In the digital art and illustration world, there are many programs you can use to make your art. From Photoshop (basically the industry standard and most popular), to Gimp (a free open source version of Photoshop), experts and hobbyists alike can find something within their budget!
A few years ago I purchased my first Wacom tablet that came with a free two year trial of Clip Studio. I had never heard of the program before, but since I was getting the tablet anyway – it was a nice addition to the purchase.
I’ll be honest, at first I hated Clip because I didn’t fully understand it and I HATE trying to learn new things. However, I quickly got the hang of the program and its numerous features and would never use anything else now!
As far as illustration and digital painting goes – Clip studio is set up for a super fast workflow and ease of use. All the features are easily accessible and pop up when you highlight areas you wish to work on.
1) You can expand and decrease pixels around selections with the click of a button for cleaner fill areas.
2) It has tons of ruler options you can use to help you draw in different perspectives or symmetrical pieces.
3) It has a whole selection of 3-D models (both people and items) that you can edit as you see fit! And yes, you can get a plastic poseable model in real life – but let me see you alter that plastic model’s weight and height! Not too mention you can move the models in a 3-D space to change camera angles and perspectives which is a super handy feature for making comics (which I do!) and setting up story boards.
4) I adore the fill gap option when using the paint bucket tool. If your line art has lines that do not perfectly match up, you can adjust gap settings so that the auto fill tool can detect where lines should be closed – so that color doesn’t leak into other areas. I actually use this all the time when coloring my web comic and it saves so much time!
“How much will such an amazing program cost me?” you may ask. Compared to Photoshop (with a monthly fee of $29.99 a month) The basic version of Clip will cost you $50 (but it often goes on sale for $25) and the Ex Version is $219 (or around $130 on Amazon). A one time fee that includes all future updates! You certainly don’t need the Ex version to make amazing art – but it does have some additional features for better animation (oh yeah… you can animate with Clip!) and publishing comics.
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