What Do Manga Artists Use To Draw Digitally?

A woman using a digital pen and tablet with a cup beside her
To draw digitally, manga artists use software like Corel Painter and Clip Studio Paint.

How simple those days were when Manga artists used to draw by hand, which consumed more time than one would have thought. In the old days, Manga artists had to put their blood sweat, and tears into drawing and wooing the audience.

However, times have changed and the advancement in technology has certainly made it easier for Manga artists to produce their work. Nowadays, mangakas can give more time to the plot and the character development as they don’t have to worry about other aspects like inking and coloring which used to consume hefty hours when done by hand.

With so much advancement, you can find software and tools for almost every aspect of creating manga. For instance, they generally use Clip Studio Paint for things like drawing, paneling, and layering the drawings. Editing, coloring, formatting, and cleaning on the other hand can be done by using Photoshop, PaintTool SAI, and Corel Painter.

Well, not every mangaka uses this software, around 20% of Mangakas are still using pen and paper to create their Manga. While 80% of Mangakas find digital software and tools easy and less time-consuming.

Manga is a huge industry and they’re skilled and experienced mangakas, so if you want your work to stand a chance in front of their work, I suggest you start with hand drawing, then shift to not-so-complicated software.

If you want to know which software is the best and can help you the most, I say you keep on reading.

What digital pen do Manga artists use?

There're many digital pens and tablets that you can use, but most mangakas use G-pens
There’re many digital pens and tablets that you can use, but most mangakas use G-pens

Technology had helped every artist by making their work easy to create. While there’re many digital pens that manga artists can use, most Mangakas use G-pens, Mapping pens, and Turnip Pens.

Other digital pens include:

  • Livescribe Symphony Smartpen.
  • Rocketbook Core Erasable Smart Pen.
  • Wacom Bamboo Ink 2nd Gen.
  • Neo Smartpen N2.
  • Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)
  • Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse.
  • SyncPen3.

Check out the table below to see how most Mangakas use G-Pen, Mapping pen, and Turnip Pen:

PenBest Features
G-PenPen pressure can be adjusted
(Can be perfect for drawing thick lines like outlines)
Mapping penDraws thin by default
(Can help with the details like hair and the inside of the eyes)
Turnip penMainly used for drawing softer lines
Pens with their features

Moreover, after investing in a digital pen and tablet, you can get new and advanced software like Corel Painter to help you draw better.

What do you need to draw Manga digitally?

Manga paved its own road to many countries which also include international countries. The first ever manga was created in 1814 by hand, however nowadays you’ll see manga created by every person who wants to create Manga, however, they may draw with the help of technology and not by hand which is a lot of work.

In order to create Manga you need a digital pen and a tablet, most mangaka are using Wacom pen tablets or creative pen displays, but there’re many digital pens that you can choose from.

So now that you have a digital pen and tablet, you would want to know some software and tools that can make it easier for you to draw manga.

Well, you can use Clip Studio Paint for drawing, paneling, and layering out the purposes of the drawings. As for coloring or editing, you can use Photoshop, PaintTool SAI, and Corel Painter.

In addition, digital drawing costs you less because there’re some things that you have to invest when you draw by hand.

Digital drawing will only cost you one time, but hand drawing will cost you more.
Digital drawing will only cost you one time, but hand drawing will cost you more.


A mangaka who draws by hand has to buy screen tones whenever they run out (which is way more often than you’d think), can cost them a fortune. However digital artists have it easy as they don’t need to replace the software once they run out of screen tones.

There’re mainly two types of digital screentone materials; one comes with your drawing software, and the other you can purchase from sites.

Nevertheless, if you have image editing software such as Photoshop, you can make yourself original screentone.

Furthermore, another downside of screentone in hand-drawn mange is that it’s supposed to be prepared by the buyer before use, meaning you’ll have to stick and then cut them properly, after that you have to press them so that they can stay on the paper.

Now, this may not sound time-consuming and tiresome, but let me tell you that it is. However, if you digitally draw your manga, you don’t have to go through that piece of work, you merely have to paste them onto a selection.


When you draw by hand, you need more than a pen, you need all kinds of rulers as well, which can help you keep a steady and even pressure on the pen in order to draw frames. In addition, you’ll also have to put your money into different kinds of pens if you want a change in the thickness of the frames.

Although, if you use digital software to draw Manga, you can easily adjust the thickness of your frames through the settings panel.

Keep in mind that frames in digital software could become bland as frame features from most software are already set to provide patterns that are used more often for frames.

However, worry not If you want to use frames with unorthodox shapes, because for that you can check the usability of the software’s frame tool by the means of a trial version.

What do Manga artists use to draw online?

While in the earlier days, Mangakas used to draw every aspect of manga by hand, today you can find every kind of software for every possible aspect of drawing manga.

In order to draw digitally, you first need a digital pen and tablet. If you want advanced material you can download them from different sites.

While there may be hundreds of software, most mangakas prefer Corel Painter as it has thousands of tools in different shapes and sizes.

In addition, skilled and professional mangakas use different software for every little aspect, like they may use Clip Studio Paint mainly for drawing, while photoshop or Corel Painter for editing and coloring.

True and skilled mangakas start with a pen and paper, and with time as their skills and drawing pattern change, they switch to software.

Check out this video to know those 6 tips that will help you create manga digitally:

Is it easy to draw manga digitally?

What software should I use to draw Manga?

Today, advanced technology has made it convenient for you to draw manga, however, old mangakas didn’t have that comfort.

If you’re new to the Manga skill, I say you grab yourself a paper and pen, to practice and jot down your vision, then you can level up and use software like Clip Studio Paint for drawing.

However, if you know what goes into drawing manga on a piece of paper, there’re multiple apps waiting for you.

Here’s the list of software that you should try out:

  • Procreate
  • ArtRage
  • MediBang Paint
  • ArtFlow
  • Infinite Painter
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • ibis Paint X
  • Tayasui Sketches
  • Affinity Designer
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Fresco
  • Clip Studio Paint
  • Dotpict
  • Astropad Studio
  • GIMP
  • iArtbook – Digital Painting
  • Artstudio Pro
  • Realistic Paint Studio
  • Sketch Club
  • DrawPlus
  • Behance
  • Picsart Color
  • Inspire Pro
  • Pixelmator
  • Sketchbook
  • PaperColor

These are the most used and famous software, but there’re many more that you can try out. However, for now, you should stick with these if you want to draw without any inconvenience.


  • The Manga industry has expanded with the help of technology, now you’ll get tons of manga comics every month.
  • Now, manga artists use software like Clip Studio Pain, Corel Painter, and Photoshop for drawing manga.
  • Mangakas prefer using different software for different aspects of manga drawing, for example, Clip Studio Paint for drawing, while Corel Painter for coloring.
  • This software is a godsend, however not all the mangakas use them, still, 20% of Manga artists prefer traditional drawing.
  • In order to create Manga, first you need a digital pen and tablet, then you can get this fancy software from sites.
  • In my opinion, drawing Manga digitally is far easier than hand-drawing them, plus you have to invest in things like screen tones again and again, as you’ll run out.
  • If you’re new to Manga drawing, I say you go with Corel Painter as it has all kinds of brushes and many tools that can help you with different shapes.

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