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A hint of green: Snow White MS-EX progress

Laying skin tones and central apple

I got laid low by a nasty cold. The cold has mostly dissipated except for a hacking cough. While annoying, it seems to be the tail end of the illness. I have to stop painting whenever I cough so I don’t mess up what I’m working on.

I have been laying color in Manga Studio EX. The Snow White inking received some more doctoring yesterday because the maid’s face appeared to be squashed. Getting the features and expression to be the wide-eyed, young innocent I wanted took most of my session yesterday. Today I started laying in the skin tones and the color for the apple.

I have almost completely forsaken the stylus in favor of the mouse at this point. My drawing hand still aches if I use it for work on the computer, even with the brace. This morning my thumb was so stiff I couldn’t even hold my toothbrush. I have better control on the computer with the mouse, so I will just continue on with that instead of trying to learn how to use the stylus at risk of injuring my dominant hand again.

The Snow White illustration is completely done in raster format. The neat thing about Manga Studio EX is I can choose to work in either raster or vector formats. I am really enjoying the ‘painting’ sessions in raster. It seems to me that my color style is consistent with that of my traditional watercolor technique. I am using the default color palette of the program right now, but I think I will create my own palette with the color combination of my physical paints and see if that translates as well. MS-EX does give me the option of ‘mixing’ my own colors. In addition, the tool controls allow me to choose a lot of different brush widths.

I will finish this illustration as a raster drawing and then switch over to the vector tools with my next illustration. I wonder how similar the tools will be to those in Adobe Illustrator, the program that has been my go to for digital illustration for years? I am hopeful the learning curve will not be as great as the initial switch was from Photoshop.

One thing I do have to add. I am taking just as long to ‘paint’ an illustration in MS-EX as I would be on paper. The only dramatic differences are there is no drying time (which I use a hair dryer to speed up on paper) and my ‘brush’ doesn’t run out of paint. I still get just as growly about having to take a call or answer the door, but at least using this tool for washes doesn’t mean a ruined painting if I have to stop in the middle of the wash. The undo command fixes splotchy washes in the blink of an eye. I like that.

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