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original anime manga comics illustrations character design
by sonia leong - professional artist & illustrator
other projects

This area showcases selected projects, publications and other appearances, with the most recent being near the top. Please click any image for larger views.


Drawing Manga Heroes and Heroines

COMING SOON - Drawing Manga Heroines and Heroes, UKŁ12.99
In this exciting extension of the interactive Illustration Studio series, learn how to illustrate a range of manga heroes, heroines, and characters - from warriors to schoolkids, knights, angels, cyborgs, interstellar idols, and more. Features interactive exercises, creative prompts, and step-by-step exercises to educate and excite beginning and aspiring artists working in a variety of media and techniques, from manga and anime to illustration done in ink. Learn the basics for creating a range of popular characters, props and scenes. No matter your skill level, the drawing and colouring tips, techniques, and step-by-step projects are instructive and helpful, while creative prompts and exercises invite personalisation and participation inside the pages of the book. You'll be guided through every step as you not only learn how to draw, but also learn the vernacular and story lines associated with this popular art genre.
~ [Buy from me directly] ~
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived

Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived
Meet the women who run the Whoniverse. From Sarah Jane Smith to Bill Potts, from Susan Foreman to the Thirteenth Doctor, women are the beating heart of Doctor Who. Whether they're facing down Daleks or thwarting a Nestene invasion, these women don't hang around waiting to be rescued - they roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. Scientists and soldiers, queens and canteen workers, they don't let anything hold them back. Featuring historical women such as Agatha Christie and Queen Victoria alongside fan favourites like Rose Tyler and Missy, The Women Who Lived tells the stories of women throughout space and time. Beautifully illustrated by a team of all-female artists, this collection of inspirational tales celebrates the power of women to change the universe. I contributed numerous illustrations to this storybook, including the Thirteenth Doctor reveal scene!
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~

Thirteenth Doctor Clara Idris


Beginning Manga

Beginning Manga
Beginning Manga treats aspiring illustrators to a fun, interactive learning experience with a variety of creative prompts, tips, exercises, and engaging step-by-step projects. Starting with an introduction to tools and materials, readers learn new drawing and inking techniques, as well as how to work with colour thanks to a variety of simple step-by-step projects and prompts designed to spark creativity and inspire artists to create unique manga worlds of their own. Included are templates and practice pages to assist with developing one's craft in addition to brainstorming, sketching, and collecting project inspiration. All of this and more make Beginning Manga the perfect resource for aspiring manga artists and illustrators.
~ [Buy from me directly] ~
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~

Beginning Manga Beginning Manga
Beginning Manga Beginning Manga


Toyota GT86 Campaign

Toyota GT86 Campaign
Toyota GB asked me to create a series of images in homage to the well-loved Manga/Anime Initial D, whose main character drift races with the AE86. As the GT86 is the spiritual successor to the AE86, I helped to make images of the old car racing the new car!
~ [Read about it on Toyota GB's blog] ~

Toyota GT86 Campaign Toyota GT86 Campaign


Manga Your World

Manga Your World, UkŁ10.99
Beguiling and beautiful Manga is much easier to draw than it looks. With a fun exercise-book approach to this Japanese comic style, Manga Your World will help you to inject Manga magic into your everyday life, through a series of easy-to-follow, sketching challenges and scenarios. Draw your friends, bento-style lunch box, beloved pooch, or even yourself, in a Manga-style selfie!
~ [Buy from me directly] ~
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~

Manga Your World Manga Your World Manga Your World Manga Your World Manga Your World Manga Your World


Ninja Trilogy  Ninja Trilogy  Ninja Trilogy

Ninja Trilogy by Chris Bradford
Ninja: First Mission ~ Taka's desperate to prove that he has what it takes to become a ninja. He has failed the Grandmaster's test twice already. But when the clan's scrolls are stolen by an enemy samurai he has a chance to prove himself.
Ninja: Death Touch ~ Lord Oda has sworn to destroy all ninja. Now Taka and Cho must help to protect their village from the invading samurai army, but they are outnumbered ten to one. Will they be able to save everyone?
Ninja: Assassin ~ Taka, Cho and Renzo are on a mission of vengeance. Lord Oda's attack on the ninja clan's hide-out has caused a huge blow to the trio and they set out for Black Eagle Castle and revenge. The Grandmaster says that it will not heal the hurts of the heart, but Taka is hurting badly and he can see no other way out...
Gripping adventure from the author of the hugely popular Young Samurai books. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+. All covers and inside illustrations by me!
~ [Buy Ninja: First Mission from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Ninja: Death Touch from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Ninja: Assassin from Amazon] ~


Draw Manga: Complete Skills

Draw Manga: Complete Skills, UKŁ14.99
Includes 25 teaching videos to view online. This combined book and video-guide to drawing manga will allow artists of ANY ability to master this hugely popular drawing style. The 256 page book is packed with step-by-step tutorials on every aspect of manga drawing, basing the instructions around traditional sketching and colouring techniques, and including digital tools for rendering and finishing artwork. The author is highly accomplished professional artist Sonia Leong, who is also creating 25 two-minute video demonstrations designed to link specifically to the content of this book. These video clips are hosted online, and accessed from the book's pages using QR codes (or URLs), making this one of the most user-friendly manga tutor books on the market. Readers will learn how to build up characters from basic shapes and measurements, get the anatomy and poses absolutely right, add crucial design elements to enhance drawings and stories, render artwork in different styles and mediums (including digital), and even start to create comic pages and sequences - for publication in print or online.
~ [Buy from me directly] ~
~ [Buy from Sweatdrop Studios] ~
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~

Draw Manga: Complete Skills Draw Manga: Complete Skills Draw Manga: Complete Skills Draw Manga: Complete Skills Draw Manga: Complete Skills Draw Manga: Complete Skills


101 Top Tips from Pro Manga Artists

101 Top Tips from Professional Manga Artists
A generation of young people influenced by this ever-popular and perennial art form are eager to pick up a pencil to create their own manga. This book reveals the latest techniques for creating digital and traditional manga illustrations. Written by an award-winning manga artist (MOI) with contributions from a select band of fellow professionals, it offers a multitude of eye-opening hints and techniques for the budding creator. From basic drawing tips to designing characters, painting vivid illustrations and creating captivating comics, the book collects the wealth of knowledge and experience of these manga professionals. Covering fundamentals of art alongside tips on becoming a professional, this is the ultimate resource for beginners and more experienced artists alike.
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~

101 Top Tips from Pro Manga Artists 101 Top Tips from Pro Manga Artists
101 Top Tips from Pro Manga Artists 101 Top Tips from Pro Manga Artists


1000 Ideas by 100 Manga Artists

1000 Ideas by 100 Manga Artists by Cristian Campos
How much would a course on drawing cost given by the top 100 international manga artists? How much would they charge to share their most highly valued techniques? This book brings together 100 manga artists and asks each one to offer 10 practical tips for the manga enthusiast on techniques, sources of inspiration, and the best way to build their portfolios. Detailed photographs, 1,000 in total, taken by the artists themselves serve to illustrate each of these 1,000 tips. I have a section in this book!
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


Super Cute Chibis

Super-Cute Chibis to Draw and Paint by Joanna Zhou
Learn the basic styling and simple visual tricks you need to create this ultra-cute world; discover how to simplify and exaggerate, and to draw out the distinctive elements that will make your figures unique; and discover how to create a collection of lively characters, small in size but big on personality! Each of the 30 step-by-step sequences includes a basic line-work drawing you can copy, scan, or trace, so that even the complete beginner can get started right away. I was one of the contributors to this how-to-draw book.
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


Creating Comics

Creating Comics! by Judith Salavetz and Spencer Drate
The ways of expressing a story in art are many and varied. The use of perspective, creative page layout, continuous action flowing from one panel to the next, a collage design, the use of shadow and light, and intersecting panels are all techniques for telling a story. The avenues of expression are as varied as the artists and cartoonists who express them. Creating Comic Art takes you on a journey to explore those approaches to artistic expression through the eyes of 47 artists. I have a section in this book!
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


I, Hero series

I, Hero by Skidmore and Barlow, Sonia Leong, UKŁ4.99 each
I, Hero is a series of choose-your-own-adventure books for children 8 years old and upwards, launched in 2007. Viking Blood follows the journey of a young Viking warrior seeking to avenge his village; Code Mission is based in WWII where you play a British spy undercover in occupied France; Death or Glory tracks your progress from slave to celebrated Roman Gladiator; Gorgon's Cave takes you on an adventure through the fantastic creatures of Greek myth; Pirate Gold needs to be recovered with the help of Francis Drake; Save the Empire by solving a Victorian mystery as a detective; Space Rescue is a daring investigation on the Moon; Strike Force follows your exploits as a special agent; be a Tomb Runner and hunt for ancient treasures in the East; Alien Raid lets you pilot a Mecha Robot against an invasion; Dragon Slayer has you fighting against ferocious monsters and journey to the Castle of Doom as a mage to defeat the evil Count.
~ [Buy Viking Blood from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Code Mission from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Death or Glory from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Gorgon's Cave from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Pirate Gold from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Save the Empire from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Space Rescue from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Strike Force from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Alien Raid from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Tomb Runner from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Dragon Slayer from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Castle of Doom from Amazon] ~


Girls FC

Walker Books: Girls FC
I illustrated the covers for this series of books by Helena Pielichaty. A heartwarming and funny series of children's books about a girls football club and their wacky players, 9-12yrs. I've read all of the books so far and I love them! The girls are so real and take life as it comes.
~ [Buy Girls FC1: Do Goalkeepers Wear Tiaras? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC2: Can Ponies Take Penalties? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC3: Are All Brothers Foul? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC4: Is An Own Goal Bad? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC5: Who Ate All the Pies? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC6: What's Ukrainian for Football? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC7: So What If I Hog the Ball? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC8: Can't I Just Kick It? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC9: We're The Dream Team, Right? from Amazon] ~
~ [Buy Girls FC10: Has Anyone Seen Our Striker? from Amazon] ~


IT crowd

Channel 4: The I.T.Crowd, Season 3
I was contacted by Channel 4 in 2008 because they wanted me to contribute some artwork for Season 3 of the award-winning UK sitcom The I.T. Crowd in order to dress the set with my anime/manga illustrations. You can spot my artwork in Jen's Office! Below are some small screenshots from episode 3 (Tramps Like Us) and the images used:
~ [Buy The I.T. Crowd, Season 3 DVDs from Amazon] ~

IT crowd IT crowd Briony & Sueto-chan Angel


URBIS promo

How Manga Took over the World 2008
This touring exhibition was launched at the Manchester URBIS Centre and ran from 13 March - 21 Sept '08. It is now on display at the hub, Northampton from 17 Feb - 3 May '09. I created the mascot Umeko, she is seen throughout the exhibition in different styles and poses to match the various themes. Below are some photos:
URBIS photos URBIS photos URBIS photos URBIS photos


50 Manga babes

50 Manga Babes to Draw and Paint by Chi Han Li
Discover how to draw and paint 50 groovy girls from different styles and genres of manga art. Each character is presented with a full-page final image; working sketches; detailed instructions for lineart, coloring, and shading; sketches showing a range of poses and perspectives; and advice on color palettes, clothing, and accessories. All techniques are clearly explained, from finding inspiration to using both traditional and digital media. You will also find indispensable advice on manga female body shapes and proportions as well as information on rendering traditional Japanese clothing. I was one of the main contributors to this how-to-draw book.
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


500 manga Characters

500 Manga Characters by Sweatdrop Studios, UKŁ14.99
The biggest collection of manga clip art ever collected on one disc is at your disposal with 500 Manga Figures. Now you can create stunning artwork quickly and easily by using this vast collection of high-resolution (300ppi) images that are ready to use in any project. Not only that, but the book teaches you how to use professional colouring techniques, add figures to backgrounds and create your own manga. 500 Manga Figures is perfect for designers looking for that Japanese pop-culture look, or for manga fans to create amazing artwork without learning to draw. Experience the power of manga x500! I contributed several sections of this book from fashion to action.
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


Manga Clip Art

Manga Clip Art, by Hayden Scott-Baron, UKŁ14.99
"Manga Clip Art" by Hayden Scott-Baron (Dock from Sweatdrop Studios) is a combination of book and CD. The CD contains thousands of variations of ready-made manga lineart illustrations from professionals, and Adobe Photoshop Elements. The book starts off with a digital colouring tutorial, then showcases the combinations of lineart that are possible. I contributed many of the warriors in this book.
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


Popcorn (2007)

Popcorn (2007), DVD RRP UKŁ24.99
During winter 2005/2006, I was asked to create the comic book character, Yukino for a British movie, Popcorn (Directed by Darren Fisher, starring Jack Ryder, Jodie Albert). Jack Ryder plays Danny who is essentially an otaku fanboy about the character Yukino. When he goes to his local cinema and discovers a girl working there, Suki (Jodie Albert) happens to resembles Yukino, things get silly. My work appears in various key moments throughout the film to showcase the resemblance between comics and real life. Visit the official movie website at www.popcorn-themovie.com
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~

Popcorn website Popcorn website Popcorn screenshot


HeroCard Cyberspace

TableStar Games LLC - HeroCard Cyberspace
HeroCard Cyberspace is a strategic game of careful manipulation and vicious combat. Players use Avatar figures to gain control of networks, which allow them to score and place more Avatars. As the game progresses, the board itself evolves, and players must use firewalls and link tokens to maneuver themselves and their opponents. Dueling is accomplished by the HeroCard system, but the losing player gets "hacked," and must forfeit their actions to the winner. I was the lead artist for this game. Visit the TableStar Games LLC - Herocard Cyberspace website at www.tablestargames.com/cyberspace.html


Drawing Manga

Drawing Manga, by Selina Dean, UKŁ9.99
"Drawing Manga" by Selina Dean covers all the beginner needs to draw their favourite types of characters, including people, monsters and mascots. There's advice on drawing figures, adding expressions, designing clothing and posing your characters. An essential section is included on creating different characters, examining the design points which make each character unique. Other sections cover the practical techniques needed to create comics - developing storyboards, creating layouts, scripting, including backgrounds, and using inking and colouring techniques. A final chapter includes some more advanced techniques to enable readers to create finished artwork on their own. I wrote and illustrated several chapters for this book.
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


IMAF logo

International Manga and Anime Festival (IMAF) 2005
I designed the official mascots for IMAF 2005, the i-Team. I was also involved in judging the competition in 2005 and 2006, which had an US$85,000 prize fund. Visit the IMAF website at www.imaf.co.uk
The mascots were used all over London County Hall:
IMAF doorways IMAF columns IMAF displays IMAF standees


NEO Magazine

NEO Magazine
I have been featured in the UK's only Asian pop culture magazine many times, providing Manga art guidance and showcasing art. I was also the first of five winners from NEO's first Manga competition in 2005. NEO Magazine is available from all large newsagents throughout the UK and subscriptions through their website, www.neomag.co.uk


Wacom Wacom Cosplay

Wacom-Europe: Manga Campaign
Wacom is the leading manufacturer of graphics tablets. Since 2005, I have been working with Wacom-Europe on their manga campaign, I created the Wacom Catgirl as their mascot, written tutorials for Wacom and have provided demonstrations of their product on numerous occasions.


Draw Manga

Draw Manga, by Sweatdrop Studios, UKŁ9.99
"Draw Manga" by Sweatdrop Studios goes back to basics explaining what the manga style is and the tools and materials needed. There follows a series of tutorials in depth on how to build up your characters from first principles - facial structure, anatomy, proportions then leading to individual character elements such as eyes, hair, accessories and clothing. Subsequent step-by-step projects show how to put all of the individual elements together to create effective manga characters. It finishes with projects from the masters - creating polished pieces of manga-style art using various mediums, such as markers and watercolours.
~ [Buy from Amazon] ~


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