Applying Screentones Traditionally

I haven’t updated in a while and need to do so more often. Can’t believe I’m doing this in crunch time.

One of the most interesting things about manga is their screentones. It doesn’t just mean densities of dots, but also textures or patterns or even silhouttes. I almost feel that if I wasn’t obscuring the artwork, I could literally paste fancy paper on my work.

Here are the tools I’ll be using.

This is tone hera. It is a rectangular piece of plastic for flattening tones onto the paper. You can also substitute it for a glass rod.

This is the box cutter that came with my set. It’s better to use them because they are cheap and you can break a piece off when they grow dull. There are also finer tone knives, but have such small blades that they should only be used for cutting out small bits.

An A4 size transparent cutting board. You cut the tones against these (with the paper underneath the tone).

These are the screentones,transparent sheets of dots or patterns. They have a light ahesive behind, so they are sticky enough to stick on a surface but not on your fingers. They are flimsy and bubble a lot. There are a lot more different patterns than these.

These are pre inked pages that come with the tones. They are meant for practice.Each one comes with another sheet to show what the final result should be (and what you should be aiming for).

A sheet of paper. Put this above your tone when you apply them on the paper so the tone hera won’t scratch it. It also helps with smoothing.

I’ll do this one as  a demo.

Put the artwork  on the cutting board. Then put the tone above the artwork and cut it out carefully. The tone bubbles up against the film it it attached.

You don’t have to cut exactly the shape you want to fill it. You just have to cut a general shape. In this case, I oneed a slit for the character’s eye, but I cut out a half-dome so it would stick better.

Putting the tone for the eye.

Here is another example on a much larger part of the page.
The result.

To use the tone hera…

Put a blank sheet of paper on top-

-and rub the tone hera going in one direction directly on top of the tone.

Here is the final result of my work-the right being my attempt. I hope I can do the others as well. I also hope you found this tutorial interesting.


About Katrina

I graduated from Sheridan College with a Bachelor's in Animation.
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