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.

100_8077-600-min
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.

78398399-min
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!