I’m going to post this tutorial I made for you. I want to specify that I made it for the beginners and that I’m pretty much a beginner to begin with. X’D I know that many steps can be done in different, more professional, technical, or faster ways, but I tried to put myself in the shoes of an absolute beginner, hence the steps I report are very easy and I hope, detailed. Obviously I’m ready for any observations and comments. We’ll fix it all together 🙂 I’m working on a first array of Tutorials centered on the very first steps and on the coloration anime-style of a drawing with Photoshop, hence: digital color.
Why Photoshop? Because it is the most used digital media in existance. My version is the english Photoshop 7, but don’t worry! All of the versions of Photoshop that are out are very similar and when we move to the Photoshop window I’ll guide you with clear pictures for those of you who are not used to English or have a Photoshop version in another language. Let’s begin with the first Tutorial for drawing manga 🙂
Tutorial for beginners – Think up a sketch and prepare it for a clean lineart to be coloured digitally – Part 1
1) Since this is a tutorial for beginners, I suggest everyone should start copying as many pictures as possible, especially if you didn’t attended any painting or drawing lessons like me! Copying lets you get the basics down so you can start on your own stuff. Pick your favourite artist and concentrate your attention not just in copying, but in trying to understand what steps the artist took to obtain the image. Don’t overdo: choose something you think is at your level. The picture I’ve chosen is just too complex for most people, but since the next tutorial is about the digital colouring, I needed a picture that would allow me to explain as much as possible 😉
[Ruri Hoshino – Nadeshiko- By Keiji Gotoh]
You can certainly choose a less complex picture to try this tutorial… Usually I start from the faces: study them in all angles and expressions. When you’ll feel your self more confident with them, move to the body and so on to the whole figure. Lastly study the poses since they are almost as important as faces and expressions to obtain a great effect drawing!! 😉
2) Let’s begin to copy the picture! Pencils are an important tool to get to know and they come in many types, ranging from B (soft leads, the higher the number, the softer the lead, and the darker the mark) to H (hard leads, the higher the number, the harder the lead and the lighter the mark). Pick up a medium soft pointed pencil (I used a B, but you should try some of them to find out the one you feel better with. HB –a medium one- B and B2 should work quite well to get a fine initial sketch!). I ALWAYS suggest to be soft when you draw, so you won’t spoil the sheet with grooves and erasures. If you are not used to copying, it’s quite easy. You’ll have erase often, so it’s always good to prevent botches! NOTE: You don’t really need to obtain an absolutely perfect copy of the original, you know! I usually modify the parts I don’t like, to substitute them with other I prefers (even if some times I’d like to reach the original), drawing them as I like most… as you’ll see later. The main part is to keep the proportions and make a resemblant picture of the character ^_^;
Well then, first of all draw the shape of the head. I always begin from the head, I believe everybody does, too, and it’s much easier to work with… Anyway, draw a base shape, trying to get it the most alike to the original since it will be landmark of the whole picture! Also, draw the shape of the eyes using the guidelines to maintain the right angulations.
3) Another suggestion! When you’re sitting at a table, don’t keep your eyes close to the sheets! Keep some distance to watch your work as a whole and to compare it with the original constantly! To paint Ruri I sat on the bed crossing my legs and keeping the sheets close to my knees 😛 (Another way is to copy from the screen of the pc…) Also, try to keep your head centered OVER the image. You’d be surprised how much a picture can get distorted if you aren’t careful about that.
Sketch the remaining parts of the body, this will help you to place the details and to correct the figure if you are detaching too much from the original. The Hair and the mini-Ruri backpack are left behind since I’ll use the completed main body as a landmark for the “extras”. At this point, thanks to a reduced picture on the pc (a very good way to find out errors), I notice that the eyes are too far away and I need to correct them. So I begun to finish up the face doing again the previous steps, and beginning the real and definite copy.
4) Adjust a bit with a soft kneadable putty rubber eraser (the soft and malleable one, you can find one in whatever stationery store) 😉 , I made the lines lighter. With the B pointed pencil I refined the eyes, the face and began the hair.
Mouth,nose and bend of Ruri’s face are willingly different since I didn’t like the ones drawn by Gotoh! Don’t believe I’m a know-it-all girl that thinks to be better than him, those are just personal tastes! Below I marked the parts I don’t like and that I’m going to change (if there are other difference, they are my fault XD ).
5) Below, I kept on implementing the traits and begun to sketch the right hand. Every time you begin a section, is good to use kneadable rubber to clean the area and to make the lines clearer and accurate.
Keep on like this, but attention! Keep on checking the picture with the original from afar. The best would be to take a break of one half hour… You’ll see how much the errors will jump out!!! I now begin sketching the tails and the Ruri-backpack.
6) I also used the kneable rubber again to make the lines lighter and then I revised them to make them the as accurate as possible. Though unusual, you can also use a porte-mine pencil if you don’t want sharpen the point every minutes ^^
Keep on like this moving to the whole body of Ruri and finally start to refine the hair and the backpack. Now it’s all more clear and clean, isn’t?
7) Again with the kneadable to refine the backpack…
Let’s ink! I used a Drawing Pen Pigment Ink Pilot point 05. Those Drawing Pens can be found in any stationery store and are not too expensive 🙂 I use Pilot or Staedtler, both are very good. I used a 05 since the drawing is in an A4 and it’s big. With patience and still hand, ink the picture. Don’t despair if you mistake!! Later I’ll explain to you how to adjust all the flaws ;). If, for example, the hair slide didn’t end up perfectly spherical… we’ll fix them later 🙂
8) After you inked all of the lines, let the sheet dry and erase the pencil trying not to damage the paper. As you can see below, using the rubber over the inked lines often “fades” them. It also happens with China ink.
You can use Photoshop to make darker lines (as I’ll explain later… just remember “Auto levels” ;P), or you can ink it all again and get a fine marked effect. I chosen the last one. 🙂
9) Scanner to me!! If you don’t have one ask a friend; in some stationery stores you can find this service…but not for free! Here below I show you the window of my scanner, to let you see how much dpi the image requires to work well. If you drew on A4, like me, you need no more than 300 dpi, if it is more little I suggest 400 dpi. If the picture is very little and detailed you can increase the dpi even more… It also depends by your pc. If the file is very big it can be too heavy fo your pc, but I can’t give you more suggestions since I’m not good at it!!!
Here ends the first part of the tutorial. Now you have a file with your drawing inside and it is almost ready to be coloured… that is, ALMOST. I the second part I’ll expalin you how I usually change a lineart like this one to an excellent background for the digital color! For any questions contact me, or add a comment to this post.
Read the other chapters of this tutorial too!