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What are the secrets behind manga art?

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Q&A, by Mark White
February 12, 2015

We answer readers’ questions every Thursday!

Manga is the name of a kind of comic created in Japan, so as you might have guessed, it has a very cartoon-ish look. There is a lot of variety among styles; there are many that stay relatively true to life, some stylise certain aspects, it’s also common to see a strong character twice the size of any normal person, or features that are physically impossible. The cartoonish style gives freedom to play with proportions, so it’s good to know some key features, such as block colours, big bright eyes, small noses and mouths, to help your work stay recognisable among fans.

Hair is also important in manga styles; it is drawn in thicker spikes or strands rather than realistically fine, with the main details being added around fringes. Manga characters are often incredibly bright and vibrant, with bold hair colours or accents in their clothes, not to mention their larger-than-life emotions.

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