Do you know about Niigata City Manga no Ie (Niigata City Manga House), a facility in Furumachi, Niigata City, which opened in February 2013, where you can experience the world of works by manga artists associated with Niigata and draw manga at any time.
Niigata City Manga House: http://house.nmam.jp/
At Niigata City Manga House, a manga course called 'Manga no Ippo' is held regularly. I had some business to attend to, so I participated in the 'Let's draw characters' course held here!
Manga no Ippo also offers other quite serious courses, such as 'Let's touch a fake pen' and 'Let's use screen tones'. The easiest of these seems to be a course on characters.
Manga no Ippo Lecture: http://house.nmam.jp/ippo/
Yes, the drawing on the whiteboard is already at a high level! I am becoming very worried.
Five primary school girls and two of their mothers were gathered as participants on the day. An out-of-place Alaska boy joined them by himself. Please admire this courage.
Prepared on the table were an underlay, a Sharpie, an eraser and manga manuscript paper. This was the first time I had touched manga paper. I was starting to get nervous, but I couldn't let the schoolchildren get the better of me! I listen to the explanation with great enthusiasm.
This time, they will be drawing Hanano Komachi and Sasa Dangoro, the official characters of the Manga/Anime Town Niigata. If I have time, I will draw their bodies, but depending on how the work progresses, I may only draw their faces," he says. The sample pictures look difficult to draw...
The teacher explains, "Today we are going to draw characters in the manner of a painting song. Then, just like in a painting song, we will draw circles and lines for each part.
At first I wasn't quite sure what I was drawing...
As I followed the teacher's instructions, I gradually became more and more like a character. The participants, including myself, were unable to draw a single line as well as we would have liked, and we repeatedly erased and drew, erased and drew.
The participants were given advice by the instructor on how to finish each one. As it was the first time for all the participants, there was no time to draw the bodies, and they had only enough time to finish the faces of Furumachi and Dankoro-kun.
Finally, finish by erasing unnecessary lines drawn on top of each other. The drawing turned out better than expected!
Here is what I drew! Oh, I think I drew it well... The hair ornament is too big and the cheeks are too round. I was able to finish the characters quite smoothly by breaking down the order in which I drew them and drawing them part by part. The Furumachi girl on the left took about 18 steps to complete! But maybe because I used this method, even the primary schools girls were able to draw well!
As an adult, it's not often you get the chance to try drawing seriously, so it was kind of a lot of fun. The two mothers as well as the primary schools girls who took the course with us seemed to enjoy it and the conversation was very lively.
The Niigata City Manga House seems to be closed from the 29th to the 3rd of the New Year holidays, but will it be open from the 4th onwards? If so, why not visit during the winter holidays?
On the ground floor, there is a Gagman exhibition area, which you may also enjoy.