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Post Reply Chasing the Manga Aesthetic
Kavvan 
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Posted 5/13/17 , edited 5/13/17
Hello everyone!
I've always been fond of drawing and painting. But it is only just recently that I've taken it upon myself to actually try and learn how to draw characters and possibly more that would fit into the Manga Category.

The image here serves as a good example of my style of paintingas of right now(on a good day):


I AM very satisfied with it, but it is far from the Manga-esque styles that I wish to learn.

So as a little experiment I wish to hold an open conversation here with any and all of you who wish to do the same.
Share ideas, opinions, feedback on how to best improve upon the artwork that will be submitted here.

Please submit your own pictures as well!
Critique is encouraged and I promise that I will try to give relevant feedback if anyone actually stumbles upon this thread and decides to join in.

I'll start with this:
I've decided to create some sort of character sheet where I define the overall direction and details of an original character that I hope can be used as future reference when trying out different styles and poses.
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Posted 5/13/17 , edited 5/13/17
Nice work! I do like the work you've done so far in regards to the character design sheet. I'm sort of the reverse--I have been working in a manga-influenced style for a long time but I'm trying to move into a more painted, "realistic" style (or to incorporate more realistic elements).

In your case, it may be easier for you to switch to a more manga-influenced style, since you have very strong traditional skills. Just my honest opinion.

When it comes to design sheets, I tend to go with showing a front/back view, with a headshot and perhaps a couple of poses.

Would very much like to see more of your work!

Here is an example of one of my design sheets (done for a client):





And this is a recent color image of mine, as well as a recent drawing:




Kavvan 
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Posted 5/13/17 , edited 5/13/17
Really nice stuff you've painted there!
You have a great sense of proportion and volume. especially in the last drawing i think. That will definitely be useful if you want to adopt a more traditionally realistic style in the future.

As you say, my background may serve me well when learning all this.
What I fear is that I will have a hard time getting used to the small details that makes manga so distinctive. (like when in side view, the mouth-line never touches the outline of the face), or even something like making a linework-character feel volumetric without shadows or lighting. that stuff is hard..

Here's an updated version of the sheet with a couple of new faces, I find it hard to draw in different perspectives, gotta work on that..
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Posted 5/13/17 , edited 5/13/17
Most of the time, it's not something that bothers me, although it is frustrating if I'm applying for work, only to be told that my work 'isn't anime enough'. To put it crudely, sometimes I think my work is not anime enough for the weebs and too anime for everyone else.

I'm not sure how much it would help Strikedog if he wants to go for a more realistic look, but would it be worth us all drawing the same character in the same pose(s) and then comparing notes on how to push the style in different directions?
Kavvan 
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Posted 5/13/17 , edited 5/13/17
That sounds like a great idea!
Do you have a specific character/pose in mind?
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Posted 5/13/17 , edited 5/14/17
Eh, I didn't really have anything in mind, but since it's your thread, I could sketch the character from your sheet, if you want? Could either use one of the existing poses or find something else, I don't mind.
Kavvan 
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Posted 5/13/17 , edited 5/14/17
Sure, I don't mind. It would be interesting to see other artists interpretation of my character.
Both strengths and flaws of my technique may become more apparent that way. So by all means, have at it.

For the sake of comparison, drawing the existing pose might be better. But if you feel more comfortable drawing a new pose, that is fine. In that case I will draw it as well.
Kavvan 
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Posted 5/14/17 , edited 5/14/17
A sketch! No purpose with this one, I'm just farming XP right now.

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Posted 5/14/17 , edited 5/15/17
Probably still too quick and dirty to be of much help at the moment, but I wanted to post something tonight as I doubt I'll get time to work on it tomorrow. Stuck to a similar pose to one of yours, but I ended up going a little more 3/4 view in the face. At least it's an example of how I'd approach the eyes.


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Posted 5/14/17 , edited 5/15/17
I think it's a great idea--I would certainly welcome the chance to see how I would draw your character.
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Posted 5/14/17 , edited 5/15/17
It is rough, LobsterHarmonic, but...I like it! Especially the eyes....would love to see how a more finished version looks.
Kavvan 
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Posted 5/15/17 , edited 5/15/17
Wow, I underestimated how awesome it would feel to see other artists interpret my work, so thank you for that!

It looks really promising even in this rough stage. It feels more dynamic and volumetric compared to my drawing. And I agree with Strikedog, the eyes look awesome. I'm taking notes regarding the positioning and size of them for future reference.
Kavvan 
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Posted 5/17/17 , edited 5/18/17
Ok, so I don't think I've ever gained so much experience from a singe painting as this one!



First of all... I'm damn proud of it!
Second, Linework is something I dislike with a passion. And that is reflected in basically every single line in the picture.
But after I spent like 5 hours drawing and swearing over those lines, the magic happened!
Some basic grayscale shading and a screentone-effect later: this is what I got!

If you who reads this message have any tricks regarding lineart/tracing/Inking that translates well to digital drawing with a tablet,
please share your wisdom with me.
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Posted 5/18/17 , edited 5/18/17
Looks good. Glad to hear you stuck with it through those 5 hours, detailed digital lineart takes a while no matter what.

If you haven't already, experiment with your tablet's pressure sensitivity settings. I have mine turned up so I can apply just a little bit of pressure, and it gives me a clean, good line with the least amount of effort. (Also reduces wear and tear on my drawing hand.) Make sure you're sitting in a good chair that helps you maintain good posture while you're drawing on a tablet.

When I'm working on lineart, I draw 1-3 "rough draft" layers in light or semi-transparent lines to get the underdrawing I want. Then I make a layer (or several, if it's a complicated drawing) above those rough layers and draw in the final lineart.

Added a sample here from one of my own artworks, showing an in-progress final lineart layer.


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Posted 5/18/17 , edited 5/18/17
I feel you on an emotional level about line art. I hate it and I've hated it with a passion, but it can be somewhat therapeutic at 3am before I pass out. I need some good music to power through lmao.

Don't mind the flower-censor |D
save me

As for any tips, um... good music or anything that keeps you in "the zone" for long periods of time or else it tires you out really quickly. As OP above said; adjust your pen pressure sensitivity so that you don't hurt your wrist from pressing really hard to try to get the perfect line.
Breaks are important... 3 hours straight is pretty harsh on your wrist I speak from experience. I take short breaks every hour or so.
Oh and hand stretches during breaks helps.
Another tip would be to avoid chicken scratch lines, CTRL+Z as much as you need to get a perfect 1-2 long line(s) for an area. I like to draw my basic line then draw over it with more pressure so that the line is darker (I don't line art with a simple color pen tool, I use marker tool). Though that's just me. Most people I see just use the normal pen tool :L but that never worked out for me.
not forgetting to eat is important
and I'll add more if I think of anything else o/
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