A personal point of view of what makes a drawing look good

Since last time I wrote I’ve been working hard on manga, I’m a little tired now but I think I’ll be able to take some rest soon ^_^ (I hope).

Today I wanted to write about various thoughts about drawings, it may be interesting if you’re getting started to draw.
It would be good to know your point of view, it could be that I’m wrong at something, I don’t know since I’m learning things by myself this wouldn’t be the first time I think I know something for soon after realize that I was wrong ^_^.

There are a lot of important things you must account for to be a pro, for me the more important ones are:

-Hard Work
-Connecting with the people’s feelings/likes through your work.

But this is post about the elements of drawing. What are the things that give us the impression that a drawing is good.

I also have to say that I write mostly about drawings in manga style since it is what I know but I think somethings can work too in other styles of drawing.

It’s under the cut because it’s very long. I don’t update very often so maybe you can take your time to read it 😉

Sorry in advance for the very very long post ^_^U.

I will write as “we” since I think these things are more or less commons but I have to say that the only real case I know well about it’s mine ^_^U so it’s my personal opinion in the end

When we start, we find ourselves in the middle of a lot of techniques we have to learn: sketch, ink ,color, screentones.

The fisrt thing that makes a drawing looks good is their lines, lines that creates proportionals shapes. It is not a matter of quantity, it’s quality, it’s to do the right line, with the right shape in the right place.
When you do a perfect work on lines then the other steps would be easier because they follow the same rule:

-For colors: it’s to choose the right ones and aplying shadows and lights in the right places

-For screentones: it’s no to use all you have, if the lines are good you can create a good looking manga almost only with white, flat black and one or two tones.

As example I think xxxHOLiC is very good because it is almost extreme simplicity.


You can see, flat colors with one level of shade

You can see, flat colors with one level of shade

click to enlarge

Manga (Black and White work):

No screentones at all in whole chapter (but sometimes they use maybe one or two)

No screentones at all in whole chapter (but sometimes they use maybe one or two)

click to enlarge

Very simple isn’t? But it still looking good and very pro, they focused all work in lines and the shapes created with balck and white by them.

Images from Vol.2 chapter 13 scanned by “Be with you Scans”
(and remember if you like one manga when you read it from scanlatinos buy it if you can, to support the artist ^_^ )

Everytime I see something like that I can feel the “mastery” behind the simplicity. In the begining we also think that complex things are better than the simple ones, like if the last ones doesn’t require effort or something. If you preffer one or another it’s just a matter of taste ^_^ but technically they both are hard.

I think that through true simplicity you can create the ilusion of a true complexity.

Last thing, It’s very important to keep in mind that when you work for “manga industry” the keyword is: Quick!! So being simple sometimes is the only way to have finished works on time.

I have the impression that this was a little boring, isn’t? xDD ^_^U

This time a “thank you for reading” can’t express all my gratitude if you have read it all. o(^-^)o Chu!


2 Responses to “A personal point of view of what makes a drawing look good”

  1. 1 Kitsune September 10, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Oh, don’t apologize for the long post – the more the better 🙂

    Yes, connecting with the people through your work is very important. Art can be thought of as a form of communication. An artists presents her/his view of the world to the spectators, and that in turn can change their outlook or mood.

    Indeed, the lines are very important as I said before 🙂

    I think the most important part of the drawing is the ability of an artist to put her/his soul into work. That warm light that some painting emanate is what distinguishes a decent drawing from a great drawing in my opinion. It is not easy to achieve such an effect with manga because manga tend to be drawn on deadlines and are relatively fast paced.

    The process of creating art and the effect it has on people was depicted in an interesting way in Genius Party opening animation 🙂

  2. 2 chocomonster September 27, 2008 at 11:13 am

    pues esta muy bien, eso si, es cuestion de gustos.
    igualmente, yo soy de las q piensan q un buen dibujo es aquell bonito, refinado, que lo puede ser eh? hay casos de todo, pero lo mas importante es que exprese algo. porq puede ser muy bonito y trabajado, pero si te sigues quedando igual i no te mueve.,.. pues pf! xD

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