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Tutorials and artistic advices

Manga: Creating screen effects

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Scraping, hatching, pointillist effects… use a utility knife on your screens to improve your professional rendering!


What you need to know

You can do scraping and shading with two different parts of a utility knife's blade: the beveled edge of the tip (1) and the tip (2).


1. Scraping with the tip of the utility knife


This is the most classical method for making straight line incisions and hatching. This is a way to shade your screens.

By pulling the blade towards yourself:

  • Hold the utility knife at a deep slant (almost parallel to the sheet of paper).
  • After starting on the screen with the tip of your utility knife, draw a line by pressing firmly until midpoint, then gradually easing the pressure.
  • Repeat the action to obtain a series of parallel lines.


By pulling the blade outward:

  • Hold the utility knife very close to the tip to control it and almost perpendicular to the sheet of paper.
  • Make an incision by reducing the pressure little by little.
  • Repeat the process, making sure the hatching lines are parallel.


2. Scraping with the beveled edge of the tip


This is done to expose the surface of the paper by scraping the screen. You need to practice, because practicing this technique makes perfect!


Cloud effect:

  • Hold the utility knife very close to the tip and make sure that the beveled edge of the tip is what comes into contact with the screen.
  • Scrape using circular mini movements.


Pointillist effect:

  • Tap the beveled edge of the tip to scrape off any tiny scales from the screens.
  •  Vary the density of the dots for a gradated effect.



​Flame effect:  

  • Hold the utility knife the same way as for the cloud effect.
  • Draw long wavy scrolls by varying the utility knife's pressure on the screen.


Suggested products

Canson® XL® Bristol

See also

Manga: Drawing a character's body
Astuce Manga : Dessiner le corps d’un personnage
Do your characters have some proportion issues? Do your male and female characters look the same?
Manga : Creating a character
Astuce Manga :Créer un personnage
The hero is your manga’s key figure: he's the one who structures the story and whom your readers will identify with.