Manga Hair – Girls

I felt the creative urge to draw this evening. My overnight guest, granddaughter Aubrey, was in artistic mode as well. She created a batch of slime…in a soft orange color. This child is a slime making whiz. No recipe is used. She trusts her instincts and achieves perfection. Aubrey in turn watched as I worked in my Manga Artist’s Workbook, offering comments and suggestions and encouragement.

Manga Hair - Girls

Tonight’s lesson was drawing manga hair, for girls. Hair is an important feature in manga. It’s used to add glamour and personality and to increase the size of the head, which also increases the presence of the character. Ponytails are very popular for manga girls, as is long wavy hair.

Manga Hair - Girls

The examples provided for the exercise included four different styles. I let Aubrey select two for me to draw. She chose the pulled back ponytail and the long wavy style. Interestingly, she was drawn to the styles that are most popular on manga girls, without knowing that fact.

Manga Hair - Girls

Using the templates provided in the workbook, I added eye highlights, and a hairline. The round circle for the ear, on the upper head, really bothered me, as I couldn’t do much to make the ear look decent. I had to let that go!

The hair was fun to draw, however. Adding hairstyles does, indeed, add personality and differentiates between the two girls, whose features are similar. The girl with the ponytail looks more youthful. The longer hair, worn loose and flowing, adds age to the other girl.

This was an important lesson, in my ongoing quest to improve my people drawing skills. As always, sketching was fun and relaxed. This felt more like playing rather than work, which is what I desire. And, having the encouragement of my granddaughter and the lively chatter back and forth as I drew, made this lesson the best one yet!

Manga Hair - Girls

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Manga Teen Boy Three Quarters View

I welcomed a break this afternoon, and took time to sip on lemon balm tea and sketch in my Manga Artist’s Workbook. This helpful sketchbook full of lessons, by Christopher Hart, has been fun to practice in, and my skills continue to improve.

Manga Teen Boy Three Quarters View

Today’s lesson was the Teen Boy, Three Quarters View.

This angle of the face is the most challenging for me. I tend to want to skip over it. However, it’s so important for me to take a deep breath, let go of resistance, and just draw.

I’m grateful for the outlines that the workbook provides. It helps me to correctly place the guidelines so I can sketch out the facial features. I’ve peeked ahead. These outlines will disappear soon!

Manga Teen Boy Three Quarters View

Compared to the Manga Teen Girl, the Boy has a thinner face and smaller eyes. The nose and mouth are barely suggested. The ear is slightly larger than the girl’s.

Manga Teen Boy Three Quarters View

The ear gets some details. I used to hide ears behind hair. I’ve about got the hang of drawing them now. The eyes get their highlights, before the pupils are added. And a shaggy hairstyle, that follows the contours of the skull, completes the top of the head.

The finished sketch is pictured below. I’m happy with it! The three quarters view gives me pause, however, I benefit from the challenge.

I have two more angles to draw, for the teen boy’s face…and then it’s on to body work and poses. I’m getting there!

Manga Teen Boy Three Quarters View

You can purchase The Manga Artist’s Workbook by clicking the link below.

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Manga Teen Boy Profile

I made the decision early this morning to get into my manga workbook this evening and continue my sketching lessons. That proved to be a good decision, as I had a busy day. I have a story I want to tell, by way of drawings in a cartoon panel format. Manga is is preparing me for that project.

Manga Teen Boy Profile

This practice has been valuable for me. My skills are increasing. I am much more at ease as I sketch and I’m finding the sessions fun and even relaxing.

Manga Teen Boy Profile

Here is tonight’s lesson.

Manga Teen Boy Profile

In contrast to the teen girl profile, the boy’s features are more angular. The eye is smaller and set back a bit more from the edge of the head.

Manga Teen Boy Profile

I drew guidelines to help me correctly place the eye, nose, lips and ear.

Manga Teen Boy Profile

The jaw is more squared off. The mouth is suggested with a simple line. The lips protrude slightly.

Manga Teen Boy Profile

The eye gets a highlight and definition is added to the ear. The hair flops over the forehead and eye and closely follows the contours of the skull.

I truly am enjoying these creative sessions. I have been able to draw a face looking straight ahead or at a slight angle. Profiles, looking up or looking down were more challenging. These easy to follow lessons are helping me tremendously with perspective and placement.

I was impatient to move to the next section of the workbook, but the additional practice has been great for me. I have a couple more lessons featuring the teen boy and then it’s on to drawing the body. I’m looking forward to sketching a whole person!

Manga Teen Boy Profile

Learning to Tell Visual Stories

I spent hours in the car today, as Greg and I drove to pick up our grandson Dayan and bring him home for spring break. It is wonderful to have this college aged young man home for a few days. As we neared Joplin, I considered what to write about tonight. I realized I had not practiced my drawing for several months.

Last year, with Inspiration as my word and theme, my artistic side explored creating art in many mediums, including sketching. This year I have focused on written stories. But of course, stories can be told in many ways, through words, films, photography, vignettes, plays, music, songs…and drawings. In fact, an idea came to me last year, to tell a magical story through several sketches, something akin to cartoon panels. Cartooning is not one of my natural gifts, however, I knew I could learn. I found a fun book called The Manga Artist’s Workbook that has been perfect for me to work through.

I decided this evening I needed to get back into the lessons. After all, I have a story to tell.

Learning to Tell Visual Stories

Returning to my manga workbook, I remembered, with a slight pang of guilt, that I had skipped a section. When I finished with the section on drawing the teen girl’s head, in a variety of positions, I jumped over the next lessons…drawing the teen boy. I was in a hurry to move on and feel accomplished enough to create my own sketches that will tell my own story.

Tonight I saw this as an error. I’m playing by my rules. I can do what I want here. However, what I truly want is to gain expertise in this form of drawing, and storytelling. I can’t rush that. I will benefit from the additional practice that these lessons provide.

Learning to Tell Visual Stories

Here is my progress tonight, drawing the teen boy.

Learning to Tell Visual Stories

Beginning with the basic shapes for the head, I learned that males have a more angular jaw than females, a square chin and a thicker neck. The eyebrows are thicker as well, with less arch and while still large, the eyes of a manga teen boy are smaller than those of a manga teen girl.

Learning to Tell Visual Stories

A simple shadow creates a hint of a nose. The hair follows the contours of the head. And the mouth is indicated with a couple of lines.

Learning to Tell Visual Stories

And here he is, facing forward, a completed sketch of a manga teen boy. This lesson took me a few minutes to create. I sipped hot tea as I studied my work, feeling satisfied.

I am enjoying manga. Beyond the joy I receive from drawing, I am learning important lessons about body anatomy, placement and perspective. The sketches are drawn more quickly each time and with greater confidence.

I have four more lessons to complete, in this section on the teen boy’s head and face, and then I can move on to expressions, for both males and females. No more skipping around. I’m happy I backtracked and drew this manga boy. He looks happy as well.

Learning to Tell Visual Stories

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Windows of the Soul

I was excited this evening to return to the Manga Artist’s Workbook and practice sketching an important facial feature. Before I move to drawing expressions, the workbook provides opportunity to focus on the most expressive part of the face…the eyes.

I had missed this section of the book when I peeked ahead. I thought the next assignment was the drawing of expressions. I understand, though, the importance of spending time capturing the eyes. So much of what we are feeling and thinking is reflected here. The eyes are the first thing I notice about a person. I can tell whether the person I am looking at is open or guarded, happy or sad, fearful or confident, by studying the eyes.

As I prepare to create an upcoming cartoon project, I know that much of what I hope to convey will be made evident through the eyes.

Tonight’s exercise was to sketch in the eyes, on a teen girl and teen boy, using the manga style. The girl’s eyes are drawn overly large.

I lightly sketched in guidelines.

I tried darker irises and lighter ones. I definitely like the darker better, as they are more distinct.

For a boy, the eyes, while still oversized, are not as large as the girl’s eyes. There are less details too.

As with the girl, I prefer the darker eyes.

William Shakespeare wrote “The eyes are the windows to the soul.”

Not only are we given a peek into the soul through the eyes of another. Our souls gaze out through the eyes as well, in all its states of being, from joyful confidence to beseeching invitation to hardened defiance.

As I sketched this evening, I was grateful for a lesson in mindfulness about what story my eyes are telling.

Manga Perspectives

I enjoyed a couple of quick lessons in the Manga Artist’s Workbook this evening. As my confidence grows, my sketching is more rapid and precise with less erasures! I am finding that this prep work for a larger project is fun.

Tonight’s focus was on the teen girl’s face still, with upward and downward gazes. It is all about perspective and the guidelines I am using really help.

The first lesson…the up angle. The workbook provides the outline of the face over graph paper. My task is to add the guidelines to correctly place the features and then draw in the details.

With the gaze looking up, the guidelines are curved upward.

Adding the facial details.

Completed sketch.

Lesson 2 this evening…the down angle. The angle is exaggerated sharply, with the features all close together in the lower part of the face.

The guidelines are curved downward. Sketching this one, with the oversized manga eyes, made me think of a gray alien! As before, the nose and mouth are only hinted at.

The completed sketch.

I am loving this practice. As a youth, I struggled with perspective and the human body and head. So all of my people stood facing straight ahead. That’s not real life, and that’s not how I want my project to look. Even though I am using the medium of cartooning, I desire more natural poses.

By allowing these lessons to pave the way, I am one step closer to creating something bigger. The next lesson is on a variety of facial expressions. I am ready!

Manga Three Quarters View

This evening I enjoyed a return to the Manga Artist’s Workbook, for another lesson on cartooning.

Take a look at my three quarters view sketch!

The workbook provides detailed, easy to follow instructions, and the outline of the head and face, using basic shapes.

I began by adding the guide lines so that I could correctly place the eyes, ear, hint of a nose and simple mouth.

With those features in place, I erased my guide lines. Using the ear and eye brows, I added the hairline.

While the mouth and nose are left as suggestions, rather than completely finished features, the eyes get more details added. I blocked in the hair.

Reflections are added to the eyes, to create interest and depth, along with pupils that are darkened at the top of the eyes. Dark lines suggest eyelashes. And the eyebrows get filled in. The hair is drawn in, with more detail, giving this teen girl a shaggy looking cut.

This is what I loved about tonight’s cartooning exercise…for the first time I sketched very quickly and confidently. I am getting the hang of this. I didn’t over think the process or labor over it for long.

And that makes me smile. A month ago, I was inspired with an idea that I wasn’t sure I could bring into reality. But the truth I believe is being proved in my life. If inspiration gifts me with an idea, it is because I am capable of creating it.

I only have to ask for guidance. Sometimes the answer arrives unexpectedly, and looks like a manga workbook with detailed lessons in it. Soon, I’ll be creating a storyboard. By then I’ll have the ability to create this cartoon story that offers a peek into my magical life.

Manga Profile

I grabbed a few minutes this evening, and my manga workbook, to practice this new-to-me art form. The little flip style book is proving to be a fun way to learn and hone my drawing skills.

Tonight’s lesson was sketching the manga profile.

Here is my progress tonight, captured in a series of black and white photos.

My first lesson was drawing a teenage girl’s face, as she looked straight ahead. Lesson two is the profile, which feels trickier to me. Using graph paper, guides and basic shapes, such as circles, triangles and ovals, helps me get the proportions and placement right.

The workbook page provides the outline of a face in profile. I liked the suggestion of using a circle with a triangle attached, to designate the lower face. I added the guidelines.

The guidelines helped me to place the eye, ear, nose and lips.

The eye gets filled in. And a general outline of the hair is added.

A bit more detail to the eye area, and more adjusting of the nose and lips, which are kept very simple. The hair was fun to add. I erased my guidelines. The page’s basic profile remains, with my sketching added.

I am enjoying this manga workbook. In 30 minutes or less, I can complete an assignment. When I have more time, I can progress through several lessons easily. And that will bring me one step closer to my envisioned project!