Artists disagree about the best method when it comes to drawing. Some argue that using traditional techniques are better. Others contend that drawing manga digitally is more convenient.
This article will present that drawing manga is more manageable when done digitally. We still respect and admire the traditional art form. But, we also acknowledge that technological advancements have changed things up a bit.
Here are ten good reasons which prove that it is easier to draw manga digitally:
Table of Contents
- 1 1.) The Undo Button
- 2 2.) No Need to Stock on Screen Tones
- 3 3.) Manga Elements can be Templated Automatically
- 4 4.) Drawing Digitally Equals Clean Hands
- 5 5.) You can Auto-fill Manga Digitally
- 6 6.) Sections and Details can be Zoomed in and Perfected
- 7 7.) The Canvas Quality Never Changes
- 8 8.) You Can Add as Many Layers as You Want.
- 9 9.) Multiple types of brushes and pens can be used digitally.
- 10 10.) There are Different kinds of Software and Applications Digitally Manga.
1.) The Undo Button
Drawing manga takes a lot of time and practice, regardless of what method you use. However, doing things digitally is easier as you can undo your mistakes with one button that you customize. In contrast, drawing manga on paper would require frequent erasures.
This is tedious, especially if you’re still developing your skill. You will need a lot of paper and ink if you want to practice drawing manga traditionally. And when you’ve made multiple mistakes, you would have to start over completely.
This is because by then, the paper you’re drawing on would have become dirty and smudged with ink. In contrast, it doesn’t matter how many times you press the undo button or make erasures with a drawing tablet.
2.) No Need to Stock on Screen Tones
Screen tones are sheets of grayscale adhesive paper. They are used to add shadows, volume, and depth in manga drawings. This means that if you’re going to hand draw manga, you would need a lot of them.
Adding screen tones to a manga using the traditional method takes a lot of time. You would have to cut out the exact parts of the screen tones that you need. This is hard since they are sticky and easy to scratch and break.
Drawing manga digitally means you just buy the software for screen tones. You don’t have to worry about stocking upon them. You also don’t need to make manual cuts and worry about scratches. All you have to do is digitally paste them where you want to place them.
3.) Manga Elements can be Templated Automatically
A manga has a lot of elements, including frames, speech bubbles, and effects. When using traditional methods, a mangaka has to draw these one by one. This means that every panel is manually lined out using a ruler.
Every speech bubble is also drawn and re-drawn, depending on the amount of text. Effects such as speed lines, bursts, and sparkles also have to be drawn each time.
But when you use a drawing tablet to create manga, you can template everything. Most drawing software already has pre-drawn panels and frames. You just need to select them and then drag them to their place on the page.
Here are some examples of effects that can be templated:
You can enlarge and minimize text bubbles by simply adjusting their settings. You can even paste effects! You just need to tweak them accordingly to make them specific to the scene.
4.) Drawing Digitally Equals Clean Hands
Using ink on paper means that smudges are bound to end up all over your fingers. You would have to wash your hands each time to ensure that nothing ends up dirtying the pages.
Even if you use a drawing glove like this:
You will eventually need to replace it because of the ink and marks.
But if you use a drawing tablet, you don’t have to worry about ink or smudges at all. And should there be accidental lines or streaks, you can just erase them without leaving a trace.
5.) You can Auto-fill Manga Digitally
Shading and filling take a lot of work if you’re using traditional drawing methods. Consider this panel from Shinichi Sakamoto’s Innocent:
Shinichi Sakamoto would have had to shade over all the black areas manually, which likely took a lot of time. When you use drawing software, you can fill in those spaces with one click.
6.) Sections and Details can be Zoomed in and Perfected
If you’re drawing on paper, you would have to squint and look closely at the page to see the details. Some mangaka’s use magnifying glasses, straining the eyes. Difficult if you draw an elaborate two-page spread or have many tiny elements in a scene. It can even end up ruining your eyes.
Digitally you can zoom as you need when using a drawing tablet. You can even magnify areas that are unseen to the naked eye. This helps maintain the standard and quality of your work.
7.) The Canvas Quality Never Changes
When you draw on paper, there may be variations to the quality of the canvas that you use. Erasures would also thin the paper, thereby affecting the overall feel of the draft.
But when you draw manga digitally, the canvas quality remains the same. You don’t need to look for thick and expensive paper to ensure that erasures won’t affect the feel of the page.
8.) You Can Add as Many Layers as You Want.
Traditional drawings are primarily two-dimensional. This is true in both their appearance and technique. It is because the medium itself is flat. Meanwhile, you can add different layers to your digital manga drawings.
You can even work on different layers individually. This would help make your drawings feel more three-dimensional and realistic. It also allows for more detail and excellence.
9.) Multiple types of brushes and pens can be used digitally.
When you buy a digital tablet, there is usually an accompanying stylus. Some styluses are thick, while others are thin. But regardless of size, every stylus can produce multiple brush styles with the press of a button.
This means that if you need a very thin line, you just need to change your brush settings. And if you suddenly change your mind along the way, you can simply switch back to a larger brush. You can tweak it however you want to to create the look and produce the lines you are looking for.
But if you’re using pen and paper, you would have to buy many different pens and brushes. Sometimes, you don’t even get to achieve the look you’re going for because you can’t find the exact brush size. This means that you would have to improvise, if not settle.
10.) There are Different kinds of Software and Applications Digitally Manga.
If you are a mangaka using traditional methods, you only have yourself to rely on. If you want some help with the process, you would need to spend money to hire an assistant.
There are many software and applications for drawing tablets. These are meant to assist in the drawing process. Some of these include:
- Clip Studio Paint Pro, for realistic-looking pen strokes and templated panels
- Adobe Photoshop, to improve composition and smoothen brush strokes
- Corel Painter, which mimics different paper textures
Make no mistake; they do not replicate the skill of an artist or a mangaka assistant. Nonetheless, they still minimize drawing time, enhance drawings, and automate the bare necessities.
Drawing manga digitally takes some time to get used to. You would have to learn about the different software and adjust to the feel of a tablet and stylus. But once you get the hang of it, the entire drawing process becomes easier.
Now, it’s time to hear from you:
Did I miss anything?
Do you agree that it’s easier to draw manga digitally? Why or why not?
Whatever your answer is, let’s hear it in the comments below.