Introducing Manga Studio 5
As you might have read on my About page, I am planning to convert some of my artwork into digital form. I also plan to create new digital pieces directly. I would have liked to have invested in Photoshop but I couldn’t afford it. Instead I have bought something called Manga Studio 5, which is a lot cheaper. I also bought a (cheap) graphics tablet. Manga Studio is a graphics tool designed for people who create manga (Japanese comics). The picture on the left only took me a few minutes to produce. However, there’s a steep learning curve with both Manga Studio and the graphics tablet. Drawing with them involves a whole new form of hand-eye coordination. So far, I love using them. It can be a little frustrating at times, like when I can’t remember how I produced a particular effect. There are mountains of features to become familiar with. The most frustrating thing so far has been trying to pose the 3D drawing dolls. Apparently there is a little electronic mannequin that you can plug in to make this easier but we’re back to expensive gear again. Anyway, all that aside, I still love Manga Studio. I hope to get really stuck into it from September onwards.
The final version of the background graphic on this blog was produced in Manga Studio. It’s a dharma wheel that I designed for an Irish retreat centre called Sunyata. I started with a photograph of my design on paper (see right). I then painstakingly went over the design in Windows 7’s Paint package. This was what convinced me that I needed a new graphics package. Don’t get me wrong though, I like Paint and I still use it for simpler tasks.
[Update: the dharma wheel design is now available for free download via deviantART or you can pay them to print it for you. I get a small percentage of each sale.]
I look forward to being able to share more of my artwork with you. Do you have a favourite graphics package? Have you used a graphics tablet? What do you think of digital art? Please leave a comment.