January 30, 2016

How to Draw Manga Workshop

For years, I have been teaching How-to-draw workshops to children between the ages of 6 and 18. Most of my workshops focus on the style of Anime and Manga, a popular style of cartooning from Japan, which was brought to the American public in the 80’s and has been gaining popularity ever since. However I will teach lessons on drawing from life, short-story illustration, and anatomy upon request. I have been employed to teach in libraries, community centers, art studios, and private homes.
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In my workshops, I start off with an introduction of Anime and Manga:what is the style, where did it come from, what is popular right now. Being familiar with a large number of series currently and formerly on television, I can provide popular and current examples of characters and scenarios to help the kids understand different classifications of characters. Also, because I am familiar with series for different age groups, I can adapt my lessons and examples to suit the audience.

tiam While the focus of the workshop is manga, I introduce universal rules to help the kids make better art in general. I offer advice on composition, how to effectively tell a story in a picture, and introduce some basic anatomy. I also may teach the kids, depending on their interest level, a few Japanese words and terms.
When it is time to start drawing, I start off with the face, explaining in detail the process of drawing a head-on face and a profile face. I provide some concrete proportions to follow, and some that can be manipulated in the manga style. And always, I compare the cartoon proportioned head to the proportions of a real human head.

Next, we move onto the body. If a child can draw a proportioned stick figure, then he or she can draw a body in a range of positions. I use simple shapes to build a human body, and this method helps the young artist envision how the pieces fit together and move in three-dimensional space. Comics and Illustrations require that a figure be positioned in complicated and varied ways; a lesson that only teaches how to draw a body standing up-right is useless.
Many students are intimidated when it comes to drawing hands and feet, but with the same simple stick-figure foundation, the hands and feet lesson is just as easy to understand as the body lesson. Finally, with faces and bodies under control, clothing is easy to add.
Above is the minimum amount of material covered in any workshop, but time allowing, I like to go over how to balance a character and make him look like he is really standing–or falling, or walking, or running.

Lastly, I end the lesson with a final question and answer period and advice on how to layout a narrative scene, whether it involved comic-book panels or not.


This may all sound complicated, but learning with pictures is a lot easier than learning in words. Trying to convey the ease with which second graders learn the material that I present to them is not easy to do. But I hope that when my students attempt to replicate what they learned at home, that they are just as confident and enthused as they were at the conclusion of my workshop.

Workshop prices are as follows:

$140 for the first hour

$35 per additional half hour*


  • Prices listed are for workshops of up to 16 children. Price will increase with class size, and are negotiable.
  • Travel costs may apply if location is more than one hour outside of Boston, MA.
  • *Workshops may not exceed 7 hours in duration.
  • Venue is responcible for providing supplies including:
    • Tables, chairs for each student, a whiteboard/chalkboard/large paper and corresponding writing utensils for instructor to teach on, copy paper and pencils for each student.
    • Optional materials may include colored pensils, markers, sharpies, watercolors, bristol board, & strathmore paper.

If you’d like to see a list of all the libraries and community centers that I have taught at before, please visit the resume page.