best drawing manga books

8 Best Manga Drawing Books 2024

04 April 2024Shopify API

Unleash your inner mangaka! Dive into our guide to the best manga drawing books for beginners & pros, covering characters, backgrounds, action & more!

Dive into our comprehensive guide to the best manga drawing books, handpicked for beginners and seasoned artists alike. Whether you crave dynamic fight scenes or expressive characters, discover the perfect resources to hone your skills and bring your manga visions to life.

Which is the best manga drawing book? 

The best manga drawing book for beginners is 'Manga for the Beginner: Everything You Need to Know to Draw and Create Your Own Comic Book Manga' by Mark Crilley.

Crilley's book masterfully balances clear explanations with engaging exercises, guiding you through fundamental shapes and proportions, character design, storytelling, and panel layout.

His friendly approach demystifies the manga creation process, making it accessible and enjoyable for aspiring artists of all ages.

Whether you dream of crafting whimsical slice-of-life stories or thrilling action adventures, "Manga for the Beginner" equips you with the essential tools and confidence to embark on your artistic journey.

Best Drawing Manga Books - Quick summary

Best Drawing Manga Books Best For
The Master Guide to Drawing Anime Beginner
Pop Manga Beginner/Intermediate skill
Mastering Manga Intermediate 
Manga For The Beginner Kawaii Beginner
The Manga Artist’s Workbook Intermediate 
Beginner’s Guide to Creating Manga Art Beginner
Draw Manga Faces for Expressive Characters Beginner/Intermediate
The Manga Fashion Bible Intermediate/Advanced

The Master Guide to Drawing Anime

The first one on this list of best drawing manga books is the master guide to drawing your favorite Japanese anime and manga characters. It’s a great book for those just starting to figure out how to draw manga characters. You can learn how to nail facial expressions, posing, and clothes with this book. 

This book is by Christopher Hart who has previously published several books about art. And Hart knows how to hold your hand and teach you how to draw manga through a book!

You’ll find lots of step-by-step guides and templates to learn how to draw manga art - think of it as a cycle with trainer wheels. Eventually, by practicing manga exercises with each chapter, you will be able to draw your own manga art.

If you’re serious about learning how to draw manga art then you should definitely invest in this book!

Pop Manga

The next of the best drawing manga books in this list is the Pop Manga - How to Draw the Coolest, Cutest, Characters, Animals, Mascots, and More. This is the right manga book to go if you want to create innovative manga characters. This book can teach you classic manga techniques and equip you with the knowledge you need to draw your own manga characters and it is filled with practical exercises for you to learn. 

This is one of the best manga drawing books because you’ll learn important techniques of basic body construction and drawing of different manga characters including chibins and animals in action. 

This book is by one of the best artists and visual illustrators in the industry - Camilla d’Errico. But it also features techniques and styles from artists around the world, giving you a blend of the best techniques. 

You’ll get to learn the process of character design and development from scratch. The book gives you important pointers and prompts on how to create better manga and comics. Pop Manga is a good book to start with for not only aspiring manga illustrators but also artists in general. 

Mastering Manga

Why I consider this as one of the best drawing manga books is because it goes further than just teaching you how to draw manga characters. This book also teaches you the structures of manga layouts.

It ultimately teaches you how to create your manga story and actually show the action in your manga story as well. 

This best manga drawing book is authored by Mark Crilley. Why I love this book is because Crilley has added several visual examples so you can easily understand the different techniques. 

If you’re a complete beginner, I wouldn’t recommend this book as it doesn’t cover the basic things. But if you’ve already picked up basic manga drawing skills from other beginner manga drawing books and are looking to enhance your skill then Mastering Manga is one of the best drawing manga books for you! 

Mastering Manga takes it a notch higher than your regular manga drawing books for beginners. This book focuses more on anatomy, facial expressions, posing, and also teaches you how to create a flow to your maga story. 

Manga For The Beginner Kawaii: How To Draw The Supercute Character Of Japanese Comics

Another one of the best drawing manga books is the Manga For The Beginner Kawaii. You get to learn how to draw cute Kawaii manga characters and specialise in the Kawaii genre. 

This book is authored by Christopher Hart, and he shows you how you can build Kawaii manga characters from scratch. 

He uses a step-by-step approach so you can draw the most adorable Kawaii characters and show their charm and personality through your sketches. If you’re serious about learning to draw manga then you should definitely check out more of Christopher Hart’s books. 

The Manga Artist’s Workbook

Another one of the best drawing manga books by none other than Chris Hart, The Manga Artist's Workbook is a great book for intermediate manga artists and even those who may be picking it up after a long time. 

The book teaches you how to draw manga in different styles from scratch and progresses slowly as the chapters progress. You’ll ultimately learn how to draw manga characters’ faces, different poses, amazing costumes, manga sparkly eyes, and so on. 

The book also features tracing papers to practice manga drawings. Keep practicing with these tracing papers and I’m sure soon you won’t need them anymore. 

the manga artist's workbook

While this book isn’t the best choice for ultimate beginners in sketching, it is a great choice for you if you’re looking to perfect your manga drawing skills. 

Now don’t lose hope even if you’re an absolute beginner. The next book on this list is the best choice for beginner artists!

Beginner’s Guide to Creating Manga Art

This is one of the best drawing manga books for absolute beginners! The lessons are stretched over 200+ pages and are packed with exercises that include both drawing and coloring activities of several anime characters. 

Trust me, you’ll have a lot of fun learning how to draw manga characters using this book!

The book covers basic anatomy, facial expressions, clothes, and color theory of the manga characters. Basically, it touches all the aspects of how to draw manga characters.

how to draw manga: basics and beyond!

So if you want a bird’s eye view of what manga is all about then this is the book you should go for to make sure that base is strong before you take a deeper dive into the manga ocean. 

Again, this is highly recommended for absolute beginners and not someone who is already comfortable with drawing manga characters. The lessons in this are pretty basic which will help you if you’re a beginner. 

Draw Manga Faces for Expressive Characters

This is one of the best drawing manga books as it completely focuses on manga-style drawing. If that’s something you want to learn then this is the best manga drawing for you. 

This manga drawing book features over 900 maga faces for you to observe, recreate or even restyle! It spans over 180 pages and is divided into several chapters that are based on manga facial type. 

drawing manga guide

For example, you’ll learn how to draw manga characters for different ages like kids, baby anime characters, teens, and elderly. So you could say it’s a comprehensive manga drawing book on manga characters’ faces. Also, you’ll learn how to draw manga faces based on different emotions and reactions like anger, surprise, stress, happiness, and more. 

This manga drawing book will definitely help you nail the manga characters’ faces! .

The Manga Fashion Bible

Here’s another one by Chris Hart. This is one of the best drawing manga books for you if you’re already good at drawing manga characters and want to learn how to create your own manga characters.

japanese drawing books

A major part of creating your own manga characters is styling them. And this book is basically a comprehensive guide on how to style your manga characters depending on what kind of personality you want to give them. 

how to draw manga

The book features several exercises that cover different styles and takes inspiration from Tokyo’s current fashion trend and existing manga characters. You’ll learn how to match outfits and create awesome manga character outfits like you see in the books!

how to draw manga online books

As a manga artist if you follow Chris Hart then you’ll definitely love this manga drawing book! 

The Manga Fashion Bible will teach you how to draw outfits for your manga characters and also improve your manga character drawings as well!

How to Draw Anime: Learn to Draw Anime and Manga

This is the best drawing manga book you could get for an affordable price. It not only teaches you how to draw manga characters but also anime characters as well. It introduces all the basic concepts you need to know before drawing a manga character. This drawing book also provides a step-by-step guide to draw a perfect manga and anime character. Manga and anime characters look slightly different hence you can learn how to draw them perfectly with this guide book.

 The author of this book is Aimi Aikawa who has beautifully illustrated an easy guide for both kids and adults. Inside the book you’ll find how to draw heads, body proportions, facial features, various clothing styles and also emotions that are relevant to anime and manga. This drawing book is ideal for all ages and is a great stress reliever for adults. Bring out your creativity by getting this book!

How to Draw Manga: Basics and Beyond

Want to learn how to draw manga characters from a professional? Then this is the drawing manga book you should get. This drawing manga book is published by the Manga University which is known for its instructional books. There are several manga  artists who worked on providing over 1000 drawings in this book and they are none other than famous manga artists who published in Young Jump and Shonen Sunday. 

You’ll learn to nail every manga character in no time since you’re learning from the professionals. This book is sectioned into 4 chapters that guide you to draw professionally. Each chapter teaches you to draw heads, faces, bodies, and famous anime poses. You can aspire to become a professional manga artist once you get this book and learn how to draw flawlessly. 

Conclusion

Whether you're a wide-eyed newbie or a seasoned sketcher seeking to refine your craft, these invaluable resources have equipped you with the knowledge and inspiration to conquer the manga world.

Remember, the path to mangaka mastery is paved with practice, passion, and a sprinkle of perseverance. So, grab your favorite pen, unleash your creativity, and let your imagination run wild!

As you continue your artistic exploration, keep these final tidbits in mind:

  • Experimentation is key. Don't be afraid to step outside the lines and try new things. The beauty of manga lies in its endless possibilities, so embrace the freedom to create characters, storylines, and art styles that are uniquely yours.
  • Seek inspiration everywhere. Immerse yourself in the vast universe of manga, both classic and contemporary. Watch anime, devour graphic novels, and lose yourself in the works of your favorite mangaka. Every panel, every stroke, holds a lesson waiting to be learned.
  • Community is your canvas. Connect with fellow manga enthusiasts online and offline. Share your artwork, offer constructive criticism, and learn from each other's experiences. The supportive community of manga artists is always there to cheer you on, celebrate your victories, and help you overcome hurdles.

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