Learn to draw and paint using this Photoshop alternative

Not only can it add dark glazes and create glow, but if you choose middle ranges it can emulate the missing Color Blend mode. Some will be easier to use than others, but the ability to create digitally won’t be dictated by one powerful player. With the Perspective Grid enabled, every line you draw or paint will follow the perspective guides. Clicking the set square symbol displays an array of special rulers and guides, which can make the drawing and painting of ellipses and curves a joy rather than a chore. I use simple Hard and Soft brushes to add detail, and refine them using Multiply, Overlay and Glow Blend modes to enhance shadow and highlights. Drawing and painting aids
More to Manga Studio than meets the eyeWhen it comes to drawing and painting, there is more to Manga Studio than just the Perspective tool. You can either click LayerRuler Create Perspective Ruler… By toggling the visibility of the perspective layer you can go freehand quite simply. Both ways will create a layer that can be toggled on and off. I use a Big Tex ink pen created by Manga Studio user Frenden. The single piece of functionality that’s missing from the Blend modes is one for colour. At this moment I’d give Photoshop the edge where painting and manipulation is concerned. If I’ve taken time on the monochromatic rendering this should flow easily, because most of the work has been done. I’ve trawled the net for tutorials and information to iron out my lack of knowledge and experience. I try to create a sense of distance between the castle and the robot by lightening the shadows on the giant, and darkening parts of the bridge and the surrounding architecture. With this workshop I’ve decided to use Manga Studio 5 exclusively to produce an illustration from scratch. I toggle the guides off and on when I need more freehand control. Limit your choice of brushes
Fewer brushes are betterI only tend to use a few brushes on a regular basis in Photoshop, and I implement the same approach in Manga Studio. 03. Standard approach to layers
The layers in Manga Studio work much the same as Photoshop. Choose a brush to your own preference. I always find an image is far more satisfying if there’s a sense of drama. 13. For colouring I’ll have to concentrate on Overlay and Multiply. In perspective
Using the perspective toolsI’ve estimated the perspective by eye in the sketch. I use the Concentric Circle guide to paint the tang of the sword. Alternatively, click the set square symbol from the Tool palette. I can’t recommend these brushes enough – they’re more than worth the small cost of downloading. Manga Studio also has a number of spatter airbrushes. Manga Studio also judges very effectively which lines you’re drawing to. I then use a combination of Multiply, Darken and Lighten layers to add atmospheric perspective. I love storytelling, be it sequentially or in single images. Back to basics
I always start my ideas in my sketchbook. You can purchase them here. 15. However, Manga Studio’s perspective tools help you realise how accurate your drawing is. It’s comforting to know that no software will have a monopoly on digital creation. Manga Studio has only begun to concentrate on the painting brush engine in this edition; however, it already has a great engine with huge future potential. Historically, the samurai would have defended the castle to the last man, even against impossible odds. Words: Dave Kendall
Dave Kendall is a freelance illustrator who works mainly in the comic, fantasy and horror realms. Final thoughts on Manga Studio
The finished piece: trial and errorI’m pleased with how this image has turned out, considering that I’m not experienced in using Manga Studio 5. I’d like to state that I love Photoshop CS6, and will be using it until the day it’s obsolete. It’s quite liberating to draw without the safety net of the eraser. Drawing in perspective
Make sure the Perspective Grid is enabled. Having a good working knowledge of Photoshop helps. Toggling the visibility of the layer on and off enables accurate ellipses and freehand painting with ease. Given a choice all my work would be traditional. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX magazine issue 103. If they are green, use the Select tool and click the small square icons. 05. 12. The speed and accuracy that I’m able to do this makes Manga Studio my default choice for digital drawing. It’s missing the very useful Color mode, which is a slight setback, but this may be added with an update, and until then I use Multiply and Overlay for colour modification. I’m looking to create a fun image with the ability to demonstrate the perspective tools inside Manga Studio, so a medieval samurai castle preparing for an attack from a giant, steam-powered samurai colossus gives me plenty of drama. I set the blend mode to Multiply, and with a dark colour create multiple gradients on the same layer. Each layer has a blend mode that anyone familiar with Photoshop will be aware of. The initial concept
Pacific Rim meets Steampunk SamuraiPacific Rim meets Steampunk Samurai is my starting point. Overlay is probably the more useful of the two. and then choose two-or three-point perspective. As a digital drawing program it’s a pretty stunning addition to anyone’s toolset. From monochrome to colour
Adding colour to change the moodIt’s time to add some colour. The mid-tones are usually dealt with by the original gradient. There are some aspects unique to each program, but they’re pretty minimal. I work from back to front, refining details and rendering in clouds, smoke and steam. Foreground tweaks and final touches
How to create a sense of distanceI turn the guides on to help paint the bridge and buildings. 07. I find this a useful mode in Photoshop, and I regret its absence. 06. However, if you’re familiar with Photoshop, Manga Studio will offer few surprises. I keep it simple, because I want the attention primarily on the robot, with the castle and its inhabitants providing the extra story elements. The lines should be purple. He’s produced work for 2000 AD, Madefire, Wizards of the Coast and Blizzard, among others. I think this image is pretty much as impossible as it gets. 10. Use the Perspective Ruler to lay in vanishing points that match your sketch. I enjoy the sketching process and having multiple concepts on the page at the same time. I’ve started using a fountain pen to lay my ideas down. Painting a giant
Time to add details and formI start rendering details and extra form into the giant. This should turn the lines purple. Unlike in Photoshop, I’m able to paint a straight line with differing lengths and thicknesses. But who knows – maybe they come through against this mechanical giant?

Updated: 21.11.2014 — 18:55