Characters of manga are means and symbols. 

There is a character drawn realistically like a photo or there is a character simplified.

In short, characters of manga are means to convey its stories, theme or mood and ultimately they are symbols. Therefore, it is important to draw clearly so that readers can understand the message.

Just by drawing like this, it would look like a face.

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By drawing like this, it looks like a smiling face.

And by drawing like this, it looks like a smiling face of a girl.

First, let’s capture the entire picture simply and draw.

Move a character

(If you don’t know how to draw the movement, it helps to try that movement yourself.)

Make one realistic and put on clothes

And now a businessman going to his office is ready.

The power of sketching

In order to draw more realistic person or motions, it is necessary to develop one’s sketching skill by doing basic sketches or croquis drawing. When doing artistic sketch, the ability to draw exactly what one sees is necessary, but when doing manga sketch, the ability to draw what one imagines in one’s mind is necessary. Also, when drawing motions, it’s important to consider how the character put some muscle, its directions and the position of the center of gravity.


When drawing a manga, it is very important to overdraw in order to convey more strongly what a mangaka(manga artist) wants to tell, like characters’ motions or expressions. Here the word deformation means exaggeration and omission. Deformation is used not only when drawing a person, but also when drawing a background.


Drawing expressions is not just to draw one’s face, but to draw one’s emotions/feelings.

The important thing is to first get the same feeling and expressions with one’s character and then draw.

Draw many kinds of characters 

It is necessary to draw many kinds of characters who have different characteristics, such as feature, body type, motion, occupation, personality or age etc. One way to come up with a character is to model a character on actual person like someone you know or famous people.

Draw a main character

When drawing a main character: Make a main character stand out (from the standpoint of the reader) and make the character unique by looks, hairstyle or clothes etc. 


Draw the basic movement of a character

Walking: Two poses from different angle

Running 1: Two poses from different angle

Running 2: A character running faster than running1


Sitting on 1: A character sitting on the floor

Sitting on 2: A character sitting on the chaiir

Lying down: Two poses of a character lying down on the floor from different angle


※When drawing, try to do the movement yourself and check the position and angle of arms and legs.

Pushing: A character pushing a big heavy rock that he can’t move

Pulling: A character pulling the door that he can’t open

Lifting up: A character trying to lift a heavy cardboard box up

Throwing: A character throwing a ball (consider which movements of throwing)


Notice the center of gravity and vector of the weight.

If you think it difficult, first try to draw one as a stick person, and then dress the character and make one realistic.





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  • 主人公は(は読者から見て)目立たせるようにする。
  • 顔つき、髪型、服装などを個性的にする。






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Written by Lucky_Uematsu, illustration;Lucky_Uematsupractice sample;mashima_motoTranslated by zmi