Letters from Somnolescent March 27, 2022

Fun with Clip Studio

by Devon

Digital art was always sort of thing I wanted to try but didn’t really could work through and finish a piece (which was an issue for me anyway). There was a period I wanted a tablet so damn much, when I was still a babby, but never really got money for one when cheapest ones were around 300 złotys.

This changed some years later, when I got fully into retro tech thing, I wanted to get one more for graphic design and wanted to get also something that will work with my eMac, I was lucky to find absolutely great 1998 6×8 Intuos (the very first one!) for an affordable price which was siginificantly lower than anything modern used.

In glorious 2003 vision

There was lot of hype around this, was experimenting with various software but I didn’t much liked this compared to working tradionally. Maybe I didn’t like tablet being less tactile as traditional art where I can feel paper texture or my tools, just switching them probably is the thing. I was stuck in loop of trying to figure out what was wrong which was in the end software. Medibang is great, but I had hard time figuring out things. Photoshop is great for graphic design and photo retouching more, GIMP same despite being clunky as hell or Krita being completely useless with my tablet.

I decided to try Clip Studio at that time, since it was thing that Caby used and I fell love with it. It actually worked finely with my ancient tablet, default brushes are great and interface is very clean, controls are very intuitive. After trial version ended I abandoned digital for a good while. I didn’t draw traditionally a lot either, until now.

Curiosity came back when I started to draw a lot and my skills got noticeably better, I started to finish stuff. Pink cats for devon.somnol were fun practice in inking, which got way better (and my tools weren’t as annoying as they were) but with my usual workflow I end adding colors digitially, since you wouldn’t be able to remove light blue color I use for sketching. Was wondering how I’d fare in digital after a longer break and if I would skip having to make traditional line art to get something finished.

Totally unfinished

I decided to jump into Medibang again early this month. Luckily it had all brushes I downloaded before unistalling it and I could play around with some of them. Started doodling Pink Cat and thing just happened. Was surprised that I can work in digital after all. While after that Clip Studio went on sale and got it finally, since it’s worth for price that low. Especially when you see prices of competing packages.

First ever finished digital Cat

High excitement about new toy paid off, since when I just jumped into it after just coming back from work resulted in two Cats, which were sketched out, lined and colored around in hour each.

Should draw more characters interacting with objects though.

Soon after I wanted to try out Caby’s coloring trick that indeed speeds work a bit and tried more conventional shading, than just using a watercolor brush. Since I still was on kick with cats I doodled my sona (and tried colors Caby tried for her) which was waaaayyy cleaner this time. I started to get hang of it.

Assets store is incredible and amount of fun brushes you can get is wonderful. I found out a nice inky brush, kinda like japanese calligraphy brush I used for some pieces. I tested it out by drawing my character, Deborah (I think some of you might seen her on my icon before) and also for a fantasy kitty I was thinking for a while and wanted to figure out her design. She kinda looks like fantasy furry Deborah, but maybe I just like this hairstyle a lot,,,

Initially I wanted to work off traditional sketches since I sketch very messily digitally, though it didn’t turn out as I wanted. Ended just coloring stuff instead, which is own look and a vibe. Kinda like 00s stuff, when people did inks traditionally and colored digitally.

This drawing came out after I had lenghty chat with Caby about older japanese styles, like kogal and early lolita. I had urge to draw some lolitas and kogals before, had vision in my head but in the end it came out totally different. Enjoying finished product a lot, figured out chibi-like proportions too.

Caby also got inspired by out talk and drew her angel puppy girl wearing kogal fashions too >>:3c

Another piece of this type, Deborah again (I think I love to be mean to her and draw her wearing girly stuff) which was came out from looking at some Miu Miu collection (thinking Spring 1996) which a look similar to this and video for In-grid’s Tu Es Foutu, a song I remembered being pretty much played when I was a kid. Kinda 60s vibe going on, but it’s still 90s or 00s after all. I sketched this out very messily on paper on which erasing just smudges thing and was able to refine it, but didn’t wanted to go through hassle of scanning, adjusting and printing it out for inking and ended doing colors digitally. Tried out a new oil pastel brush which is so nice and blends easily.

I’m satisfied with results so far and I’m in hype mode for more stuff. Since I’m back at steady progress now I wonder how nicer things will come out. Digital allows me to finish things and it broke out nasty cycle of starting something out and never really finishing. I can push boundaries and sketch out ideas I want to work traditionally, try out various combinations. It’s for sure more forgiving, but still has many advantages that speed up things and make life easier.

It’s fun, I enjoy thing a lot and I think it’s the most important thing in the end.

Tags: art,

About Devon

An exotic housecat, local fanatic of TDR™ and anything from so-called turn of the millennium. I love to draw boxes and graphic design is my passion.


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