Manga Monday: Learn to Draw an Elegant Shojo Character in Mastering Manga 3

Mark Crilley, best-selling author of the Mastering Manga instruction books and the Akiko manga and Brody’s Ghost, is back again with a brand new instructional art book! In Mastering Manga 3 you can learn to power up your art with 40 brand new demonstrations.

Take a look inside the book with Mark:

Now it’s time for a free demo! In this demo you’ll learn how to draw an elegant shojo character.

Just because people speak of a “shojo style” doesn’t mean that all shojo illustrations look exactly the same. Every shojo artist brings his or her own unique flair to it. For this lesson I want you to try out one more version of the shojo style. By choosing to use different facial proportions and line work, we can create a character that is miles away from the cute and innocent girl we drew earlier. He has an air of mystery and perhaps comes from a world very different from our own.

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Step One: Mark the Head Guidelines
Start with the basic head shape. This time the head is significantly taller than it is wide, tapering quite a lot toward the chin. Again we need two lines for placing the eyes, but this time they are less widely spaced, and both are a bit lower on the head. Add a curving vertical line for placing the nose and mouth.

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Step Two: Draw the Basic Features
Draw the basic lines of the eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth and ear. Note that the nostril is just a simple little dash—this is often the best way to do it. The ear is placed higher on the head.

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Step Three: Add Details to the Features
Add details to the ear and to the eyes including an eyelid fold above each eye as we did before. This time there is just one small highlight in each iris since we’re not going for a sparkly, shiny look. The structure of the ear is conveyed with three interlocking lines. Take your time to get each of them in just the right place.

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Step Four: Draw the Hair and Eyelashes
Add the basic lines of the hair. Be creative and try altering the hairstyle to suit your own tastes. In shojo comics even the male characters have fairly feminine-looking eyes, so I’ve darkened the eyelashes here and put shading into the tops of both irises.

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Step Five: Draw the Neck and Shoulders
I dressed my character in period clothing, giving him an old-world look. You may choose more contemporary clothing. Either way, pay attention to the width of the neck, noting that the two lines connect at the base of the chin and at the earlobe.

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Step Six: Add Hair Details
Add more detail to the basic hair structure. My character’s hair is loosely parted to one side, so most of the lines emanate from an area on one side of his forehead. Curving some strands in slightly different directions can liven up both the hairstyle and the drawing.

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Step Seven: Add More Details to the Hair and Clothes
Time to add further details to the hair and to the clothing. I consulted photos of old formal wear for ideas on how to add ruffles and other bits of trim. But again, make the drawing your own. If you think he’d look better in a hoodie, then go for it!

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Step Eight: Ink the Drawing
Now get your pen, and ink all the lines. Shojo inking tends to be delicate and graceful, so take your time and don’t rush it. Once you’re done, let the ink dry, then erase all the pencil lines. Between this drawing and the last one, you’ve taken on two noticeably different styles already. But just you wait; many more styles lie ahead.

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Add color and you’re done! Your elegant shojo character has been brought to life.

You can order your copy of Mastering Manga 3 now at the North Light Shop, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and anywhere books are sold! Make sure to keep an eye on Mark’s YouTube for exciting manga and art videos.

Click here to buy Mastering Manga 3 | North Light Shop

Want to get started with the Mastering Manga series? You can still grab a copy of Mastering Manga and Mastering Manga 2!

Click herre to buy Mastering Manga | North Light Shop   Click here to buy Mastering Manga 2 | North Light Shop

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