Step by Step 1: Drawing Titan Eren (with fists up)

Whilst I’m in no position to be teaching someone how to draw, given my inexperience, I thought it might help other newbie artists like myself to show a breakdown of how I draw something, along with information about how I achieved a certain look or effect. For my first one, I’m going to start with a picture I did yesterday, Titan Eren.


  • Huion H610 Pro Graphics Tablet
  • Manga Studio 5

STEP 1: THE ROUGH SKETCH (click for larger image)

Rough Sketch


Some guidelines were erased along the way, but let’s start at the top. As you can see, I didn’t simply draw the outline and colour it in. More advanced artist won’t require these, due to the brain’s “muscle memory” simply learning how to do it, but newbies should definitely adopt the guideline approach. Once you’ve done the guidelines, draw the rough shape of the body, then slowly add detail. As you can see, it’s quite ‘chicken-scratchy’ and messy, but that’s okay, it’s just our rough sketch!

Time taken: 30 minutes (approx)


Screen Shot 2014-06-22 at 17.50.53

I then turned the first layer down to approximately 30% transparency, and added a new layer for my bold outline. Now this is where you have to be a bit more careful and smooth with your strokes. Manga Studio 5 has a post-correction capability that will basically smooth any hand shakes out.

Time taken: 1 hour


out tidy

If you compare this image with the one above, you’ll see it looks much cleaner, much smoother and the sides of his abdomen look a little better. Basically, this is the tedious part. Zoom in on your image, and go through every line, checking for places where you’ve overrun your lines, or done a bit of a chicken-scratch. Make sure pressure-sensitivity is on, and carefully fix your lines (there are many tutorials on YouTube showing how to do this – it’s not difficult, just time consuming).

Time taken: 30-40 minutes


Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 07.53.32

Many tutorials will tell you ‘just use the paint-fill tool’. I don’t do this for two reasons: 1) the fill tool always seems to leave a thin white outline between it and your drawn outline, and 2) I like to colour by hand, because then it feels like I coloured it rather than just clicked a button. Also, if you’ve got a program like Manga Studio, you’ll want to use the watercolour brushes, which will make it look much nicer.

Time taken: 40 minutes


Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 07.57.40

There are many methods to shading. Some like to use the lasso tool and paint-fill black into it at 20% transparency. Some like to simply hand-paint black in. Me? I prefer to get the watercolour tool and have a more blended kind of shadow.

Time taken: 40 minutes

The one thing I didn’t do with this image, mainly because I forgot, was highlights. Had I added them, the image would’ve looked more complete (the joy of digital art being that if I choose to add them I can, and it won’t ‘damage’ the image).

So if you’ve ever wondered how a drawing is done on a tablet, there you go! Layers are your friend!

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