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Creating Fantasy Manga

By making use of manga references, Cris de Lara shows you how to fuse Japanese comic drawing with fantasy themes.

Beautiful female fantasy characters are a pleasure to create and look at. I want to create a pinup, a beauty who resembles Frazetta’s or Vallejo’s women and environments, but with a twist. I’ll be using comics and manga references to create a young, strong and beautiful girl in a magical environment. I guess I could divide this tutorial into two simple stages: first, the character concept, and secondly, the background design.
Dealing with the character concept first, I consider the anatomy – the sensual, sexy shape – and her clothing.
I want to emphasise things such as skin tones and muscles, concentrating on rendering, lighting and shadows.
For the background, I’m thinking about something easy to draw, or that could be done with painting work. I’m going to have a magical and intense light source, such as a dimensional gateway, using effects, lights and shadows, and a good colour palette. This choice helps to give valour to my character without drawing these elements in the scenario.

From issue 12.

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