How to create a character BD/manga ?

If you want to create your own comic/manga, start by creating your main character. This is also called character design. 


When you want to create a character, the first elements are important: defining the character's personality. Bold, shy, friendly, introverted, funny, intriguing, etc... If it's your first experience, it's better to create a main character that looks like you, so you won't have to ask yourself too many questions about his/her reactions, preferences, etc... The advantage is that you can also add characteristics that you would like to have in secret but be careful, he/she won't react exactly like you ;D 

Ex : strong, funny, light, rebellious, wild 



Once the character is set up, you can move on to the description of his/her environment, universe, planet, world, forest, city, family, study, work, hunting, other, etc... If it's a character who will intervene in a universe already set up by another person or by yourself, this step won't take much time

Ex: Natural universe, forest, house in a tree house, lives alone, not far from a village



Each person has a story, family, personal, love, friendship, travel etc... Drawing the main lines of a character's life, from his or her birth to his or her first friends, from his or her disappointments to his or her successes, allows us to better understand how he or she reacts. 

Ex: she is 17 years old, her parents disappeared when she was 9 years old and she doesn't know why, she built her cabin there because this place belonged to her ancestors, families sometimes welcomed her but she always came back to her cabin that she enlarged and embellished with time, she has a friend with whom she regularly talks, the son of one of the families who welcomed her. 



Now you have to define what part of the character's life will be told, what the character's purpose will be if he/she has one, what his/her goal will be, what his/her aspirations are, etc...

Ex: she wants to rediscover the secrets of the magic of the forest and those of her ancestors, she collects plants and learns about their benefits and harms. We tell the slice of life of the present, when she is seventeen years old. We see things from her point of view, we sometimes know her thoughts. 



This is not the easiest step, a name is sometimes a symbol of a personality, sometimes not. In stories, names are often linked to the personality of those who bear them. For example, a gentle character will often have a rounder, more connected name with "L's", "M's", "B's" and a more aggressive character will have a name with consonants like "S's", "K's", "P's", "R's". But all of this may be overrated and it may be worth it to just give a name you like without worrying too much about the rest. And maybe if your story grows, it is the name you chose that will give consonance to a certain character, after all Machiavelli's name didn't sound so perfidious and yet, because of his wickedness, he left the imprint of his character in the French vocabulary with the word "machiavellian". 

Ex : Alix



And yes, this step is actually the last one! Because it is the character and the environment of the character that will decide his physical appearance and not the opposite. If my character lives in the forest in a tree house, she will not have a long and clean dress. 

Ex : Dark blond hair, thin and muscular body, wide and thin eyes, small round mouth, short black T-shirt, black shorts



To recognize a character, it can be interesting and useful to associate one or two colors. The colors of his clothes, his accessories, his hair could be harmonized and not be a cacophony of all the colors of the rainbow so that the character is recognizable and identifiable. 

Ex: dark yellow, black



Once again, the accessories must be in adequacy with the environment and the character of the character, for example, a spirited, reckless and unkempt character will not always have on him or her a hairbrush, or a neat character, made up and coquettish will not necessarily always have on him or her a machete. If my character lives in town and runs a kiosk, he or she won't have three horses and a bag of water on his or her belt, or a helmet that lets you see the aura of aliens, although all of that would be pretty fun. 

Ex: a Swiss Army knife, a metal cup with a bird engraved on it, a large wicker basket, a lighter



It is possible to draw inspiration from characters that you liked or that could resemble the character you are creating.

Ex: Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa, Fifi Longstocking

Face and body drawing 

Finally we can start drawing!
It will take a lot of tests before you get the shape you want. Some start with silhouettes with thick black felt pens in order to determine the contours of the character, broad or thin shoulder, hair, profile... but it is also possible to simply try to draw the face until the result speaks to you. 


recherche visages personnage


Drawing expressions and movements

It can be useful to draw several facial expressions and several positions of the character. When he/she is sad, angry, amused, etc... Some characters will have a soft and tender look when they are happy, others will have a smiling and proud look. 

expression mouvement personnage


If you wish to learn how to make a comic strip, and to improve your character creation, Apolline offers coaching during her Manga courses in Lausanne, Etoy and Montreux. 

For a more intensive training over a week, don't hesitate to register for the February 2022 courses - Comics/Manga, in Lausanne, Montreux, Etoy, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Yverdon, Sion and Fribourg