Making of the Manga

Oh man, this was a lot of work. I don’t mean to complain. But one day, while I was drawing and coloring for the sixth hour in a row trying to meet the deadline, I was thinking to myself, “It’s a labor of love. Do it for the missionaries. You got this, dude.” Phew. And then I did it again the next two days. Now here I sit in limbo, trying to think of the story to the third one. Oh man. I’m not gonna have the third one done on time. Aaaah!

Anyway, let me show you how I went about planning this. After I wrote the story (which honestly I should have edited a bit more) I made a rough draft of the manga at quarter size.


Rough2 Rough3 Rough4

I also did a couple of practice drawings. I was especially challenged by Chirei’s eyes. Caucasian eyes are hard enough to draw, but the inclusion of epicanthic folds greatly upped the difficulty. Eyes2Come to think of it, noses are hard to draw too. So are lips. And hands (and ears and eyebrows and clavicles and also toenails on occasion). After that, I created the template for the pages–1-inch margins all around, and tick-marks dividing the vertical length of the page into four rows. I then drew the outlines of the panels like so:

2014-07-24 13.28.46

2014-07-24 15.38.11

You can see the marks on the right side of the paper. Because this page has five rows, the “four row” divide marks stick out.

2014-07-24 14.52.34

I often added details (i.e. into the background) while I was coloring. Take a look below and you’ll see how much more I added.


This is the “finished” drawing.


While I was adding color, I drew in the forest.

But how did I color? Well, some objects (such as the trees) are indeed colored with colored pencil; same as before. Most of the color, though, came from watercolor pencils. This gave me the benefits of both pencil and paint. I could color with a pencil, and then shape the look and feel of the color with the brush. I did a quick little test:

Watercolor Test2

And here’s where I made my biggest mistake as far as color goes: I drew the pictures on regular printer paper without knowing that I would be using watercolors later. What does this mean? Well, what effect does water have on paper?

Photographed Color (12)

Those wrinkles aren’t from old age, that’s for sure.

If I had known from the start that I was going to use watercolors, I would have gotten the proper paper–that’s a lesson I’m going to take with me to the next one. Despite all this I think the colors turned out well, especially on the last four pages.

page 15 some color

Of course, by then I had been practicing for over a dozen pages.

I only had twelve colors to work with, though, having only bought the “starter kit.” Look forward to a wider range of colors next time. Until then, be lovely.

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