some way – because I don`t have to clean the scan from dots and scratches but I am not quite satisfied with the line itself – digital lining is hard for me but I am working on it.

Hope it was useful information, every material has its own advantages and disadvantages: just try them all, and decide what is better for you, but never use the lack of some material as an excuse to not drawing – I have tried a lot, and one conclusion I could make:

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multiliners

it is your story and your art – what really matters, no matter if you use super expensive Japanese ink, B-4 paper designed especially for manga or cheapest A4 paper for office technique and simple gel pen+ black maker from the newspaper kiosk.

 

Take care and have fun drawing!~

 

5 things I wish I knew before I started to draw manga or my 5 critical mistakes.

1. Resolution
2. Write down the dialogs in balloons or elsewhere
3. Storyboarding issue
4. outline
5. don`t start several projects at the same time

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Three manga-pages from 3 different stories which I was drawing at the same time ^.^’

1) Page size and resolution

When I was going to draw my first one-shot manga I have seen somewhere page size of 500×800 px required to upload … so, I have made pages exactly of that size! Originally. oh my!  They are so small. It goes without saying that I couldn`t print them. Of course, they are even too small to see them clearly on some  devices.
and I am not sure about resolution it was either 96 or 200 px. my other comics were a little bit bigger in size but also with low resolution.

2) Write down dialogues in the balloons of storyboard or somewhere else

I should have written them down for the god`s sake. Firstly, when I started to make comics, I didn`t write down the text, which was supposed to be told by characters – I just had the balloons left empty for some unknown reason relaying on my memory. Why did I do that? No idea. Later on, when it came up to filling the balloons I was sitting and guessing what was they supposed to say, staring at empty text bubbles. I mean of course I couldn`t forget general meaning but the key point is the first phrases coming up to my mind are usually more natural and funnier (as I am trying to add a little bit of humor into my manga) after that I started to write down the dialogues as soon as possible after they appear in my head – sometimes I do it in storyboards, sometimes in notebooks not to forget.

3. Storyboarding issues

When I just have started I wish I knew what storyboard is. It would make everything much easier but I didn`t make them. Then I started to draw them with graphic pencil, but slowly, I have realized that pencil wich I use with the light pressure may disappear from the paper as time flows by or become almost invisible. So, I started to use pen for drawing storyboards before actual pages. It helps a lot – to decide how the figures and text would be better placed on the page before the actual drawing not to remake it when it’s too late.

4. Outlining

I have never made outline or write down or even think over the whole plot before starting to draw. – I still don`t do. I usually happen to have the bright spark of the idea when I know how exactly should my story begin and end. What the hell is going on in the middle? who cares! I want to draw because I am so exited about the characters and the idea itself. and I did draw the beginning and the end and only after that I figured out what should be in the middle that could lead from beginning to a particular end. It is so wrong =D but I couldn`t help it. No, I think that making the proper outline having climax and chain of Interconnected events logically leading to it is better than “I love the start and the end so much but what to draw in the middle? Whatever! I must have something in there after all”. I have to work on this issue.

5. Several projects at the same time

And the last, the most obvious, not to start several projects at the same time, not for me back then =D I got so easily distracted by my ideas. And I want to draw them all at the same time. But it makes my slow drawing process eve more slower. Now I have to limit myself. On the sake of finishing at least one it is better to have one finished story them bunch of them started and no result at all.

4 steps of my drawing manga-page process – how I draw manga.

4 basic steps of creating manga-comic page, manga drawing process. speeddraw video

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.

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pages from the 1st chapter of my manga “Videira” A3 format

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:

  1. draft (storyboard)
  2. pencil sketch
  3. ink (lineart) – I prefer to do these three 3 first steps on paper (I love traditional art)
  4. 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.

3) Inking

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.

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Pages from the second chapter of my “Time to Live” project ^_^ Printed out at home.

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!