Roadwork is a conditioning exercise for an athlete consisting of running considerable distances in areas that are reasonably free of obstructions or traffic, as fields or country roads: performed chiefly by boxers in training for a bout. This is taken from because I’m too lazy to buy a real dictionary:rofl:. This thread is dedicated to Makunouchi Ippo from the manga/anime, Hajime no Ippo. It is a story about a boxer who defied the odds.

This thread is where the result of my ‘roadwork’ will appear. I will be updating this thread on a semi-regular basis. My goal will be posting at least one piece of art per week. A piece will roughly be composed of penciled artwork. Currently, I am working full time, so that is all the time I have. Right now I am saving up money so that I can work part-time for the next 3 to 5 years. That should give me enough time to dedicate myself to my roadwork and finally turn pro as an OEL(original english language) manga-ka(manga author).

Right now the world is void of quality OEL manga-ka. Hopefully I will be one of the few pioneers that will pave the way for future generations. I’m full of shit right now, I know. But to achieve greatness, one much aim high. Potential + lack of ambiton = KO loss mutha’ fucka’!

Comments and criticisms are welcome. I’m always looking for ways to improve. Lazy eye? Third nipple? Let me the fuck know if it’s that bad.:rofl: And lastly, a little bit of useless information below:


Name: Leon_shore
Height: 5’8"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Reach: ?
Record: 0-0-0

…::Stats 2::…

Backrounds: **
Anatomy: *****
Perspective: *****
Speed: **
Pencils: *****
Inks: *******

Average: ****1/3
(Stats based on a scale of 1-10 stars.)


Short: Become proficient at drawing.
Short +: Create my first complete 15 - 20 pg. chapter of manga.
Short ++: Create another chapter.
Mid term: Start first version of my manga.
Mid term +: Create second version of my manga.
Long: First volume of manga complete (200 pgs)
Final: Submit portfolio to publisher and turn pro.

…::Tools of destruction::…

*Various mechanical pencils (.3mm, .5mm, .7mm)
*Variety of worthless pens and nibs
*Basic straight edge ruler. Tried many fancy tools; most gimicks or too specialized.
*7 year-old eraser (TKO)
Wacom Intuous 68 tablet
*Cheap HP Scanner
*Adobe Photoshop Elements v2.0
*Manga Studio EX v3.0
*Samsung 900IFT 19" CRT (Die bitch so I can get LCD. It’s killing my vision!)


A bit of sandbag work from about 2 months ago. The new year was a great way to warm up the good ol’ pencil.

This is young Gatsu from the Berserk universe. He is getting ready to dismember his fellow man. When I come off of drawing breaks, I usually start with fanart, as it is easy since there is a ‘base’ to work with. Since this is one of my first drawings since my break, I have no plans to tighten the pencils, add more detail or apply inks. This was purely a practice drawing, just for the sake of drawing. 6 to 8 hours to complete. Yeah, I was definately rusty. The only reference I had was some manga of Berserk. The pose is completely original, which was one of the reasons why it was so time consuming.

Next up will be some actual roadwork. Grueling-tough, puke your guts out roadwork. This isn’t going to be your fathers early morning pussy-jog. Stay tuned for more.

I want a pinku (that’s japanese for pink) bento (that’s japanese for lunchbox). It must have two compartments because I don’t want to get my rice soggy.

What is your artistic background? Post up some artwork already so we can get an idea of it to start giving some advice.

Also in America we call them “comic book artists”. Calling yourself an “OEL Manga-ka” sounds like you’re trying to make yourself feel special, when really it just comes off sounding really pretentious. You should draw in your own style instead of forcing yourself to draw in an “anime” style. If your personal style happens to have many traits commonly found in “anime” then so be it, however many Americans who want to go down the “anime” art path try way too fucking hard to imitate instead of creating their own style, which leads to their art looking like shit.

Don’t let me hold you down, I wish you all the success in the world, and if you can actually stick to your plan and become successful then more power to you, but trying to pigeonhole yourself in to this niche art style is silly. Just do what you want and don’t force it, or else you’ll end up like that Megatokyo guy: drawing sad girls in snow with horrible anatomy and no idea of what a real person looks like. Also drawing yourself as a character falling in love with a 15 year old is a bad idea too, even if your fat girlfriend supports your comic.

Edit: Okay you posted something while I was typing.

It looks decent. Completely overdone ab muscles, but that’s fine depending on your style. The face looks like something out of an Akira Toriyama drawing, it just gives me that “Dragonball” feel. I get the feeling that you cheated on the arms by putting them behind the head to mask any errors you had while planning them.

If you’re spending 6 hours on a pencil sketch then you need to re-examine how you work. Pencil sketches are not meant to be complete drawings but rather a framework for the ink and color to come. Are you sketching out the full figure before filling in details, or are you working on the small stuff first? Some progress sketches would be nice.

Have you ever taken anatomy classes?
You should work on figure sketches. If I can find my bookmark there is this one jap site that has a figure generator thingy and you can set the time limit. I found it to be an excellent tool for exercising my knowledge of anatomy and a great warmup before trying to draw (30 second figures, 5 minute time limit, so 10 figures in 5 minutes).


Faight, thanks for taking the time out to comment.

Not everyone knows what manga is, so I’m just giving the newbies some terminology. If you ask the average person on the street, more than likely they won’t have a clue. Also, I referred to myself as manga-ka(in training), and not comic book artist is because they are slightly different.

A comic book artist is one who draws comics. Basically, they are artists, and that is it. To produce a comic, there are several roles to fill. There is the writer, penciler, the inkist, colorist, someone who does coverart and so on and so forth. Most comic book artists fall under one of these roles (usually pencils or inks). I don’t want to be a slave to the pencil/pen for someone elses’ ideas.

A manga-ka is totally different. They are the writer, penciler, inker, and toner. They can and will do the covers. Some manga-ka have assistants and grunts, but I’m not going to go into full detail here. If you want the details, it’s not that hard to find. Anyways, the manga-ka has almost complete control over his manga/comic. Sure he has to deal with the editor and make sure the shit is right, but he/she is pretty much the driving force behind the storytelling and art, not just someone who draws. So, if it sounds a little pretentious to you, whatever. Doesn’t matter to me. When someone asks me what my aspirations are, I just tell them ‘I’m going to be a comic book artist’, because I don’t want to explain the same shit over and over again. Notice I said ‘going to be’, as in I have absolute confidence in myself, which many people lack.

I also have my own style. I’m not trying to imitate DBZ. I was trying to give Gats/Gatsu a menacing face which didn’t turn out too well. I have great respect for Toriyama, but he doesn’t have anything on Miura Kentaro. I’m heavily influenced by his work, and it will show in my style, but won’t be too drastic. Don’t get the wrong idea, I don’t want anyones’ style, I just like certain aspects of it. Art style chooses you, not the other way around. I’ve gone through that phase where I tried other peoples’ styles when I was younger and it just didn’t work.

I wish I had the work-in-progress shots, but that’s too time consuming. On some pieces I can provide that. But from idea, to concept, to rough sketch to final pencils took me quite awhile. This was my first drawing in over a year, so yeah it’s going to be a bit rough. And you are right, saying that the pose looks like a result of laziness. However, I had planned his pose from concept, so if it looks like laziness, oh well.

Also, I have pretty much no artistic backround. Everything is self taught. There are many things I have still to learn. I have a bad habit for instance. For anatomy the arms are too short and neck too long. This pattern is something I’ve been slowly breaking. Although I would like official classes, no one is going to teach you how to draw. Perspective, dynamics, composition, backrounds, lighting, anatomy, and a million other things can’t be taught but learned. Sure, having a teacher helps, but most importantly teaching oneself how to learn is most valuable. Anyways, I can’t afford lessons, and at this point, it’d be a waste of time and money. I’m already getting old.

As for speed drawing, it has its uses. I’ve tried it, but not to that extent.

Anyways, I’ll stfu now. If you have anymore questions, I’ll probably answer them.:wonder:

I’m at work now, but I’ll check my bookmarks when I get home for that site. It’s helped me a lot with anatomy, not as much as a true anatomy class but more than just drawing on my own. I know someone linked it in this forum in another thread, but I can’t remember the name of the site to save my life. Crazy japanese stuff.

I think you’re skewing the definition of “comic book artist” and “mangaka” a bit. I’m sure there are american comic artists that do everything you say they don’t and I’m sure there are ‘manga’ artists who are slaves to a writer/corporation. I understand what you mean though, the fact is that in Japan comics are written usually with a definitive storyline and ending, resulting in a larger number of titles being put out in a year, as well as a larger and more creative character pool. Also the distribution methods are much better over there with compilation books like Shonen Jump/etc. This means there is less risk on the publishers behalf should the comic fail, and much more potential for profit should it take off and become animated/get a video game/movie/etc. In the US the mainstream comics feel more limited to their pre-existing characters (Supes, Batman, X-Men, etc). As such it’s harder to break in to and publishers are less willing to go for smaller unknown series.

I’m not saying these generalizations are 100% true on both sides of the ocean, but they do hold some water. I think with the advent of manga in the US and it’s growing rise in popularity you’ll see more US artists break out and publish in the style that Japan has going (an actual storyline with a beginning, middle, and end) and less of the infinitely long bullshit that we have (I love Superman and all, but god damnit, just end the fucking series).

If you’re drawing inspiration from a specific artist that is 100% fine. It takes a long time to develop your own style, and with the confidence and determination you’re expressing here I hope you keep up with it and you’ll eventually grow in to your own and be able to churn work out at an incredible pace.

So show us your unwavering will. I’m holding you to your word of a drawing a week, but I hope you bump it up to one sketch a day and one complete piece a week. 10-15 minutes a day on a sketch is not hard to do, and you should be doing that anyways.

But yeah, building shots would be nice. If people could see how you go from the base idea to a complete piece I’m sure you’d get lots more pointers on what to do, as well as ideas on how to correct common anatomy errors.

Note: My previous post was too long, so to create less clutter, I opted for a new post.

Btw, my short+ goal is to create a 15-20 pager. I have sequential art experience, just not to that extent. I probably have a total of 15 pages under my belt. Granted they’re not the same story, but bits here and there. My first attempt at comics was a Street Fighter 3S fan comic that went to complete shit. I was too ambitious; basically my plate was bigger than my stomach. The art of storytelling is no joke. A good comic requires S-tier technical prowess. Any decent artist can create good 1 shots, but it takes a real artist to tell a story visually(and be good at it). I went into sequentials feeling fairly good about myself. I came out feeling like a fucking amoeba. And that was only 2 or 3 years ago. It was a good learning experience though, very humbling.

My first chapter will probably be the street fighter comic I never finished. If it ever comes to realization, SRK will be the first to witness it; General Discussion to get some exposure. It probably won’t happen until 2009 however. Time is limited. Food/shelter > draw.

Also, before I said I am heavily influence by Miura. If you ever see his work, you’ll know it was him. He is OG. He draws everything. He doesn’t rely much on digital effects. It’s all lines and a few tones. Clouds, grass, sticks, shadows, the stuff we take for granted, he draws by hand. It’s like comparing a real painting to a digital one. Oils > digital. His line weights, feathering, attention to detail, pacing and storytelling abilities are ahead of his time in Japan. His recent stuff deviates a bit (he works with a studio now), but the core of Berserk art is pencil and ink. You won’t see too many photoshoped cop-outs. That’s his style. OG, by hand. That’s what I try to incorporate into my style. I stand by my belief that he is the best manga-ka to have ever graced Japan, speaking from a technical standpoint. I think Tenjou Tenge, Hikaru no Go, HnI, GTO, and all the other great mangas look good but Berserk is just on its own level. There’s everyone else, and then there’s Miura.

I would love to do 1 piece a day, but for now I’ll stick to 1 a week. My biggest weakness is fatigue. If I’m tired after a long days work, I just don’t have it in me. 7 and 8 day work weeks will do that. Especially consecutively. 3 weeks worth of work in 2 weeks time. My manager needs to die, but I digress. My days off are when the creative juices start flowing.

Right now I’m working on a finshed product level 1-shot. I never planned it that way, but it’s taking up most of my time right now. I only planned a penciled figure, with no backround. It’s in the final ink and toning stages, complete with backround. If I like something a lot, I an willed to ink it (it’s rare, but it happens) and modify it. I try to avoid this because my inking is fairly strong, so there isn’t a need to improve it. If my inks are gorgeous on the ugliest picture in the world, it won’t change the fact that it’s ugly. Anyways, I’m not doing any leveling up from my latest work because I’m indulging as an artist.

Once 2009 hits, I can go part time for sure. That’s when my skills will really develop, I think. It’s like macro and micro. I don’t know anything about business, but macro is like riding a bike; once you learn you never forget. Micro on the other hand is like mathematics. I don’t remember shit. So unless I’m drawing at least every other-day, I won’t get better. My drawing ability rarely gets better, because I don’t have the time to stay constant with it. Basically, use it or lose it. Right now it’s on and off drawing, sometimes going days without. Anyways, I’m just keeping the fire going, so to speak. 2009 is when I get serious.

I’ll post 1 picture a day until my current piece. Expect one tomorrow. You won’t be disappointed. I leveled up considerably from the Guts pic to the next. I purposefully posted one of my crappiest pictures for a reason; progression. Hopefully each time I post, the viewer will see some progress. Unfortunately, there is no ‘building shot’ for the next drawing. For some reason, I was just on fire. Just started drawing, and bam! It came out in no time. No hype, just opinion.:wonder:

I used to work 7/12 and I found that’s when I would be the most creative. After work I would come home and sketch for like an hour before passing out while watching TV or something. Now I work 5/9 and I only doodle maybe once a week.

Don’t ask me why, I’m just weird.

Try and put in 15-30 minutes a day if you can. Just sketching. Don’t even worry about inks yet, just work on anatomy and design. That’s what I did.

Maybe that’s why I suck at anything other than sketching.\


I’d go with the 60 second random poses until you’re comfortable completing them. It’s a sketch, not a finished drawing. You’re going for anatomical correctness and recognition of the body, not detail. Move up to 30 second sketches and do them for like 5-10 minutes as a warm up. You’ll be amazed how much this helps.

It’s dangerous to go alone.

Good luck.


This is ‘Monster’ Ippo. He is a featherweight class boxer, but I’d say he’s in the heavies in this picture. I guess he wants to take on Takamura. Makunouchi is known for his power, so I wanted to emphasize that. A lot of time spent was just looking blankly at an empty page. ‘What should I draw? Hmm…’ After I figured it out, I just whipped it out in decent time.

The only reference I had was a picture of Ippo for his trunks and gloves. The pose is original. I omitted the Japanese symbol on the back of his trunks because drawing foreign alphabets usually looks horrid in general. I’m sure if a native Japanese person saw the kanji on the back of Akuma fanarts, he/she would notice the ugliness right away. I’m Korean, so when I see fudged hangul, it takes away from the drawing.


*Dynamic pose
*Emphasis of power
*Heavier line-weights around borders


This is a small sample of the 3s comic that went to hell.

Basically, a SF player in the real world starts playing another revision of SF3 (notice the extra character slots), and gets sucked into the gameplay.

This is a rendition of Cloud Strife. His outfit is loosely based on Cloud’s Advent Children getup. I think heavier line weights in certain areas would have made him jump out more. Oh well, live and learn. I do have a rough sketch if anyone is interested. I’m too lazy to scan it in for the time being. Maybe tomorrow. Time to get some sleep.

either you’re running out of room, or you don’t like to draw feet. i’d like to be able to see them drawn in the posts to come.

i like that you have individual focuses for each peace. you sound very focused and dedicated. i love the ippo one… looks like he’s gazelle punching. i think you could bend/twist his torso somehow to convey more tension…something to show that there is even more power in his hips. you can see tension in the forearm muscle group you’ve drawn. i also think that line weight should be directed not only at the “borders” of the drawing, but at also at the points that have tension(among other things)…just like you’ve shown in that forearm area. but yeah…tension, imo, sells powerful action.

dude, with your attitude you’ll definitely get there. keep it up.

Punch Drunk

Wow, it’s been awhile since I posted last. Unfortunately, I’ve been out, due to illness. I feel much better now, but I have some catching up to do. Hopefully, I’ll finish up my currently delayed one-shot by Wednesday.

Shubacca, thanks for the encouragement. I’ll keep your words in mind next time I draw by including feet. Before, feet were low on my priority, so I didn’t care if I cut them off. Now that you mention it, I’ll make sure to allow myself adequate space for them.

Unfortunately, this next drawing I’m posting isn’t going to live up to your expectations. I didn’t intend to cut them out, but it looks intentional. This was my interpretation of a co-worker. I was going by memory, so it looks absolutely nothing like her. The plan was to do a drawing of her as a gift for her birthday. Oh well, screw it. Maybe next time. Anyways, I just whipped it out. I didn’t put as much love into this one as I should have. It was a drawing for the sake of drawing. Time to move on. Next.

College Beauty

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it. I really don’t have any excuses. Lack of drive/motivation and laziness did the trick. Anyways, it feels like I’ve been working on this for far too long. It’s time to move on. The purpose of this page was to see for myself what a finished, production-value page would look like. I’m satisfied for the most part. I was 15 hours into Final Fantasy 12, and it just hit me that I was wasting my time (great game, btw). Anyways…

MangaStudio was a bitch to work with. I like the program, but a lot of times, it’s a real pain. Toning can be a chore. What’s great about MS is the ability to export files to Photoshop. Unfortunately, the feature is far from acceptable. There are certain tools in PS that I prefer to use, but the since exporting degraded the image, the feature wasn’t worth using. There are a plethora of options, so I may be overlooking something, thus resulting in the degradation.

The first image is a collage of the different stages it took. First there were the pencils. Since originally, I had no plans to finish this page, I only penciled the character. The backround was penciled near the end-stage of completion. I don’t really have much experience drawing backrounds, so I’m satisfied how it turned out. From now on, I will try to include bakcrounds with every drawing. Also, I had planned to add falling sakura petals for the final details. It would’ve added more atmosphere to the page, but I just wanted to get this shit over with. I hate lingering on any one thing.

Inks were next of course. Miura includes vast amounts of detail in his manga, so I wanted to start incorporating that into my pages. I was trying something different with the inks on the jacket. Unfortunately, it did not turn out so well. However, it is the job of the artist to mask and/or work around mistakes/undesirables. I opted to take attention away from that area with toning.

Lastly, there was the toning stage. Toning shouldn’t have taken much time, but I got owned. It’s not technically challenging, but my lack of experience with MangaStudio was evident. It’s a love/hate relationship, but I think I will use MS exclusively from now on for all my manga needs. Photoshop lacks various tools for this line of work unfortunately.

I’m leaning towards drawing street fighter characters for the next few weeks. After that, maybe I’ll get started on that comic. Anyways, here are the pics (20% size):


Just messing around with some character designs. Planning on working on a 10-page or so comic. These abominations will definately not see the light of day.

click thumbnail for larger image


I think this will be the main character. Not sure what her name is yet. She’s looking for her old man, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a child. ‘X’ (for a lack of a name) is a happy-go-lucky kid. She has a fun personality and doesn’t take anything too seriously. ‘X’ is always smiling, but that doesn’t reflect what she’s actually feeling. Underneath the forced facade, lies a poisoned soul. Sounds like your typical, troubled child backround that’s been done many times before.

‘happy’ is not a personality!

Wow, thanks for the constructive criticism. You have saved me from epic disaster. Is ‘bubbly’ a more valid personality?

Impressive stuff overall. I admire your passion and thoughts put into each piece.

Your anatomy could use a little more work, but whose doesn’t? The main thing you want to pay attention to is how muscles link together. Also hands and feet! They don’t have to be super realistic but if you’re not up to par with your hands and feet, it could really bring your work down.

I know the design for the little girl isn’t fleshed out but right now I don’t see how a 13yr old can hold a sword that big with one arm. Frankly the “weakling with giant sword” seems a bit overdone to me. Maybe if you give her some magic gauntlets. Personally I think a dagger will suit the ‘lonely orphan girl looking for a father’ better. I dig the 3 finger gloves.