Learning to draw isn’t as easy as you might think. You can’t just pick up some pencils and do a quick sketch to create a comic or manga. While some people opt for drawing lessons, others teach themselves. Anything is possible!
There are plenty of tutorials online that can help amateur artists hone their creative skills. Each drawing lesson will help you to learn new drawing techniques, the materials you use, and whether to opt for pencils, charcoal, or felt tips.
However, each drawing style is different and there’s a wealth of possibilities in each. In this article, Superprof is looking at the different styles of drawing, be it portraits, comic books, manga, the specifics of each, and how you can get started with each.
Mastering the Art of Manga
Naruto, Attack on Titan, or Dragon Ball are all recognisable examples of manga. Manga is becoming increasingly popular in the UK with some manga characters being more famous than traditional comic book superheroes. You can learn how to draw manga in just a few steps.
A Japanese Art Style with Defined Characteristics
You can just doodle on a piece of paper if you want to be as good as Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of manga! Manga is a Japanese art form with rules and codes, much like with American comic books. In these types of comic books, common genres include Shōnen, Shōjo, and Seinen and it’s you’re also very likely to find dynamic and exciting action.
With their geometric hairstyles and incredible dynamism, manga characters like Luffy, Saitama, and Edward are intriguing. A manga illustrator is known as a mangaka and many people dream of becoming one.
Drawing Faces, Bodies, and Backgrounds
To draw manga, there are a few things you need to think about:
- Giant eyes (the bigger, the cuter)
- Small noses (bigger noses can define characters’ morality or ugliness)
- Impossible haircuts in every colour imaginable
- Tall and thin characters
- Pronounced expressions indicating annoyance, anger, or surprise
- Colourful and detailed outfits to distinguish characters
Don’t panic if this all seems like too much, start with the outlines. Only once you’ve got this right should you start focusing on the anatomy, facial features, and clothing. You need to give your characters life.
Backgrounds are also often overlooked but they can give your drawings perspective and a vanishing point can give your work height and depth. If you’re struggling with all of this, start with abstract contours until you get there.
Yatta! You’ll soon be a mangaka.
Getting Started with Comics
Comics are one of the most popular art forms in the world. Many think they’re easy to make but they can require years of work with markers, pastel, and colour. If you want to get started with drawing comics, you’ve come to the right place.
Types of Comics
Before you start with comics, you need to narrow your search to a particular genre. For that, think about which comic books you like to read.
The most popular comic books (excluding manga) include:
- The Adventures of Tintin
- Lucky Luke
- Casper the Friendly Ghost
The main genres include western, fantasy, science-fiction, comedy, history, military, or adventure.
Start a Comic with the Characters, Storyboard, and Colouring
To get started, keep in mind that a lot of comic book artists are self-taught. You don’t need to necessarily take drawing lessons or attend an art school but there’s nothing to stop you and it can only help.
After working on the plot, you’ll need to work on character design and bringing your characters to life. Express yourself and don’t be afraid to take some artistic licence with the proportions. You then need to think about the storyboard, the panels, the dialogue, and the illustration. Make sure you do a few sketches with speech balloons and take your time.
Don’t hesitate to make comics as the illustrators say:
“Every city began as a campsite” - Chris Ware
Once you’ve got all your drawings done in black and white, it’s time for the colouring and you can use coloured pencils, pastels, markers, or even oil paint. Remember that you want to make a drawing that you like and a story that you’re passionate about.
If there’s one type of drawing that you’ll never be able to master in drawing lessons, it’s caricatures. With its social critique and exaggerated features, caricatures will always evoke a reaction be it laughter or anger. You can learn the basics of drawing caricatures with Superprof!
Caricature: Humorous Portraits
A caricature is a drawing of someone where certain features are exaggerated for comic effect or to mock certain situations or ideas as freedom of expression.
Inspiration can come from different places, but usually, it’s current events. You'll often find them in political cartoons. Keep in mind that caricatures are best used to focus on certain situations rather than just to make a mockery of someone.
Techniques for Producing Caricatures
To create a good caricature, you’ll need to know the fundamentals of portrait drawing. Most caricaturists work with pencils or charcoal and then colour with coloured pencils or acrylic paints if you’ve used charcoal.
To practise doing caricatures, you can use photos of famous people or people you know. You may even want to create your own satirical newspaper. The important thing with caricatures is to exaggerate the recognisable features and add a snappy caption!
How to Draw Portraits
The face is without a doubt the part of the body that we recognise the most. This is why portraits are some of the most common types of art you see. If you want to learn more about portraits, Sueprprof is here to help you get started.
The Type of Portrait and the Materials You’ll Need
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” - Oscar Wilde
You need to keep this in mind when drawing portraits. It might just be somebody’s head or their entire body. You might draw them from a photo or have them pose for you. You can also choose the materials you use: graphite, charcoal, pens, etc. Just get a sheet of paper and you’re ready to go.
Drawing a Portrait: Face, Features, Hair, and Environment
Why not use some construction lines when drawing your first portraits?
This technique is really simple; you draw a circle then draw lines across it to make it into a sphere. These lines can be used to indicate where facial features like the eyes, mouth, and nose will go. Nevertheless, some beginners use this to draw portraits that are “too perfect” by forcing symmetry that isn’t there.
Don’t forget that each face is different and if you’re trying to make it too symmetrical, you’ll lose realism. You need to study every detail on your model’s face and include each imperfection. Take the time to focus on your model’s hair and the background, too. This will make your portrait more believable.
Now that you’re familiar with the main styles of drawing, you can get started with a few basic sketches. You could also learn more with private tutorials from one of the many talented tutors on Superprof!
There are three main types of tutorials available: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials, and each comes with its pros and cons in terms of learning and cost-effectiveness. What's right for one student may not be right for another so take your time to find the right kind of tutor and tutoring.
Face-to-face tutorials are taught with one student and one tutor and they tend to be the most cost-effective type since every minute in the lesson is spent focusing on you as the student. Additionally, the tutor will also spend time outside of the lessons finding resources and planning the time they'll spend with you.
Online tutorials are similar to the face-to-face tutorials but take place either on a call or via webcam. Since the tutor won't have the travel costs to worry about and can fit more students into their schedule as a result, online tutorials are usually cheaper than face-to-face tutorials.
Finally, group tutorials are classes with one teacher or tutor and multiple students. However, with group tutorials, you and a group of friends could get in touch with a private tutor to plan lessons that you'll all attend together. These tend to be the cheapest per student per hour.