Manga Girl 

Step by Step Guide

Manga and comic book artist, Nicola Yau has created this tutorial to laying down colour and adding dimension to Manga artwork.

Step 1.

To begin with this image, place down the Blue Gray 2 Classique marker colour for the shadows of the white in the eyes and top.

Step 2.

With a Silk Classique marker place down the skin colouring, making sure to build up layers of more of the colour on certain areas and leaving areas un-coloured for the highlights.

Step 3.

Creating the shadows for the skin can be done using the Pale Tan Classique marker. If you feel one layer is not enough you can always go over the same spot to make the shadows stand out a bit more.

Step 4.

Using a Saddle Brown Classique marker, next you can create some of the darker areas of shadow on the skin. Be cautious on layering up these areas with the colour as it may come off too dark.

Step 5.

The eyes and bag can be filled in using Navy Blue Illustrator marker, make sure to leave a little bit un-coloured on the bag to provide the highlights.

Step 6.

Build up certain areas with the Navy Blue to emphasise areas that need more shadows to create depth.

Step 7.

With an Amethyst Illustrator marker you can apply shadows to those areas of the Navy Blue areas just placed down.

Step 8.

Several parts of the main clothes of the character and the hair clip can be filled out with a Cocktail Pink Illustrator marker. Again, you can layer up certain areas to create more depth needed. Focus on parts that would have more shadow!

Step 9.

Now with the Amethyst Illustrator marker you can fill in some of the clothes you just coloured with Cocktail Pink with the darker shadows needed.

Step 10.

The hair and the star buckle of the character can be filled in with a Dandelion Classique marker. Be sure to leave out those areas needed for highlights.

Step 11.

A Saddle Brown Classique marker can be used to put shadows in the hair. Make sure to build up the layers for the deeper shadows and less on the slightly lighter shadows.

Step 12.

With the same Saddle Brown the belt can be filled in without a need for anything left for highlights.

Step 13.

With the Dandelion Classique marker you can add highlights to the belt and following shortly with the Amethyst Illustrator marker you can then add the shadows to the belt as well.

Step 14.

Using the same Amethyst you can now fill in the remaining areas of clothing across the chest, arm bands and skirt panels leaving out areas for highlights.

Step 15.

More subtle highlights for the Amethyst areas can be added with the Violet Illustrator marker.

Step 16.

Shadows can then be added to the areas with Cocktail Pink Illustrator marker. Sometimes when going over already dark areas you may need to put a bit more of the colour you're using over it to make a big difference.

Step 17.

With the clothes now complete you can add the Leaf Green Illustrator marker colour to the leaves in the background.

Step 18.

To then add highlights to the leaves you can use the Dandelion Classique marker, layering as needed.

Step 19.

A Navy Blue Illustrator marker can then be used for shadows needed for the leaves.

Step 20.

Next it's time to move onto the banisters. For this fill them in completely using a Saddle Brown Classique marker.

Step 21.

To add the highlights to them you can use Dandelion on the upper right parts.

Step 22.

To finish of the banisters you can use Amethyst to add shadows.

Step 23.

To fill in the surrounding banner you can keep using the same Amethyst colour and fill it in completely.

Step 24.

Lastly, you can get creative and put in a word, sentence or quote that you feel best fits the character in the little speech bubble on the top right to get the feel of this being your own manga comic strip!

Top Tips:

  •  Be careful with layering the same colour, the more you go over it, the darker it will become.
  •  Don’t be overwhelmed by how much there is to do. Feel free to take it slowly and focus on small areas at a time if you feel more comfortable
  •  Don’t feel the need to get everything accurate on your first try. Keep going and keep learning. You will slowly improve without a doubt!
  • Small details are best to be filled in with the smaller end of the markers. Larger areas are best with the brush end or chisel tip.
  • You can work in parts of the colours being placed down, working through the steps to create the shadows and highlights before going back and working on another group of colour. So, for example if you’re working on the clothing of a character you can work on a part of the arm first, follow the steps of putting down the highlight and shadow of that