Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Analogue vs Digital
Andreas_Helixfinger at 11:07PM, March 7, 2020
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Hey guys, what's crackin'

I've been busy lately, finnishing and uploading my very first digitally drawn page for Molly Lusc, using Krita and a Wacom One 13,3" pen tablet to do the job. And not long after it was all done and on display did I start to assess the larger picture of it all. It was quite an experience to do this whole webcomic thing on this tablet of mine.

I bought this Wacom One locally for a rather good price, judging its quality, having a penn-to-paper response, the drawing experience feeling very organic, making the transition from analouge to digital rather smooth and exhilarating. Krita for what I can tell is a pretty damn good piece of drawing software, easy to use, easy to navigate, although at the same time a bit overwhelming with its cornucopia of color and tool options, which is something I'm sure most beginners like me experience.

Yet at the same time, I kept coming back to the feel and look of my analouge artwork. My run with digital artwork had made me open up my heart for it, while at the same time it had made me appreciate analouge artwork even more then before. There is something to the experience of doing it pen on paper, and there is an odd sense of liberty and quality to the rawness, restriction and room for failure that comes with it.

In a drawing software you can erase, change or re-direct an ink line however and whenever you like, on a piece of paper you can't, at least not conventionally as far as I know. There is much more need of care to be put in drawing a line of ink on a paper and applying color from traditional markers, brushes or pencils. You have to figure out ways to work around the missteps and restrictions that comes with analouge art, and there lies the adventure of it, for me at least.

It's kind of the same reason why certain authors prefer using typewriters rather then writing softwares on a laptop. The limits and the room for irrevocable, or at least not easily undone, errors makes the experience of it all the more enjoyable, all the more adventurous. It's like an analogy for the difference of experience between real life and a VR simulation.

These thoughts have made me come to the decision that I'm yet to be done with analouge art. I'm still gonna keep uploading analogously drawn pages. I'll keep enjoying the old fashion way for as long as it is available, while also taking time to experiment with digital art. I think I'll upload some digital artwork on my Newgrounds- and -Weasyl account. Maybe use digital to make covers for my comics or something like that.

I don't think there's gonna be much need for me to always keep up with modern art media, since the more I see of what is becoming of overall modern media, of mainstream media in particular, the more I find myself rejecting the whole idea, the delusion, of trying to garner a following and make a name for myself out there on the wild web. Seems like a waste of time at this point, a waste of time that could be used on just having a ball with the medium itself, with whatever tools I wish to go about it with, and share it with fine art loving people like you guys^^

But what do you think, am I totally cool, totally bonkers or totally in between on this whole thing?
last edited on March 7, 2020 11:09PM
hushicho at 12:20AM, March 8, 2020
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I worked almost entirely in traditional art for a while, but so many things made me decide to go to digital. One of those things was the wear on my body, since I had to be hunched over a drawing table for hours per day, but just as importantly, digital media are now fairly indistinguishable from traditional. Traditional media are also far, far more expensive than just getting a tablet – especially like a Huion or Monoprice; to me, Wacom are always ridiculously overpriced and not appreciably better – and as noted, they're far less forgiving if any mistake should be made.

It's much easier, too, to experiment with new or unfamiliar media in the digital milieu. The undo function is invaluable, and it's a major advantage to digital production and creation. If you can try something without risk, why not? I think that is a huge benefit, and it especially helps new and learning creators to try new things without a tremendous cost, whether they succeed or find it isn't for them. It's also really helpful for creators wanting to express themselves through comics!

It is, of course, to the individual artist's preference as to what they choose. Whatever suits the artist and whatever works best for them, I think, is the best way to go. If it fits your creative process, you should embrace it! However you can be comfortable and produce your best work, I recommend embracing that way.
Andreas_Helixfinger at 1:19AM, March 8, 2020
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hushicho wrote:
I worked almost entirely in traditional art for a while, but so many things made me decide to go to digital. One of those things was the wear on my body, since I had to be hunched over a drawing table for hours per day, but just as importantly, digital media are now fairly indistinguishable from traditional. Traditional media are also far, far more expensive than just getting a tablet – especially like a Huion or Monoprice; to me, Wacom are always ridiculously overpriced and not appreciably better – and as noted, they're far less forgiving if any mistake should be made.

It's much easier, too, to experiment with new or unfamiliar media in the digital milieu. The undo function is invaluable, and it's a major advantage to digital production and creation. If you can try something without risk, why not? I think that is a huge benefit, and it especially helps new and learning creators to try new things without a tremendous cost, whether they succeed or find it isn't for them. It's also really helpful for creators wanting to express themselves through comics!

It is, of course, to the individual artist's preference as to what they choose. Whatever suits the artist and whatever works best for them, I think, is the best way to go. If it fits your creative process, you should embrace it! However you can be comfortable and produce your best work, I recommend embracing that way.


A very fair assessment, Hushicho. And believe me, I myself have experienced the back pains of being hunched over the handywork for too many hours. In the beginning months of my webomic here on DD I used to update twice every week, which lead to eight hours, sometimes more then eight hours of drawing a day.

Luckily Christmas times came, and Secret Santa 2019, so that when it got really bad I could appropriately take a long break from it and recuperate. Now a days I stick to update once every week, or every other week, depending on the time and effort needed to make the next page, as well as my day job hours, and it seems to be working much better for me now.

All this could change of course, but it is what I'm comfortable and confident in doing for the time being, so as you're recommending, that's what I'll do and we'll see where it all lands in the future(Y)
last edited on March 8, 2020 1:21AM
ozoneocean at 8:05PM, March 8, 2020
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There are some great advantages to digital:

1. It's cheaper if you're doing high quality artwork. I used to spend a LOT on expensive watercolours, brushes, acyclic and oil paints, inks heavy watercolour paper and other supplies. Not to mention sketchbooks and many other consumables. Also, I had to keep on going to different art shops, which was a pain.
My big Wacom Cintiq was expensive and the high performance computers were too, but once you buy the stuff you produce heaps of work and I also used it for professional work as well.

2. You get what amounts to a massive array of colours and media at any size you like, easily portable if you have a smaller tablet. That was a massive advantage for me: I could work on huge size images without setting up an easel and getting special paper. I don't need to carry around huge bags full of paints anymore or array a massive amount of them around a workspace in my studio.

3. Storage isn't a problem anymore. I have big plan drawers and other folders overloaded with art and canvases stuck all over the place. You also have to store things carefully so you don't damage them, you even have to protect them from damage while you work.

4. You can easily alter, flip and change stuff very fast, as well as view the art differently to avoid mistakes. I used to have to use tracing paper, carbon paper, photocopiers, projectors, photos, mirrors and all sorts of faffing about.

5. The artwork will look exactly as you want on the screen with no loss of quality between the transition from art to screen. It's also much easier to reproduce it at full quality in prints.

———

Advantages to analogue media:

1. You don't need power.

2. You get a more hands-on feel.

3. It's easier to get into because you don't have to know about hardware, software, setup a workflow and the initial layout is cheaper even though the longterm costs are bigger.

4. It's easier to impress people with physical media and you have a lot of physical examples of your work to show people, which looks better that it does on a computer screen.

5. It's easier to create things in physical media because it reduces options. Lines are fixed (so to speak), paper can only take so much STUFF before it fails so you can't keep changing things, your colours are limited and you media is limited by what you can afford, fit in your bag or fit around you in your work space.
Reducing options seems counter-intuitive as a way to make things easier but it does. The more choice and options you have the longer things take. Massively so. You have to get on and DO things and work with what you've got.

6. The art looks more unique because of the randomness introduced my physical media, texture, gloss, refraction, absorption, fading, smudging, indentation, brush strokes etc. While digital art usually looks too much the same. Even when people use cool software to make great real painting effects, you can look at all the artwork made with that software and it all all look the same.
 
BearinOz at 10:23PM, March 8, 2020
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ozoneocean wrote:
There are some great advantages to digital:

4. You can easily alter, flip and change stuff very fast, as well as view the art differently to avoid mistakes. I used to have to use tracing paper, carbon paper, photocopiers, projectors, photos, mirrors and all sorts of faffing about.

THIS. Along with all else mentioned, this - for someone with ‘dodgy’ eyes - was brilliantly useful (although I probably didn't use it as often as I should) to straighten up some of my dodgier faces ! B-) Being able to flip panels over and back is a God-send (even for an atheist ! B-) )
 
Andreas_Helixfinger at 2:09PM, March 9, 2020
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Actually guys, I think I might have changed my mind.

I was looking over my last uploaded page, the digitally drawn one, again and thought that maybe I was too quick to judge. The first time I looked at the image it felt blurry-ish to look at (I think it might be because the ink lines I drew got too thin and choppy or something like that), and that kind of turned me off and made me think that this wasn't how I wanted to do things.

But when I looked at it again I felt like “you know, this isn't too bad actually, I did manage to recapture the same art style I've been using prior, maybe if I just keep getting at it on this tablet of mine I might just get the right feel and the right sharpness that I'm looking for, perhaps even that, but better–and digital”^^

I think I was just being anxious about it because this is so new to me. Honestly I've been kind of disillusioned and grumpy lately, it doesn't really have anything to do with this, it's just, you know, the world just gets to you sometimes^^ I think I'm gonna keep doing pages on this tablet, keep working at it til I've figured it all out. But by all means keep the posts coming if you got em'. It's always fascinating to read what you all have to say(Y)
last edited on March 9, 2020 2:16PM
hushicho at 3:34PM, March 9, 2020
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I think it's very important to see what works for you, most of all. It took me literally years to transition from purely traditional-done pages to a hybrid production, and then to the modern process I use, which is entirely digital. I just wasn't comfortable with it before then, and I think it's important for every artist to be comfortable with what they're doing.

It's absolutely crucial to find a program that works well with your approach and technique. I hadn't encountered anything good enough before I found Clip Studio Paint, but that works perfectly with my technique. Some people love other programs and work better with them, which is probably why basically every creator I know uses something different!

One thing you said that I can definitely weigh in on is the line weight. If you're unhappy with line weight, maybe try tweaking the level of correction and play with brush size. Sometimes it takes a little while to get it just how you want it, and speaking personally, some days I use a slightly larger brush size, sometimes slightly smaller. You'll find, given time, what works for you most of the time, but don't be afraid to change that out if it's not working on one particular day!

Above all, don't be afraid to play around in digital media. Just make sure you have backups!
Andreas_Helixfinger at 3:02AM, March 10, 2020
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hushicho wrote:
I think it's very important to see what works for you, most of all. It took me literally years to transition from purely traditional-done pages to a hybrid production, and then to the modern process I use, which is entirely digital. I just wasn't comfortable with it before then, and I think it's important for every artist to be comfortable with what they're doing.

It's absolutely crucial to find a program that works well with your approach and technique. I hadn't encountered anything good enough before I found Clip Studio Paint, but that works perfectly with my technique. Some people love other programs and work better with them, which is probably why basically every creator I know uses something different!

One thing you said that I can definitely weigh in on is the line weight. If you're unhappy with line weight, maybe try tweaking the level of correction and play with brush size. Sometimes it takes a little while to get it just how you want it, and speaking personally, some days I use a slightly larger brush size, sometimes slightly smaller. You'll find, given time, what works for you most of the time, but don't be afraid to change that out if it's not working on one particular day!

Above all, don't be afraid to play around in digital media. Just make sure you have backups!


What you say really helps:) Thanks, Hushicho(Y) Ozoneocean's comparison lineup is really helpful as well(Y)
last edited on March 10, 2020 3:08AM
phinmagic at 6:32PM, March 10, 2020
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I've been doing comics for a long, long time. I've done close to 3000 pages, drawn traditionally. I would scan and letter and sometimes color, digitally.
I switched to all digital about 2 years ago and I love it! It brought back a lot of fun and detail to my work.
I do all my art on my phone and my tablet (both Galaxy Notes). The upshot is, that I can work on my comics, virtually anywhere.
I do sometimes get the itch to draw traditionally, and that's what sketchbooks and sketch cards are for.
Ironscarf at 7:30PM, March 10, 2020
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It took me at least three years to begin inking to a decent standard with a tablet. It was like taking a massive backward step in that respect, but totally worth it because I knew it would open up new worlds of possibility. But any medium is just another technique to learn.

I think the analogue/digital debate is a false distinction really. There's no more difference than the difference between egg tempera and oil paint and I bet they had a few punch ups over that back in the day. Any method is valid. What's important is the destination and it doesn't matter how you get there.
 
rickrudge at 10:00AM, April 6, 2020
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I’m afraid that I’m still drawing on paper, scanning, lettering, and editing with the computer. I’ve tried using my Wacom pad and working in layers without many good results. I need to buckle down and practice this, especially with all of the time I’ve got at home. ;-)
last edited on April 6, 2020 10:07AM
Andreas_Helixfinger at 6:31AM, April 7, 2020
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rickrudge wrote:
I’m afraid that I’m still drawing on paper, scanning, lettering, and editing with the computer. I’ve tried using my Wacom pad and working in layers without many good results. I need to buckle down and practice this, especially with all of the time I’ve got at home. ;-)

Hey, go for it, man👍 I mean I don't think I've gotten that much of a hang on layers either the short time I've been using my Wacom One, and yet I feel now that I'm getting some really cool results from it anyway, especially this last page I made for my adult comic Idfestation, last Sunday. You keep getting at it and suddenly things just start to come together naturally somehow😎

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