The Japanese shoujo mangaka Keiko Ichiguchi gave us some pointers to drawing manga. Let me sum up what I remember in 10 points.
1- When drawing characters always draw a rough outline with a circle as the head, and don’t forget to draw a straight neck (not curved). This will help show the overall balance of the pose.
2- In each page its best to divide it to 3 to 4 parts horizontally. Each page containing 6-10 panels. The flow of text goes from top right to bottom left (if Japanese and Arabic, and opposite if English!).
3- Don’t make fancy slanted lines especially if you’re a beginner mangaka, its best to make rectangular panels for starters!
4- Impact in a page should be in one place of the page. So if you do use slanted panels do use it for one panel not many otherwise it’ll be confusing where the impact is. The bigger the panel the more impact it has (it can even be a drawing that spreads on two pages!)
5- Draw inside the manga paper rectangular box. They couldn’t stress that part more. Just draw in the important stuff in the inner rectangle of the manga paper. You can continue the drawing outside the box and extend the page as you wish but don’t put the talking bubbles outside of the box or draw the whole character outside since it maybe cut out during printing!
6- Now if the character is dreaming/remembering/fantasizing/is in another world/imagining then in Keiko-sensei’s way she puts her characters out of the panels (she doesn’t draw the panels) so we know its not the real world.
7- The last panel in the second page of the manga has to be intriguing enough to make you want to read more to flip the page and see what happens! When the page is flipped you can show the answer to your curious readers! This panel is called hiki no koma.
8- Imagine your manga as a movie, and you are shooting the scenes with your camera! Depending on what you are trying to convey, what importance it is to your story you pick the angle of your scene. If its zoomed in it will focus on the expressions, whereas if its showing the background then the setting is whats most important!
9- Manga is read two pages at a time so don’t align the first pages panels with the second pages panels horizontally, it would disturb the flow of panels. Make sure your layout is easy to follow!
10- Maru pen is used for details!
She asked us to draw a one page manga there and this was my attempt.
This was very fun and enjoyable! Thanks to the efforts of Keiko-sensei and the Japanese Embassy in Kuwait to make it possible for us to learn from a professional mangaka.