How To Draw Manga Step By Step

Mad About Manga

How to Draw Manga Step by Step

Get Instant Access

Artist at work

Drawing Manga Action FiguresTied Easy Paintings

Although the progress of this work is broken down into nineteen stages, it's best to bear in mind that the faster you can do the main body of the work, the more energy your finished painting is likely to have.

It's all too easy to get tied up in a particular detail and leave the rest of the picture to languish, so try to move about the surface of the painting so that the whole thing evolves at a steady rate.

tools and media

Experiment to find out which tools and materials you prefer and see how different media behave when used together.

• CS10 art board has a smooth surface to which paint is easy to apply,

• black colored pencil for sketching, defining, and shading—not water-soluble, so that it won't disappear when you paint over it.

• acrylic paints are cheaper and dry more quickly than oiis (the ideal medium), so they are good for speedy work and for practicing with. You can use them as they are to give thick, chunky textures, or you can dilute them (unlike oiis) for smoother textures and washes.

watercolor brushes for washes Apply as many washes as you like during painting to deepen the tone and soften gradations between tones—this heightens realism.

• red and black ballpoint pens for boosting outlines

• process white and small brush for highlights and fine detail

• fiber-tip pens for details like the monster's markings

• toothbrush spatter adds texture in a random way that looks completely organic. Dip the bristles in the paint and then run your thumbnail over them. You can then work into the spatter with a brush, picking out highlights.

< 3. Line definition

Here the characters have developed much more definition. Their shape is far clearer now, and the outlines are bolder and more circumscribed. More steps on pages 60-63.

finished painting

Glenn Fabry

This is a typical fantasy theme: Girl in peril from Hideous Thing. It has a simple diagonal composition, with her line of action sloping to the left and his to the right. Her color scheme is warm and his mostly cold, Each of them has a strong white highlight, almost in outline, to draw them out from the background,

Sketching out the basic idea in pencil, the artist will already have decided roughly what he wants his characters to look like, and how he wants to compose the scene. This primary stage maps out the illustration, gives you an idea of how the image will work as a whole, and provides a good framework upon which to build layers of detail in future stages.

A 2. Anatomy and expression

This stage adds finesse to the basic sketch. The lines become bolder and more detail is added, particularly to the winged female character.

Glenn Fabry

4. Shading

Now the smaller details are given definition. Notice particularly how the ears have really begun to take shape. Also, the artist has begun to add some simple pencil shading to give a better idea of the placement of the muscles.

color palette

This painting uses a balance of coo! colors (blues and greens) and warm coiors (reds and oranges) to give contrast between the monster and the girl.

Action Figure Anatomie Girl

Acrylics alizarin crimson black burnt sienna burnt umber cadmium orange cadmium red cadmium yellow cobalt blue emerald green gray light magenta Naples yellow pthalo blue violet white

Colored pencils

Atmospheric Manga

A 6. Background

The artist adds some atmospheric detail to the background. He's chosen colors that are unusually dark for such an early stage of the rendering, but this is fine because the final image is very dimly lit. If you do make a mistake and accidentally go too dark, the best way to remedy the situation is to let the paint dry, and then repaint over the top.

Spatter Paint Figures

A 5. Adding color

Now we can begin to add color. The final rendering of an illustration is a long, detailed process which comprises several stages of building up detail in layers. This first stage adds shading in the appropriate places, giving the character more volume and shape. Notice how the artist shades quite lightly, and with a color other than black—if you're building up color In layers, it's very easy to darken the colors in the final stages, whereas lightening them can be extremely difficult.

Monsters Coloring Bear

A 7. Character work

The monster's expression is defined with black coloring pencil, and muscle definition is established once again. Expressions get bolder and highlighted with touches of white. Our heroine gets a white dress and wings.

Free How Draw Action FiguresDrawing Manga Action Tutorial

10. Color detailing and highlights

Here the artist adds some small details that give the monster a more organic feel. The veins on the arms promote a feeling of believability around the character.

A 8. Concentrated color

The artist adds blue tones to the monster, and redefines the pencil lines. Depending on how many layers you use to build up your color, it may be necessary to do this several times.

A 9. Tones

More color detail is added to the mouth, and the artist starts to build up tones in the background. Rough brush strokes are an easy way to quickly create areas of color that can act as a reference for building good color schemes across the whole image. This will help to produce an interesting texture when you add more detail later.

10. Color detailing and highlights

Here the artist adds some small details that give the monster a more organic feel. The veins on the arms promote a feeling of believability around the character.


Sometimes you can achieve such interesting effects on the palette that you might want to recreate them in the painting itself, or keep them aside for little abstract works.

Was this article helpful?

+1 0
Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

Get My Free Ebook


  • jo
    How to draw a action figure steps?
    4 months ago
  • demsas
    How to build up to sketching action figures?
    2 months ago

Post a comment