Welcome back, mangakas! As we kick off a new week of drawing with a color tutorial of Tsukuyo from Gintama requested by user Dekko. Tsukuyo is also known as the Death God Courtesan. And her nickname says it all. She’s a former prostitute who scars herself to get out of the business and take up being a ninja. She becomes the leader of the all female police force responsible for monitoring all the girls in the red light district. But instead of arresting any girl who wants to run away, she scars them like herself and takes them under her wing to train them to become an elite fighting force. One thing you can say about her is that she’s always deadly serious ^_^! I’d rank this tutorial in the intermediate level, it’s fairly straightforward but the hair and hair pin can be a little tricky. I’ve done some coloring in the last step that you can do too if you have colored pencils or markers at hand. If not, you can always just do some shading in either grey marker or pencil. For more information about how to color with markers see my new How to Colorize tutorial here. You can enlarge any step by simply clicking on the image. When the image is enlarged you can scroll through the steps without text (as a slide show) by clicking the left and right arrows. Well, let’s get our materials together and learn how to draw Tsukuyo!
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 around the head circle for Tsukuyo’s hair and her neck.
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. 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). So 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 both quite far above and below the head circle. The eye line is a flat horizontal.
Pro Tip 2: Measurements: The eye line is between 1/6 and 1/7 of a head circle up from the bottom of the head circle. The chin dash on the center line is a little more than 1/2 a head circle from the intersection of the center and eye lines. So if your head circle were 10cm in diameter then the eye line would be about 1.5 cm from the bottom of the head circle and the chin dash would be about 5.5 cm from the intersection of the eye and center lines.
Step 02: In each step I’ve labeled the lines or areas with numbers in red in the order they should be drawn. This will also make it easier to describe the lines and shapes to draw. So here, we’re going to begin with lines 1 and 2, the jaw lines. Begin on the left of the head circle where the eye line meets the head circle and draw a curving line down to the chin dash. Then, move over to do the same thing on the right. Tsukuyo should have a narrow jaw with a smooth, round chin. If your chin is too pointy or your jaw too wide, take a minute now to correct them. Next, we’ll draw the thin but long half circles for the eyes (area #3) on the eye line. They should be really quite thin. Lastly, we’ll draw the crumpled line for the mouth (line #4).
Step 03: We’ll continue to add features here by drawing the cup handle shape for the ear on the left (#1). Then #2, the eye on the left, where we’ll begin by drawing the almost complete circle inside the eye for the iris/pupil and then we’ll add the line for the lower lid. Move over to the right and we’ll do the same thing for the eye on the right (#3).
Pro Tip: It’s important that the line for the lower lid doesn’t touch the line for the upper lid. There should be a large gap in the inner corner of the eyes.
In area #4 we just need to add the two small dash marks for the nostrils. Then, moving own to area #5 we need to draw the two vertical lines that curve outward at the bottom for the neck. The neck line on the right should be slightly longer than the one on the left and the curve should be slightly deeper than on the left.
Step 04: Just some more detailing in this step. We’ll begin by drawing the mark on her forehead which is a flat line and then a small titled vertical line intersecting it to the left of the center line (area #1). Next, we’ll do area #2, the eye on the left. We can begin here inside the eye by drawing a very tiny circle in the middle of the iris on the eye line and then a larger circle to the upper left. Just above the eye we’ll draw the shorter line for the upper lid and then above that the longer line for the eyebrow. We’ll move over to the right and do the same thing to the eye on the right but with a small difference (area #3). We need to add Tsukuyo’s signature scar starting on the bottom center of the eye on the right, draw a slightly curving line down into the jaw area and then add some small dashes on the line for stitch marks. Just to the right of the scar on the bottom of the eye are two dashes to add for eyelashes. Lastly, we’ll add the two small dash marks to the mouth (#4).
Step 05: Although this step might look tough with a lot of free floating lines, it really shouldn’t be too hard. We’ll begin by drawing the large 3/4 of a circle shape in the upper center of the head (#1), this is for Tsukuyo’s bun in her hair. Then (#2), on the left, starting about 3/4 of the way up the head circle we’ll draw the long hair segment overlapping the ear and then the smaller hair segment immediately next to that which overlaps the outer corner of the eye on the left. Next, #3, we should draw the upside down “L” shape to help us mark the bangs starting on the center line. Still on the center line, but just below the “L”, we need to add another slightly sloping line to the right. These lines will be important in future steps to finish up her hair. Lastly, (#4), we just need to draw the hair segment on the right starting on the eye line and ending up inside the upper part of the head circle.
Step 06: Let’s keep the momentum going with Tsukuyo’s hair. We’re going to begin this step at the very top of the head by drawing the flower like shape on the top of her hair. Let’s start by drawing the small hair segment on the left sticking up (#1) that starts on the top left of the hair bun shape. On the top right of the bun we’ll draw a slightly longer hair segment (#2). Then to the right of #1, we’ll draw a vertical line and then between that line and #2, we’ll draw the “^” shape for #3. Next, from the bottom left of hair segment #1 we’ll draw the long curving line (#4) down to about the ear. We’ll do the same thing on the right for line #5, starting at the bottom right of hair segment #2, and extending down past the eye line. For line #6 we need to draw a “z” shaped line connecting the two hair segments from the previous step. There are four hair spikes to draw in area #7. They get longer and thicker as you move to the right and we can use the bang line we drew in the previous step as our guide line. To finish up this step, just move down to the bottom of the neck (area #8) and there are two “L” shaped lines to draw, one on either side of the neck, for the shoulders.
Step 07: Just some more hair details here. In the flower shape (area #1) on the top of Tsukuyo’s head we need to add some lines inside the hair spikes for details, and then we’ll add two more small “V” shaped hair spikes just on the right side of the flower shape. In area #2 we need to draw the outline of the hairpin which is a straight line with an ellipse on the end on both sides of the hair bun and then we’ll draw the row of lines on the bun itself. Just below the bun there’s a thin squiggly line to draw. On the left side of the head (area #3) we just need to add the line to each hair segment and then there are two lines to draw in the hair above the ear. Area #4 and #5 are the same, just a few lines to add to the hair segments to break them up a little bit. That’s it for this step.
Step 08: Here’s what our finished step 8 should look like. I decided to use green for lines in the hair because they overlap other blue lines and I didn’t want it to be confusing. But, remember, the green lines are construction lines just like the blue ones, so there’s no difference. Skip ahead to step 08(a) to get a zoomed image of the hair pin.
Step 08(a): We want to begin this step by drawing the rest of the hair pin and the tassels first, only then will we draw the ‘green’ hair lines. I’ll describe how to draw the hair pin on the left and then you should do the same thing on the right. We’ll begin by drawing the “eye” of the hair pin inside the ellipse at the end. Then, we’ll draw the irregular tassel shape coming off the hair pin. Next, from the ellipse shape at the end of the pin we’ll draw the rectangle on the hair pin line. Finally, we’ll draw the diamond shape next to the hair bun. To do this, it’s probably easiest to draw the upper and lower lines of the diamond first, connecting these lines to the top and bottom of the rectangle on the hair pin. Then, you can draw the third line in between the other two and finally draw the lines connecting these three together to form the 3D diamond shape we want. Do the same thing on the right. When the hair pin is finished just add the hair lines which you can see in green in the image above.
Step 09: That does it for our construction lines, mangakas! Take out your finishing pen and trace your final lines in black.
Pro Tip 1: At first, just get a nice outline in thin black lines. Don’t worry about filling anything in, or working on line quality, just get a nice thin outline first.
Pro Tip 2: Skip ahead to step 09(a) for a close up of the eyes and the eye area.
Filling: Except for the pupils of the eyes, there’s no filling to be done.
Line Quality: Again, except for the eye area there’s very little line quality to worry about. You can, however, thicken the lines for the jaw, the hair bun, the flower shaped hair segments at the top of the head slightly as these are just a little thicker than the lines for the rest of the hair and the nose/mouth.
Step 09(a): As you can see, I’ve zoomed in on the eyes so you can see how to get your final lines right. Problem spot: Inside the eye, we drew two circles, a small circle in the middle for the pupil and the larger circle to the upper left of the pupil. But, when we trace out final lines we don’t want to trace the whole second circle. So, use my example as a guide to get yours right.
Line quality: The eyebrows, upper and lower lids and the line that makes up the iris should be quite thick.
Filling: The only filling is the small circle for the pupil in the very middle of the eye.
Step 10: Give your ink a minute to dry and then completely erase any remaining construction lines that you can see.
Step 11: Here, we have two choices. You can just do some shading in pencil or grey marker or you can color your image using markers or colored pencils.
Pro Tip 1: If you’re going to color your tutorial, I’d recommend checking out my new mini-tutorial on coloring here.
Pro Tip 2: There’s one general rule about coloring and shading. And that is that you want to mark out the areas that you want or don’t want to color/shade FIRST and then go back and shade them in or color them in.
To give you an example: Tsukuyo’s hair is mostly green, except for the lower parts which are darker and some areas in the hair that look like lightening bolts that are completely white. So, at first I would mark out in pencil the bottoms of the hair and then I would draw the lightening bolt shapes inside the hair also in pencil. Then, I’d color in the bottom in dark green, the rest of the hair in light green, and just leave the lightening bolt shapes empty. The same thing applies to shading. So, I have shaded the bottom of Tsukuyo’s chin and the upper half of the neck in grey. But I only did that after I marked out the wavy line on her neck in pencil first. This way you’ll minimize mistakes. And since it’s your last step, you don’t want to start all over again because of a coloring mistake ^_-!
Once you’ve finished your shading or coloring, give everything a minute to dry and take a look. You’ve just drawn the inimitable Tsukuyo from Gintama! If your goal is to become a great mangaka make sure to draw Tsukuyo 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