Manga drawing tool: Best Drawing Software and Apps in 2021 (Free & Paid)


Best Drawing Software and Apps in 2021 (Free & Paid)

Choosing Drawing Software and Applications

Key criteria to consider when looking for drawing software:




● Software By Device

Different software and apps are available depending on the device you’ll use to draw.


Although the same software or app may be available on multiple systems, the features may vary. Be sure to check that your device supports the app and its current version before use.


For Desktop (Windows/macOS)

The following is a list of desktop drawing software. Some offer dedicated specialties such as comic creation.


For Tablets

The following is a list of drawing applications, some geared towards creating comics and manga and available on the iPad, Android tablets, or both. The iPad supports pen pressure when you draw when using an Apple Pencil or a BambooSketch.


For Smartphones

The following is a list of drawing applications for iPhones or Android smartphones.


● Software by Purpose

First, think about your drawing goals, what you want to draw, and whether your art will stay digital or go to print. This will help you find the drawing tools and software that are right for you, which is especially important if you want to draw comics.


Drawing Professional Illustration, Comics, and Design

Professional creators use tools that support advanced drawing. Many universities and schools also use these same tools to prepare their students to become professional creators. If your goal is to print your work, use software or apps that support high-resolution data. If you choose an app that suits the majority of your workflow, you can avoid switching between different apps and software as you draw. If you wish to draw comics, you should choose a designated app or software that comes with features for creating comics and manga.


Creating Illustrations and Comics for Fun
Choose a drawing tool that allows you to post your picture to social media. Posting to social media helps make drawing more fun while you get used to drawing digitally. Software and apps for drawing simple illustrations are cheap and free. A helpful strategy is to draw rough sketches in your spare time and then use professional drawing software to finish up your work.


This article introduces the best tablets for beginners to digital art!


Drawing Software and Applications

From here, we will introduce the features of each drawing software/app as well as information about price, support, and trial versions. For first-time users, it’s wise to choose a drawing software or app with reliable support from the company that produces it. Furthermore, trial versions allow users to try something out before investing in them so you can make a more informed choice about which one suits you best.




● Photoshop CC (Windows/macOS)

A professional graphics software that’s popular with professional designers, photographers, and editors. Abundant in features, it is also useful for drawing illustrations. Photoshop CC requires some customization, so it is suitable for intermediate artists.



Photoshop CC is prominent in the design and photo processing industry, and many design schools use Photoshop to teach students. This versatile software can export multi-page data for use online, in print, and for videos.


You can draw in Photoshop, but it wasn’t created with illustration or comics in mind. It takes time and effort to customize the pen and brush tools, and features like pen pressure are turned off by default. However, if you are looking for a highly-customizable program, Photoshop CC will work well for you. An update in 2017 added a stabilization function to the pen and brush settings.


Since it was initially software for photo processing, it is quite good at adjusting colors. It also supports CMYK, the go-to format used for printed works. Since Paint Tool SAI does not support CMYK, the two software are often used together.


Photoshop CC is suited for intermediate users, so we recommend it if you know what you want to create and are happy to customize your software. Another similar software, Photoshop Elements, has limited functions but can draw digital illustrations without any problems and costs less than US$100.


Developer:  Adobe Systems Co., Ltd.


Support: For some issues, the Adobe support team can be contacted via their official contact form or a chat feature. Although the official website has a community forum for asking and answering questions, these topics are mainly related to design and photo processing. There is not much information on illustration and comics.

There are also many books and online websites that introduce Adobe Photoshop, but again, there is little information specializing in illustration and comics.


Trial version:
Download the full-feature seven-day trial version from the Free Trial Download page.
Note: To use all the features, you must obtain an Adobe ID and register for the trial version.


How to purchase:
You can buy Photoshop CC from the official website and other digital software purchasing sites.


Creative Cloud Photography Plan: $9.99/month

    • Photoshop CC is a monthly subscription service.
    • When purchasing from the official website, Adobe accepts payments through credit card, PayPal, and wire transfer. You can pay with cash if you load it onto a prepaid debit card, available separately from many retailers.



● Clip Studio Paint (Windows/macOS/iPad/iPhone/Android)

Clip Studio Paint is a versatile software that supports a wide range of specialties, including illustration, comics, and animation. It comes with a plethora of digital art tools, so you can start drawing with it right out of the box. Clip Studio Paint is suited for those who want to create various kinds of works, including illustration. There is also a version available on the iPad/iPhone/Galaxy/Android/Chromebook.



Professional creators use Clip Studio Paint in the illustration, manga, and animation industries. Schools use Clip Studio Paint to teach comic, illustration, or animation courses. This software has an outstanding reputation for how it feels as you draw. Clip Studio Paint supports multi-page data export for digital, printed work, and movies. With features for arranging images and text, it’s suitable for simple design work as well.
Furthermore, it is useful for specialty comic production, such as for webtoons. It comes with webtoon canvas settings and the ability to split vertical works into multiple smaller works. Last but not least, artwork production can be recorded with its canvas timelapse feature and then shared to social media in video format.


It takes some time to learn how to use all of the software. However, some features such as the editable 3D drawing figures are great for beginners. You can change their pose and angles to help create base sketches.

In addition to pens and brushes, it also has many other digital art tools such as color and monochrome screen tones. You can download and add pens, brushes, tones, etc., from Clip Studio ASSETS, our official material service, and you can import Photoshop brushes (extension: .abr). Pens and brushes have a high degree of freedom, and once you get used to them, you can customize them to suit your style.


There are two versions, PRO and EX. Multi-page comics and full-fledged animations can be created with the higher grade EX version. Clip Studio Paint is a powerful software that allows you to create various genres of illustrations, comics, webtoons, and animation. The tablet and smartphone versions for iPads and Samsung Galaxy devices have the exact same features as the desktop version. When using it on multiple devices, you can use a cloud service to migrate your works and settings. Another advantage of this software is that you can create the same pens and brushes regardless of OS.


Developer: CELSYS, Inc.


You can contact support via the website’s official contact form. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions section, a wealth of detailed explanations, tutorials, and videos by professional creators. Not only that, but there is also a Q&A service, Clip Studio ASK, that allows users to ask and answer each other’s questions. Many users also use social media to exchange information.

You can also find books about this software. However, because it is continuously releasing new updates, the information may not match the latest software specifications.


Trial version:

  • For Windows and macOS, you can use all the features (*1) for 30 days after downloading from the free trial version page on the official site. If you apply for a monthly usage plan, you can use it for up to 3 months free of charge (*2).
  • Clip Studio Paint for Galaxy is now available in the Galaxy Store worldwide.
  • Clip Studio Paint for Android/Chromebook is available for download from the Play Store.
  • The iPad version can be used for free for up to three months (*2) if you download it from the App Store and apply for a monthly usage plan.
  • The iPhone version is free to use for one hour every day after downloading it from the App Store. It can be used for an unlimited amount of time with an in-app purchase.

Note 1: In order to use all the features, you must obtain a Clip Studio account and register for the trial version.
Note 2: This is only for the first time you apply for a monthly use plan. You also need to apply via the app.

Please refer to the help section on the official website for more information.


How to purchase:

Clip Studio Paint can be purchased and downloaded from the official website via Paypal, credit cards, bank/wire transfer, WebMoney, and check.
In addition to the official website, you can purchase the packaged version at online stores and events.
Both iPad and iPhone versions can be downloaded from the AppStore.


One-time payment (download version)

  • PRO: US$49.99 (tax included)
  • EX: US$219.00 (tax included)


Windows/macOS/iPad/iPhone/Galaxy Monthly usage plans

A flexible monthly usage plan for a single preferred device (Windows/macOS/iPad/iPhone/Galaxy). You need to apply from the app.

  • Clip Studio Paint PRO: US$4.49 (tax included)/month (Annual: US$24.99)
  • Clip Studio Paint EX: US$8.99 (tax included)/month (Annual: US$71.99)

There are also other great deals available for multiple devices. For more information, please refer to the official website.


Smartphone plan

  • Clip Studio Paint PRO: US$0.99 (tax included)/month (Annual: US$6.49)
  • Clip Studio Paint EX: US$2.49 (tax included)/month (Annual: US$16.99)

Note: When using pen pressure detection or Galaxy Dex mode, please use a Clip Studio Paint plan other than the smartphone plan. Visit the following site for more details about Plans.



● Corel Painter 2021 (Windows/macOS)

Corel Painter 2021 is a multi-functional graphics software suitable for creative works. You can draw comfortably with its 900+ versatile brushes and high customizability. It’s suitable for painting realistic style works.


Corel Painter is a long-selling software that is a standard for drawing and painting. The long and smooth stroke of its unique brush engine allows you to draw intuitively with realistic painting strokes as if you were painting on paper. Although expensive, its preset brushes and intricate customization make it suitable for a range of painting styles. However, the focus on realistic brushstrokes makes it less ideal for creating cartoon or comic styles.


To improve the speed of launch and operation, we recommend that you check the specs of your computer before installing and use a computer with specs that exceed the software’s minimum specifications.

Corel Painter 2021’s independent color selector allows you to select a color while checking it against other colors. It also has a Color Harmonies function that lists colors that match the selected color. So even if you aren’t confident in picking colors, these features help inexperienced artists choose colors more easily.


It’s annual subscription is available for both Mac and Windows, and includes free brush packs and updates as soon as they are available. A low-priced version of Painter Essentials 8 is also available. Although it has fewer brushes, the freedom of customization and the independent color selector is comparable to the full-featured version.


Corel also has an android-compatible app called Painter Mobile that comes in both free and paid versions. The paid version comes with more functions.


Developer: Corel Corporation


You can contact user support from the website’s official contact form. Detailed manuals and user galleries are also available on their dedicated tutorial website, and several books have been published that teach you how to use this software.


How to purchase:
Download the desktop version (Windows/macOS) from the official website.



  • Annual subscription: US$199
  • One-time payment: US$424 (Free 30-day trial available)



● Krita (Windows/macOS)

Krita is an open-source, free graphics software. This new digital illustration tool is complete with basic drawing functions and brushes.



This software is available for free. Unlike other software, Krita supports Linux. You can also use many brushes and import additional user-created resources, a feature unique to open-source software.

In addition to the ability to create an infinite number of layers, it has vector layers that you can use to transform figures and text without losing image quality. Krita also has a symmetry drawing tool that allows you to draw objects with intricate patterns.


Even though it is free software, it has an animation creation function, which supports frame-by-frame animation and simultaneous playback of animation and imported audio.


The drawback is that you will need to get used to brushstroke lag if you want to draw with it. This lag exists regardless of device, so if you are looking for high-performing brushstrokes, we recommend Clip Studio Paint.
Krita is available for purchase from Steam or the Microsoft Store.

Beta versions for ChromeOS and Android are also under development and can be downloaded from the official website.


Developer: Krita Foundation


You can contact support from the website’s official contact form. Krita also has tutorials and a Frequently Asked Questions page. Furthermore, you can download additional resources and browse their user gallery.


How to purchase:
Download the desktop version (Windows/macOS/Linux) from the official website for free.
Purchase the desktop version (Windows/macOS/Linux) from Steam and the Microsoft Store.


Price: Free, US$9.99 (Steam), US$9.79 (Microsoft Store)



● Paint Tool SAI (Windows)

Paint Tool SAI is a software with a simple interface and a smooth brush engine. However, it lacks functions such as text input, gradients, and figure drawing, so we recommend it for artists who want to create illustrations rather than comics.



Artists love this software due to its excellent stabilization and the overall feel as you draw. However, it only has a handful of methods for adjusting colors, and it does not support CMYK output. You’ll need to switch to another software to carry out these steps. Still, it is one of the leading drawing software for beginner illustrators.


Paint Tool SAI lacks strong user support and requires basic knowledge of Windows to use. SYSTEMAX is developing Paint Tool SAI Ver.2 with text input and ruler features. A beta version is currently available on the official website, and users who own Paint Tool SAI can use it free of charge. Some artists use the beta version to draw manga.


Developer: SYSTEMAX, Inc.


The official website has a Frequently Asked Questions page but no official community.
The software comes with a simple manual.
Paint Tool SAI has existed for over a decade, so plenty of books are available to explain how to use the software to draw illustrations, as well as numerous tutorials online.


Trial version:
Download the trial version from the official website.
You can use the trial version for free for 31 days after installation.


How to purchase: 
Purchase from the official website.
The website accepts payment via Paypal and credit card.


Price:‎ JPY 5500



● ibisPaint (iPad/iPhone/Android)

A fast-growing free app that lets you draw illustrations and manga on your smartphone or tablet. We recommend ibisPaint for artists who want to draw on their smartphone or tablet.



ibisPaint is a free illustration and manga drawing app. The UI design is optimized for smartphones and tablets. In addition to more than 2500 textures and screentones, it also has a full range of manga production features such as a frame border function. However, canvas size and dpi are limited. A B5 or A5 canvas cannot have 600 dpi resolution, a requirement for printing black-and-white comics.


The free version displays ads and limits the number of brushes. Watching an ad will unlock these functions for a limited amount of time. Purchasing the paid version removes ads and brush restrictions. If you become a premium member of their monthly membership system, you can use the member-only filters as well.


You can also record your drawing process as a timelapse video and post it to their official website and Twitter.

ibisPaint is compatible with Clip Studio Paint, so you can upload ibisPaint artwork to the Clip Studio cloud, then continue working on the same layers in Clip Studio Paint.


Developer: ibis mobile inc.


Check the official website for Frequently Asked Questions and tutorials. It has a lot of useful content, perfect for digital art beginners. You can also contact support from the website’s official contact form.
In addition to an Official YouTube channel, other users’ tutorial videos are also available on their official website gallery.


How to purchase:
Free version (ibisPaint X)
Download the app from the following links. To become a prime member, you need to purchase it within the app. You can also buy the paid version for Android in the app (Remove Ads Add-on).

  • Download the iOS (iPad/iPhone) version from the AppStore.
  • Download the Android version from Google Play.


Paid version (ibisPaint)
Purchase the paid version of (ibisPaint) from the AppStore.



  • Free (with ads and limited functions)
  • Paid (ad-free version): US$7.99
  • Prime Membership: US$2.99/month



● Procreate (iPad)

A classic and well-known iPad paint app that won the Apple Design Award. Its wide canvas with touch operation ensures a comfortable drawing experience. The simple UI makes it easy to find features.


Procreate has many digital features, such as brush customization, perspective rulers, clipping masks, text tools, and animation. Not only is it rich in features, but it also has a clean interface that’s easy for beginners to understand. When you start the app, it displays an impressive video on how to use it and a high-quality example image file.

There is a Procreate app for the iPhone with fewer features called Procreate Pocket.

Neither application has a trial version available and, therefore, unfortunately, no way to test them out before purchasing.


Developer: Savage Interactive Pty Ltd


Procreate’s official website has a mail contact form and a user community.
There are plenty of user tutorials available online too.


Trial version: No trial available.

How to purchase: Purchase from the AppStore.


Price: US$9.99



●Adobe Fresco (iPad/Windows)

Adobe Fresco is a painting software released by Adobe in 2019.



Like Procreate, Adobe Fresco is also designed for use with pen and touch-operated devices. Its main feature is its ability to mimic aspects of traditional painting, such as color mixing and bleeding. It uses live brushes that bleed and mix colors as real art supplies would. You can also adjust the amount of water and how the paint mixes for each brush. Mixing yellow and blue mix in Fresco makes green, an aspect that is not often reproduced in other digital painting software. You can also use both raster and vector brushes on the same canvas. In this way, Adobe Fresco is similar to Clip Studio Paint in that it combines both the feel of watercolor and oil painting with the benefits of working with vectors.


Adobe Fresco is highly recommended for those who already use Adobe products.  It specializes in drawing and rounds out Adobe’s other specialized area software (photo processing, design, animation, etc.), resulting in a full, robust digital art workflow.  Furthermore, it uses Photoshop brushes as well as Adobe’s cloud service.


Developer: Adobe Systems, Inc.


Support and manuals:
As with Photoshop, you can make inquiries using chat and email via the inquiry form on the official website.
Official website tutorials focus on watercolor and oil painting.


Trial version:

Instead of a trial version limited to 30-days, the app is available as a free scaled-down version in a freemium model.


How to purchase:
Adobe Fresco can be purchased on its own from the Abode official website, Adobe creative cloud, or the App Store (iPad version).
The Windows version can be downloaded from the official Adobe website.
In addition to its own separate plan, it also comes in a plan with Photoshop or the Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps plan.


Price: Free for Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers or $9.99 a month for non-subscribers.



● MediBang Paint (Windows/macOS/iPad/iPhone/Android)

MediBang Paint is free software with many features for drawing manga. If you register as a user and log in, you can unlock more features. It’s a good way to try out many kinds of features for free.



This app is a free simple drawing tool. Although you cannot customize it as much as paid ones, it has essential functions for drawing manga, such as frame borders and screentones. It’s made by the same company that makes the apps Jump PAINT and MangaName. These are apps for creating comics rather than illustrations.


It comes with various cloud functions, including access to over 1000 screentones and 20 fonts. You can save your work on the cloud to continue working on it on other devices. To use these functions, you must register as a user and log in. Note that you cannot transfer settings such as those on pens and brushes between different operating systems, such as a computer and an iPad.


If you are looking to draw black-and-white comics, MediBang Paint or Clip Studio Paint, the de-facto industry standard, are both good go-to options.


Developer: MediBang Inc.


You can contact the developer from the email form on the official website. Additionally, their website offers tutorials, materials, and an FAQ on basic app usage and announcements. You can search for OS-specific queries, but results can sometimes still come back with mixed OS results.
Tutorials and speed paints are also published to their user service, ARTstreet. If these aren’t enough, you can also purchase books that introduce how to use the app.


How to purchase:


Price: Free (with ads)



● Paintstorm Studio (Windows/macOS/iPad)

Paintstorm Studio is a low cost, advanced painting software available for Windows, macOS, and iPad. It has a wide variety of brushes and many customizable features. If you draw digitally, you should check this software out.



The iPad version of Paintstorm Studio has almost all of the same functions as the desktop version. However, you cannot share files between devices.


There are many default brush settings, allowing you to draw natural objects and backgrounds using CG-like effects. Many of the default brushes have a traditional feel, suitable for impasto painting. However, you can customize brushes to suit detail work and other drawing styles such as manga and anime-style illustrations.


Paintstorm Studio also has a Mixer palette that allows you to mix colors. It’s quite a unique drawing tool, and having some previous knowledge of CG will help when working with this app. Paintstorm Studio is available in both English and Japanese.


Developer: Sergei Komarov


Paintstorm Studio’s website has a contact form and a user community.


Trial version:

  • Download the desktop version (Windows/macOS) from the official website. You can launch the trial version up to 30 times within a limited amount of time.
  • For the iPad, there is a feature-limited version, Paintstorm Studio Lite.


How to purchase:

  • You can repurchase the desktop version (Windows/macOS) from the official website via Paypal and credit card.
  • The iPad version can be downloaded from the AppStore.



  • Desktop version (Windows/macOS): US$19.00
  • iPad version: US$12.99


● GIMP2 (Windows/macOS)

GIMP is a long-established open-source, free software with an abundant amount of functions for image processing and the ability to add user-created plug-ins. Due to this high amount of software customizability, GIMP requires some computer skills to use.



The functions available for image processing are almost the same as similar paid software options making it a good choice for adjusting color illustrations. However, since GIMP was initially developed for photo manipulation, it’s not recommended for print or movies.


If you have the technical skills needed to manage its customization abilities, GIMP can be an asset to illustration production.


Developer: The GIMP Team


Check the official website for Frequently Asked Questions and tutorials.
Many websites share links to guides and paperback books on GIMP, making information on software usage accessible.


How to download:
Download GIMP from its official website.


Price: Free


Article by Art Rocket

Tips for Beginners: Getting Started in Digital Art


If you’re thinking of starting digital art for the first time, the following questions might have crossed your mind:


“Can I draw with my current computer?”

“Drawing software sounds expensive.”


If you’re worried about this, read below for a summary of all you need to know when getting started. (Please note that prices in this article are only a guideline.)


1. Computer

If you already own a computer, you can continue using it without buying a new one. You can also use a laptop to digitally draw illustrations if it has good enough system requirements. If you find that your computer lags or freezes a lot, you should consider adding more memory or replacing it.


If you go to a shop to purchase a new computer, let the person helping you know that you are looking for a device for art programs and digital drawing so they can help find one that better suits your needs.


Memory-wise, although you can draw using only 4 GB memory, I recommend going with 8 GB or more if you want to get the most out of your new device.
Many recommend Mac computers for drawing, but you can absolutely draw without any problems on a Windows device. Feel free to choose the operating system you prefer.



You also have the option of drawing on a smartphone or tablet using a stylus. However, these options tend to be limited technologically, so they might hold you back or make you feel less confident as they tend not to reflect the details of strokes.


Make sure you select a device that meets your drawing needs, including how serious you want to draw.


Typical computers that come with illustration software

The Galaxy Book Flex2 5G, available in Germany and the UK, comes bundled with a 6-month license of Clip Studio Paint PRO.

It is a 2-in-1 PC with a 360-degree rotating display and comes with the S Pen, which is sensitive to 4,096 levels of pressure for a drawing experience as smooth as if you were drawing on real paper. UK “ Galaxy Book Flex2 5G”



2. Illustration software

Digital illustration refers to illustrations drawn using a drawing program or application. Various types of software exist, ranging from freeware to paid professional programs and applications.


Expensive software have advanced features, but that does not necessarily mean it’s easier to draw with (or that they will meet your needs).
It’s best to get some hands-on experience first. Most paid software have a free trial, so you can choose whether or not to purchase something after testing it. Also consider your budget.



The big names in software

A world-famous graphics software. With its long history and advanced features, it has attracted many professional designers. It is often known simply as Photoshop.
Adobe 7-day Free Trial


A sophisticated software for comics and illustration. The software is popular with many professional artists, especially comic artists. It’s sometimes abbreviated to “Clip Studio” or “CSP”.
30-day free trial of Clip Studio Paint


An intuitive and simple drawing software. The software has less features, but operates smoothly even with low specification.
31-day free trial of SAI


Software is an important tool for drawing. You should choose the software according to what you want to draw, whether illustrations, comics, portraits, anime-style art, watercolor-style paintings, landscapes, or characters.


For more information on the latest comparisons of drawing software, see this article.

Best Drawing Software and Apps in 2021 (Free & Paid)


3. Pen tablet

Connect this tool to your computer to draw.
You can draw smoother lines with a pen tablet, so if you want to draw a picture on a computer, you should prioritize this tool. You will find several companies that sell pen tablets, but Wacom tablets are the most popular products. Wacom’s product line-up is really solid.



Wacom has a huge range of tablets in different in sizes and specifications, but if you are a beginner, the Wacom Intuos S is a good budget choice at less than 100 dollars. However, it only comes in a small size of 200 × 160 mm.
Although it is slightly more expensive, the Wacom Intuos with Bluetooth comes in a small and medium size (264×200 mm) size. In addition, this product comes with a bundled two-year Clip Studio Paint license, so it’s ideal for artists without a drawing software.


In any case, you should test the drawing feeling before purchasing the pen tablet.
Please keep in mind that the tip will gradually become short, and will require replacement after a certain period.


For details on pen tablets for beginners, please refer to the following article.

Top 11 Drawing Tablets of 2021!


4. Monitor

You don’t need to purchase a new display if you’re confident with the current one.
However, if you are planning to buy a new monitor, choose a large one because it will reduce the tiredness. 20 inches or more is good!


5. Other

Although this is not a necessary item, if you want to draw the sketch on a paper, you need a scanner. You can convert the sketch into a digital data, open it with software, and ink digitally. You can also import hand drawn textures/colors and use them as illustration materials. If you want to export the illustration, you will need a printer.
There is no need to buy a new mouse or keyboard if you already have one that works properly. Consider buying a new one when you start using a lot of shortcut keys.


If you want to start digital drawing, the start-up costs can vary wildly depending on what you buy:


  • Computer(Including the monitor)… Between US$450–US$2,800
  • Pen tablet… Between US$100–US$2000 yen or more
  • Software… Free or up to $300 yen (or even more depending on what you buy!)
  • Scanner… From US$100


On the other hand, if you decide not to buy a computer, and use a freeware with a small pen tablet, you can get started from around US$100.



When drawing traditionally, your supplies eventually run out and you have to purchase them again. However, with a digital environment, you do not have to replace the equipment, costing less in the long term.
You don’t need to start with a high-performance computer, but can gradually shift to a more suitable device when you need to. You will gradually understand what you need for drawing a better illustration, such as a more pressure-sensitive pen tablet or a less glossy monitor.


See the following articles to learn more about creating illustration and manga in a digital environment!


(Created by: Nyle Inc.)
(Author: Wakako Ishida)
(Illustration: Andy♂)

9 Best Free Manga Drawing Software in 2021

Use one of these manga drawing software if you want to develop your skills to the level of Masashi Kishimoto. You can create amazing manga projects using a computer mouse or a graphic tablet. It is possible to use ready-made templates and themed anime backgrounds or create brushes and textures from scratch.

Top 9 Free Manga Drawing Software

  1. Photoshop – Our choice
  2. Corel Painter – Seamless textures
  3. Paintstorm Studio – 50+ custom brushes
  4. OpenCanvas – For manga and comic artists
  5. Clip Studio Paint – 36 comic templates
  6. Smith Macro Manga Studio – Advanced vector tools
  7. My Paint – A collection of 100+ overlays
  8. MediBang Paint – 800+ thematic anime backgrounds
  9. Artweaver – To create textures from scratch

Manga software allows you to quickly edit and create drawings with one click. Have a look at the ready-made templates, use layers and masks and record speed art for YouTube. Check out my list of 9 free manga drawing software, learn about their unique features, advantages and disadvantages.

1. Photoshop – Our Choice

100000+ third-party brushes and textures

  • Third-party plug-ins support
  • Compatible with different graphics tablets
  • Allows working with layers
  • Advanced work with color palette

Verdict: Adobe Photoshop occupies a leading position among the software for manga artists due to its multitude of functions, the widest base of third-party brushes and textures, as well as a huge number of training video lessons.

With a drawing tablet, you can use brushes for detailed work, while those using a computer mouse, will prefer the Pen tool to create sharper borders. It is possible to scan a sketch drawn on paper, and then use the photo editing options in Photoshop to create drawings.

To add color to your sketches, you can use the Brush tool when working on a graphics tablet or the Pen tool for raster and vector media, which has perfect accuracy even when being controlled by a mouse. The Pen Tool helps produce artworks with crisp and clean edges, and perfect shading.

2. Corel Painter

900+ customizable brushes

  • Adjustable pressure intensity
  • Smooth strokes
  • Over 900 brushes
  • A huge variety of textures

Verdict: Corel Painter is multi-functional graphics design software with a collection of over 900 universal custom brushes for creating manga. I’d like to mention the long and smooth brush stroke mechanism, which allows you to draw realistic strokes – watercolor, oil paint, chalk, charcoal, colored pencil, and many others.

You can use install this manga drawing software free on a graphics tablet or computer. There are also several different paper textures to choose from.

I also like that it is possible to adjust the pressure level of the brush. When using a pencil, the thickness of the line directly depends on the inclination angle of the stylus to the tablet screen. A brush that has just been dipped in paint will leave a wider and more saturated trace than a brush that has been used for some time.

3. Paintstorm Studio

  • 50+ brush settings
  • Mixer Palette
  • More than 50 fonts
  • Customizable interface
  • Not suitable for quick sketches

Verdict: If you enjoy experimenting with custom brushes and don’t have strict deadlines, then you should definitely try Paintstorm manga software free. The user interface can be completely personalized, scaled and saved as new.

Selecting the Brush tool on the main toolbar doesn’t work the same as in Photoshop. You have another palette with different types of brushes grouped into identical styles, from simple strokes to complex, multi-layer bends, stroke types.

The settings palette allows you to define almost every attribute of your brush, from the tip profile to the shape. Paintstorm Studio also has a Mixer palette that lets you mix colors. This is a fairly unique drawing tool, and some basic knowledge of CG will help you use it correctly.

4. OpenCanvas

  • Allows recording speed art
  • 100+ brushes
  • Intuitive UI
  • You cannot create several images simultaneously

Verdict: OpenCanvas is quite popular among the manga and anime community and is on the list of best free drawing software for amateurs. You get a variety of brushes, including the raster Pen Tool, marker brushes and a set of watercolor brushes.

To create a manga, you can choose from various tones, patterns and textures of paper, as well as 100+ brushes that give you a complete and unique look. The program has a very useful log that helps you track and view your progress.

The unique feature of this manga creator software is the “Event” tool, which allows you to see all the stages of how your drawing has been changed. It is especially useful if you are an artist, who is engaged in speed painting/video drawing.

5. Clip Studio Paint

30 + comic book templates

  • Advanced comic book templates
  • Supports layers
  • Works with vector and raster graphics

Verdict: Clip Studio Paint Pro is a bit of a mix between Illustrator and Photoshop, with support for bitmap and vector graphics, layers, and templates. You can adjust the vector settings to create smooth strokes on the sketches and use the program tools to increase/decrease certain areas of the lines to make the drawing look more professional.

Beginners can take advantage of 36 pre-designed comic book templates or you can use this anime drawing software to create your own ones from scratch.

I absolutely adore the word balloon tools, which are so helpful for creating comics. Using them, you can select the shape and size of the first balloon and indicate the direction of a tail and head. The possibility of using any font installed on your PC, as well as setting the size and color is also very useful. However, there is no spell-check.

6. Smith Macro Manga Studio

For work on graphics tablets

  • Imitates pens, paints and crayons
  • Supports different graphics tablets
  • Advanced vector tools

Verdict: Smith Micro Manga Studio is a perfect program for those who want to create quality manga and anime pages. The software contains vector tools that allow you to work with lines, a wide range of color samples for specific genres, additional screen tones and intelligent rules that help arrange 3D characters, choose a proper pose and anatomical design.

You can use this program with a graphic tablet, as it boasts touch sensitivity and comes with digital pens. It imitates the traditional pens used by manga artists. You can also customize preset brushes to match your style.

7. My Paint

  • A set of overlays
  • Brushes are divided into 3 groups
  • You can create your own brushes

Verdict: My Paint is intuitive free drawing software. It works great with tablets paired with a stylus. You can create and customize your own brushes, such as pencils, chalk, crayons and charcoal.

You can choose brushes from three sections: “Classic”, “Experimental” and “Favorite”. In addition, My Paint contains an interesting tool called Notepad. This is a kind of draft, where you can try how different brushes work.

The program supports overlays that help regulate brightness, saturation, etc. It also has functions for moving layers and is a great tool for beginners.

8. MediBang Paint

  • 800+ thematic anime fonts
  • Supports PSD files
  • Synchronization with mobile devices
  • You have to register to access all functions

Verdict: MediBang Paint is free mange drawing software with many handy features. Registered users can easily access additional features such as frames and screentones.

The MediBang Paint Pro library includes 50+ brushes and +120 fonts, with the ability to fine-tune more than 800 preinstalled backgrounds and anime-themed templates. It is worth mentioning that the program works well with .PSD files, which is not typical for free drawing programs.

A unique feature is the possibility to save the finished work to the cloud and continue creating manga later. In addition, it is possible to use direct synchronization with mobile devices, Android/iPhone.

9. Artweaver

  • Customizable brushes
  • Over 100 filters
  • You can create textures from scratch

Verdict: Artweaver is another simple but effective anime drawing software. It has filling, cropping and selection tools. It allows you to customize brushes according to your needs and classify them. In addition, there is an advanced text editor.

Users can choose from a rich set of different brushes. It is possible to work with layers, import and export graphics in various formats. Artweaver also has all kinds of filters that you can use when editing drawings (wind effect, blur, waves, granulation, oil effect, etc.).

I’d like to note the ability to draw textures and save them to the library for future use in your projects. In addition to the built-in plug-in package, which contains many cool filters, you can install third-party ones.

Manga Tools – How To Draw Manga

When it comes to drawing manga, there are many kinds of paper, ink, and other tools to choose from.
What should you look for at the store? With so many options, how do you know which is best for you?
Here’s a summary of the various tools available to help you make your decision!

Sketch Pad

When brainstorming, using a sketchpad with lots of pages is recommended. Take your favorite notebook or memo pad with you wherever you go.

Thumbnail Note

This notebook has the same line layout as comic paper, allowing for a smooth transition from storyboard to manuscript on comic paper. You can tear out individual pages as well, so inserting pages is a breeze!

Manga Paper

This special smooth paper makes it hard for nibs to get caught on the surface, making it a favorite among professional manga artists.

Draft Blue

This blue mechanical pencil is great for drawing atari and sketches. The thick lead does not break easily, making it easy to use even for people who press hard on the paper.


It comes with a stand to prop the device up at an angle conducive to drawing.


This is a LED light table that does not get hot, and is small and lightweight so you can carry it with you. It is battery-operated so you do not need an outlet!

Perspective ruler type 2

Using two rulers, you can draw backgrounds without deciding the vanishing point.

Perspective ruler type 2E

A simplified version of a perspective ruler type2. Using a single ruler, you can draw backgrounds with ease.

Pers Navi

This sheet features lines you can use as a guide when drawing backgrounds. Use it by placing it over your light table and under your comic paper.

Super Black

This ink allows the ink to spread smoothly when drawing. It can be used with airbrushes as well. It is water-resistant once it dries.

Premium Black TYPE1

This ink for dip pens was developed especially for manga drawing. It dries quickly, spreads well, and is very resistant to erasers. It is water-resistant once it dries.


If you are not sure which nib to use, we recommend trying the standard G pen and mapping pen first.


The lineup features line widths ranging from 0.03 mm to 1.0 mm. The 0.03 mm type is as thin as a mapping pen, making it a good choice for drawing backgrounds with fine details. There is also a brush type.

Super White

This white ink will not seep into the color beneath it when applied on top. It cannot be drawn on after it dries.

Art White

Besides brushes, this white ink is easy to use with a nib as well. It is perfect for detailed highlighting. It can be drawn on after it dries.

IC Screen

From halftone patterns, grainy patterns, gradations, and other standards to scenery and emotional effects, there is a rich amount of variety here. The high-quality Manga Screens were created to ensure beautiful patterns when printed.

IC Screen youth

The Youth series features a rich array of unique patterns and designs useful for effects.

IC Screen Premium

This series uses patterns printed in black ink atop white ink prints, allowing labor-intensive scenes to be created with ease. Try using it for those crucial scenes.


This utility knife’s blade is sharp and curves 30° at the tip. It is well-suited to work that requires precision. It is easy to use for rough Manga Screen shaving as well.


The tip of this design knife can be replaced with newer parts. The shape makes it easy to grip.

Silver knif-moon shape blade

This design knife has a 45° curved tip. It is made specifically for cutting fine curved lines and smooth Manga Screen shaving.


This spatula makes sure that the Manga Screen does not come off. Different widths for the spatula tip can be used depending on the size of the surface being brushed.


This sand eraser can be used to blur Manga Screens. You can achieve a soft shading effect different than when shaving with a utility knife.


Cleaning up Manga Screen shavings is tough, but gathering them up with a kneaded eraser makes cleanup a breeze. It can also be used to make the lines in sketches lighter.

Copic sketch

24 Color Set for Manga Illustrations

These pens come with brush-type nibs to assist in illustration. The 24 colors are perfect for comic book illustrations.

Copic ciao

Start 12 Color Set

This starter set features 12 colors and can be used with ease even by amateurs. The “ciao” series is less expensive than the sketch variety.


Professional Water Colour

This series features high-quality materials that allow for especially vibrant transparent watercolors, and the product is durable as well.


Water Colour Markers

These marker-type transparent watercolors come with two types of tips for ease of use. Combine them with a water brush and they can be used anywhere.


Drawing Inks

You can use them straight from the container or add water. Each color features a different box design too, which is a nice touch.


Acrylic Ink

This liquid acrylic paint can be used as-is without adding water. It feels as comfortable as using colored ink.


Gouche Acrylic+

Liquitex Gouache, the standard of acrylic paints. It is crack-resistant and hides uneven brush strokes well, allowing for beautiful paintings.

This starter set includes everything you need to create your manga. It includes a number of tools, 34 model illustrations, and even a light table for additional convenience.

Top 10 Best Free Manga Drawing Software 2021

Updated Oct 12, 2021

Looking for the best free Manga drawing software? You want to draw Manga but you don’t know any good software to do so. No worries, this article is going to tell you all about the best manga drawing software using which you can learn and draw manga on your computer easily.

Manga is getting immense popularity these days and many like you are looking for a drawing software. Drawing software is a lot of fun to use and can make your work done with ease. It is simple and faster than traditional drawing that requires crafts.

Manga software allows you to do quick edits and create drawings with just one click. Basically, Manga is the comic or anime that is been created by Japanese people. Well, you do not get all the Manga drawing software for free but you can get them on a trial basis.

You Must Read These Posts:

10 Best Manga Drawing Software – At A Glance

  1. Smith Micro Manga Studio
  2. PGN openCanvas
  3. Inkscape
  4. Adobe Photoshop
  5. SYSTEMAX PaintTool SAI
  6. GIMP
  7. Corel Painter
  8. Artweaver
  9. Clip Studio Paint
  10. MyPaint

Smith Micro Manga Studio

One of the most popular and Free Manga drawing software is Manga Studio. It does exactly what its name suggests. It is an incredible software for creating anime and manga artwork.  You can create these Manga drawings with a professional touch using this software. You can also use it for the digital creation of comics, illustrations, and frame-by-frame 2D animation. Smith Micro Manga Studio is available on all major operating systems including macOS, Microsoft Windows, and iOS. It is now officially renamed as Clip Studio Paint.

Below are some of the main features of Smith Micro Manga Studio that makes it best to draw manga drawings on it.

Features Of Smith Micro Manga Studio

Its features include drawing with vector capabilities for line work. It offers a wide range of genre-specific color swatches screen tones, together with perspective rulers to aid layout and 3D characters. You can aid pose and add anatomical design. This Manga Studio also comes with pen pressure sensitivity for tablet-users, and digital pens which mimic the traditional ink pens used by professional manga artists. It is a great choice for anyone who wants to indulge in manga artwork.

PGN openCanvas

OpenCanvas is quite popular among the manga and anime community. It is a digital drawing and painting software available in both Japanese and English. With this software, you get various brushes, including a raster-based Pen Tool, marker pen brushes, and watercolor brush set.

PNG openCanvas can be used for digitally inking, and has layer systems that make editing easy. It has a user-friendly interface that offers easy-to-navigate menus and a thumbnail panel. Several patterns, tones and paper textures coupled with the fully editable brushes are available for creating manga and anime-styled artwork.



Inkscape is a free vector-based manga drawing program. It is similar to the popular Adobe Illustrator. This tool is great for picking the specified colors and it’s a free and open-source vector graphics editor. Other than Manga drawing this drawing software can also create or edit vector graphics such as illustrations, diagrams, line arts, charts, logos, and complex paintings.

You can create a really cool Manga drawing using Inkscape. If you are a beginner in Manga drawing, there are many tutorials available on the Internet to learn drawing simple Manga characters. Check Inkscapetutorials and find out many tutorials.

Inkscape Features

This tool allows you to upload your traditional drawings via scanner and convert them into the manga artwork. It is compatible with almost all the file formats as JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PCX, TGA, PSD, PMG etc. It is a great tool for creating anime and manga drawing.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the most famous drawing software and is used worldwide for such drawings. It offers precise tools for creating high-quality anime and manga styled artwork. With Photoshop you get the ability to complete the whole piece digitally from start to finish. You can also scan your drawn sketch and then later use Photoshop’s photo editing options for creating art.

Photoshop offers the brush tools for detailed tablet work while mouse-users can enjoy the Pen tool for precision. With this Pen Tool, you can color your anime and manga artwork and give crisp clean boundaries to your shading.


The next inexpensive Japanese-made digital painting software is SYSTEMAX PaintTool. It is a lightweight raster graphics editor and painting software. This one proves to be nearly perfect for the anime and manga art industry. It is a light program that runs smoothly and offers an easy-to-navigate interface. This is needed to create anime and manga styled artwork.

SYSTEMAX PaintTool SAI Features

It comes with built-in brushes of different size, shape, and texture that are capable of creating mimic traditional painting media. The tool also includes watercolor and marker pens and allows you to download custom brushed from the web as well. It produces amazingly crisp edges to the stokes and different layers to create perfect art.

You will like this post: Wondershare Fotophire Review: All in one Photo Editing Software


The GIMP stands for GNU image manipulation program. It is given almost equal priority as of Photoshop but is preferred over its painting and drawing skills. You can use this software to create and customize brushes and the patterns as per your demand. This offers transformation tools to rotate, scale and allows editing drawings and images to its best.

GIMP Drawing Features

Its other tools include ellipse, rectangular and free selection. GIMP supports wide file formats like JPEG, BMP, GIF, PSD, and PMG. It also supports the use of pen tablets and is capable of adding the plugin’s to expand its features further.

Corel Painter

Draw your next level manga artwork using this brilliant Corel Painter software. Corel Painter is famous for a wide selection of brushes. It includes digital brushes and also those which mimic traditional media. With the aid of a graphics tablet or computer mouse, the user is able to reproduce the effect of physical painting and drawing media such as watercolor, oil paint, chalk, charcoal and color pencil.

Corel Painter Features For Manga Drawing

The artists use Corel painter to create anime and manga style who are inherently digital artists and also interested in traditional media. You get a good range of other brushes for the digital look and have precise pen pressure sensitivity with a tablet. Painter is a commanding tool for anime or manga style painting.


Artweaver is yet another manga drawing and painting tool. It is great to use for both beginner and experienced user. It is easy to use and is a paid program but one can also try its free version. You get predefined brushes like pencils, chalk, charcoal, crayons and airbrush. Its pen tablet support filling, cropping and selection tools.

It allows you to configure the brushes that suit your need and categorize them. It also allows you to text with its editable text tool.

Clip Studio Paint

Clip Studio Paint is the world’s leading manga and comic creation software. This tool delivers influential art tools that help to create professional manga artwork. This is designed for the artists perfect in their pen-and-paper illustrations and for the artists willing to create manga and comics digitally.

Clip Studio Paint Features

It allows powerful coloring with its custom color sets and includes pens, pencils, brushes and selection tools. You also get the feature that allows multiple airbrush effects. Its vector tool kit allows maximum flexibility and hence speeding up the manga production.


My Paint is a free painting and drawing manga software. Its designing is specifically to work with tablet pen pressure sensitivity. You can also create and configure brushes like pencils, chalk, crayons, and charcoal. It gives you the feel of professional painting or drawing with a traditional touch.

MyPaint Manga Features

You get all the features and benefits of digital painting. You can save your art as scrap paper and has large collection of brushes that can be customized as well. In addition, it also supports blending modes like luminosity, overlay, and saturation. It also has features to move layers around and is a great tool to use.

You will like this post: How to Open PSD Files without Photoshop for Free

Tips to Draw Perfect Manga

So now you know which are the best software available on the Internet to draw Manga. In this last section, let’s see some tips that will help you draw awesome Manga.

  • Follow proper Drawing guidelines:- First tips is to use the proper guidelines whenever starting a new drawing. Guidelines such as lines, shapes, structure or basic frame. Many artists feel that this is a waste of time. But believe me, it will help you master manga drawing.
  • Practice by Copying:- No, I am not saying to do plagiarism, or simply copy and publish other people’s work. But as a beginner, you can make your drawing better by drawing some characters and scenes of your favorite Manga. You can experiment in it on your own by adding new stuff using your own imagination.
  • Accept Criticism:- If you show you drawings to someone and they suggest some changes or give some honest but negative feedback. Learn to accept it and practice to make it better. Have in mind though that not all criticism is to take seriously, some of them should be ignored too.
  • Experiment using Your Imagination:- You can’t draw the perfect manga if you just copy and draw an already drawn Manga or Anime all the time. To master drawing in your favorite software, learn to use your imagination and draw your own characters and scenes.
  • Enjoy Drawing:- Last but not least, enjoy while drawing on the software. If you are not having fun while drawing Manga, you will not be able to take it as a hobby for a long time. Draw whatever you enjoy the most.

And that’s it. I hope you will take all these tips into consideration and start drawing manga.

Ready To Put Your Manga Drawing Software In Use?

Well, these were the best free manga drawing software you can use. Start drawing manga and enter the world of anime and manga. It is fun to use these drawing softwares and create your very own amazing manga. It doesn’t matter if you are new into Manga drawing or have a pro-level experience. You will enjoy drawing on each and every manga drawing software of this article. If you want to add any software you like to draw Manga on, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

General FAQs

What is Manga Drawing Software?

Manga drawing software allows users to create amazing Manga artwork on their own private computers. Not only is this art form becoming more and more popular, but the best software is affordable, as well as high-quality.

What are the Best Features for Manga Drawing Software?

There are a lot of intricate features on differing software. However, these features make for the best art. Drawing with vector capabilities for line work, file format compatibility (JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PCX, TGA, PSD, PMG etc.), various brush sizes and textures, plugins to expand features, as well as being available on a lot of different platforms.

What Makes Manga Drawing Software Different?

There are not a lot of specific differences. This is primarily because digital artists work on these drawing software models for a wide variety of reasons. These top ten Manga drawing software choices are simply the best for this particular form of drawing. However, some of these programs are designed SPECIFICALLY for Manga!

12 Best Drawing Software and Apps for Manga and Illustration

As much as we like to use sketchbooks to draw illustrations or doodles we have to admit the digital method is the mainstream nowadays, not only because it can be synced with any device you own but because the software provides you different powerful technic that you can ever imagine. Plus, how fun would it be if the software supports the daily equipment we use?

Today we would like to give you a detailed introduction of the best paid and free drawing software we think we are suitable for designers and designers-to-be!

What should you look for in drawing software?

image from Unsplash

Drawing Style:

Are you looking to draw manga? or a more illustrative style? Ask yourself what kind of drawing style do you prefer.

Type of Brushes:

Drawing software makes drawing easier to pick up, but some real technics are fairly limiting such as the thickness of the stroke? Can you edit brushes? Can you add new brushes? Choosing a drawing app equipped with multiple brushes can give you richer results.

The common brushes include watercolor pens, ballpoint pens, dip pens, airbrushes, pencils, etc. Pay attention to whether the software meets your drawing style.


If you want to make your illustrations professional and refined, the layer function is indispensable. By dividing a picture into several layers, it not only enhances the detailed description but also it’s easier during modification without extensive alteration.

Also, the ability to free-transform selections is important as well. It will allow you to lasso select it, scale it up, rotate it slightly, squish it a bit without interfering with anything else on that layer.


Although the same software or app may apply to almost all systems, however, the features may vary. Be sure to check the software supports the device you own and the current version before use.

Cloud Storage:

Whether you want to draw at home? or when commuting? or even if you suddenly lost your devices, cloud storage can help you retrieve your drafts anytime, anywhere.

11 Best Drawing Software and App

1. Adobe Fresco

image from Adobe Fresco

Adobe Fresco is a drawing and painting software from Adobe Family built for touch and stylus devices to help artists unleash their creativity wherever inspiration strikes. Its live brushes are unique you can use them to get a natural watercolor or oil look in your paintings.

If you work with some of other Adobe family’s products then this will definitely be your to-go on the phone and tablet. You can have Adobe Fresco and Photoshop work together to combine images, retouch artwork, add text, and create with layers.

2. Clip Studio Paint

image from Clip Studio Paint

Clip Studio Paint is previously called Manga Studio 5, it is a flexible software that supports a wide range of specialties, including character art, concept art, illustration, mangas & comics, and animation. You can create every stroke exactly as you imagine with the powerful brush engine. Clip Studio Paint works with your device to reflect every nuance of your pen, even up to the 8192 levels of pen pressure detected by Wacom tablets.

It also has a Clip Studio ASSETS platform which provides 1000 new materials every month, you can download any kind of assets like patterns, brushes, 3D data, etc for free or paid. You’ll always find something to match your personal style.

  • Trial:

    • Windows and macOS: 30 days.
    • Android/Chromebook: available for download from Play Store.
    • Galaxy: available in Galaxy Store.
    • iPad: free for up to three months
    • iPhone: free to use for one hour every day.
  • Price:

    Clip Studio Paint PRO is for character art, concept art, illustration.

    Clip Studio Paint EX is for manga & comics, animations

    • Windows/macOS One-time payment:
      • Clip Studio Paint PRO: US$49.99
      • Clip Studio Paint EX: US$219.00
    • Windows/macOS/iPad/iPhone/Galaxy (Monthly usage plans for a single device)
      • Clip Studio Paint PRO: US$4.49 /month (Annual: US$24.99)
      • Clip Studio Paint EX: US$8.99 /month (Annual: US$71.99)
  • Platform: Windows / macOS / iPad / iPhone / Android

  • Website:

3. Affinity Designer

image from Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer has won Apple Design Award in 2015, it is compatible software to create concept art, print projects, logos, icons, UI designs, mock-ups and more, it’s one of the top choices for professional illustrators, web designers, game developers and other creatives who love vector and raster design tools.

Given the similarity, many people often compare Affinity Designer with Adobe Illustrator, illustrator gives you a bit more control over small details overall. However, you may utilize plugins to add more brushes to be used in Affinity, even if you have to tweak one of two settings to make them work perfectly. It will require a bit of learning before you get your hands on Affinity Designer, and even though there’s not much learning material provided by the software itself but you can still easily find people sharing their tutorials online.

The non-subscription price tag is beyond reasonable given the mature and comprehensive feature-set it offers. It also works seamlessly with Affinity Photo, further expanding the kinds of workflows you can perform in the Affinity ecosystem.

4. Procreate

image from Procreate

Loved by creative professionals and aspiring artists alike, Procreate has won the Apple Design Award and it’s a classic and well-known app specially made for iPad. Offering hundreds of handmade brushes, a suite of innovative artistic tools, an advanced layer system, and the lightning-fast Valkyrie graphics engine.

Procreate gives you everything you need to create expressive sketches, rich paintings, gorgeous illustrations and beautiful animations. It’s simple UI makes it easy to find features when you are navigating your way in the drawing process which is very friendly to beginners!

5. Krita

image from Krita

Krita is an open-source, free graphics software. Krita offers over 100 professional brushes, it also comes with a brush stabilizer in case you have a shaky hand. The built-in vector tools help you create comic panels easily just select a word bubble template from the vector library and drag it on your canvas.

Krita also has a huge community in which you can share your artwork with or even share assets like brush and texture packs from other artists to expand your toolset. If you create some brushes that you love, share them with the world by creating your own bundles.

  • Price: Download the desktop version from the official website for free. otherwise, you will be charged.
  • Platform: Windows / macOS / Linux
  • Website:

6. Corel Painter 2022

image from Corel Painter 2022

Corel Painter is one of the applications under CorelDRAW. The software is much lite on the system when compared to its competition Adobe Photoshop. You can sketch, paint, illustrate and produce unparalleled photo art using realistic brushes, exciting media, and an array of versatile tools.

Every year it releases new features, the Painter 2022 has a refined brush library, new watercolor brushes and workflow, enhanced stamp-type technology and huge speed gains to help you advance your skills. Although expensive, its preset brushes and intricate customization make it suitable for different range of painting styles.

  • Price:
    • Annual subscription: US$199
    • One-time payment: US$424 (Free 30-day trial available)
  • Platform: Windows / macOS
  • Website:

7. MediBang Paint Pro

image by MediBang Paint Pro

MediBang Paint Pro is a FREE digital painting and comic creation software. It’s available for PCs and Mac. Even though it’s free it comes loaded with features. MediBang Paint includes everything you need to illustrate or make comics. It also comes with over 50 brushes for you to use like the GPen, and Mapping Pen for inking, and the Watercolor brush for coloring. Each brush has various settings so they can be customized to your liking.

If you want to draw manga, Its easy comic panel, comic page management, pre-made tones and backgrounds features are very thoughtful to help create comics while being productive at the same time. If you also work with a team of people MediBang Paint’s group project feature is suitable for you to collaborate easily!

8. Paint Tool SAI

image from Paint Tool SAI

PaintTool SAI is high quality and lightweight painting software, fully digitizer support, amazing anti-aliased paintings, provide easy and stable operation.

Compare features with other software Paint Tool it’s very simple and easy to get your hands on. It doesn’t require as much GPU as Photoshop does, you can see brushstrokes as soon as you press down your tablet pen without any delay. Once you get the hang of it, it isn’t hard to use at all and you make amazing paintings.

9. ibisPaint

image from ibisPaint

ibis Paint is a popular and versatile illustration and manga drawing app. It provides over 2000 brushes, over 1100 fonts, 75 filters, 46 screen tones, 27 blending modes, you can record your drawing processes, create stroke stabilization and various ruler features such as radial line rulers or symmetry rulers, and clipping mask features.

If you like to draw on your smartphones or tablets, this is a great app you shouldn’t miss out! In addition, it also has a full range of manga and illustration tutorials on its website and social account.

  • Price:
    • Free (with ads and limited functions)
    • Paid (ad-free version): US$7.99
    • Prime Membership: US$2.99/month
  • Platform: iPad / iPhone / Android
  • Website:

10. Photoshop

image from Photoshop

Photoshop is Adobe’s photo editing, image creation and graphic design software. The software provides many image editing features for raster (pixel-based) images as well as vector graphics. It uses a layer-based editing system that enables image creation and altering with multiple overlays that support transparency. It’s also used in design, web, and 3D projects.

You can definitely draw in Photoshop, but it wasn’t created with illustrations or comics mainly. It will take you some time and effort to customize the pen and brush tools pressure. However, still many companies and schools use Photoshop to create awesome projects.

  • Price:
    • Free on Mobile with limited features.
    • Desktop and iPad: 30 days trial, Creative Cloud Photography Plan: US $9.99/month.
  • Platform: Windows / macOS / iPad / Android / iOS
  • Website:

11. Paintstorm Studio

image from Painstorm Studio

Paintstorm Studio is a professional digital drawing software available for Windows, macOS, and iPad. It has a wide variety of brushes and many customizable features and is probably the most customizable interface out there. If you like to draw, you should not miss this software out!

The videos on their Youtube are very helpful and informative to get you started. It can create many powerful painting touches. For the price, it is a very intuitive and simple-to-use tool for beginners.

12. GIMP

image from GIMP

GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for Linux, macOS, Windows. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes according to your needs! GIMP is used for producing icons, graphical design elements, and art for user interface components and mockups. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, or scientist, GIMP provides you with sophisticated tools to get your job done.

If you are tired of some software’s features or wanting to add some details into your drawing you can further enhance your productivity with GIMP customization options and 3rd party plugins!

10 Best & Free Manga Drawing Software

Manga is getting tremendous and huge popularity these days. People tend to use Manga software for drawing as compared to other software in the industry.

Why Manga is popular?

Manga is a wonderful drawing software which will allow you to draw anything in a much better and easy way. People enjoy drawing on Manga. It is very simple and faster than traditional drawing, that needs proper skills to draw something. Manga software is staving off the traditional way of drawing and changing people’s conception of drawing.

What Makes Manga Different?

Manga software allows you to quickly edit and create drawing with just one click. Actually, the manga is a comic or anime that is developed by the people of Japan. And the reason is obvious, Japanese love comics, and we all do too. It is true that you cannot get all of the Manga software for free, but you can get a trial version.

10 Best Manga Drawing Software

Getting started with Manga software is easy for people because it is pretty much familiar software with modification. If you are using Manga software or just using anime style, as your progress, you will be able to create your drawings with the help of new tool, features, and media. If you are thinking about some best Manga software to use. You can check them out in the list given below and I hope you will find some wonderful Manga Softwares.

1.Smith Micro Manga Studio

If we talk about the most popular Manga drawing software among folks, then it should be definitely Manga Studio. It will do exactly what its name reflects. It is an excellent software to be used for creating manga artwork and anime. You can create your own manga drawing by using this incredible software.


  • Drawing with vector capabilities to draw line work.
  • It has a wide range of genre-specific color swatches.
  • It has awesome screen tones, along with the perspective ruler to aid layout and 3D characters.
  • You can add a pose and anatomical design.
  • Manga studio has the ability to allow tablet users with pen pressure sensitivity.
  • Digital pens that will mimic the traditional ink pens which are used by expert manga artists.
  • It provides a great opportunity for people who want to indulge in manga artwork.

2.PGN openCanvas

OpenCanvas is mainly famous among the Manga and anime is a digital and painting which is available for the users both in English and Japanese. It offers various brushes, including a raster-based Pen Tool, marker pen brushes and watercolor brush set for drawing purposes.


  • OpenCanvas can be perfectly used for digital inking purposes.
  • It uses a layer system that makes editing simple and easy.
  • It has a user-friendly interface that will allow you to easily find menus and thumbnail panel.
  • OpenCanvas has several patterns, tones and paper textures along with completely editable brushes that can be used to create Manga drawings and artwork.


Inkscape is a free vector based manga drawing tool. It is pretty much similar to Adobe Illustrator. The amazing thing about this tool is that it is great for selecting a specified color.


  • It will allow you to upload your handmade drawing through a scanner and convert them into a Manga artwork.
  • It is compatible with all file formats like JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PCX, TGA,  PSD, PMG etc.
  • It is a tremendous tool for creating anime and manga drawing of your own choice and taste.

4.Adobe Photoshop

You might have used Adobe Photoshop at some time of your life. It is the right choice for you to draw perfect painting drawing with its abundant tools. With Photoshop you can draw all of your drawings digitally from start to end. It is a wonderful tool that gives you complete command over what you are drawing.


  • With Photoshop you can scan your sketch and then later use Photoshop’s editing options for creating art out of that sketch.
  • It offers brush tool for tablet work, while mouse-users can use the pen tool for perfect precision of drawing.
  • You can color your anime and manga artwork and give excellent and clean boundaries to your shading.



SYSTEMAX PaintTool is a Japanese-made painting software which is not expensive. It is perfectly developed for the anime and manga art industry. It is a very light and has a very easy to navigate interface. If you love creating anime and manga styled work, this one is a must check for you.


  • It has a lot of built-in brushes of multiple size, shape, and texture.
  • This tool has watercolor and marker pens that will allow you to download custom brushed from the internet as well.
  • It adds amazing crisp edges to the strokes and different layer to create amazing anime art.


GMP stands for GNU image manipulation program. It has the same working as Photoshop but is preferred ever its painting and drawing skills. You can create and customize brushes using this anime software.


  • GIMP has transformation tools which can rotate, scale and allows editing drawing and images to its best.
  • It supports a wide range of formats like JPEG, BMP, GIF, PSD, and PMG.
  • It supports the use of pen tablets and is able to add the plugins to expand its features.

7.Corel Painter

Do you love using brushes?
Corel Painter is a divine manga artwork tool which takes your manga creation to a new level. It has wonderful digital brushes as well as classic pens. It has watercolor, chalk, oil paint, pastels, marker pen, and colored pencils as well. Artists nowadays use Carol Painter to create anime and manga style who are naturally attracted towards arts.


  • You have a bundle of brushes to choose for your digital art.
  • You can enjoy precise pen pressure sensitivity with your tablet.
  • Painter is a dominating tool that can be used for anime or manga style painting.


Artweaver is one of another manga drawing and painting tool. It is a great tool to be used for both beginners and experienced users. It is very easy to use but it is not free. You can try out its trial version. There are built-in brushes like pencils, chalk, charcoal, crayons, and airbrush.


  • Its pen-tablet supports fillings, cropping and selection tools.
  • It allows you to configure the brushes according to your needs.
  • It allows you to text with its editable text tool.


9. Clip Studio Paint – Leading Manga Drawing Software

You would be surprised to know that Clip Studio Paint is the world’s leading manga and comic creation software. This tool has striking tools that will let you design professional manga artwork. This is mainly designed for artists who are perfect in their pen-and-paper illustrations.
It gives a great opportunity to those people who are greatly interested in creating manga and comics digitally.


  • It will let you color with custom colors and sets and includes pens, pencils, brushes and selection tools.
  • It has a good feature that will allow you to use multiple airbrush effect.
  • The vector toolkit of this software will allow you to maximum flexibility and thus, your manga production is speeded up.

10. MyPaint – Free Manga Drawing Software

My Paint is free to use manga software used for painting and drawing. It works perfectly with a tablet pen and pressure sensitive device such as tablets. You can create and configure your own brushes like pencils, chalk, crayons, and charcoal. It lets you work in a professional and efficient way.


  • You can get all the features and advantages of the digital painting by using this tool.
  • You can save your drawing as scrap paper and has a large collection of brushes that can be customized also.
  • It also supports blending models like luminosity, overlay, and saturation.
  • You can easily move layers around.


The software I described above, are some of the best free manga software that must be checked if you are a manga lover. If you want to die in the ocean of anime and manga, start using these amazing software today. It is really wonderful to use these digital programs.

Tools – Tools for manga

Special paper

There are different types of paper, B4 or A4, 135 g / m2. -very dense or 110g / m2. – less dense.

It is better when the paper has special markings that will not be visible when printed in a printing house. (translator’s note, in our area this is not relevant, since in our area most often, or even almost always, they print from scans).

B4 paper is larger than our A4, but smaller than our A3.

Paper B4 and A4 together to make the difference.

But this picture was found on the network with us, a page with markup, the author is not known.

Writing instruments

Everything is clear here: (pictured from right to left) a scrinton spatula, a brush pen, various liners, a scrinton knife, a stationery knife, a double-sided pen holder.

Mechanical pencil, spare blue refills

Behind the dotted line: white ink, corrector, elastic band, corrector pen.


Also a compulsory tool of a mangaka can be in the form of a brush or a feather duster.

Needed for brushing off bits of eraser, so as not to smudge ink, if it is not waterproof, or so as not to smudge a pencil drawing drawn with a soft pencil. Small particles from the scrinton are also brushed off.

Nibs and Holders

Yes, every mangaka needs nibs, and yes, there are a lot of them, as they are consumed quickly.

Maru-Pen – Suitable for drawing very fine lines such as hair, fine details.

G-Pen – Suitable when you need to get a line of different thickness, depending on the pressure it will change.

Kabura-Pen (spoon-pen) – The line of this pen, almost does not change with pressure. Suitable for when you need to get a uniform line. May thicken from very strong pressure.

In the photo above there is a G-Pen, a School-Pen, a Kabura-Pen (it can be called Saji-Pen, different manufacturers have different names) and two Maru-pens.

Multi-liners and markers

Multi-liners are of completely different brands, the thickness is approximately the same for all brands (multi-liners are 0.03 mm, 0.05 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm, 0.8 mm, 1 , 0mm, 2.0mm)

Multiliner 0.8 – used to draw panels in manga.

Copic has disposable or reusable multi-liners available with spare ink available for purchase. The Copic Wide marker works well for painting large surfaces.


Everyone chooses mascara according to their wishes, whether it is waterproof or not, glossy or matte.

White ink is a little more difficult than black. White mascara comes in different densities, dense is suitable for creating splashes, painting over large blots or drops from black mascara, since it is not transparent, unlike more liquid.

But liquid white ink is suitable for drawing with a pen.


Here, too, everything is clear, the more different, the better.


Scrintons are a technique for adding textures and shades to a drawing, used as an alternative to shading.In work, templates are transferred from sheets on which they were pre-printed, but this technique is also feasible using computer graphics. The most famous brands are Zip-A-Tone (1937, no longer exists), Chart-Pak (1949), and Letratone (1966, from Letraset).

Traditional Skrinton sheet consists of flexible transparent liner, printed texture and wax sticky layer. The sheet is applied to the paper with a sticky layer down and ironed with style on the back side.The liner comes off and the ink stays adhered to the paper where it was ironed.

Screentons are widely used by illustrators and artists for drawings and advertising posters. For original works, they are rarely used since graphic programs and computer layout appeared, but they are still used, for example, by some of the authors of manga – Japanese comics (the most common brands in this circle are Deleter and Maxon).

Scrinton in progress.Here, a tonal fill is superimposed on the drawing, and with a scrinton knife or a clerical knife everything unnecessary is scraped off (or cut out), the process itself will be clearer in the video.

Skylight (light table)

This is a special tool that allows you to draw in skylight. It is glass (matte, as a rule), under which a lamp shines from below. That is, you put another under a blank sheet, as a rule, with a sketch of the drawing and through the blank sheet you see the sketch (just like layers in Photoshop).Indispensable for fine drawing of a pencil or outlining ink (then from under it you will not need to erase the outlined pencil and ink will remain on the paper intact and bright).

Craftsmen who do not have such a table, except to buy, make it from old scanners, doors (interior), just glass, under which a lamp is placed, and so on.
But besides pens, copiers, etc. skill is also necessary.

How Japanese Manga is Created

Manga Creation Today we will tell you step by step how the process of its creation goes directly in Japan.We would like to immediately draw your attention to the fact that all Japanese manga is created exclusively by hand. No computer programs are involved in this process!
1. SCENARIO AND CHARACTER DESIGN Oddly enough, manga doesn’t start with drawing. Its basis is the plot. Therefore, manga artists spend a fairly large part of their time writing a script. It obeys many criteria and is built according to certain rules. Also, at the first stage, the artist must register and visually develop all the acting characters of his manga.This means drawing the character from different angles and writing a description of his character in writing. This is very important for a mangaka, since it is the development of the character that allows him to write the script competently and logically.
2. STORYBOARD After writing the script, the mangaka proceeds to create a storyboard – a rough sketch of his future manga. When creating it, he tries to convey in the most interesting and understandable way what is written in words, in the form of a picture. In this process, the artist must use all his imagination, this is one of the most difficult moments in the work.Like the script, the storyboard has a number of clear rules according to which it must be drawn. For example, there are several rules regarding the shape and size of frames, as this determines how correctly the reader perceives your story.
3. PENCIL SKETCH Next, according to the drawn storyboard, the mangaka begins to draw a clean copy. To do this, he uses special paper for manga of B4 or A4 format, which has a high density and sufficient smoothness, which helps not to spoil its structure with numerous erasures with an eraser and subsequent ink strokes.Mangaki try to use an automatic pencil for work, as this allows you to draw thin and neat lines.
4. INK STROKE AND ADJUSTMENT The next step after drawing with a pencil is to stroke the ink drawn with the pen. Please note that any pens and liners are not suitable for manga outlining! This is done exclusively with feathers. There are several types of them, and each of them is intended for specific purposes, as it draws lines of a different kind.Sometimes markers and the so-called brush pens appear in the artist’s arsenal, but only for filling parts of the drawing with black and transferring highlights on hair or clothes. Also, when outlining, mangakis actively use rulers (buildings, effect lines, frame frames) and patterns (effects, household items), since they allow them to draw smoothly and neatly all solid objects and other auxiliary elements. The use of these tools is a must for a manga artist. Freehand drawing of the above items is highly discouraged in manga.After the artist has circled his work, he corrects all the shortcomings with the help of correction fluid.).You can also use various markers for toning the picture (Copic, Letraset, Faber-Castell, etc.)
6. TEXT Well, what kind of manga without text? To make your manga understandable to readers, you should take care of how you will insert text into it in advance. It should not be too small so that it can be easily read with a strong reduction in the page. Also, the text should be typed in a simple font with no frills, such as various squiggles, curls, etc. This reduces its readability.We can recommend you the Anime Ace font, which is traditionally used by publishers for russified manga and comics. We hope our tips will help you create high-quality and interesting manga. You can buy all the necessary materials in our network of shops for artists ART-KVARTAL! We wish you creative success!

46. Manga creation with frame separator tool

This page has not been translated yet.The following text was created using automatic translation.

46. Create Manga with Frame Divider Tool


Frame Divider Tool allows you to split frames, an important function for making Manga.

Prepare a rough manga drawing.

Open Tool Selection Window and select Frame, Divider Tool .

Tap on the screen.Click on ①Add frame after it appears.

You can adjust the left and right margins from ①Horizontal space .
Using ②Vertical Space to adjust the top and bottom margins.
thick frame allows you to adjust the thickness of the frame.
④Border Color allows you to change the border color.
Once you are done making adjustments, click on ⑤✓ to complete.

Set the frame interval before dividing the frame. Click on the ① Edit button .

Horizontal Spacing allows you to adjust the left and right margins by dragging the slider left and right.
②Vertical Spacing allows you to adjust the top and bottom margins by dragging the slider left and right.
※ Since the manga is read horizontally first and secondly vertically, it is better to make the horizontal margins small and the vertical margins large.

Next, dividing the frame along the rough frame.

After the frame is divided, click on ①Select and drag ② diagonally outside the canvas to select multiple frames.

You can also change the shape of the frame as shown.
Drag Pen to reshape the frame to your liking.

Click on ① Change button .

You can change ① Border color .
②Border Thickness allows you to change the frame thickness by dragging the slider left and right.

Click on ① Fill color . First, start filling by increasing the Opacity from 0% by dragging the slider to the right. Select a color from ③Palette to change the color inside the frame.

Once you have made the adjustments, click on ①✓ to complete.

Once you have made the adjustments, you can simply add it to the illustration and you are done.
Let’s draw real manga on your smartphone!

News A smartphone as a tool for drawing manga

Novels written in a smartphone (keitai shosetsu) have been gaining popularity in Japan since the 2000s. However, this activity is not limited only to short stories, or literary works, some artists prefer to draw manga on a smartphone.

One of these authors is the 20-year-old mangaka So Atsumori.

His work “Anata ga Koi to Iu no nara” received positive reviews from the famous manga artist Kentaro Yabuki (Shonen Jump manga competition, 2006).

The information that the author does not use the stylus was revealed by accident during one business meeting. To the surprise of others, there was no limit.

When the editor of Shonen Jump magazine, Yuta Momiyama, found out about this, he was surprised. But the second wave of shock was not long in coming. After all, Atsumori did not use a stylus to draw – he drew with his fingers!

The first 28-page chapter debuted on the Shonen Jump Rookie website in August. Youth-romantic school comedy about the relationship between guys and girls.

Detailed facial expressions, background, facial expressions – all this was created using a smartphone!

The author himself said that he did not read manga so much as a child. But after watching anime Bakuman. – everything has changed. A story about amateur schoolchildren drawing manga.

This desire is familiar to the mangaka: after watching the anime Captain Tsubasa., He wanted to play football.

Atsumori started drawing manga seriously in high school. Initially, he painted traditionally on paper.But his friend from the art club talked about the fact that some manga artists draw on smartphones. The painting application was called “ibisPaint”. Atsumori also said that there were those who drew with a stylus, but there were also those who drew with their hands.

At first, Mangaka found it difficult to use a smartphone. And then my mother bought him a graphic tablet. But due to the fact that many of the family used the computer, Atsumori had very little time for drawing. So the tablet “got covered with dust”, and the mangaka again switched to traditional.

After leaving school, the mangaka returned to drawing in a smartphone. At the age of 19, he had already won several prizes in the Shonen Jump Manga Creator Contest. He was very frustrated drawing manga on his smartphone, as it is very difficult! But the mangaka pulled himself together and spent 2 months mastering a smartphone for drawing. So, he became the first mangaka who used only his hands for drawing.

Currently, Atsumori does not use his smartphone to draw.Although, the necessary programs are installed in the iPhone – “MediBang Paint” .

How long it takes to draw a manga, even the author himself does not know. But he definitely spent three to four hours a day drawing this or that element. Especially, straight lines were difficult. In fact, this is the most difficult thing. But there are many advantages, of course, at least the fact that the smartphone can be used almost everywhere.

Mangaka agrees that using a laptop will speed up the drawing process. Actually, now he draws there, in the program “CLIP STUDIO PAINT”.

Thanks to Shonen Jump, many manga artists can now try their hand at smartphones! In June, the magazine released the completely free manga drawing application “Jump Paint” . The app is available in 9 languages: Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese, Cantonese, Russian, Spanish, French and Portuguese. The magazine runs its own contest dedicated to the 50th anniversary and the launch of the application.

Source: ITmedia News (Masumi Murakami)

Information taken from the site ANN

A detailed description of the creation process and tips

What you need to create a manga on a computer

If you want to draw manga on a computer, then it is advisable to start with buy yourself a graphics tablet.It doesn’t have to be an expensive screen gadget. Even the most budget-friendly tablet will be more convenient than a regular mouse.

The next step is to download and install the program in which you are going to create. Standard MS Paint is not suitable for working with manga, as it has too few options. Suitable paid programs include Adobe Photoshop, Manga Studio, Pant tool SAI, and among the free ones – FireAlpaca and GIMP.

Explore the program’s features and practice drawing on your tablet.If necessary, find lessons on working with the programs you are interested in, or try to figure it out on your own.

How to draw

There are many software with which you can draw anime. Some programs are free, of course you will have to pay for professional ones, but for beginners (first of all) and even for pros, free software will also be useful.

If you have a PC and access to the Internet, it will not be a problem to download a program for drawing anime on your computer.In addition, it is better to download not one, but several such programs at once, since different programs can be suitable for each user (there is no friend for the taste and color).


When creating a manga, it is imperative to come up with a plot and characters. At the same time, it is advisable not only to carefully work out the details of the appearance of each hero, but also to dream up his character and motivation. Imagine what his views on the world will be, what he likes and what he doesn’t. To create anime or manga characters, it is best to make a separate file and write down there the favorite and disliked things of your characters, as well as the role each of them plays in the plot.It can be either just a text document or a drawing with notes.

In your comic, create at least two characters: positive and negative. This will make the plot more dynamic. Also try to include characters of both genders in your story.

How to create your own manga? [ZAA # 22]

Most people think manga is easy to draw. But this is fundamentally wrong: there are many rules and features in manga, which we will try to figure out today.

ⓚ ⓞ ⓝ ‘ⓝ ⓘ ⓒ ⓗ ⓘ ⓦ ⓐ ◂

With you Aqua

And today we will learn, and maybe remember, some of the necessary knowledge when creating a manga.

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First of all, it’s worth recalling that manga is a purely Japanese comic. Korean manhwa is very different from Japanese manga in appearance and is most often colored. The same can be said about Manhua – Chinese comics.

We will only touch on Japanese black and white comics.

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Before creating a manga, you need to think about the plot. What will it be about? What is the world where is this happening? And a bunch of similar questions. Without a plot, it is impossible to draw something whole. We can say that a mangaka is a writer, a director, and an artist all rolled into one. Of course, you can just team up with a person who can write or draw, and everything will be a bunch.But back to the plot.

In order to come up with a story that will hook at least you first, you can use several rules:

1. Open any book and select 10-15 words at random, and then logically connect them to the topic, perhaps some and among themselves. Of course, it is better to practice, this will help to find a connection even, it would seem, between such different objects as the moon and the table.

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2. Read more solid literary works or famous authors, notice something interesting as you read, this will help you understand what should be the overall result.In addition to books, you can read the world famous manga, which is famous for its good and thoughtful plot.

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3. Look for books that offer advice, such as Stephen King’s How to Write a Book or Gianni Rodari’s A Grammar of Fantasy.

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4. And remember, the more you think it over, the easier it will be further (in terms of history, of course).

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You have finally revealed to the world a story worthy to be called a long one.Now it’s the turn of the characters. How many will there be? How do they look? What is their character? Another KAMAZ of questions fell on your head. It also makes sense to take into account the peculiarity of the story, if, for example, a plot about heroic deeds, then the characters are appropriate (remember at least “My Heroic Academy” or “Naruto”, there are many examples of different characters). Don’t forget about the color. Despite the fact that the manga is a black and white comic, if there are a lot of characters, then they definitely make a height ruler so that later there are no incidents (in Chapter 5, the boy was shorter than the heroine, and at 10, the same boy suddenly became equal to her height for a couple days), of course, if this is not part of the plot, but then you need to work out in detail both the initial appearance and the final one.

To make it easier to decide, here are some tips for you:

1. Can’t figure out what to do with the character of the character? Take some psychological tests on behalf of your character. So you can think about the reaction of the hero in a given situation.

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2. Never! Never make completely perfect characters, it can put a fat end on all the work done. Do not forget about the past of each character.

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3.It is worth looking for the color scheme of the hero and the style of his clothes / hairstyle, etc. The more options, the more choice.

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4. Of course, it is worth writing down and collecting everything that you received, or even better then not seeing the results for several days, so to speak, take a break, and then look with a clear eye and correct visible jambs.

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After a while, you solved the problem of the Persians’ development, made their images in different angles, matched the color scheme for the features character.It’s time for storyboards.

A storyboard is a draft of manga pages, usually done on special paper that will withstand frequent erasure with an eraser. Each regular page is divided into certain divisions. At first, novice manga artists use templates for better positioning of images and a more understandable sequence for the reader, and when they get their hands on later, they draw everything from themselves.

In storyboards, the main thing is to mark what will be shown and what will remain off-screen (for example, highlight meaningless moments).Silhouettes prevail here, often without any proportions.

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After the storyboards, the work goes into the “Clean copy” stage. This is where the hassle begins … Working out poses, searching for a better composition, proportions, details, backgrounds, etc. Also, do not forget about the angle of view. This is an important moment in the story that is being painted. The reader needs to understand without words that the hero, for example, jumps incredibly high or two characters are swearing.

1. Don’t be afraid to make multiple variations. Be picky about yourself (But don’t overdo it). Erase and paint more complex angles. If everything is drawn with dignity, then such moments will also hook the reader, the main thing is not to overdo it and know when to stop.

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2. Practice drawing people, animals, houses, etc. before starting. in different angles. The more experience, the better and faster the work will go. Also, seek advice from other painters, ask them for criticism or advice.It will also help your work.

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In further work on the clean copy, there are two main options for the course of events: the first is to continue drawing on paper, the second – make a composition with a pencil, then scan and continue working in programs on a computer, best of all with a graphic tablet.

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In this article, I’ll just talk a little about traditional manga drawing.This method is more painstaking than computer processing. All real manga artists work in ink (maybe no longer, but most of the famous manga began that way). Special pens are used when drawing, often several, depending on the desired result. Feathers relies on a holder, into which they are inserted. Markers, liners, or pens in the manga are only used to paint over completely black areas and for secondary work (touch-ups here and there), although they are now perhaps an integral part of the mangaka arsenal.Also, at this stage, rulers for the background and frames are actively used, because it is much more pleasant to look at an even and neat drawing, and also mangakos work with such a thing as screentons.

Screentons are sheets with textures and tones printed on them, which are used as a replacement for shading. On these sheets, draw the exact shape of the place on which it will be superimposed. Then they overlay and get a beautifully tinted place in the page. There are a myriad of such different replacement strokes, which gives manga artists the opportunity to choose which ones suit their manga.

But we will not go into details about the subjects required for drawing, you can find an article about them in the previous issues of the Journal.

Do not rush to buy everything right away and start drawing right away for publication. Oh no … Here, too, experience is needed, which is earned by sweat, tears, ink and a ton of spoiled paper. It is necessary to draw a lot and almost constantly, it is better to first train to portray from nature, and then begin to invent your own poses.

Examine mascara.How she lays down on paper, how she behaves on crumpled paper. It is also better to try out the feathers and learn to use at least the minuscule of the available possibilities.

When drawing purposefully chapters of your story, don’t forget about the covers.

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Well there. Finally, you’ve drawn a chapter or even a few. Now you can scan, clean up if needed, and publish ~

Treat criticism as a help, but don’t turn a blind eye to being rude.

『✍』 If you want to familiarize yourself with creating manga through anything other than this article, I advise you to read the Bakuman manga. In addition to the fact that the plot tells about novice manga artists, sometimes there are pages like “How this page was created. From storyboard to elaboration ”

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I think that’s it. I hope you found something interesting for yourself or remembered something you forgot.Anyway, thanks for your attention!

See you soon!

◤✎… #DepartmentDevelopment

# 1Department

#How to Create YourManga ◤✎…


Not only the characters, but also the plot plays an important role in how to create a manga. Without a well-thought-out plot, it will be very difficult to correctly arrange shots and convey the emotions of the characters. It is also worth paying attention to backgrounds. If in the book the author describes the location of the characters in words, then you will have to draw the entire environment of your heroes.When you are creating a comic or manga in your head, it is recommended that you describe all the scenes. After that, you can start drawing.

Remember that the work should consist of a set, a development of events, a climax and a denouement. There may also be a prologue and an epilogue. Having the main plot elements will help the story develop correctly.

Finishing art

You can process the finished picture using a small set of filters: adding noise, blurring, distortion.More of them can be downloaded for free or you can open the drawing in a graphics editor to process graphics, not drawing. Loading and creating your own textures for decorating pictures, allow you to experiment with their appearance.

Lots of vector tools for adding all sorts of shapes will save them from drawing on their own, and support for masks will simplify the processing of complex areas. Their use in the composition will allow you to scale the picture without loss of quality, and special algorithms will help convert raster elements and pictures into vector images for scaling on a computer.

The license key for drawing will allow you to export three-dimensional objects into it or add ready-made models and backgrounds to the workspace and edit or animate them, which is not found in similar applications for 64 bit tablets.

Support for a huge number of layers and transparency will allow you to set each element of the art on a separate layer. This will simplify further processing of the picture and provide an opportunity to create complex compositions for a laptop or upload to the network.


It is important to remember that a manga should not begin and end with events. In the first frame, it is recommended to draw the environment in order to immediately immerse the reader in the atmosphere of your story. Each spread of your comic should show the completed action. If you want the event to unfold more slowly, use wide horizontal bars, and to speed up, use vertical ones.

Place the main events in the corners, and less significant in the middle of the page.It is recommended to place a phrase or action on the last panel that can interest the reader and make him turn the page.

Installing and disinfecting the program

  1. First of all, mount the downloaded image or unpack it using an archiver.
  2. Run “Install Manga Studio.exe” and carry out the installation.
  3. Launch the installed program and see the license verification window.
  4. Open “keygen.exe”, press the “GENERATE” button and enter the received serial number in the upper field of the program window.After clicking the “Register license” button, select the item “Verify license right now” => “Perform manually”.
  5. In the next step, we see 11 blocks with symbols. We copy them into the “Request” field, in the keygen and click on the “ACTIVATE” button.
  6. The received activation code, enter it in the lower field of the program window and click “Next”.
  7. We are enjoying the registered version of the program.

Summing up the results of the Manga Studio program, let us clarify that the application is an excellent tool for working with digital graphics and drawing images from scratch.The friendly interface allows even a beginner to get used to it very quickly, and in experienced hands, real masterpieces can be created with its help.

How manga differs from western comics

To understand how to create a manga, you need to know how it differs from other comics. Its features are as follows:

  • The first thing that catches the reader’s eye is the color. Most Western comics are in color, and manga is almost always black and white.
  • Western comics use a lot more dialogue and text than manga, where the characters are often laconic.
  • The backgrounds in comics and manga are also very different. Western artists carefully paint all the details, and manga creators can do without backgrounds or paint flowers, bubbles, or flashes to add emotion to the panel.
  • In the manga, a lot of attention is paid to the eyes of the characters. They can tell a lot at once about the character of the hero. Big eyes paint kind and naive characters. The narrower the eyes, the more closed or angry the character is. In Western comics, the eyes are drawn schematically, and the character of the character is described with text.
  • To convey emotions in the manga, the proportions of the characters can be changed, they can be portrayed with a huge head and a disproportionately small torso. In this case, the story itself can be drawn in a realistic style. Emotions on the face are drawn exaggerated and conditional. For example, a mouth that opens disproportionately wide in a cry, eyes that are too wide open.
  • Another important difference between manga and Western comics is the arrangement of the panels. Japanese comics are read from right to left. In addition, sometimes the panels do not have clear borders, and on top of some there may be other panels.

Storyboard. What to look for?

Storyboarding is an essential step in the creation of a manga. Here you place dialogues, balloons, think over the arrangement of shots, plans and camera angles. In this case, the drawing is not at all important, it is better to portray simple dummies, so that it is easier to change the composition.

Example storyboard

In Japan, editors often ask manga artists to send not a synopsis or written dialogue, but a storyboard.The backbone of the story is visible on it, and the manga, consider it, is half finished. What do they pay special attention to? They will definitely look at the dialogues and the location of the balloons.

Often, many at this stage think over only a picture, and do not insert the text. But that completely kills the point of the storyboard. Be sure to note the locations of the balloons and characters, and include any dialogue on the storyboard. And re-read it many, many times. Check that everything in the storytelling is clear, that the selected dialogs, angles and layout work, and that you are not mistaken with the positioning of frames and balloons.By working this way, you will be able to take a holistic view of history.

Tip # 1: It is better to draw not on separate pages, but immediately on the spread – this way it is easier to understand which frames are better to focus on and avoid symmetrical layout on adjacent pages.

Tip # 2: Text and important visual information should not be located on the periphery of the page. Therefore, step back a couple of centimeters from the edges, and do not put dialogs and important visual objects there. Firstly, if you decide to print your manga, then the entire periphery can be covered by the reader’s fingers, or go into a poorly visible fold between adjacent pages.Secondly, information is better read and easier to perceive if it is located closer to the center of the page.

Here is a bad example of the arrangement of the picture and the text – you can hardly see the hero’s phrase or his reaction to … whatever.

How to draw manga using a computer

The answer to the question of how to create a manga on a computer depends on whether you want to draw first hand drawings or draw everything in a computer program.

If you prefer the first option, then you will need a sheet of paper, pencil and ink.First, create your manga (anime) on paper, then scan it in grayscale with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. Then open the file in the available graphics editor, change the properties of the layer with your drawing to “multiply” and add new layers to apply tones.

How to create a manga entirely on a computer, let’s look at Photoshop as an example. For any other graphic editor, the principle of operation will be similar:

  1. Create a new file. To do this, select the “File” – “New” menu or press Ctrl + N.
  2. The first layer in Photoshop is considered the background, so you can immediately add the second. Go to “Layer” – “New” – “Layer” or press Shift + Ctrl + N.
  3. On a new layer, sketch the future manga page.
  4. The page can be drawn on the panel right away, but it is better to circle the figures with rectangles later so that you do not have to fit the pictures to the previously made frames.
  5. Remember to leave room for character dialogue. They are usually at the bottom or top of the frame.
  6. When you are sketching, on the top panel set the opacity of the layer to 40-45%.
  7. Add another one on top and move the lines you want. After that, the layer with the sketches can be removed or hidden.
  8. On a new layer add tones and shadows.
  9. If you want to colorize the manga, then create another layer and use the selection and fill tools. The Magic Wand tool will help you select an element if it is drawn with a closed path. Remember to switch to the outline layer to apply the Magic Wand, and then go back to the color layer and add color to the selection.If the contours in your drawing are not closed, then they can be painted with a brush.
  10. When you’re done drawing the page, just save it in the format you want.

Magic Poser 1.52.6

Magic Poser is an application for creating manga and comics with a large number of 3D models and props. No need to use a wooden dummy that is limited in its flexibility or buy expensive desktop software. Magic Poser is extremely intuitive, very affordable and lightweight.Start creating poses within minutes for any piece of art in your imagination on your mobile devices today!

Best Telegram Technology Channel (Possibly)

A Brief Overview of Our Amazing Features:

  • Super easy and intuitive human posture by clicking on control points and dragging. Our physics engine allows you to manipulate the human model like a real doll, and automatically adjusts it to the dynamic poses you need.
  • Submit unlimited models and props for free! Whether it’s a simple one-person pose or a complex scene with a background setting, you can easily achieve it in Magic Poser!
  • Lots of models in different styles and head-to-body ratios – from realistic 1: 7.5 models to exaggerated 1: 3 chibi characters. Our free and paid models include male, female, boy, girl, super models, lapwing and much more in realistic and anime style.
  • Hundreds of free and premium props, from anime-class tables and chairs to medieval shields and swords for your fantasies. You can buy them with our new virtual currency, Wombat Coins!
  • You can even customize your model with more hair and clothing options!
  • Fine-tune your pose with sliders / text input for more precision. You can depict every joint in the human body, even every finger.
  • Realistic and adjustable studio lighting with models casting shadows on any other subject.
  • In addition to a large collection of preset poses, you can share and import scenes created by you or other users from our PoseCloud online community. No need to start from scratch, you can easily import an airplane, car or an entire concert scene right into the app and start building on top of it!
  • Export your finished artwork to png / jpg with customizable high resolution for use in other applications and easily share on social media
  • Extreme Perspective: With the Magic Poser perspective tool, you can easily create more impressions with your illustrations.

You can also visit the Magic Poser light web version for an introduction:

Manga drawing programs

There are many graphic editors with which you can create manga. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Artweaver is a free bitmap editor. The main interface language is German. In this program, layers are available, a large selection of brushes, an eyedropper and a “magic wand”. Supports a large number of formats, including PSD.

Adobe Photoshop is a multifunctional graphic editor. It is mainly intended for working with bitmaps, but it also has several vector tools. Allows you to fine-tune brushes, has a huge number of different tools and capabilities.

Paint tool SAI is a drawing program that takes up little space and starts quickly. Among its advantages: high speed of work, the ability to draw with a mouse, canvas rotation, hotkeys from Photoshop, high image quality.

Manga Studio – designed to create manga. The interface language is English. The program has a wide range of tools for working with comics. It allows you to apply different effects to the picture and has a large library of templates.

Krita is a raster graphics editor. In this program, you can work with frame-by-frame animation. It has a large selection of brushes and blend modes. The canvas in the program can be rotated and mirrored.

Tokyo-based company MediBang, developer of illustration and comics application MediBang Paint, has partnered with Xueixia to release a new official Shonen Jump manga application that is available for iOS, Android and PC platforms.

JUMP PAINT is based on the well-known Japanese and international MediBang Paint. As of June 2020, MediBang Paint has exceeded 12 million downloads. The app has received high marks all over the world. 70% of foreign creators are people aged 10-25. The app sets the standard for next-generation quality.

Application for PCs, smartphones and tablets, allows anyone to easily create a real manga.The app is free and allows you to learn manga techniques directly from the editorial department of Shonen Jump magazine. In addition, the app supports 9 languages: Japanese, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese (Traditional, Simplified), French, Russian. This allows creators from abroad to use the application.

The application contains everything you need to create manga: layers, screenshots and pens. The created work can be saved to the Cloud storage.The capabilities of the application will satisfy the requirements of not only beginner manga artists, but also professionals.


◆ Lessons from the editorial department Weekly Shonen Jump

In JUMP PAINT you can use famous Jump work as a reference for sketching scrinton application. Free posting to Challenge Jump is also possible.

In terms of lessons on the secrets of mastery from such famous authors as Eiichiro Oda “ONE PIECE”, Kohei Horikoshi “MY HERO ACADEMIA”, Masashi Kishimoto “NARUTO”, Haruichi Furudate “HAIKYU !!”.

JUMP PAINT will be interesting not only for manga artists, but also for fans of manga. The app will be updated weekly with lessons from the editorial department of Weekly Shonen Jump.

The tutorials will be published in 9 languages, so users from all over the world will be able to learn manga creation techniques from the editorial department of Weekly Shonen Manga.

A chance for creators from all over the world to become a manga Jump

JUMP PAINT contains the option to publish the created manga to Challenge Jump.

Along with the release of JUMP PAINT, we are launching the Jump’s Universal Manga competition. The competition supports 8 languages: Japanese, English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese (traditional, simplified), French, Russian. It used to be quite difficult for overseas creators to debut in Weekly Shonen Jump, but now that has changed.

Further Development

The app includes opportunities for learning from professional manga artists and publishing work in Shonen Jump Rookie.We are confident that the provision of brushes and tools will be beneficial to the creativity of future Jump authors.

Through JUMP PAINT, we will be looking for the talent that will be the future of Shonen Jump.


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When coming up with a plot for a manga, decide who it will be focused on. Teenage boys love the story with lots of action scenes and cool characters, while teenage girls prefer cute romantic stories.

If you do not have sufficient drawing skills to create your own manga character, you can take ready-made images and adjust them to the invented plot.

Ready-made clouds for dialogues can be borrowed from Microsoft Word. If you don’t want to draw clouds for dialogs yourself, just copy the shapes you are interested in from Word to the clipboard and paste them into the program you are working with.

Create Your Own Comic by Marvel

Marvel Comics or Marvel Worldwide Inc.Is an American publisher of comics and related media. If there is a company that knows exactly what it takes to create a great comic, it is Marvel.

This cool site is very easy to use. You can apply different scenes, characters and objects from the Marvel Comics universe to create your own stories online.

Anime drawing programs

The characters and atmosphere of anime stand out in their own way from other genres of fine art.Pictures are created both on canvases with a brush and paints, and with the help of special software, mainly graphic editors. In this article, we will take a closer look at several representatives of such programs.

Clip Studio

Previously, this program was called Manga Studio, but with each update, the developers added more and more functions, and now it is used not only for drawing manga. However, a set of tools pushes users to the fact that the main emphasis is not on a graphic editor, but on the creation of comics.Thanks to the unique opportunities, everyone can create their own unique project without any practical knowledge and skills.

Animation deserves special attention, because it helps to achieve the maximum quality of the project and to decorate it with new effects, thanks to which the readers will get even more positive emotions. If you are interested in full animation of what is happening in 2D, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the Anime Studio Pro program, which is perfect for these purposes.In addition, Clip Studio has a standard set of tools inherent in every graphic editor.

Download Clip Studio


Developed by Artweaver specifically for artists who have experience in graphic editors. The interface is made in a style familiar to many, with a toolbar on the left and a set of tabs with color, layers and effects on the right. There is the ability to turn on the grid, which makes drawing available at the pixel level.

This representative has everything you need that may be needed while drawing characters and other objects in the picture. Dividing all the elements into layers will help you not to get lost in a complex project and make your work more comfortable.

Download Artweaver

Adobe Photoshop

Perhaps the most popular graphic editor at the moment, from which many developers start when creating their programs. Yes, Photoshop costs a lot of money, but for this price you get everything that can be useful not only for an artist, but also for an ordinary user who wants to slightly correct photos.

Adobe Photoshop is ideal for creating anime paintings, you only need to have a minimal knowledge of drawing. For beginners, this program will seem complicated due to the presence of a huge number of tools and functions, but if you pay a little attention to it, everything gradually becomes clear and easy.

Download Adobe Photoshop


Developers focused on professional activities that require the use of such software, but CorelDRAW is easy to learn and freely distributed, so even ordinary users install it on their computer.The program differs from others on our list in that special attention in the functionality is paid to the creation of logos and single objects.

Here you can find detailed processing of objects, many options for working with text. Standard tools are also included to aid in anime drawing. CorelDRAW is distributed for a fee, but there is a demo version on the official website that will help you get acquainted with all the capabilities of this representative.

Download CorelDRAW

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is CorelDRAW’s main competitor in the market.They have almost identical functionality, but visually we see the already familiar design in the style of Adobe. The main emphasis here is also made on working with single objects. The functions of their transformation, alignment and much more will help in this, as described in more detail in the Adobe Illustrator review on our website.

As for the usual drawing of pictures, here it is really possible to do it, since there are basic tools – brushes, pencils, shapes and a large color palette.We recommend. Although this representative is very similar to Photoshop, they are sharpened for completely different tasks. We advise you to pay attention to this when choosing a program.

Download Adobe Illustrator

There are hundreds of graphic editors and drawings from well-known and not so famous developers on the Internet. All of them cannot be included in one list, so we have selected some of the best and most suitable programs for creating anime paintings.

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90,000 17 Tips for Drawing Manga Faces

Manga faces are a vital part of manga drawing. I started my drawing career by learning how to draw manga. During this time, I purchased many tutorials for creating this distinctive art style and found that the drawing techniques were similar to those of Western comics.Basically, you would use a pencil to draw the shape of the head, and then add lines to indicate the position of the eyes and the center of the face. Once this design sketch is complete, the final structure is created using ink.

I followed the same drawing method when I first explored digital art with a Wacom graphy that a friend gave me. However, I couldn’t take my hand ruler to look right and I had to use the pen tool.The resulting line was that the art was clean, but it was lifeless and lacked the energy I would like in the drawing.

After several years of practice, I gradually changed my method of drawing characters. Instead of working from sketch and then moving to line art before adding colors, I paint in Greyscale, then adjust the values ​​and apply colors until I’m happy with the drawing. So here are some of my tips for digital drawing manga faces.

For more tips, see the illustration.

how to draw

rounding of tutorials or this post by

How to draw manga


01. Install

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Spend a few minutes setting up your drawing tools before getting stuck in the creative process. For example, tablets have pen pressure set to maximum by default.You will have to press hard with the handle on the tablet surface to hit the maximum output. Drawing with maximum pressure and threshold settings can result in stencil lines. By adjusting my pressure threshold and reducing the maximum output threshold to about 60 percent of the pressure, I can create stable lines without worrying about my lines looking consistent. For Wacom products, this setting is done through the Wacom tablet properties, and for XP-pen products, access to the Penwin / Mac driver.

02. Use the arrow to place key features of the face

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

After blocking the head (


) I decide which direction the character is facing. With the head shaped like a 3D shape, I’ll draw a horizontal line that curves along the surface. When I draw this line, I mean whether the head is tilted up or down, or facing the left or right.To correct the direction of the head, I draw an upward pointing arrow (


). This helps me find where the nose bridge meets the root of the nose. Once this key face position has been determined, I can quickly paint and sketch in the center for the face, eyes, eyebrows, mouth and chin (



03. Use a paint-based approach to sketching the head

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

I draw my sketches instead of drawing them with a thin line.I use a large brush with about 60 to 80% of the values ​​to block in the head. Next, using a darker value, I will sketch out the key functions of the head and paint. I will tweak the mouth and eye expression by color by choosing a gray tone and painting along the line. Finally, I’ll refine the hair to get a sense of my shape, paint over the lines to achieve the shape I want.

04. Exciting expressions in cartoon sketches

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

The main expressive features of the human face are the mouth, eyebrows and eyes.When I draw a shape that has a particular emotion, I first rock the cartoon image of the expression I mean. After this sketch is complete, I will try to select certain facial aspects in the expression. Is your mouth open? Are your teeth clenched? What do eyebrows look like in simple terms? I’ll take referring to these features and keep them in mind as I paint an exquisite version of the character design on top of the initial sketch.

05. Draw Shapes

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Here is a collection of forms (

Upper part of the image

).Drawing a line through these shapes will give a sense of depth to the object, transforming it into a three-dimensional shape (


). After sketching the design of the shapes, I think of them as shapes so that I can shade the direction of the light in the composition accordingly. It’s good practice when drawing different heads.

06. Get head measurements correctly

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Manga characters tend to exaggerate features such as large eyes and tiny noses, but I feel that the profile of the skull still needs to match the dimensions of a human skull.Above is a simplified drawing of a skull, with the brain and facial bones in proportion to each other. Compare this to more “manga” and you can see that the proportions are quite similar. The ears still sit on the vertical half of the brain, while the eyebrow line lies on the horizontal half of the brain.

07. Create Manga Fangs

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Teeth are one of the things I really enjoy painting, and I usually don’t draw with perfectly straight teeth.Some characters in manga or anime have “cute little fangs,” which give them a sense of unconventional attraction. I am incorporating this look into some of my characters, although I will be mixing things up by coloring crooked teeth, some teeth that are pushed towards the back and dog teeth that are pressed into the front.

08. Use light and shadow on the nose

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

The bridge area of ​​the nose of the face is actually a slope, and the protrusion will be less pronounced in the manga style.Rather than drawing a hard line to indicate the nose of the bridge, I use a shadow or a sharp edge highlight next to the nose that emphasizes the shape of the bridge of the nose.

09. Create the frontal head

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Try visualizing the tilt of your head from a profile view. Using a circle and a box, I can visualize what the tilt of the head will look like from the side. I draw vertical lines from key functions such as the chin, center of the brain, ears, and the top of the head.This allows me to see what I need to draw when trying to draw the head in front. Above are examples of a manga character’s head tilted up and down. Don’t forget to draw the lower part of the jaw when drawing the tilted head and the crown when drawing the head which is tilted.

10. Use a floating cap for the corners of the head

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Drawing the swim cap can help you determine the angle of the head.Visualize a swimming cap with a seam in the middle and put this on your character. By covering all of your character’s hair and ears, you can now focus on drawing the facial features. Also, you can use the edge of the CAP as hair, and because the swim caps cover the ears, I can draw the ears behind this edge with confidence, thereby placing them in the correct position.

11. Keep the drawing of the eye simple.

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

The curvature of the eyeball makes it difficult to draw at an angle and symmetrically, so keeping it simple will improve your skill to draw realistic eyes quickly and relatively.Also, pay attention to the shape of your character’s eyes. Do the eyes have an inward or downward slope? Is the iris usually small or large? This will help you sketch out your character’s eyes at more difficult angles.

13. Start with a flat color when painting the eyes

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

When sketching and drawing the eyes, draw the entire iris as a flat color. It can be the same color as your brush sketch.Painting the entire iris during the sketching phase will help to make the dimensions of both irises match. It also makes it easier to compare and check if both irises are the same size or not.

14. Use your eyes to explain lighting

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

During the painting process, I will spend a little time making the upper and lower eyelids. Since the eye socket is concave in shape and the light source comes from an upward direction, I will paint the upper eyelids in a dark meaning and the lower eyelids in a lighter price.

15. Choose an iris color based on your composition

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Finally, I’ll go back to detailing the iris. I’ll take a look at the big picture and the colors I used and then decide what color the iris character should be. Since the painting is predominantly red, I decided to go with green for the eyes. I also keep my white value for the very end by applying a little highlight to the eyes.

16. Use shapes in your character designs

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Whenever I run into a brick wall while trying to design an original outfit for a character, my solution is to duplicate the character’s head several times and then scribble any shape that comes to my mind next to each one. So I’ll focus on one shape – a crescent or a triangle, say – and then a costume design that resembles that shape.This method works with hairstyles.

16. Draw the hair into clumps

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

You don’t need to paint every strand of hair. Instead, I recommend painting the hair as groups of shapes. Start with large shapes, such as the entire fringe, the back of the head, and any tails or braids that may have character. Break these large shapes into medium sized shapes and then into smaller hair clumps.Then you can add individual strands of hair after the added details.

17. Experiment with different methods

(Image: © Zakary Lee)

Above is a way to construct a head with a rounded box instead of the traditional egg shape. I also use the same method to draw three fantasy characters. I skew and manipulate the proportions of the human skull to match the fantasy characters.Make the eyes smaller, the jaw larger, or even enlarge the nose. You can use different construction methods to either draw people in a similar style, or draw different stylized symbols, all using the same construction method. It’s all about finding the shape of the subject you are drawing. There are many methods for building heads, I would suggest testing and trying each one that you can find there! Find a method that suits your art, or develop one for yourself.

This article originally appeared in


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Read more:

  • How to color your manga like a pro

  • How to Create Genuine Comic Manga

  • 15 tips for the best manga


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