We’re back! And we’ve got a great new color tutorial to bring you today, it’s Yoko from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann requested by user Kenpachi. Make sure to post your finished drawing in your user gallery to get feedback from other users! A quick bio for you. Yoko is the main female protagonist in TTGL, who works alongside her male counterpart Kamina (whose tutorial you can find here), to battle and destroy the Gunmen who have attacked a neighboring villiage. She’s incredibly good with guns and she’s weaponized with all kinds of cool machine guns and missles. She’s definitely worth checking out! I’ve done some coloring at the end of today’s tutorial but if you don’t have markers or colored pencils you can always do a little shading in different shades of grey at the end, using your pencil. Well, let’s get our materials together and learn how to draw Yoko!
Step 1 Step 01: Just a reminder to all of our mangakas that all of the blue and green lines you see in this tutorial are only construction lines and will be erased later on, so don't press too hard on your pencil when drawing these lines. Our final lines you'll see in black at the end of the tutorial. We're going to begin with our head circle, center and eye lines. Let's start by drawing a large head circle in the center of our paper. We want to be sure to leave enough room arond the head circle for Yoko's hair and sweater.
Pro Tip 1: When drawing your head circle go around a few times very lightly with your pencil to get a nice outline of a circle, as it can be quite hard to draw a circle free hand. Then trace your head circle over the outline you have made. Next, we're going to draw our center and eye lines. The center line is vertical and is shifted just slightly to the left of center. Our eye line is horizontal. We also want to add a small dash mark towards the end of the center line to help us mark out where the chin will be (the green dash). Then we'll add the center and eye lines, and the small chin dash (the green dash near the bottom of the center line in the image above). The center line divides the head circle in half and extends a little above but well below the head circle. The eye line is a flat horizontal.
Pro Tip 2: Measurements: The eye line is a little less than 1/4 of a head circle up from the bottom of the head circle. The distance between where the center and eye lines intersect and the dash mark for the chin is equal to a little less than half of a head circle. So if you're head circle is 10cm in diameter then the eye line will be about 2.5 cm up from the bottom of the head circle and the dash mark about 4.5-5cm from the intersection point.
Step 2 Step 02: In most of the steps I've labeled the lines or the areas in the order they should be drawn. That way you can clearly see what I'm writing about and it's a little easier to describe each step. We're going to be following our general rule of drawing lines and areas from top to bottom and left to right. Here, we'll begin with the jaw line on the left (line #1), drawing a curving line from the head circle on the left where it meets the eye line, down to the chin dash. Then, on the right side of the head circle we'll do the same thing (line #2) making Yoko's chin pretty pointy in the end.
Pro Tip: This is a general trick with female manga characters, typically their chins are more pointy and their noses are quite dainty and small -- this gives them their feminity.
For areas #3 and #4 we just need to draw vertical ellipses (taller than wide) for the eyes on either side of the center line and with their bottom resting on the eye line. Lastly, in area #5 we need to draw the very small "c" shape for the nose and the small upside down "U" for the mouth. You really can't make these too small, see the note above, and we can always make these features a little bigger later on if we need to.
Step 3 Step 03: Time to add some of Yoko's features. We'll begin with the eye area on the left (area #1). Begin by drawing the long "c" shaped line around the eye shape we drew in the previous step making sure not to go all the way to the eye line. Then above that line, we'll draw the small dash line over the right corner, and then the long arching eyebrow above that. Then, just below the eye and the eye line, we'll add the short dash for the lower lid. Now, moving over to the eye on the right (area #2) we'll do exactly the same thing but with two small changes. Firstly, the line around the eye shape will come to a point in the outer corner and isn't smooth like the eye on the left. Also, the eyebrow line should be slightly higher on the right than on the left. The last thing to do in this step is add the large "C" shape on the left for the Yoko's ear.
Step 4 Step 04: A little tougher step here, mangakas, but we'll have no trouble. Begin by drawing the hair spike that bends to the left on the top of the head starting where the center line touches the head circle (line #1). Next, we're going to draw the "death hair clip" (area #2). Start by drawing a simple horizontal ellipse (wider than tall) on the top left of the head circle just to the left of the hair spike. Then, add the wavy line on the bottom of the ellipse to form the skull's teeth. Next, line #3, we're going to be drawing the irregularly shaped "W" like hair segment for the bangs. It's probably easiest to begin in the upper left quadrant of the head circle and then to finish up with the little curl at the top near the center line. This way we can draw from left to right and not smudge our drawing. Lines #4 and #5 are long wavy lines on either side of the head that start on the left where the eye line meets the head circle and on the right just above the eye line. Finally, there's line #6, the slightly irregular line between lines #4 and #5 that overlaps just the bottom of the chin. This will be for the top of Yoko's sweater.
Step 5 Step 05: In this step, we're going to be drawing lines for hair segments and adding a bit to the sweater. Let's begin with line #1 on the left side of the head, drawing a long wavy line. Line #2 is a large "c"-like shape that goes from the hair spike on the top of the head down to line #1. Now, moving over to the right side of the head we have to draw the long wavy line #3 from the hair spike at the top of the head all the way down to the bottom of our drawing (it can overlap the corner of the ear). Starting above that on the hair spike, we'll draw the upside down checkmark line #4 that goes all the way to the edge of our paper. You can make it stop a little shorter if you'd like to keep a margin on your paper. Line #5 is the simple "V" shaped hair segment above the eye on the left. And line #6 is a connecting line between the death brooch in Yoko's hair and the hair line. Line #7 is the curving line that runs across the face, just below the nose, and connects the two hair lines on the left and right. Lastly, with lines #8 and #9 we need to create the bottom of the collar of Yoko's sweater between the two hair lines.
Step 6 Step 06: Here's the full image for step 06. If you go down to step 06(a), I've zoomed in on the upper part of the face so it's easier to make out the details. Let's skip ahead for a description.
Step 7 Step 06(a): Here you can see the zoomed image from step 06. Let's go from left to right, starting with the "v" shaped hair segment on the left and the line right next to it. We'll skip the eyes for a moment and finish the rest of the hair and brooch first. Near the top of the head circle on the left there's a small dash line. Then, moving over to the right, we need to add the two half circles slightly titled to make the eyes of the death clip. Next to the hair clip are a few irregular lines for the hair. Now, back to the eyes. Inside each eye, we'll draw a vertical ellipse in the center of the eye. Then above that and overlapping slightly we'll draw a half circle or "c" shape. Then, in the bottom right corner of both eyes, we'll add a small circle. Lastly, we just want to go around the upper lids of both eyes once more leaving a little space between the new lid line and the old one.
Step 8 Step 07: This is our last step before we trace our final lines so we need to finish Yoko's hair and sweater. In areas #1 and #2 on the left side of the head there are a few hair segments to add. Then, moving over to the other side of the head, we'll draw the small line #3 at the top, the "z" line on the hair clip for line #4 and the three hair segments in area #5 beginning with the larger middle hair segment and then adding the one above and the one below it. In area #6, we need to finish the collar of the sweater by drawing wavy lines between the top and bottom lines of the collar. There's also a small squiggly line uner the chin to add. You can begin by drawing the wavy line directly under the center line and then add two more to the left and two to the right. In areas #7 and #8 we just need to add the inverted "v" shape to connect the two wavy hair lines together on the left and on the right. Lastly, for areas #9 and #10 we just need to draw some simple curves for the shoulders.
Step 9 Step 08: And that does it for our construction lines, mangakas! So use your eraser to lighten all of the lines that we've made so far. Then get our your finishing pen and trace your final lines in black.
Pro Tip: At first, just get a nice outline in thin black lines. Don't worry about filling or anything for now. Just do a nice outline. In fact, you might want to skip the eyes completely as the next step zooms in on the eyes so that you can see the detail work to do there.
Step 10 Step 08(a): Now that you've got a nice outline in black, let's go back to the eyes for a second and do them correctly. Tracing: Notice that the small half circle shape in the top left corner of the eye is cut out of the oval shape of the eye. Line quality: We want the upper lids and the outer line of the eye to be quite thick, so go over these areas a few times with your pen to thicken them up. You'll also notice that in the lower half of the pupil inside the eye we want to thicken it to get a pronounced "U" like shape there. And that's it for the eyes.
Step 11 Step 09: You can completely erase any remaining construction lines that you can see. If you haven't filled in the eyes on the death hair clip in black yet, go ahead and do that now. This gives us a great black and white of Yoko and we could just finish here. But, if you want to do some coloring see the next couple of steps for that. If you don't want to color but you'd like to do some shading feel free to use the color scheme in the next step to set your different levels of grey.
Step 12 Step 10: The color scheme I've chosen includes three different colors of pink/red, two different colors of yellow for the eyes and a peach/cream color for the skin. You can always do a single shade of each color and just press harder on your colored pencil to get a darker shade. As I said in the previous step, if instead of coloring you'd just like to do some shading then you follow this color scheme to get different shades of grey.
Pro tip: As always with shading, so too with coloring. We always want to mark out any areas that will be shaded or colored differently from there surroundings in pencil first. Then we can just go back and color in between the lines, making it much easier.
So in the image above you can see that I've marked some areas #1-#4. We should definitely mark out these areas first in pencil and then color the image. Areas 1 and 2 are in Yoko's hair and we want them to be lighter than the surrounding hair. But if you take a look at areas 3 and 4, these are shaded areas that we want darker than the surrounding hair. Also, pay special attention to the eyes and the light/darkness of the yellow in the eyes.
Step 13 Step 11: Once you've finished up with your coloring or shading, give everything a minute to dry and take a look. You've just drawn the lethal Yoko from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann! If your goal is to become a great mangaka make sure to draw Yoko again from memory. Then compare the final drawing with the original and correct any mistakes you might have made. Try once again from memory. This is the best way to build a huge library of shapes that you can use in the future for your own manga characters.
Draw with passion! -_^
Text by Locke001