In this short tutorial I want to share with you some tips I learned recently to draw comics using a screen tablet. I’ve been working all my life using tablets without it, and now I’m using a Huion Kanva which is great to work faster.
Here are some recommendations to get used to it in a very short time and how I use it.
Get to know your tablet
This is the most important step when you are starting with a new tablet. I have a Wacom Bamboo that is arround 11 years old, so this is very different to me.
1. Set up the buttons
This was the key while I was working. Identify the main shortcuts you use.
My drawing style is focused in one layer, so I always need to merge them.
That’s why I added Ctrl + E
Zoom in and Zoom out for the main buttons
Clear brush instead of eraser tool
Ctrl + Z
Ctrl + S to keep saving
2. Check out the pen pressure
I didn’t have any problems with it, is the default set up here. Please be aware that this is an important step if you feel that is not the same flow you are used to.
Always do a script before the sketch, even the simplest for a short comic, that way you can be sure how many panels you will need, and the creation process will be faster.
Do all the sketches before you go with the lineart, that way you can review the storytelling. This part of the process can be the most difficult while you find the right way to tell the story. Don’t be afraid of being messy at first.
I always choose a brush that simulate a pencil texture.
My favorite part is doing lines. The sketches are always messy, but lines bring the details to the artwork.
As the sketches, make sure to finish all the linework before start coloring/painting.
Organize your layers in folders so you don’t mess up the lines drawing in the same layer as the sketch.
You will notice that you’ll work faster this way.
Tip: Low down the opacity of the sketches to have a better look of the lines.
Coloring and Painting
Try to choose the right color palette for your work. Use different tones and mix colors to express emotions.
For this comic I used purples/blues to represent “sadness” and “cold” and pinks/yellows for “positive” and “warm”
The goal is to use the colors to enhance the storytelling, this is very important, even more when you are working on comics without dialogs.
As I told you before, the way I color is using one layer, that way color mixing is easier and gives texture to the drawing. Shortcuts like clear brush and merge layers are very useful in this case.
Be sure to choose the best color/painting style for you. If you are interested to know more of the hand-crafted style I use, you can look in this tutorial.
The screen tablet is just perfect, I always had problems with colors in the computer screen, they looked pale, and I had to do color testing before start painting. Now I can be sure that I’m using the correct colors without spending extra time.
While coloring, try to use the “Color History” tool, you will need colors that you used before and don’t need to extract from the last panel again.
Even when I paint using one layer, I need to make different layers for objects in many distances. That way I reduce the mistakes and corrections needed while cleaning up.
Organize them in folders too.
1. Make sure to have an ergonomic chair and maintain the right posture while drawing. It’s hard to get used to it, but always keep your elbows in a hard surface and back straight.
2. Get a switch USB if you need additional ports for:
o Mechanical keyboard for shortcuts if you use laptop.
o Memory bank.
3. There will be many cables, so try to organize them so you don’t get disturbed while drawing.
That’s it for this time guys!
Thank you so much for passing by, and hope you find this helpful to start working with a screen tablet. It is not as hard as I thhought, and all the hard work is worth it when you see the results.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!
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Find my work here: www.stephinni.com