Why do your sketches in red?

The guide by our comic/Manga teachers

The different ways of making sketches

You can opt for the coloured pencil, the coloured pencil lead or the television pencil. The advantage is that it's cheap and easy to get, the disadvantage is that it's hard to erase and when you do, it leaves marks. It is only with experience and the help of a qualified Manga teacher that you end up erasing almost nothing.

But erasing is still a considerable luxury. There are Japanese solutions to this. For example, the Frixion pencil from Pilot. Not only does the eraser leave no marks, it also leaves no shavings and lasts as long as the pencil itself.

Another solution to be able to draw in red would be to use a mechanical pencil. The Delgard brand, for example, offers compensating mechanical pencils in two different sizes. The Orenz brand, on the other hand, has a tip protection system (the coloured leads break more easily).

As far as leads are concerned, the Nanodia or Color Eno leads are available in 0.5mm and 0.7mm and they fade just as well as graphite leads. 

For which type of sketches are red or pink leads used?

Red or pink leads are preferred when using a technique such as alcohol or water marker. In these cases, colouring with leads gives a less messy effect than with a graphite lead. It also makes it easier to erase. 

Red or pink is chosen rather than blue, as blue creates a cooler effect. For this reason, we tend to use blue (or a variation of grey) when we want to obtain a more distant, detached drawing. For the rest, red and pink will be more relevant.

One more thing to consider is the choice of paper. Comic paper is a good choice because there is less risk of smearing. Shikishi, for example, should be used with care because there are areas where the lineart is very thick.

When using this red colouring technique you may be surprised or destabilised by the red residue on the sketch. Not erasing can cause the ink to drool.

You need to gain experience to master this art, and for this you can turn to a Manga teacher, taking drawing lessons from a qualified teacher, practising drawing, getting involved, daring, making mistakes, starting over. Our article "how to draw a Manga ?" may be of interest to you.

In short, drawing the sketches in red is a time saver. Our drawing teachers in the comic book/Manga style will teach you the subtleties and advantages of this technique. They will teach you how to thwart its pitfalls and master its process. You will thus enrich your lineart. Apolline offers Manga drawing courses in Lausanne, Morges and Montreux, as well as online Manga drawing courses on the internet!