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Author Topic: The Mistake New Manga Artists Make  (Read 449 times)

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Offline Lord Kesashi

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The Mistake New Manga Artists Make
« on: May 20, 2017, 02:19:32 AM »
I am a visual art student majoring in Drawing and Painting and I wanted to share some things I've learned I was wrong about when I was aspiring to become a manga artist.

1. Traditional art and manga art require different skills
When I began my studies I believed many of the things I was doing were irrelevant to my end goals. But as I've learned more about art I've become more perceptive and it's clear that many great manga artists were visual arts students or were perhaps as observant and obsessive as the artists of the renaissance. For instance, how many aspiring manga artists know what "reflected light" is? The level of realism that simple illusion adds to the image is extraordinary. Many great manga artists are familiar with this construct most people don't know exists. Many great manga artists are well aware of all these fundamentals pioneered by ancient Greek and renaissance artists.

2. Practice drawing manga by looking at manga
This is a trap. Manga artists take reality and generalize it just enough to fit their needs. When you draw what you see, you will naturally generalize it in some way. So when you draw from manga, you generalize a generalization ending up with something much less attractive than the artwork you saw. This greatly hinders the natural development of your skills in portraying perspective, anatomy, balance, and general art skills.

3. Practice means drawing the same thing over and over again.
Using repetition as practice is only necessary for when you have to start drawing from imagination and drawing rapidly. Practice should be in your studies. You should always be studying reality and practice should be you drawing the same thing over and over again until it starts to look the way you want it to. This is more than making a page full of hands, this is drawing a hand, studying hands, then drawing then hand again with the sole purpose of making that hand look better than the last.

4. Specific body parts are my weakness
Many artists struggle with hands or backgrounds. This happens when you don't use observation and study based practice to illustrate. If you can draw a face, you can draw hands, if you can't draw hands, you probably can't draw a face very well. Generally we find generalized tactics to give the impression of the body but these tactics don't go so well with everything else or we just weren't taught a tactic specifically for a tree so we don't draw trees. You have to be able to look at a form and turn it into lines, you have to be able to imagine a silhouette. If you can do that, you can draw anything.

Offline BobbyJoeXForgotenSB

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Re: The Mistake New Manga Artists Make
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 02:50:15 AM »
well when people say to use existing manga as ref, they usually mean to see how the panels and flow is done

Offline MahluaandMilk

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Re: The Mistake New Manga Artists Make
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 10:53:43 PM »
The biggest mistake ever is comparing your level one to someone else's level fifty. Just don't compare your work to another artist's. That goes for ANY field. Everyone is different, learns differently, learns at different paces, and achieve different outcomes stylistically. Comparison is not possible. Don't get caught in that trap.
"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"--Marquis de Sade
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Offline Ryan

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Re: The Mistake New Manga Artists Make
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 11:53:21 PM »
well when people say to use existing manga as ref, they usually mean to see how the panels and flow is done

I don't know about that.... Either way, that is irrelevant to the fact that many beginners have and had tried to get better at drawing by copying manga, myself included.

#1. Very true stuff.

#2. It's important to remember this is mostly true for people with no experience or little skills. People who have a lot of experience and really know fundamentals can benefit a lot with improving their style and drawings by doing this. But they are mentally processing things on a completely different dimension than a beginner will. It's worth mentioning that most manga styles are literally just generalizations or riffs on other manga styles.

#3. Sounds good, but I would stress more that practicing is a way to improve your understanding. Practice means putting in effort to better understand the laws or rules of the study material, rather than just executing good drawings of the study material.

#4. Very true. Fundamentals of drawing forms, perspective, and solid draftsmanship can often be a barrier to drawing certain body parts from memory. Often times it's not because a person doesn't understand the body parts.

Offline suupertramp

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Re: The Mistake New Manga Artists Make
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2017, 04:30:41 AM »
well when people say to use existing manga as ref, they usually mean to see how the panels and flow is done
true people do use it for that, although i have used it to learn some comical facial expressions as well as learning how artists simplify clothes :P

Just don't compare your work to another artist's.
for a lot of people this can be very depressing, but i think with the right attitude, you can learn a lot by comparison. just dont do it too much or you really will get depressed :P

-reflected light is a pain in the neck. its hard enough to shade normally without worrying about extra things :P but its true, i think this is what is meant by "true" fundamentals, that is, understanding reality itself to be able to draw it effectively.

-hmmmmmm i can see what you mean by this, but i have always found using manga as a reference to help. i think because i do plenty of other studies to balance it out, i draw my own version of the thing i am copying instead of generalizing it. at least thats what i would like to think. ahhh i see Ryan just said all of this but nicerly than i did.

-yes. the phrase "practice makes perfect" is often misused for this point. i have heard it said that "PERFECT practice makes perfect", in other words the right kind of practice.

-yeah, i would say my weaknesses are just the things i havnt studied yet. its a similar thing to people who say "i cant draw", what they should be saying is "i havn't learnt to draw YET". its not a natural ability for most people.

thats a nice couple of tips, i will try and keep them in mind when i am drawing.