How To Draw a Manga Cyborg Girl

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Draw a Manga Cyborg Girl

manga cyborg woman sketch
Prestson Stone, licensed to About.com, Inc

In this tutorial, we're going to create a unique Manga character. Copying your favorite Manga and Anime characters can be fun, but it's so much more rewarding to design your own character, giving them their own story (even if you haven't written it out) and qualities. To learn more about designing a character, take a look at this Manga Character Tutorial.

For this drawing, I've decided to create a humanoid, Cyborg cop. So she's going to need a standard issue gun and futuristic clothes. What attributes will she have? Well, she's dealing with the dregs of a dystopian society, so she will have had some injuries. She's lost her arm and had it replaced with robotics, and has brain surgery to enhance her mental capabilities. She is smart and deals with her challenges head-on, so she has a sharp, athletic look.

To create a cool Manga character, we follow a simple process of designing a pose in wireframe, drawing the figure and layering the outfit and accessories.

Begin with a wire frame of your character's pose, then sketch in the forms and outline the figure. It's really useful to use anatomical references if you want an added degree of realism. Accessories and props - such as guns, ropes being held or objects being leaned on - are included at this stage of the drawing, as the pose makes no sense without them, and you risk having to make major adjustments if you leave them out.

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Drawing the Cyborg Components

drawing a manga cyborg

You can really let your imagination run with creating cyborg limbs, but it's usual to keep some basic human proportion. Echoing human bone structure in steel can look really interesting as well as making structural sense. Look at real-life robotics to get ideas for how joint mechanisms fit together. While many Anime characters are heavily stylized - this makes animation easier and faster, so more affordable - there is also a lot of variety in styles, with many being more realistic in design. This character is somewhere between the two.

This character, being a cyborg cop, is often in harm's way so her outfit includes some protective elements - a bike-leather suit with armored panels; a Gladiator's spaulder inspires the spikes on her shoulder.

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Inking Your Manga Drawing

Inking Your Manga Drawing
Inking Your Manga Drawing. Preston Stone, licensed to About.com, Inc.

If you've drawn with a very light touch, you can ink directly over your pencil drawing with a bulletproof, smudge-proof pen, and then erase the pencil. Alternatively, you can use a photo blue pencil for your drawing, which won't be picked up by the scanner (or can be dropped out by adjusting the blue channel if it is). Another option, if you are using a graphite pencil to draw with, is to scan and convert your drawing to a light blue that you can then print, ink and re-scan. These steps are also explained in this tutorial.

Many artists use digital methods to clean up their work; if you clean up your pencil drawing well, you can scan it, and use a Free and Open Source vector drawing program like Inkscape to convert the drawing to a vector image, and use its smoothing and noise reduction options to create a more polished look.

Learn More About Inking

If you love creating Manga and other comic book art, it's worth taking the time to learn more about the craft of comic book inking. Take a look at our Comic Book Guide's Resources for Inkers and tips on How to Become an Inker.

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The final Cyborg Cop Character

Preston Stone, licensed to About.com, Inc

Here's the completed, inked character. Keep the contour line simple and clean, color, using outline rather than shading. If you're using a colored pen, color your drawing then take a look at these tips on keeping your drawing clean for best results.

About the Author:
Preston Stone first wrote this tutorial for About.com in around 2007. At that time he was a young artist just developing his skills but already sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for drawing. Since then, he has developed even further and gone on to graduate from Art School.