Video Summary

Let’s get started with Part 2 – getting in the right mindset.

Image regarding getting in the right mindset

Now that you know where to start at, you probably want to dive right into drawing. You know, begin laying out that scene with primitives and detailing it to your heart’s desire.

However, before you do that, have you really given a thought about what you’re doing? Is this drawing going to be just another drawing or a stunning masterpiece? That all depends on how you view, treat, and think about your work.

Putting your mind in the correct state before you start something is another crucial, but often overlooked step in today’s society. People rush into things and often don’t give a second thought about what they are doing or why they are doing it. This is sad, because this simple process can have a tremendous impact on your final product.

Image regarding drawing is not a complex math formula

Having said that, what do you think of when you start drawing? Do you just think of your drawing as a bunch of lines and shapes? Do you draw a circle and then split it into 4 equal areas? Perhaps, one for the eyes, nose, and mouth (e.g. like this)?

If that sounds like you, then you’re probably in the wrong mindset. You’re thinking of your character like it’s some kind of complex math formula, rather than what it really is—a living and breathing person.

A manga character isn’t just shapes and lines. If you can’t visualize your model this way, then don’t be surprised if your drawing ends up looking like – well, like a bunch of lines and shapes. The tricky part is – how to avoid thinking like this.

Image regarding transforming drawing into tracing

And that is a good question.

For me, I’ve found the easiest way to do avoid this is by NOT thinking of my canvas as a piece of paper. No, if you do that, you’re already going down the wrong direction and into 2D realm.

Rather, I think of my piece of paper as a glass window looking into a small world. Then, if I want to take a snapshot of that world, all I have to do is trace over everything with my pencil and I have a finished drawing. In essence, I’ve transformed the difficult task of drawing into a much easier and fun form of tracing.

Image regarding the primary benefits of getting in the right mindset

Now that was just my way of getting in the right mindset. Everyone is different and there are countless other ways to accomplish the same thing. However, regardless of tactic, the benefits are always the same.

  • First, it will save you time and headaches in the long run. Drawing without having a clear picture in your head will almost certainly lead to a vicious cycle of trial and error. You’ll draw something, not like it, erase it and repeat the process. Although this works great for brainstorming, once you start detailing, you need a pretty good picture of thing you’re drawing or you’ll end up wasting a bunch of time.
  • Second, you’re drawings will look more unique and interesting if you are able to think of your drawings as being more than just lines and shapes. Trust me, making that bond between you and your drawing will have a tremendous impact on the quality of your finished product. Some artists like Pygmalion go to the extreme and fall in love with their work. You don’t have to go that far, but definitely strive to get close to it.
  • Third, it unleashes the creativity in your work. Opening up your mind and letting the ideas come to life is what drawing is all about. It’s a trait that every artist regardless of occupation needs to learn. It’s your imagination and creativity that turns a piece of art into a true masterpiece. If you take away the former, then you might as well just take a picture with your camera rather than to sit down and draw.

And that’s it for this video. Basically, take a few moments before each drawing session to gather your thoughts, don’t think of your drawing as a complex formula, and let your imagination go wild and you’re going to be fine.

Thanks for watching.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions — anything at all — please feel free to post them on my webpage at or on any of my social sites. If you like what you’ve saw and don’t want to miss another episode, please subscribe to this channel or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Again, thanks so much for watching, and have a great time drawing!