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Things every manga artist needs

Updated on February 4, 2016

What is manga

Incase you don't know manga is japanese art that has many different ways it can be done. It can be written into comic type books, turned into shows called animes, and can be just drawn as fan art. When it comes to manga your imagination is all that limits you as it is typically not something that is real and is whatever the artist can come up with. Typical manga styles include the comics, anthros, angels and demons, and so many other things that it would take an entire page just to go over them all.

Inking pens

Copic Marker MLA2 Multiliner Inking Pen, Set A-2
Copic Marker MLA2 Multiliner Inking Pen, Set A-2

In my opinion these are the most important items that you can possibly have as not all manga has color but all has outlines. These are used for drawing the outline so it's not in pencil, and can be used for shading. You can get these pens in a variety of different sizes and colors but in the beginning i would suggest black ones in several different sizes so you can experiment with line thickness so you can see what you like. The best ones in my opinion are the copic inking pens and they are also one of the highest end manga brands out there.



Copic Markers SKBK9X12 Sketch Book - 9" X 12" - 50 Sheets - Wire Bound
Copic Markers SKBK9X12 Sketch Book - 9" X 12" - 50 Sheets - Wire Bound

This one is so obvious but what isn't obvious is the kind of paper that you need. If you are just drawing manga characters and not doing comics or other things of the sort then you can use the typical drawing paper, preferably a little thicker than copy paper though copy paper certainly can work if that's what you would like to use. Sketch pads are also offered by the brand copic and they are great for manga and I highly suggest them if you are taking this hobby seriously.


Colored pencils

Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core, 72 Pack
Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, Soft Core, 72 Pack

If you plan on adding color to your work then colored pencils is one of the best and least expensive ways to express your art. You can use typical crayola colored pencils, I've seen some people even use crayons but that is extremely hard. Again if this is something that you are taking seriously then I would suggest prismacolor colored pencils. This brand offers a huge variety of colors and if you decide to invest in a set of them then I would suggest either the manga set as it comes with colors important for manga artists but it only comes with 23 colors, or the 72 color set (this is the one I personally use and it works great for all my drawings, manga or other.) I would suggest the 72 color set over the manga set because it comes with a wider variety obviously and is great for shading and blending.


Copic markers

Copic Ciao Markers 24pc Basic Set
Copic Ciao Markers 24pc Basic Set

This one is not needed if you choose to color with colored pencils or watercolors but these are what the top manga artists typically use. Now I'm not talking about walmart crayola markers, I'm talking professional manga markers called copics. If you invest in a set of these and yes I say invest because they do run very expensive but for those professional artists they more than make their money back with them. These markers offer superior blending and produce beautiful colors. The large set is expensive like 300 or more dollars so if you're just starting out I'd get a smaller set and slowly add to it. You can buy sets that are just skin tone, grays, or spring colors. They have other sets available as well and if you choose to do this then you can use different mediums with it such as watercolors or the prismacolor colored pencils. There are other off brands such as spectrum noir that are alcohol based and can be a good alternative for those of you just dabbling in this art. Another way to get these more affordable is to get the copic ciao markers. They have less ink and are available in less colors but they are still a good place to start for aspiring artists.



Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Painting Plus Set, Set of 24, Half Pans
Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Painting Plus Set, Set of 24, Half Pans

This is a medium that is again not needed but if you plan on adding color it's a good option and can make beautiful pieces. This one is more expensive than colored pencils but cheaper than the copic markers depending on what brand of watercolors you are buying. These can be found in palette form where you add water to activate pigment, tube form where you can use as is or water it down with water, and colored pencil form which can be used like a colored pencil or painted onto the paper. With all these options and all the brands out there this one is really just a matter of preference but I would suggest the winsor and newton watercolors as they are highly pigmented and come in many colors.



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