ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sketchbook Pro 2011

Jim Lee Does a Mean Joker!
While PHOTOSHOP remains the digital tool I rely on the most-- I don't find it ideal to draw or sketch with especially when using my tablet.

I've had several drawing programs but I decided to sit down and figure out which one of these I can actually use.  Corel Painter, Manga Studio and one other whose name escapes me were all pretty good in replicating the feel of working on paper.

In a conversation with comic artist Brian Bolland, who himself works totally digitally now, he explained how he uses the rotate canvas option in PHOTOSHOP to be able to "turn" his paper, a huge part of drawing for most artists.  I just wasn't happy with the lines I was getting.

So I looked through my hard drive and found a trial version of Sketchbook Pro 2009 that I had and tried it out-- FANTASTIC.  It replicates the feel of pencil and different kinds of paper, it has all of the great layer options of Photoshop and best of all, rotating the image is fast and simple.  I instantly ordered a full copy from Amazon.

The interface is pretty straightforward and provides a creative way of hiding all of the tools you'll need to work from sketch to finished piece with the comparable feel of working on paper.

The pencil option is particularly adept at mimicking the feel of working traditionally and the option to rotate your canvas is fast and efficient allowing an artist to quickly move the "board" around which is a crucial element in getting the best line out of your digital pen.

The best price going seems to be on Amazon, which is where I got my copy.  BUT you can go to the Autodesk website and download a pretty functional trial version to see if you love it as much as I do.

Trust me, in the world of art there are other drawing programs but nothing comes close to this one.