To draw manga you only need a few basic tools. Manga is the word used to describe Japanese comics, they are read from right to left and are quickly becoming popular in the western world.
The common misconception is that in order to become a master of drawing manga you must have all the different weird and wonderful tools that a published manga artist uses. When really, you don’t, especially if you are a beginner and looking into trying out making your own manga comics.
In this article I will try and cover what you need at a beginner level in traditional art and digital art, and what materials you would need if you wanted to take it further and make your art look more professional.
Before you even consider becoming a manga artist, bear in mind that buying the tools I list here will not make you an instant artist, practise and patience makes a good artist. Practise drawing from life and learn about the different variations on the manga style of drawing before you think about trying out the more expensive tools available to those who wish to draw mangas.
The ideal tools for a beginner manga artist are simple and not too expensive to buy;
1. You will need a good pencil to draw with. I would recommend either a HB pencil or a mechanical pencil. You can use a combination of artistic pencils for shading but ideally you want your main pencil to be sharp and easy to rub out so that you can draw clean, crisp lines.
2. Next you will need an inking pen. A pen with a 0.3 nib should be fine enough to do close detail but also not too fine as to be useless for drawing in thick lines.
3. Paper is always handy for drawing on and an obvious thing that you would need. Try and get hold of paper that is of a good quality, get the best you can afford, and some not so great paper to use for drafts. It is highly likely that your first comic will not go entirely to plan so it is best to do draft work on lower quality paper.
4. You’ll need a ruler or a set square to draw in the panels neatly but if you are just practising then you can pencil these in by hand.
That’s pretty much all need to start drawing manga as a beginner. If you want to try out digital manga art then here are a few things that will get you started;
1. A computer that can run art programs. Sounds obvious, but you can’t draw digitally without one.
2. Find an art package to use, Photoshop is the best one to use but is not free. It’s worth the price though. If you can’t afford that then there are always free art programs out there