Masterclass: Applying Manga Screentones with Kubo Kiriko


kirita RESIZED 2 1000x543

© Kubo Kiriko

For the third and last session of Japan House London’s special series of online masterclasses focussing on the various stages of creating manga, internationally acclaimed manga-ka Kubo Kiriko invites the audience to take a deeper look at how screentones are used in the process of drawing manga.

Screentones are sheets of adhesive paper in grayscale presenting a range of different tones and patterns which play an important role in defining the characteristic look of manga. For manga artists, applying screentones manually has been a time-consuming part of the drawing process for decades, while in recent years the advent of graphic software has provided a number of easier and faster alternatives which can simulate their appearance.

In this online event, UK-based manga-ka Kubo Kiriko guides participants in the process of manually applying three different types of screentones on paper through a visual demonstration and by using digital software. During the demonstration, attendees are welcome to follow the artist’s steps on their own digital drawing applications while she explains the context and use for each screentone and replies to live questions from the audience.

Please note that, while no previous experience with manga is required, it is advised that this event series is for participants aged 16 and over.

This event is held online only.

About the artist

Kubo Kiriko was born in Tokyo and made her debut as a cartoonist (manga-ka) in the early 1980s. After the huge success of ‘Cynical Hysterie Hour’ and ‘Imadoki no kodomo’, Kiriko has directed animation films, designed CD and book covers, written essays, children’s books and other manga comics, including ‘Buckets de Gohan’ (animated for television in 1996) and ‘Dobutsu uranai’ (1999-2007). More recent works include ‘Londo-nya’ (London Miaow, 2017) and ‘Susume-Candem chikyū bōeitai’ (The Camden World Self-Defence Force, 2019-2020). Kiriko has lived in London for more than 20 years. Her work has been exhibited at the Japanese Embassy in London, and she has given talks at the ICA and other venues across the UK. Kiriko has worked on a series of design projects for UK hospitals, including the Evelina Children’s Hospital (2013) and the Children’s Dept. at St Thomas’ Hospital (2014-2019). An English translation of two of her best-known manga, ‘Cynical Hysterie Hour’ and ‘Children Nowadays’, are now available as e-books.