Manga Studio Noodlin’

Manga Studio test

I’ve started playing with drawing digitally in Manga Studio. I’m still coming to grips with the differences between drawing on paper versus drawing with a tablet. For years I’ve been stuck in a method of Thumbnails → Tight Pencils → Inks. The other day I tried doing the Tight Pencils stage of a comic page in Manga Studio and failed miserably. Not even worth showing. I just couldn’t attain the level of control I’m used to at that stage. Now I realize it was stupid to try. That control and precision should be left to the inking stage. Thanks to layers and undo functions, digital inking doesn’t have the same finality to it as traditional inking, so I should be able to dive into that stage with a looser foundation to the drawing.

So I tried that Rough Sketch → Inks method with this drawing. What I’m finding most interesting is how compensating for the shift in tools/method is subtly changing my mentality while drawing. The lack of finality means I’m willing to take more chances with my details and line control. And that flexibility is causing me to be a little more forgiving when the results aren’t exactly what I had imagined. I could stand to be less of a perfectionist, so a mental shift in that direction would probably be healthy.

The real test will come when I try to draw an actual comic page with this method. Doodling half a character pose doesn’t have the same baggage as drawing a comic page (where you also have to worry about staying on model, working within the panel composition, appeasing the script’s demands, desiring a polished final result, etc). But if I can embrace the shift in method and mentality, I think this might be a good approach for my next solo work.

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