I FEEL out of practice with drawing. I’ve spent my spare time this week learning a drawing program, Manga Studio EX4, but that isn’t the same as getting out and drawing for several hours. We’ve had a couple of mornings of appointments/coffee with my mum, which effectively breaks my rhythm especially as, partly as a result, I’m getting around to tracing one of the branches of our family tree.
I’m finding that addictively interesting, like a puzzle or a detective story.
As I enjoy drawing in a sketchbook, why should I go through the rather technical process of learning Manga Studio, a computer assisted drawing program?
- It’s good to have a change occasionally and work in a different medium; I want to use it with my pen tablet, although you can simply scan in your line drawings
- There’s a possibility that it could save me a lot of time on the structural side of drawing a comic strip
I had about 100 individual panels to draw for my Walks in Robin Hood’s Yorkshire so I’m looking forward to exploring the possibilities that the program offers to draw panels around each frame. As you can see, I haven’t quite got into that; Doug Hills’ Quick-Start guide in Manga Studio for Dummies shows a figure bursting out of a frame but the explanation of how to do that must come in a later chapter. Manga Studio is also intended to mask the parts of a drawing which overlap the frame, so that you get white borders between the frames, a feature that didn’t work with the method that I used to set up this page.
Dots and Stipples
It offers a lot of help with speech and thought bubbles and comic book sound effects but the feature that really attracts me is the ability to add tones and textures, which I’ve made a start with here.
It’s going to be especially useful in print as I can produce artwork for newspapers or magazines that is pure line; even the tone will be pure black and white, made up of tiny stipples or dots. Pen lines should be crisper as they’re not converted to half tones during the printing process.
That’s probably enough technical stuff!