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Evolving Tools of the Trade

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Nov. 16, 2020

The chances are high that creating comics was something worthwhile after reading the daily newspaper “funnies” section; or reading a few panels of the Sunday comics after it had been used as gift wrap for a birthday present; or it could have been as simple as reading a printed comic book on the shelf of a book store. There was a time when the Wacom Intuos 3 Tablet was the hottest new tool on the market for the population of people who took webcomic-making seriously. I will admit, around the time I stepped out of my comfort zone to create a comic, I thought it was important to take drawing materials seriously. I invested in wind-powered manufactured vellum Bristol paper, because there was no better experience than using a variety of pencils and heavy ink-pens than on Bristol paper.

Eventually, the creation of art transitioned to more digital tools. I was mostly on-the-go and did not have the space to access a computer system or a scanner whenever I wanted to create. I learned how to adapt—take a photograph of a quick sketch in a journal; find a software program that utilized the “multiply”-layer function; invest in a pen stylus that allows for coloring in the lines on a tablet screen. In a way, varying technical softwares and having to learn new ways of creating art were independent study, inventive, and innovative.

There is trouble with the learning curve when switching between sketching on paper and pencil versus going one-hundred percent digital. I am talking from personal experience, whenever I attempt to do preliminary sketches directly from a digital tablet, I lose my place on the screen when trying to continue a line where I left off. The plastic nib tip of the stylus on the smooth surface of the tablet has an almost foreign feel to it, and certain tablet drawing software sometimes automatically corrects a line’s smoothness to make it appear better than originally drawn.

The difficulties I have encountered when adapting my own style to a purely digital method of creation is the reason why I have opted for a mixed-media form of digital drawing. I can always learn a new coloring technique with more modern software, but drawing with a pencil on paper will always feel like home to me.

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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:15AM, Nov. 17, 2020

@Ozoneocean, Digital Boy needs to be the long-awaited sequel to Cyndi Lauper’s Material Girl, “‘Cause we are living in a digital world, and you’re a fully digital boy”

Ozoneocean at 8:46PM, Nov. 16, 2020

I am a fully digital boy... But I need more practise, always :(

kawaiidaigakusei at 2:42PM, Nov. 16, 2020

@Avart, thank you! I mainly use my bamboo for all of my coloring needs. It is way better than a mouse for coloring and way-less clicking.when it comes to technology, this is what I do—I wait to be a generation or two behind. The large Cintiq from yesteryear can probably still be found on ebay, used. The technology was excellent when it was first developed and it is still excellent.

kawaiidaigakusei at 2:42PM, Nov. 16, 2020

@cdmalcolm1, I use procreate on my iPad! It is a great program and utilizes the multiply function, which is what sold me on it in the first place. I have never seen the Cintiq Companion! I am going to look it up.

Avart at 12:10PM, Nov. 16, 2020

I've been drawing digitally from about 3 years and almost all my sketches and illustrations are done with my Intuos. For me it's like an extension of my hand, but from time to time I make some drafts on paper and then rework them digitally. I also tried an iPad but, honestly, it sucked compared even to a Bamboo; it feels so out of place and unnatural. I'm aiming for a Cintiq or one with a display to unleash all my potential, but right now I can't afford it. Excellent article!

cdmalcolm1 at 8:00AM, Nov. 16, 2020

I just ran out of space for drawing on paper years ago. So I saved up and bought my first Bamboo. Hated it. Saved for a year and got Cintiq 12 at the time. It took me about 9 months to fully draw on that thing. Loved it ever since. Then i saw the cintiq Companion. I was saving for that. missed it but got Companion 2. Loved it for Mobile use BUT a bit bulky for traveling. For years I've always had an iPad and traded up. The drawing apps SUCKED so I stayed with Companion 2. Then I discovered Procreate at the apple store. LOVED IT. Downloaded it played with it for a day then bought it the next. Very easy for travel. Pencil charges to 100% in 7 minutes. iPad and Procreate are my Tools now. Procreate is no PS but Damn near close. Adobe has full version of PS for the iPad. Price $9.99 a month. Procreate $9.99, 1 time payment.

kawaiidaigakusei at 5:03AM, Nov. 16, 2020

@jerrie, strictly for coloring.

jerrie at 2:12AM, Nov. 16, 2020

I cant use a friggin tablet, to save my life! I try ,though.I'll still be old school for a while longer.

kawaiidaigakusei at 1:34AM, Nov. 16, 2020

@marcorossi, Your digital style is very well-adapted in your comics! I think forcing yourself to draw directly on a tablet was a good way to train your hand-eye coordination with the screen.

marcorossi at 1:13AM, Nov. 16, 2020

In my case, when I decided to go digital, I forced myself to draw also the sketches directly on tablet, because I tought that this would make me learn to use a tablet faster. The first pages were very problematic though.

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