Getting a hang of digital drawing

So I have my storytelling framework in order. Yet another big, big difficulty laid ahead. That of getting a hang of digital drawing. I have spent almost five years on daily hand drawing practice and I am staring to be quite fluent in that. I know what I’m doing and if I don’t, I usually know how to find out what I am supposed to be doing.

But digital drawing now…That is a totally different kettle of dish. I have certain initial notions about what I thought I would like to do. First of all, I want to do the actual drawing mainly on my iPad. Ok, so then I have to think about which program to use. I have been doing some testing with Procreate but as I tested it in my comics course I found it not so good on working with comic type of images. I found out now later in the process that I can make some good background images with it, but perhaps I come back to that in a later article…

But back to the actual comic drawing program. I had come across at one time with Manga Studio pro and had done some experimenting with it as well. Today it goes by the name of ClipStudioPaint and they also now have an iPad version of it. It has a monthly or yearly payment plan, just like Adobe programs, but at a much more reasonable rate. It is also specifically targeting comic making and has some good features to support a comic type of drawing.

So now just go ahead with drawing…Except…I found out when practicing in the comic course that doing sketches with iPad was not that different from drawing with pen and paper. I was pretty fast ok with that. But when it came to developing the images into final comics, here the difficulties amounted. It was especially a question of finding my digital drawing style for the more finished images.

In my hand drawn comic I had found a style that worked for me and could trust myself to be able to make images in that style. But now I had no idea what I wanted my digital drawing style to be. There were so many options… But the only way was to begin to experiment.

My first attempt to make finished looking images was to use vector lines. These are very easy to use in Clip Studio Paint. Finding the right kind of pen or brush is also just experimenting after experimenting.

For the vector lines I used the g-pen tool and though I originally did the line work in black, I changed it to a coloured line with the colouring if the image.

I was pretty ok with the image, but still felt that perhaps something was missing… like I would like something different…

As I am aiming for Webtoons I thought perhaps I should look inspiration from there. And I got especially exited about Jason Brubaker’s Sithrah. Here is something I like a lot. It has a more expressive look and wonderful way of using colours and other effects. From his process description it became apparent that he made his line drawings by hand using ink brush pen and then scanned the images and did the finishing with Photoshop. He also had these wonderful fonts that he generously shares with a reasonable price…but I will write another article about that later…

So I began experimenting a new. I do not want to do the inking by hand so I found from Clip Studio Paint’s tools an ink brush that I modified so that I am able to make a line I like.

Jason Brubaker also has a YouTube channel where he, again, generously describes and shows how he makes e.g. colouring of the Sithrah pages and also how he has modified this printed work for Webtoons.

So I’m now on my second version of Tara and I think I begin to like the look of the drawing now.