Digital Turnip Pen

I’ve often drawn the view from my studio window before but this is the first time I’ve drawn it using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

Once again I’ve got it connected to my iMac and the point of the exercise is to become more familiar with the comic drawing program Clip Studio Paint. So, I’m using a different virtual nib with the pen tool today; the turnip pen, which I leave set to size 5.

I add the watercolour on its own layer, which I keep behind the pen layer.

I add the colour using the brush tool set to transparent watercolour. The way I’m using the brush tool makes it feel more like a marker pen filled with watercolour. I notice that if I hold the Apple Pencil at an angle I can get a blended effect and tone down my initial brushstrokes.

Autodesk SketchBook

I drew the vase using Autodesk SketchBook. It’s designed with a touchscreen in mind which is probably why I find that colour selection is more intuitive than Clip Studio Paint but I want to stick with the latter as it offers so much more when it comes to page layout for comic strips.


Clip Studio Paint

Autodesk SketchBook

Digital Mapping Pen

Imagine a mapping pen nib that doesn’t splay and twist if you press too hard or being able to splash on India ink without getting the odd drop on your fingers and desk top: welcome to the world of digital pen and ink.

This drawing of my trainers took about forty minutes, drawing in Clip Studio Paint using the pen tool with the mapping nib selected and the paintbrush with the India ink, darker bleed option.

Like the hand I drew the other day, it’s drawn with an Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro which was linked by a USB cable to my iMac, using the Astropad program.

I hope that as well as getting more familiar with the basics of drawing in Clip Studio Paint that I’ll also learn to free up my regular pen on paper drawings.

iPad Sketch

I’ve drawn my hand here using an iPad Pro connected to my iMac. It doesn’t feel as responsive as pen on paper but there isn’t a significant delay as I draw with an Apple Pencil.

I’m using a program called Astropad which is designed to enable you use your iPad as a graphics tablet. This has an advantage over the Wacom tablet that I use, as the drawing is there on the tablet as well as on the big screen.

I’ve got various sketching apps on my iPad but I’m drawing this using the comic strip drawing program Clip Studio Paint which I’d like to get more familiar with so that I can use it for my walks booklets and local history publications.



Apple Pencil

Clip Studio Paint

Titles and Text

Hand lettering the title of my next Dalesman article, it takes a few attempts to get the ‘S’ of Semerwater looking just as I’d like it. It needs to snake around in a relaxed manner but it shouldn’t slouch or look as if it’s putting on weight.

Getting the right degree of slope of the strokes of the A and the W also makes a big difference; my first ‘W’ ends up too wide, the second looks rather undernourished.

Homegrown Lettering

I try drawing the letters just as I’d draw anything else, for instance a plant. The serifs should look as if they’ve grown from the letter, rather than been stuck on as afterthought.

I’d like the letterforms to look as if it they’d grown naturally so I draw them as I would, for example, a winter hedgerow: I’d be as interested in the spaces between plants as I was in the shape of individual trunks and branches.

I decide that I’d like the main stems to taper slightly towards the base, as the stems of hedgerow shrubs often do.

Line Sheet

So much for the titles; I’ve had a bright idea for the text too: I put the lined sheet that came with a Basildon Bond writing pad under my layout paper. That saves a lot of drawing parallel lines, then rubbing them out later . . . and often then having the clear up the smudges where the rubber caught the ink that hadn’t quite dried.

I’ve been drawing this outline lettering – and filling it in – with my Lamy Vista fountain pen, filled with a homemade mix of Noodlers brown and black inks.


10.15 a.m.: Wispy cirrus cloud is a sign of a change in the weather.

Sure enough, twenty minutes later on our walk around the valley, we’re already seeing cumulus moving in from the west below it.

As I write this, seven hours later at 5 p.m., the sky is completely overcast and we’ve had half an hour of light rain.