The Ultimate Mangaka Starter Pack II: Colours and Screentones!


Ben here! Welcome back to The Ultimate Mangaka Starter Pack! If you haven’t read part one (Pencils and Inking) check it out because this week we’re jumping straight into colour!

As far as first impressions go, colour is make-or-break! If your manga looks like it’s been scribbled with a biro you’re not going to get very far (unless it’s intentional, of course). If you followed my advice last week your equipment for pencils and inks should be good to go so let’s jump right in!

Colouring pens

The Pro Route: Copic Set B Ciao Marker (£181.70)

Getting Started: Letraset ProMarker Student Designer Set (£36.99)

Ciao Markers

Just look at these beauties…I may be getting carried away.

If you’ve ever spent two minutes on Instagram you’ll have seen the words ‘copic markers’ at least twelve times. And for good reason. Even established pros are known to use copic markers. Check out some of the awesome artwork for WhytManga (Apple Black) and you’ll see why! There really isn’t a better way to go.

Unfortunately, there’s a massive range of prices for these beauties. The Ciao Markers used by the incredible WhytManga will set you back £181.70. More than worth the price for a whopping 72 markers in a range of colours that should cover everything you’re likely to need. But if you’re just starting out you’d be better off trying your hand with a cheaper package.

Letraset make great markers that will more than suffice as you’re learning the ropes. Even after you’re good with them the Student Designer Set should give you plenty of options with 24 markers and a handy carrying case.



Marker toning: Letraset ProMarker Set – Neutral Tones (£9.79)

Screen tones: Deleter Manga Writing Screen Tone (£17.88)

Letraset Pro Markers 12 packs bundle

‘But what if you’re not going for colour?’ I hear you ask, ‘Most manga is black and white anyway!’

And you’d be right! If you’re sticking with black and white you probably don’t want to a massive pack of colour markers.

So, your options are:

  1. Marker toning
  2. Screen tones

Marker tones are exactly what it says on the tin. Pick up some Letraset markers and use the various shades to create shadows. Simples.

But if you want to create an authentic manga experience you’re better off going for screen tones. Unfortunately, that means shelling out a lot more of that hard-earned dosh. I must admit I’ve never taken the leap and tried screen tones but the effect is fantastic. They come in a number of varieties; as a rule, the higher the percentage, the darker the tone. There are also a number of ways to achieve this effect digitally which I’ll explore in a later post but almost every mangaka you’ve ever seen uses traditional methods. If you want to continue that proud tradition you’re a braver artist than I.Next time we show the world!

Next time we show the world!


So, whether you’re going for colours or tones you’re ready to go! Come back next week when we’ll be taking your manga from the page to the screen and showing the world your awesome new manga.

Don’t miss The Ultimate Mangaka Starter Pack! Part 3: Scanners and Software!

3 thoughts on “The Ultimate Mangaka Starter Pack II: Colours and Screentones!

    1. Technically screen tones are the sheets I linked to but digital and other greys would be toning of a kind I suppose, haha. Thanks!


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