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Manga: Drawing dynamic lines

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To suggest movement or attract your reader's attention to the main aspect of your drawing: just draw lines!


Start off with the help of a ruler. With practice and good control, you can draw freehand lines.

1. Speed lines

They go in the background, such as, for example, around a character that's running. They need to be horizontal, tapered (that is, ending in a point) and parallel to one another. The closer the lines are together, the faster the suggested movement.

Step 1: ruler

  •  Avoid smudges by sticking adhesive foam patches under the ruler.
  •  Place your ruler parallel to the upper edge of your sheet of paper.


Step 2: drawing

you can use whichever instrument you prefer: ball-point pen or pen. If you use a pen, be careful with the amount of ink! Too much ink: the line will not be sharp enough. Not enough ink: the line will be broken.

  •  Draw a line using the ruler: to start with, put normal pressure on your ball-point pen, then reduce the pressure at midpoint, to lighten the stroke. Finish it off by lifting your ball-point pen from the paper smoothly (like an airplane taking off!).
  • Draw the other lines the same way.


2. Converging lines

They allow you to draw attention to a character, his face, an object, etc.


Step 1: determining the point of convergence

  •  Make a little mark at your chosen point of convergence with a paper pencil.
  •  Use a compass to make a circle: the paper pencil mark should be in the center of the circle .


Step 2: doing the drawing

  •  Draw a line using the ruler. You should to start on the outside (the edge of the circle) and move towards the inside (the center of the circle). As you are approaching the center of the circle, reduce the pressure on the ball-point pen to obtain a tapered line.