Manga and anime have surged in popularity in recent years, thanks to the presence of some of the best anime series on streaming platforms right now such as Full Metal Alchemist, Your Lie In April, Naruto, and Hunter x Hunter, as well as Studio Ghibli works like My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke, among others. And since manga has such a great influence on popular culture, young artists have begun to create their own manga characters, with some captivating audiences worldwide as they share their works on social media. Drawing manga characters can be a wonderful way to pass the time, but it can also lead to a fulfilling career in the future. To learn how to create characters for slice of life manga, webtoons, or comic strips, here’s a guide to draw amazing manga characters.

Practice drawing features in the manga style

There are certain characteristics that make manga unique as an art form, and the most distinctive is the eye shape. Most manga characters almost always have large eyes, and traditional Japanese manga characters’ eyes are squared off at the corners, so practice drawing this facial feature to properly convey the emotions of your character. Keep in mind that the shape of the character’s eyes will tell what it’s personality or role is, so a character with huge, round, sparkling eyes could be the main character or protagonist, such as Violet Evergarden. Meanwhile, antagonists often have long, slanted eyes, such as Android 18 from Dragon Ball Z or Lust from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Pair any eye shape with a small mouth and a small pointed nose, or omit the nose altogether to create your very own manga character.

Assign hair colors according to your characters’ personalities

Drawing a manga character’s hair can be lots of fun as both male and female characters can have short or long hair. Moreover, there are plenty of options for hair color as characters can have vibrantly tinted hair. Consider choosing a hair color that ties in to your character’s personality. For instance, a mysterious character can have black, midnight blue, or forest green hair. Meanwhile, a bubbly, outgoing character can have lavender, bubblegum pink, turquoise, or seafoam green hair.

Have fun with fashion

Clothes can make the character– think about some of the best dressed anime characters such as Cardcaptor Sakura, Ichigo Kurosaki from Bleach, or the couple from Kamisama Kiss. Their fashion-forward looks provided lots of inspiration for avid cosplayers, so to make sure that your characters stand out, dress them up in unique, stylish outfits. And while they may have a signature look, try changing up their outfits once in a while if you’re working on a comic strip or a webtoon.

Manga is a beautiful art form that can inspire and bring joy. Experiment with different styles and practice often to perfect your art, and who knows? You might be the next Tite Kubo or Yusuke Murata to inspire a new generation of manga artists.

(Header Photo by Ashley Jurius on Unsplash)

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