Brush Pens vs Manga Studio EX 4
Today I took on Lean Into Art Quest #7: What’s the difference Zero and 60? In which I learned a bit about time management and trusting myself on the page. I took a page of art from The Front: Petty Dreadful that I inked in Manga Studio EX 4 and re-inked it with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and the Pentel Color Brush Pen.
Here are the results for comparison (click to enlarge). Reflections on the quest below:
The Regular Quest asked us to track our time with our next piece of art and share some reflections. Having learned tons about managing my work schedule by using David Seah’s Emergent Task Planner, I opted to take on the Heroic Quest which consisted of:
Select a previously-finished piece of art (or comics page) that you’re pretty happy with. One that demonstrates you at your best. Set a timer and give yourself ONE HOUR to draw exactly the same thing.
Compare the two. How do they differ? Is the new one any better or worse than the first? If so, how? Were there any shortcuts you took to make your deadline that you could bring over into your regular work?
Once again, the page I inked for the quest:
And so, observations:
- I can’t believe I inked this in an hour. I think I actually came in a few minutes under. Deadline mentality can make you do crazy cool things.
- However, I’m not terribly thrilled with every panel on the page. Haste and a brush made for some sloppy lines in panels 3 and 6 that I would definitely spend some time fixing in Photoshop.
- But I do love the texture on the brush pen’s lines! The newer version feels warmer to me. The Manga Studio page, while dynamic and crisp, feels slightly colder and less “alive” somehow. I need to play in Manga Studio more to see if I can capture that warmth.
- The newer version would be a bear to color. Manga Studio gives you wonderfully non-anti-aliased lines, which makes it a breeze to pre-flat your page with tools like the BPelt plugins (this link no longer works–anyone know where to find them nowadays?). But the new page would have to be flatted by hand. Also, Manga Studio lets you ink on layers, which makes doing color holds super easy. With all my line art on one layer, it’d be a bit of a chore to create them on the new version.
So lots of trade offs. And maybe the trick is to use a combo of brush pens/Manga Studio somehow.
At the very least I learned that I could easily ink a page like this in under two hours. Which I hope will kick me in the butt to work faster on future books.
I’ll talk more about this on the Lean Into Art Cast tonight, July 18, at 9:00 pm ET. You can join us for the live stream on YouTube and participate via chat on Freenode. Just choose a nickname and enter the #leanintoart channel. I’d love to hear which one you liked better and why.