Comparing Digital Drawing to Traditional Drawing is like comparing a Car to a Horse. If you still have doubt or are scared of the learning curve, it is time to make the plunge. The time saved drawing digital is worth every penny of the initial investment. You could be up and running for about a grand.
There is a slight learning curve, but it should be easier for those getting into Digital Drawing now than it was a few years ago. The amount of informative literature and videos available online has snowballed. When I started three years ago, I watched the same 30 videos over and over. Today there are much more on Youtube. I like to subscribe to channels and spend my evenings seeing what other artists are doing.
Digital Drawing saves time and is fun. In the early days, I would be ready to go to sleep and suddenly figure out an answer that was stumping me. I would wake up and find myself drawing until 3 or 4 in the morning.
Here are a few reasons why I love Drawing Digitally:
1. Copic Marker
Sketchbook Pro retails for about $80. It is a straight-forward and powerful drawing program. It’s like someone asked Adobe for the “Photoshop for Dummies” package. Inside Sketchbook Pro there are a lot of great default brushes. What is awesome is the Copic Marker brush selection. They react just like the traditional Copics. What’s even better is you have the entire Copic Color library. Those who have used Copics know how expensive they are. This feature right here is worth a thousand bucks on it’s own.
Using Layers is like drawing with smart tracing paper. Imagine building up a drawing on tracing paper, then layering a new piece of tracing paper on that for your second round of cleaning up a drawing. If you draw traditionally like me, I would use 5-6 layers of messy tracing paper. By the end, it was difficult to keep track.
Layers allow you to make an infinite stack “tracing paper”. The difference is the options that come digitally: turn individual layers on or off, label layers, change the transparency of a layer, change the color of the line work on a layer, change the attributes of a layer and so much more.
3. The UNDO command
This is the awesomest feature ever. Command-Z and your problems go away. This is how you fearlessly try new ideas. At times, your drawing gets critically close to completion. It just needs a bit more love. The Undo command gives you the courage to really venture out and try something without screwing up your hard work.
4. Brushes, Brushes, Brushes!
Holy cow, you could write a thesis on this. If you can think up a traditional brush, it can be made digital. You can make your favorite #2 Pencil that always has that perfect point you love. Make charcoal or pastels. Paint with horse hair or synthetic. The best part is you can do ALL of this in one picture. So as you develop a drawing, you layout the composition with acrylic paint, then redefine it with markers. After that you move on to pencils, and for your final pass use a felt tip pen. This is why Digital Drawing is awesome. It frees the creative process.
5. The Cloud.
If I start a drawing at home, I might not finish. So I save it to my Creative Cloud account. Then I drive to work and I fire up my tablet I use for traveling. My Cintiq Companion is smaller and mobile. The accounts have been synced automatically and I pull up my drawing that I started on a different device. Then I head to lunch. I pull up my Creative Cloud account on my iPhone and text a sketch to my client. I will never again have to say “I left your drawing at home”. But what’s even cooler is that I have THREE YEARS of drawing in my pocket!