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  1. #1
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    Please tear me apart!

    Oh no, not another wannabe manga artist! Anyway, I hope to see some critiques.

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  3. #2
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    um, not bad, not bad. Your familiar with your anatomy, which is good; Why 'manga'? I know its a style you like, and Im not putting you off, but - you know what? Post some more of your work, doodles and wot not, maybe start a sketch thread. This is your first post, so I cant comment too much on your work. Post some more, and you'll get the feedback you need.

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    Oh, well thanks . I actually had a feeling that these wouldn't be enough. I'll try to post some more stuff eventually, most likely sketches because I never finish anything.

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    Quite good actually! For the pic on the left, you could change up the halftone shading to bring out some of the form of the body beneath, but that's entirely up to you.

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    Manga is really not my cup of tea, so I can't comment. I do think that if you can draw (which seems to be the case) you may as well draw realistically.

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    Manga's more my cup of tea so here's my input. Great bodies, all good. Faces, not so good.

    Do you have a lot of practice doing faces? If so, there are a lot of way you can draw more realistic-looking manga faces in a really beautiful way. My tip is to first learn to draw real life faces and then study some of the following artists:

    Inoue Takehiko
    http://www.itplanning.co.jp/

    ----------------------------

    Gez Fry
    http://www.gezfry.com/gallery.shtml

    ----------------------------

    Hyung Tae Kim
    http://www.hyung-taekim.org

    Good luck!

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    Yeah... Faces were actually my lowest priority because I always thought of figure and anatomy as being much more difficult and important to practice. However, when it comes to realistic faces I don't think I'm all that bad (not great either). I'm surprised nobody mentioned the hands-I can't draw those for the life of me! I may post a few more realistic sketches eventually.

    I'm already familiar with Hyung Tae Kim, but the other two look awesome as well. Thanks for the links!

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    Hyung's stuff has been some of my favorite for quite a while, Gez has some interesting stuff to, thanks for sharing.

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  10. #9
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    You can draw realistic faces, good, you're halfway there. Can you freehand realistic faces also? Then all you have to do is learn and apply a realistic manga style to them. Which isn't at all a piece of cake, but still.

    The hands on the first one are kindof hidden, but in the second pic they look allright. I think you can do it if you only apply yourself. You seem to have no problems with feet though.

    So I'd just work on those faces if I were you. Hands are always easy to reference, since you have two of them (usually)...

    - Current project <- Crit away!
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    I don't think there's anything bad about drawing manga.

    In the first one, the only thing thats bugging me is the knife. Something unnatural about the way its being held.

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  12. #11
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    Manga stylizations are false. They are like cliches. Eventually people will look at them exactly as people now regard Ms. Keane 1960s painting of doe eyed children - Bad Kitsch from a bygone era. (see below) In fact, in some ways Ms. Keane's paintings are better than Manga. At least they have form.

    That magna carta affinity piece isn't manga, it's a good quality illustration... except for that inexplicably false "manga" face on the boy that ruins the piece. The artist must have done that crummy Manga head on it for financial reasons. Hordes of Manga fans out there ready to spend money. Ruining a such a good piece with such a bad dumb head for marketing reasons is known as either slumming or hackwork. Pandering at the very least.

    That kind of work should be shunned until the artist becomes free to be honest in his work.

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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Manga stylizations are false.
    Which stylizations are 'true?' American comic-book stylization? Ukiyo-e stylization? Art nouveau stylization? They all take reality, fuck it over and bastardize it to suit their stylistic needs. I don't know that any form of stylization is more valid than another. Plenty of manga has form, even with simple black and white shading that american comics use. Just because it isn't your cup of tea doesn't mean it's wrong.

    (I hate manga btw)

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    Those pics are terrifying!

    about faces... I realized that I'm not to good at freehanding, especially at multiple angles. I think I'm only decent from the front.
    Here's a sketch from everyone's favorite angle. Although this does seem a bit manga-ish to me. Ignore the ears please
    And I'm sorry if it's difficult to critique such a rough sketch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhineville View Post
    Which stylizations are 'true?' American comic-book stylization? Ukiyo-e stylization? Art nouveau stylization? They all take reality, fuck it over and bastardize it to suit their stylistic needs. I don't know that any form of stylization is more valid than another. Plenty of manga has form, even with simple black and white shading that american comics use. Just because it isn't your cup of tea doesn't mean it's wrong.

    (I hate manga btw)
    hehe, thank you Rhineville. I think too many people associate manga with big eyes and small mouths. It's usually only the younger characters that are drawn that way... and sometimes women because it's supposed to be cute. But usually young women. And often its the heroes or heroines have the big eyes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    That magna carta affinity piece isn't manga, it's a good quality illustration... except for that inexplicably false "manga" face on the boy that ruins the piece.
    Obviously you're just confused about what manga is. You've apparently only seen children's manga. There are some wickedly great anime artists out there who make some amazing pieces, just because you don't like that particular style doesn't make it bad or fake. Or think you don't like it, since you claim the Magna Carta artist isn't "real" manga...

    Here are some more amazing manga artists.

    http://www.allposters.com/-st/Hiroak...31_s40383_.htm
    http://artgerm.deviantart.com/gallery/
    http://www.dhpressbooks.com/profile.php?prodid=10-583

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  17. #16
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    Some more Vagabond goodness... Any fan of manga should read this series, it's worth it for the art alone. Seriously...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sumgai View Post
    Those pics are terrifying!

    about faces... I realized that I'm not to good at freehanding, especially at multiple angles. I think I'm only decent from the front.
    Here's a sketch from everyone's favorite angle. Although this does seem a bit manga-ish to me. Ignore the ears please
    And I'm sorry if it's difficult to critique such a rough sketch.
    Don't be scared of it! Just keep at it, know your own talent and limitations and be glad for every time you improve and learn something new...

    Start drawing faces live or from photos to learn to get the proportions right and how to do different types of faces.

    I found basic face tutorial (by a manga artist actually). You should really learn doing real faces before simplifying into any style, but the tutorials can give you the basics...

    http://www.polykarbon.com/tutorials/.../3quarter1.htm

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  19. #18
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    SUMGAI! - the portrait you posted there is very good, I dont hink its manga-ish at all, but a style thats unique to you. As many have said here, theres TONS of 'manga' styles, its just which one are you doing?
    I honestly think you should sketch objects/portraits/from life as much as possible before jumping in to such a cliched style.

    You have much potential, I really really really like the portrait, good energy in the line work, I'm surprised you dont post more work like that!

    Dont pigeon hole yourself to the anime thang, you should develop your own skills and preferences!
    And it doesnt matter if you dont finish your sketches, just as long as your doing it, and getrting it all out of your system...you'll lean to finish them in time...actually, you may become obsessed - and thats a good thing!

    Kev - those kids are scarey, if the eyes were any bigger, we'd be sucked into the virtual black hole of the internet....da, da, da da daaaaa!

    Mollz

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    I'm short on time. Here is a few things I notice

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  21. #20
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    Wyatt, my man!

    I realize I may not be as versed as you in manga, but I do know what the style looks like.

    Of course there are some artists working within "manga" venues that are simply doing illustration. There are always specifics that test the generalities. But the generalities remain unscathed. I've leafed through thousands of manga titles. I know what I've seen.

    Those illustration you keep on bringing out aren't manga. They're simply illustration or narrative art, or whatever.

    Manga, in common parlance, refers to a certain set of stylizations associated with the form... Which seem to have arisen due to a need for increased production expediency related to the animation process of anime cartoons of old. You may say these sylizations are mostly related to children's manga, but my experience runs counter to your declaration. Even in such classics as Metropolis or Tesuo or Vampire Hunter X or whatever... these stylizations abound.

    And all stylizations that are based on rote memory or production expediency are false.

    The great nouveau decorators were not working from rote. Go look at their notebooks. They were arriving at their stylizations through their own study and analysis of plant and leaf forms and the curves of the female body.

    In terms of narrative art, a great deal of comic book stylization is just the kind of rote memorization that I call false work. If the artist hasn't observed it, where did he get the information?

    And there is also the question of whether the stylization increases the effectiveness of the artwork, or decreases it. Those big eyes and pointy noses and spiky hair associated with Manga art reduce character and thus reduce truthfulness.

    Blardy, blar, nevermind.

    Enjoy your manga,
    kev

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  22. #21
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    Hey Kev, nice articulate post. You've nicely summed up my beef with what people perceive to be the manga style in general. Truth is, there are as many styles within the style as there are artists.

    Any style of comic has the problem that they need to sell and produce at a fast rate, and that leads to simplifications, just as you say. But that doesn't change the fact that there are loads of really talented manga artists, that create incredible work. Same goes for western style of comics. You wouldn't go saying "well, that's not a comic then" just because it doesn't look like Archie or Donald Duck. Of course it is...

    You can call it art or illustration if you want, it's still the manga style. Manga style is defined by more than just big eyes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manga#C...ation_of_Manga

    There's more to it than meets the (very big) eye...

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    And all stylizations that are based on rote memory or production expediency are false.
    Ouch.
    Well that doesn't bode well for this website.


    I hate to post without some constructive to add, but it's pretty much been covered.
    I do have a compliment, though. Normally when people have a "hand"icap, they none too discreetly try and hide them. Sure, the Hands could use a little work (heck, mine could use work too), but I'm impressed by the fact you didn't give into this common temptation.
    For whatever that's worth :p

    Last edited by Zilant; August 6th, 2007 at 11:00 PM.
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  24. #23
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    Wyatt,

    The word "Manga" is a differentiating word.

    There is a reason Manga is not called, simply, comic books (or illustration). Because there is a recognizable aspect of Manga that distinguishes it from American style "comic books".

    What is different about Manga from American comics?

    The big wet eyes, the pointy noses and chins and ears, the lack of a lower lip or laugh lines, the pointy hair, the pencil necks....

    Where those stylizations do not appear, there is no difference, therefore there is no need for the differentiating word. But where the difference appears, those dreaded stylizations, there is a category of art one may assign... Manga.

    Thus Manga means to the common audience exactly what you do not want it to mean.

    I think Sumgai's first post here is fairly indicative of the truth of this statement.

    (Btw, I sympathize... Being a scholar of anything puts you at odds with the larger world. Because it is next to impossible to control how the larger world uses and abuses and misconstrues your area of expertise. Then again, do you enjoy those stylizations we've discussed? Or do you enjoy the kind of illustration you have posted on this thread more?)

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    Sumgai:the frontal face is nice. you work more the nose than the rest of the face, that was intntional? for the first post i think you may find useful work with the form to get the body and the face work better(look your hands, your face, pictures, people from life,etc) and take your time to do sketches before doing a final drawing to make more easy and accurate the result.as for the drawing don't hide the hands, instead practice until you get happy with the result, try to see your hand draw it in another paper and then analyze that hand and incorpore to the original drawing.just draw as much you can and try to observate all the things in this life to incorporate that in your memory and in your work. keep it up

    as for the manga issue, i think that any type of sequential art has diferences not only in "style", say that is simplify. if you see us comics, japanese comics, european comics and many others(including south america) you see what i mean.but in this case of particular the diference between us comics and japanese comics is not "big eyes". the diference is about number of pages, narrative thecnics and themes. the narration in comics and graphics novels are less visual and have more narrative text or suport text.of course not all the us comics are the same(superman is not the same as mauss) but the stories and narration time in a 25/100 pages are diferent than 1000/2000 pages(for title) and production stylizations are in both types of comics. the comics from the golden age are very diferent from what us comics are today if you see flash gordon from alex raymond or any work from hal foster and alex toth and then you see some "x" title from a standard superhero comic book, well you can see the need to sell and do fast works as in many japanese comics.
    (sorry for my bad english and for post a long reply)

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  26. #25
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    Um, first I'll hit up the drawings and try not to repeat some of the things already said.

    First Drawing: The hair needs to be raised just a bit because it's cutting into her actual head. With manga (this is a rikku clone?) as well with any life drawing, there is a head below the hair in which the hair grows out of, and you've kinda shortened that distance. Secondly, while this is a Manga-esque drawing (only because it uses half-tones..otherwise it'd be a Cel-Art piece), there are still rules and to much surprise to a lot of people - there's a lot math still to consider. The mouth is typically only as wide as the distance between the pupils. The arms actually are behind the pectorals and the collar bone, but you have her standing as if she's leaning foward which puts her at odds with her leg positioning. Going with the legs, you need to consider which leg the weight's being put on as standing on her toes, leaning inward with her legs and leaning foward with her arms would put her at a considerable uncomfortable position.

    As far as the half-tone work, I'm curious as to whether you were using ComicWorks, MangaStudio, or a version of Photoshop. In any case, there's quite a skill to using tone effectively, and the tone you used for her tunic is kinda patterning without defintion. This could be because it was rotated or shrunk for the pattern. No biggie on either. But going with shadding, your lighging is off with your right leg. The lighting you have proposed is apparently coming from the upper right of the picture but you've shaded the inside of her right knee and avoided the torso all-together (sans blacks). Other than that, it was good.

    Second Drawing: Ok, the first thing I notice is that her left collar bone is odd, or her left arm is dislocated. The scapula is technically under the clavical, this is true, but not to such a degree. You've got the 'form' of the female down with no hard corners but you kinda falter with the hands, making them seem too masculine with the sinewy details you hold with her knuckles. If you're using tone, it'd be better to represent the subtleness of the female form with that as opposed to ink. Same thing goes for the feet. Your eyes have a very 'Kamikaze' look (look up that Manga, it's by Satoshi Shiki). Like the last picture, you're having some muscle issues with overlapping but it's already been touched on by others.

    For the manga issue. First and foremost, anything done by Hyung Tae Kim isn't Manga. It never will be Manga. It's called Manwha illustration because he's Korean and not Japanese. And Manwha, if you look at all the examples, are quite different than their japanese/american counterparts. Manga is called Manga because it's Japanese for "comics" to represent it's origin, not a preferred 'style'. Granted, it's becoming an 'everydayword' ala kleenex and google but that's only because people are ignorant of the origin of the work they're looking at and/or reading, either that or they're simply generalizing the entire 'style' as if it's been done anywhere else. The reason a lot of Manga is 'blocky' such as their hair, et cetera, is money and efficiency. The reason the eyes are big are because biologically, creatures with bigger eyes appear 'cuter', where as the mouth ranges in size to exaggerate whatever expression - again for efficiency and cost. To assume that Manga, in common parlance, refers to a certain set of stylizations associated with the form, can be affirmed that it's because of the cost - But to think that there is a basic 'style' of Manga, you'd be far from the truth. There are as many 'styles' of Manga as there are any form of illustration, ranging from the more exaggerated to the more spot on. I can give examples if you'd like, but I think it's the utter popularity that bothers some people and therefore their opinions of it are likewise sour. To think that great artists weren't coming to their artistic conclusions through 'rote memory' isn't entirely accurate either, or at least shouldn't be generalized. Leonardo DaVinci for example sketched and illustrated quite a bit of the human form and used Cadavers for his analysis until he knew the human body through and through. And looking at anatomy is what I'd recommend for anyone who's looking to draw the human form. But hey, at the end of the day - it doesn't matter how you get to your destination only that you do and it's what you expected it to be.

    -M

    Last edited by MartyBowles; August 7th, 2007 at 08:17 AM.
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    Once again, thanks all for the replies.

    With my first post I was kind of hinting to avoid a whole "manga" discussion (not to say that I didn't enjoy everyone's posts, it was fun to read).

    The thing is, manga/anime is kind of what got me into drawing characters (I used to only really enjoy painting landscapes). It was more than just the big eyes and such, it was the cheesy yet very lovable character designs and ridiculous action sequences. Yeah, some of this may be found in American comics and I did read a few when I was younger, but I personally found manga more interesting.
    So, when I comes to practice or a painting for a family member I usually do it based off of reality. I force myself to practice the "right" way, but because I'm not taking any art classes to push me, I get bored and decide "I feel like drawing something fun", so I draw what I think is fun: Japanese pop-art or manga or whatever you want to call it.
    Some people think that drawing in that simple style is an easy way out and look down on it, as though people that draw like that can't draw. In some cases they may be right because it appeals to kids and teens (no offense, I'm sure that some younger people are great artists too). But for me and many other people that draw in that way, I simply like it because it is fun. Now, If I was actually considering drawing and painting as a career, I would get much more serious and devote more time for work (realism) and less time for play (J-pop art or manga). It's kind of depressing that drawing the way I love isn't really accepted, and I always have been aware of that.

    And to MartyBowles, this is exactly what I was looking for! I like how detailed and uh... "nitpicky" (I never used that word before) you were. As for Hyung Tae Kim (I know this comment wasn't directed only to me), I'm aware of Manwha, but It seems very evident that he has some Japanese influences (unless I'm wrong?).

    Edit: One more thing! I always thought that that the simplifications of the face and hair used in manga and anime were genious. To me, they were the perfect blend of reality and cartoony stylization. Anatomy and perspective were always detailed and interesting (sometimes unrealistic but often for the better), but the faces were simple yet accurate and visually appealing (to me at least). It would be much too tedious to draw every strand of hair, so clump it into larger "spikes", but still keep it based in reality.
    It's just too bad that I couldn't be the person (I know it was more than just one person, but rather an evolution) to invent these stylizations, but it seems to me that sub-styles were created by other manga artists. While most of them follow that general "manga style", each artist has thier own style within it.

    Last edited by Sumgai; August 7th, 2007 at 04:22 AM.
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    I'm glad I could help (if I did) and hope I didn't come off as too critical. I've just been torn apart by my instructors/mentors and I've only been bettered by it. A strong dose of humbleness never killed anyone, right? And make no bones about it, Sumgai - draw what you enjoy. I'm not aware of how many people would agree with me here, but if you're not enjoying whatever your working on - then you should stop because you're missing the point. And I agree that it's sad that foriegn art styles aren't as acceptable in this country as they are in others but it's not like you couldn't make it if you put your mind to it. Gez Fry was brought up earlier in this discussion and to those who've read up on Mr. Fry, they'll realize that his ambition was to learn from the greats such as Masamune Shirow (he's a bit Gits fan) and after going to school to be an accountant, he locked himself up in his parents house for two years doing nothing but practicing until he got to the skill point he was. And he uses a manga approach in most of his images (a very Production I.G. style).

    As for Anime/Manga taking their cues from reality and being genius? You're correct again. You can't just start distorting the human image and hope for the best. There's a science to Manga just as their any other style and it's far from random trial-and-errors. Besides, below the face - the body is typically the same as any other bi-pedal based animal. Other than that, it's their writing style that adds to their characteristic line drawings and enables them to get that "That's Manga" response. For example, take a look at most anime jawlines. If you correspond it with the hirigana character 'si' - you'll find great simularities (and actually the method some artists actually implement).

    In closing, don't stop just because someone says you can't or you shouldn't. Figure out their reasons for saying that, address them logically and deal with them one by one. Don't limit yourself to just one thing though, regardless, and from what it seems you haven't. Anyway, I'll stop my rambling - haha.

    Good luck and continue posting, I'm interested to see the new stuff.

    -M

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  29. #28
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    Kev
    MartyBowles summed it up quite well. About the over-simplified style, I used to like it (and draw like that) when I was younger. Like you, I find most of that kind of art uninteresting and bland today, although there are artists that can make bigger eyes and smaller noses work without making it look like a children's book...

    The only manga I've read the last couple of years are Vagabond, Blade of the immortal and Shamo which are all seinen (adult) comics.

    Vagabond I can't stress enough, any artist wanting to do any kind of comic work should pick up that title. It's an utter masterpiece... Every page is a work of art.

    MartyBowles
    Hmm, I wasn't aware of the existence of Manwha. I thought he was just a korean artist mimicking japanese comics. In that case, anyone that wants to mimic mangakas could learn a lot from studying Manwha also, since from my short research on the subject they seem to have taken a lot of inspiration from some of the more realistic looking manga. Which is a Good Thing.

    Sumgai
    Sorry, sorry, sorry man to ruin your thread. I'll leave the discussion with this post above... It's great that you draw because it's fun. Awesome. I don't think you should get any critique for simply choosing a specific style to draw in, but as you can see from my previous posts there IS a lot of room for improvement within what specific style.

    And whatever you choose to do, the best way to learn is to start learning how things really work before you start stylizing it. There are ways to draw with the same big eyes and small noses that you do, but conveying a lot more emotion and personality. But it's only possible if you're aware of how the face works and then you stylize based on that.

    Like has been said before, your weakest point is your faces. You've got the body working, so I think you should focus on that if you're interested in improving. Which you are, since you posted this in a critique thread, right?

    Later...

    Last edited by Whyatt Thrash; August 7th, 2007 at 08:05 AM.
    - Current project <- Crit away!
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  30. #29
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    Sumgai, i think you've got a handful of useful crit! but on kev's crit, and the idea behind it (correct me if i'm wrong) is more important for you at this stage of your progression. there are loads of people who draw in "manga style", and i dont think kev is trying to attack the style in a general sense (thou he might sound that way ), there are artists who draw in simplified characters appearing in manga and there are artist who draws in manga style, the product might look almost the same to the untrained eye, but the appreciation is totally different. Eg. an artist simplified his drawings to a few strokes that are crucial in conveying the message about a character's facial anatomy, he does it with masterly skill and some time even deforming it but with underlying understanding of facial anatomy and used it to his intent (efficiently of production, cuteness etc. etc.), the artist "sees" the whole of the character and "simplified it" in few strokes that could best encompasses what he "sees", and when you look at it, the wealth of information strikes you with or without you realizing it. it require great mastery of his craft to be able to do that to maintain a recognizable "character face" thru out. then there are artist who draws in manga style, they start from a certain style and stick to this particular style if popular, they tend to hit bottleneck pretty soon and could not progress further, and bcos the style that they acquire become a shackle that hold them back.

    these discussion reminds me of my 1st year as an architecture student days, in one of the design exercise, we were given the brief to design an evolved chair. during the individual tutorial session and groups discussion, we go for different "styles", some goes for 3 legged, some suspended, some floating on magnet field, some built with different materials, single mold monocoque frame etc etc the winning design was a standard chair with 4 legs, and the reason behind is that the particular student had progress much further as an individual in her (yeah, it's a gal) designing ability to reach the point where she had transcended the "design a chair" process and thought about the psychological comfort of a person that's going to place his or her weight on this piece of furniture. the point is, its the same chair but with a totally different level of appreciation. its the same genre, but with a totally different level of mastery. dont start off trying to achieve a certain style based on manga too soon, same basic teaching and understanding of anatomy etc is crucial, especially in the world where you're given very short time and short amount of frame to convey loads of information. it would only stifle your understanding and appreciation later.

    wyatt mentioned the series call the vagabond, the artist progression makes an interesting account for loads of aspiring manga artitst.
    the same artist who drew vegabond also drew slamdunk, if you've witness his growth, at the moment, i would chart it as in the middle of his peak (and i'm sure he hopes to maintain that for eternity, not the skill level but the passion and seek betterment to reach the next "peak"), he started out as an artist who drew in "manga style", in slam dunk, but was force to confront his demon, so to speak, as he progress deeper into the his story about high school basketball, without improving his anatomy understanding, his character were simply not convincing enough. but his improvement helps a lot in the progression of the characters whom a lot ultimately became household names. and now he's developed into an artist who can present, fluid motion, tensions etc. (about a master swordsman who develop his skill thru self taught and learn rather than "proper traditional training") in a manga format, he's beginning to slowly develop a heighten appreciation of his own progression (very much like his characters in the vagabond series) that he intent to stop his series soon and work on skills (like mastering the brush strokes, seeing where are the :bones" and flash of an ink strokes better so to apply his new knowledge to his art) more in presenting more untangible aspect of his work to bring his storey telling to a higher level, he documented this feeling in his recent interviews and mentioned his new found appreciation of some of the old manga pioneers of japan's work more, as he now begin to see the work and level of competency behind those seemingly cartoonish series of the post ww2 era's manga.

    sorry if i make you more confusing, hope you'll gain something from all these.

    Last edited by zenichi; August 7th, 2007 at 01:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhineville View Post
    Which stylizations are 'true?' American comic-book stylization? Ukiyo-e stylization? Art nouveau stylization? They all take reality, fuck it over and bastardize it to suit their stylistic needs. I don't know that any form of stylization is more valid than another. Plenty of manga has form, even with simple black and white shading that american comics use. Just because it isn't your cup of tea doesn't mean it's wrong.

    (I hate manga btw)
    Stylization's shouldn't even be a word, everyone has their own style with their own little quirks and what nots, even how to tackle a different problem, besides Frank Miller, uses mostly pure black and white has such an epic "Style" That I like, anyway , I would definetely If I can call this a photorealistic manga-esque drawing style.

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