Comic Template

Now that I’ve steadily gone through the basics of Clip Studio Paint EX, I’m ready to get the program working for me and to use its features to speed up my workflow.

As I’m sticking with the same layout for the whole series of Gargoyle comic strips, I’ve saved the four-frame layout as a template, which is simply the blank comic strip before I’ve added any drawings or text.

All I have to do next time is open the template and get straight on with the drawing.

The title of the strip goes in a fifth frame; the only difference is that this one has no border around it.

Clip Studio Paint EX, iPad Pro and Apple Pencil

Frame & Paper

If the Frame as a whole is selected, you won’t be able to draw on any of the layers within that frame.

What once seemed obscure has now become second nature to me. For instance, when using the pen or pencil tool, I was often baffled when the mouse-pointer changed to a ‘No Entry’ sign and I was unable to draw. Now if that happens, I head straight for the Frames palette as it usually turns out that I’m attempting to draw on the ‘Frame’ rather than on the virtual ‘paper’ (my layers for roughs, pencils, pen and paint) inside that frame.

Colour Set & Colour Wheel

For my first Adam & the Gargoyle comic strip I kept the process as simple as possible by accepting all the defaults. I chose colours from the Default color set but I’m now starting to use the Colour Wheel, which gives an almost infinitely varied choice of colours.

Borders and Balloons

I’m now able to adjust the width of the border around each frame and of the border around the speech bubbles.

That elusive balloon-editing palette. I don’t normally keeping it floating in the workspace.

The latter isn’t that obvious, as you need to select the bubble with the Object Selector (left), not the Text Tool and you then have to delve down into the Tool Property [Object] Sub-tool Palette.


Clip Paint Studio EX: the iPad version is currently free for the first six months, if you want to try it.

Soap Bubbles

confrontationThe confrontation between Charles Waterton and Edward Thornhill Simpson the soap manufacturer is rather wordy. It wasn’t until I printed a paper copy at the final size that I could see that the font was larger than it needed to be.

In this frame I’ve dropped a scan my pen and watercolour  into a layout that I’ve set up in the comic strip creation program Manga Studio EX5.

soap bubbles

Although in this second version the type looks rather small on screen, it is still a bit larger than is necessary to make it legible in print but it’s small enough to give a bit of breathing space around the speech bubbles.

Waterton in Watercolour

cmyk versionI saved the first image in RGB (red, green, blue) format, the recommended method for viewing on screen, the second in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) which supposedly gives the best results when printing but I prefer the colour cast of RGB, even on the printed version from my colour laser. Neither version manages to capture the transparency of the original watercolour artwork. A professional printer will, I’m sure, make a better job of it.

The typeface is Hannotate SC Regular, set in a italics in the second version. I might hand letter the final version but for the moment this is a useful way of setting up the design of each frame of the comic strip. There might be a few tweaks to script and it will be easier to accommodate those if I don’t commit to hand written text at this stage.