Dave Cousens' Tutorial

The term Manga covers a wide range of artistic styles, ranging from severely exaggerated cartoons to a more realistic but no less appealing approach. This tutorial shows that you can use tria markers for both. I'll be your guest lecturer: David Cousens! (Don't worry, I was invited! ;)

Before we get started - you'll need:
The Shonen-Manga Tria Marker collection (Beginners: You can also use any of your favourite ProMarker selections or Comic Art sets - All ProMarkers and Tria Pens contain professional inks)
A pencil and eraser
Some marker paper/copier paper
A computer with Photoshop (optional)
An idea of what to draw! (This is the cheapest requirement, but not always easy to come by!)

***Important note: Don't use normal paper as it lets the markers bleed ink out too much. The top recommendation would be to use Letraset's bleed proof marker paper or comic layout paper, but if you're in a bind you can use photocopy paper. This is not a blatant sales plug, I promise standard sketchpad paper will suck up WAY too much ink and ruin your image in the process! End of severely important note! ***
Image Step 1: Pencil Layouts

Take your sheet of paper and your favourite pencil (or your second favourite if you feel like a change), and sketch your image out in pencil until you are happy with it. Don't worry about making your lines too clean at this point, as you'll be erasing everything later anyway. As you can see, I've left some of my construction lines in here. At this stage, you're just having fun.

I've chosen to draw an attractive women (because who doesn't like drawing attractive women?) and everyone's favourite cartoon character, the Skull-Kidd! ***Shameless Self-Promotion alert! Look at Skull-Kidd's balloon!***
ImageStep 2: Inks

I've used a 0.1 mm thick pen to ink the lines here, but feel free to use whatever method you're comfortable with e.g. Brushes, dip pens, whatever (aren't I nice?). Once you've finished inking the lines, erase the pencil lines to make the image nice and clean. Adding the inks will really make the art stand out against the colouring, resulting in a nice Manga-like appearance.

Tip: At this point, it wouldn't hurt to get another piece of paper as a test sheet to see how the colours appear when the marker ink dries. You can also see what different colours look like when they're placed on top of each other for shading later on. You will also get a feel for the bleed of a pen.
Image Step 3: Flats

"Flatting" is a commonly used comic book term that basically means laying out areas of flat colour where they're required. With markers, you'll have to work from light to dark, so you're picking the lightest colours first. Bare in mind if you're going to use white as a base colour, as I have here with the girl's skin and the Skull-Kidd's bones, you should just leave the page blank.

Important note: For flat colouring, you should keep the nib of the marker in contact with the page to give a consistently smooth look.
Image Step 4: Pencilling in more complicated areas

If there are more complicated areas that you need to render (such as the hair here for example) then work out where the white spaces need to be and draw in some pencil lines to work up to. Once you've finished your colouring, you can erase the pencils.
Image Step 5: Shading

By now your image should be looking pretty cool, so it's time to really make it shine. For the more cartoony illustration, the shading needs to be more basic, so simply make the colours darker by using the original coloured pen and building up the colour, use as many passes as you feel necessary and keep the marker in contact with the page as you did with the flat colouring stage.

For the more realistic image, you can have a bit more fun shading, as you don't have to maintain a smooth colour, in fact the variations will only add to the illustration. You can let the pen leave the paper as many times as you want! Again, you'll have to use a few passes to achieve your desired level of shading because markers always dry lighter than they first appear.
Image Step 6: Finishing Up

Now your image is fully rendered and looks cool, but it could do with a background to make the characters stand out more against the white page. Scan your image (at 300 dpi) and load it into Photoshop. Turn your image into a layer and set it to multiply. Use the magic wand tool to select the white space and press Shift, Ctrl + I to invert your selection. Make a new layer underneath the art layer and fill the selection with white (This will stop the background you choose affecting your artwork). Then create a new layer underneath the 2 existing layers, put a suitable background in it and you're all done. You are now free to go and show off your artwork to everyone to get you fame riches and women (or men, whichever you prefer), which as we all know is the most fun part of the process!

I hope this tutorial was useful to you. For more of my work, and to get in touch with me, please visit www.CoolSurface.com

Good luck and happy drawing!

Have fun!
Visit www.coolsurface.com to see more of Dave Cousens' Art