Blog Home » Drawing Blog » Magnificent Manga: 10 Beginner Drawing Manga Tips
manga? Then you’re in the right place! I call it “how to practice manga” because if you ask any artist, the key to getting better is to practice. Most tutorials just show you really pretty pictures that the artist did and it kind of expects you to just copy and redraw the same thing perfectly. This is different — I’m going to share with you actionable tips for drawing manga to help make you a better artist…
Here are 10 things you must know in order to successfully drawing manga!
I have tried those “how to draw books” and I hated it. I’m not here to just draw pretty pictures. Instead, I’m going to share something truly useful by pointing out some essential tips along with beginner mistakes to avoid to help you successfully start your manga drawing journey!
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Any “How to Draw Manga” tutorial that says you don’t need to know actual anatomy to draw proper anime is lying and you should burn it immediately. For any stylized art, you need to know how the real body is put together before you start exaggerating. This is a fine line between making something look stylized and something that looks like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Sometimes this is hard to do because it takes up extra time, but if there is something you do not know how to draw, go online and look up a reference. It will make your art look so much better. Look up poses, look up props, look up environments. Do not try to draw something out of your head, because you will miss important details.
I used to hate guidelines when I first started, and it took me awhile to warm up to them — but trust me, guidelines help. They help you quickly put down a pose and compare the body shapes and sizes. Artists who use guidelines are less likely make anatomy errors. Every professional — and I do mean every professional — always starts with a skeleton before they draw their character. If you haven’t been using guidelines yet, I advise that you do.
There is a fine line between studying your favorite artist and copying them. What ends up happening when you copy other artists is you end up copying their flaws, purposefully. You need to break down what parts of their art you like and examine why you like it. You don’t want to be a carbon copy of someone else.
This is probably one of the harder ones. Artists say they are OK with criticism, but what they mean is they are OK with having it go through one ear and out the other. Every critique is valid even if phrased in an impolite way, because it means something was off about your art that made someone have to point it out. Don’t just say, “It’s my style.” Your style may just be wrong. You don’t have to take every piece of criticism, but you need to listen.
Friends and family will always say your artwork is perfect, and I’m here to tell you they are lying. Sometimes, artists end up feeding into too much positive feedback and they get too content with their artwork and they stop improving. Always seek out people that will give you an honest feedback instead of “oh, that’s cute” or “that’s really nice.”
You shouldn’t just avoid drawing any parts of the body that you don’t want to draw, such as hiding the hands or always drawing characters from the waist up. It’s better to at least draw it, be bad at it and keep improving than ignore it altogether.
If I had my way, I’ll just draw the same characters all the time. We all have a certain “type” of character like to draw. We also have a specific gender preference we like to draw. I want to tell you there are infinite types of people you can draw; don’t just stick to just drawing pretty girls, pretty boys, teenagers, etc. You should learn how to draw everyone.
Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when you see other artists who are better than you — especially the younger artists. But trust me: everyone had to start somewhere. Try to use them as inspiration instead of getting yourself down.
Getting better at art can be frustrating and sometimes it may feel like I’m scolding you, but drawing should be fun! Unless you are getting paid by someone else to draw something, no need to panic. Just relax and do your best.
With that being said, I will give you two exercises to get started:
Draw at least 2 characters’ full bodies. They can be whoever you want, but try to pick two fairly different characters.
Write down 10 skills or techniques you want to improve in your manga drawing. Focus on those things whenever you draw.
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Love the tips! Now I can improve my anime drawing skills! Thank you so much!
I agree these tips were really helpful I should come to this website more often based on drawing techniques
Wow i must say thank you for these tips. I am a terrible drawer and my Mom is an excellent drawer and she tells me i’m doing great. Now I see that i’m really not and I need some help thanks, And for real did you draw these there Amazing!!
Even those artists that tell to beginners ‘is a good start’ lie.
I love all styles of anime. My biggest road block is frustration and impatience.
thank you for the tips. I will do my best to apply them.
Dont be. Just be happy with what you’re drawing and the artblock will stop. Dont draw for no one but your self
Nice tips!!.. i love it.. thank you!..
I just got into the manga drawing style. Everyone says my artwork is ‘awesome’
now I see that I should not listen to them, and also, any helpful tips for beginners?? I really hate those ‘draw cute manga people’ books, because the drawings look soooo awesome, but my drawings seriously suck.
yeah I know right! when I was younger I was so mad I couldn’t draw good, so as I got older I realized that everyone has their own style and personality to their character. also here is a few of my tips: 1: draw ALOT! because more drawing will improve your skills and help you decide what you like. 2: ask some random people, ( or people who you say your friends with, but lets face it your not.) 3: try different styles of art on one piece, because then you will see what styles look good mixed. 4: try different drawing techniques, like holding your pencil in different places, or drawing quicker on some parts. 5: keep a high self-esteem. because if your always dragged down you will quit. but sometimes tragedys make good art.
I so agree; I felt the same, now I’m getting better!
When I saw this it made me say thats me I would not like my drawing and now I feel much better.Thx to this page I learned a good lesson!!!
i just thought that making manga was so hard but when i see this site …. it makes me feel easy on how to make a good drawing…..
I have to thank you for the tips because they helped a lot!
Well, these tips did really, really help me. But uh….Like, I am confused on how to draw hair that fits, or a boy that really looks good. Boys are the hardest, to me anyway, because I am the opposite gender and I am better at drawing female, but not like comic books. Not as good as manga masters. I am a low class of this stuff, but not horrible. Any tips for drawing boys?
Don’t simply draw a flat girl with boys hair. Their are many thing that men have different in there anatomy, so study that.
I started drawing manga or anime with girls. then…slowly…studied…men…and boys. I also look at the way people walk or how they styled themselves. I personally started with chibi’s before I started drawing manga/anime.
I did the exact same thing! I started with chibi and now I stick to doing the proper manga characters with full bodies and stuff.
This is great…. if your encouraging people who draw anime. I have a very difficult time drawing two eyes so I cover one with hair, that and drawing two of the same things like shoes and especially hands, but I still try. This is a great post thankyou
Hey; so did I! But I only done it once since it was part of the character’s design!
despite good tips, drawings presented still suck way below average.
thx for the great tips. However, i am not like (not all) other people who always give u the “i like the page thanks” comments. I will give u some feetback. I like how you focused on how to inprove on different styles and anatomy. Id like to know how i can draw from different angles and sizes. I’m also wondering what is the best way to get good refrences? thx lol
I’ve always been critical about my art but even though i improved imensly i still suck at anatomy. Any help with that woud be nice. Anyway, that’s some great general tips you give
When I would try to draw anime characters they end up looking funny.
if this keeps happening start with chibi’s. you can loom them up on google. they are basically small cartoonish childish anime characters. at least that’s what I started with.
I’m 13 and my art work is terrible I started drawing when I was 10 but it seems like I can’t draw like how I use too but the tips are nice maybe I will try them
well I started drawing a few months ago and I have improved greatly. maybe its how much you draw. I usually draw about 20+ drawings a day.
References really helped me information is realy accurate
Thank you! I’ve been drawing in the manga style for over a year now and I can produce some good pics! Problem is, it’s all from reference. It’d discouraging to see crappy artwork when drawn from my head, but I’m gonna use this as helpnto start anew 😀
good now i think i have more confident to make a manga but a little bit tough tho i’m just 12 but soon 13 i,’ll try hard now,anyway thx!
Amazing tips! I am super fond of the artwork from Pokémon Adventures (amazing manga btw) but I could never get the knack of drawing it right. Thanks!
I am sorry, but this comment is going to be extremely harsh and maybe even way too critical, so prepare yourself and if you have any problems with that you can just avoid reading it. This tutorial isn’t about drawing manga, it is about drawing in general. It doesn’t emphasize ANYTHING that is connected DIRECTLY to manga, so the title is wrong from the start. Also you write here about drawing with manga style, but your art doesn’t really resemble manga that much. Actually it didn’t manage to impress me at all, not even as a rushed-funny-sketch. These can explain the reason for the first problem — you simply don’t have any actual knowledge about manga/anime art style yourself. It also can explain why most of your suggestions are so general and subjective, without any practical advices that can help someone to actually improve their skills and knowledge of the subject, though it can be fine as a beginner tutorial – The real problem is, after all, the misleadning title. But well… I guess I simply had too high expectations from something with such a title..
yeah, my first thought was that too. but it did give me some tips on how to draw better.
Well, it’s not exactly how to improve your manga art but it’s how to improve your art and isn’t that what you want
Thanks for the tips; now I’ve learned to not get discouraged when comparing my drawings to other peoples since I had a major problem when doing so by thinking that I was untalented compared to everyone else!
That expert’s characters’ designs looked really old.
lol, just a few weeks ago a friend of mine said that he was good at drawing manga and anime characters and told me that he’d bring them to school. A couple of days later, he brought me his folder and showed all of his drawings to me and asked for my opinions. In my head I was like “They’re crap”, of course I didn’t say that out loud but I did tell him that they weren’t that good.
I’ve been drawing manga for years now, and I won’t say I’m great, I’ve got a long ways to go, but I will say that I’m experienced. Despite being “experienced” some of these tips are actually very helpful. Especially the references. I have the idea of doing everything from memory so jammed in my head that I almost feel like using references is cheating. Thanks to this post, I really understand not only that it is wrong, but why. Thanks a lot!!
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