I think you shouldn't be looking at manga, or other "styles" to study. Study from life. Take life drawing (must), and draw/paint stuff from life. This way you can Learn how to render things in REAL situations. Create your own lighting or use natural lighting.
Learn anatomy, figure, pose, and composition. These are all things that are touched on in Life/figure drawing class, but can be used for anything.
I'm not a 3d person, so i dont know if you need to put a big focus on color RIGHT NOW. But i think you should focus on human anatomy, rendering, and honing your mind to learn how to form objects in your head (ex, once you draw a pencil as opposed to just examining it, this will teach your mind how it looks/IS in a 3d world) this way you can always create things from your mind when you model using 3d.
ps, i'm not saying dont look at manga, cartoons, or illustrations for ideas or inspiration. also if you dont take an acuall course, depending on where you live, there should be studios, schools, houses that host life drawing sessions (if you wanna draw people)
Last edited by gasSnake : 04-18-2008 at 04:13 AM.