I’ve officially gone ALL DIGITAL, which isn’t to say I’ll never touch a pencil again, just that for now, all my work and experiments will take place on Photoshop, via the Wacom.
Here’s a drawing I had been gradually building up for weeks, and finally sat down to finish today.
Digitally, I’m able to erase, cut, move, resize, reshape, etc… without damaging the paper or leaving any unwanted marks behind. It allows me to try out more things without needing to commit to them. In a way, it feels more like sculpture than drawing because I can lay things down and chip at them gradually, until they look right.
Admittedly, there are some negatives: you don’t get to keep the original drawing as an object, and sometimes the unlimited Photoshop options can be more overwhelming than helpful. For example, the ability to zoom in/out and change brush size does weird things to depth perception because of unusual line weight variations.
I think it’s better to give yourself restrictions that mimic the real life drawing process and build your problem solving skills around them.
What I’ve done is limit myself to 2 zoom levels (fit screen/fill screen), 3 brushes, and 1 tone (black).
Here are the three brushes I’ve come to rotate between almost exclusively:
1. Main line brush- I opted for a line that felt pencil-like (semi-transparent) because I like when you can see a bit of the built up drawing process in the final piece.
2. Sketch brush – I went with one that has a built in texture and is handy both as a sketchy liner and as a shader to fill in areas (depending on the tilt of the stylus).
3. Solid brush – this I use for flatting and coloring.
There are a few discomfort issues. In a perfect world I could magically float the Wacom into the perfect 35 degree angle just inches below my monitor and hovering above my waist line… that’s what ergonomic means to me… but well, short of building myself a custom table (which is not out of the question!) I’ll have to settle for what I have now.
But yeah. I honestly think that going digital has revolutionized my drawing technique, and now that I feel more confident laying down the lines I plan on moving forward and putting more focus on form.
I’m going to be experimenting more with layout, panel size/shape, order, framing, composition… the mechanics of sequential art.
Expect more technical talk soon!!