Drawing a manga face – Part 1

I have always been intrigued by manga and how so many people are avid followers or artists that love this genre. I decided it was high time that I tried my hand in manga drawing. This is a 3 part quick tutorial on how to draw manga on the Paintology app.

If you follow this tutorial with me and you have never done or always wanted to draw manga, then this is for you. I have not done any editing or had any practice before these drawings. This is so that I can relate to anyone who could make the same mistakes and I don’t feel at all embarrassed to make those mistakes. After all, one learns from making mistakes. So let’s get started.

As often is the case, before I embark on something new, I tend to get some research under my belt. So I looked at some youtubers and some pdf downloads to see how to draw a manga face. My findings were very intriguing to say the least, since I am somewhat comfortable with portrait drawings, my initial thought were, how hard can this be? It turns out there is a science and method behind manga drawing. Here is what I learnt.

  1. It’s all about proportions, if you don’t get this right, your drawings won’t look good. I found this out when I created this 3 part drawing.
  2. There is very subtle difference between a male and female manga.
  3. The eyes are naturally larger than real humans and there are no substantial details regarding the nose and lips.

Oddly enough, all of this somehow comes out naturally and you are never inclined to think that a manga character is somewhat alien. They are just a different race of humans.

As I venture into this manga space, I am beginning to wake up and realize what all the buzz is about. Although, I am nowhere near my journey into the manga world, I can see myself discovering and enjoying that medium as I continue to practice.

The very first drawing I did on my galaxy tablet using Paintology is shown below.

You can see the youtube video below…

Interesting enough, the drawing looked very different to the reference image. Not because it was technically way off but more that the face did not quite match up to the original. The face looked more peculiar in the sense that it did not have the warmth or the smooth bodied face of the original. I used the ‘chalk’ brush tool and thought that I maybe be better off with the charcoal since the lines of a manga character are usually precise and clean.

The technique for drawing the face was a mix of methods that I picked up from having read an introductory book plus some youtube videos. Firstly, you want to draw a circle for the head and then draw concentric circles below the equater line. Make sure to add the face axis line down the middle. Depending on which direction the face is facing, you can adjust this accordingly.

Use the concentric circles to place your eyes, eyebrows, lips, mouth and nose. Start with a mid-level opacity (hardness/density) setting of the brush to overlay darker color for the final going over the drawing. This will emphasize the face and the features along with the head of hair.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post. Let’s move to the second attempt at drawing manga.

Get your free copy of the Paintology drawing app from the Google play store…

Download the free Paintology app from the Google play store.

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