Hi Koi. I received this anonymous message today and couldn’t think of anyone more qualified to answer it than you.
“Hello! I trying to start drawing and digital painting (again) and i would like to ask you what kind of tools do you use (software and hardware). For example, I’m looking for a Tablet Pc with wacom digitizer (for work and drawing). What do you recommend? PD: i fucking love your art.”
If you’ve got the time to share your set up, that’d be swell because I am in no way, shape or form a digital painter. Also, I too fucking love your art.
So I got this ask from niqle (thanks for thinking on me when you got that btw! I really appreciate that! <3) so there’s a long post ahead with personal experiences to hopefully answer that!
Since you were asking about hardware, as long as it has pressure sensitivity you’re pretty much alright with any tablet, especially if you are planning on getting a wacom, that brand is always great when it comes to graphic tablets.
Right now I have a Genius, which I wouldn’t recommend in the slightest right now, but it did it’s work in the beginning and despite some random troubles it’s still helpful, so I wouldn’t drop the option if you can’t manage to buy a wacom yet.
As for software, I would encourage you to try as many drawing programs as you can. From my personal experience I can mention these 3 programs, since these are the ones I used the most:
- Photoshop: A standard on the industry. It’s pretty powerful and pretty complete for drawing and editing. The program was mainly made for drawing though, so it isn’t as straightforward as the other programs I’ll be mentioning, but once you can get the hang of it it’s one of the best ones imo. I haven’t tried it myself, but if you are having a hard time getting this program then I heard that GIMP is a free alternative to this program.
- SAI: The one I normally use, and the one I generally recommend to get started, as the default brushes and the interface is pretty straightforward and intuitive. There are a bunch of important functions missing on this program though, but it has everything needed to get to work. SAI2 is on the works, so you can look forward to that too, I haven’t tried that one myself so far either.
- Manga Studio: It is always mentioned as a blend to PS and SAI, so that must be a good thing. Personally, the only reason I don’t use it is because the the blending brush lags way too much, and that’s the main brush I use on sai, but besides that, MS is really awesome. As a bonus, you have the function to use some 3d dolls to use as reference to fool around with, and some other functions for the comic artists.
Besides those you can also try OpenCanvas, Sketchbook Pro or Painter (didn’t got the chance to test this one properly because I didn’t have a proper computer back then, but that last one is pretty awesome from what I heard too). Again, you don’t have to, but the more programs you try the better.
As I mentioned, I use SAI nowadays, since it’s less ram hungry as most of the programs, and the blending brush is marvelous. Most of the default brushes are great to get to drawing already, but right now I use some slightly customized brushes, which I linked over here. Not everyone draws the same way, so it’s highly unlikely that the brushes you get from somewhere else will work as good for you, so the best thing to do is, like the programs, try as many brushes as you can and start developing your own once you start knowing the programs better.
Aaaand I think that’s all! Hope I answered the questions from the anon guy!
And thanks once again for the comment niqle, I really love your stuff too!
tl,dr: wacom is always good, try as many drawing programs/brushes as you can (I use sai and rarely PS), and practice like crazy!