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colouring cartoon / manga?

Now that I'm into the swing of things with drawing cartoons I'm now stuck with colouring my initial sketches. I've seen promarker pens all over the place specific for cartoon and manga but they are soo expensive and I'm not sure if they are really the necessary pens.

What do you use to colour your initial sketches and where do you get them?

Do it the proper way with ink and a brush... (parker quink works OK, but you might want something a little thicker)

I seem to remember using an ink brush thing at school... it was like a fat cartridge pen that had a brush for a tip, dunno what it was called though, someone here might know what I'm on about :p.

I would be a bit cautious with stuff labelled specifically for manga, a lot of it looks like cheap tat.

But honestly, learning to draw with a pencil should be your priority... shading and applying colour comes later :)
Thanks Ralph, yes I am a bit dubious buying the pens labeled for manga however they seem sufficient if it comes to it. I'm fine with the drawing side it's the colouring part I'm on. I will of course be finalizing the artwork in photoshop / illustrator but its just the initial drawings I want to look into the colouring of, need a good idea to how they will look before going digital with them. I was thinking perhaps just use paint for colouring, but markers do seem to have a nice affect at times


Staff member
note, these 'manga' pens (and most markers unless stated) are alcohol based and so don't really like normal paper.

Had to use these markers at uni, they're ok but probably quicker to do line art and then fill on the pc.


Staff member
yeah tell me about it, they were something like 10-15 quid iirc per 50 page a3 markerpad. Not something you want to spend too much on when a student lol. Pens weren't cheap either, think I spent around 300 quid on my markers (still got them) although they only got used for at most 1 year lol.


Staff member
It isn't so much bleed with alcohol markers it's drawing too much liquid into the paper and thus not filling cleanly, plus it wastes ink.

I ended up buying some cheaper water based markers purely for use on 'normal' paper lol


Well-Known Member
You can create a brush tool preset in Photoshop that behaves like a marker pen. Just get the right brush settings and nudge down the flow and opacity settings a smidge. When it comes to buying real markers, I personally wouldn't go near anything claiming to be specifically for manga - manga artwork colours up like any other cartoon style, it's down to you to find markers you like using in colours you think work well for the image. Don't buy into the "specially for manga!" bull**** designed to make the little emo kids spend their money.

The Japanese manga style is all about capturing movement and emotion, not which markers your using. Look at some old cover art for manga, did they use special manga pens? No they painted it because manga pens only began to exist when there was a trend to cash-in on.

Anyway, most manga is black and white.
Jim's spot on about this. The Photoshop brush effects work much like a marker. Using a tablet of course.

These Manga marker things sound like a right rip off.
Emo kids...like it.

That's you Levi, that is;)

I always keep an empty bottle of milk in the Refrigerator.

Cuz I drink my coffee black.


Staff member
Typo said:
Emo kids...like it.

That's you Levi, that is;)
EMO!!!, how dare you class me as emo, I'll have you know that I'm a cyber goth thank you very much. :rolleyes:
I may have let you off if you said I was into the visual kei but emo!!!

EMO!!!, I'm not some kid that thinks it's cool to dress in black as they're 'different'!
haha i like it, now calm down children.

I think I might just end up getting some cheap ol' markers that do the trick, it's only for sketch purposes although some original artwork might be good but I think I'll go with paint for that if it comes to it.

When I say i'm doing manga I mean I'm doing an interpretation, using manga to influence my own style as well as the classic realistic style. I like manga but i just feel it doesnt really fit in with the current comics, but some do have a slight feel of manga at times, like Ben 10, gotta love a bit of Ben 10.... ok i'll stop now :(