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The best drawing tablets to improve your creative flow

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The best drawing tablets to improve your creative flow

The tools you use and how you use them is probably the most important factor to consider when thinking about adding new hardware to your workspace. There are a truly dizzying number of drawing and art apps out there, and no two artists use them the same way. So I reached out to some professional artists to find out what software they use in their daily work.

Adobe Photoshop

The founders of the Oh joy sex toy webcomic, Erika Moen and Matthew Nolanwear Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio Painting as the basis of your digital art workflows.

“Especially when working on comics, I need the tools of Photoshop to play with the text and layout the entire page so that my art guides the reader’s eye in the right direction,” says Erika.

Photoshop’s DNA as a photo editing suite means that it has acquired many powerful and granular tools over the years. It is a great option for formatting pages, manipulating text, and handling photo layers, which can be useful when working from reference photos for environments. It’s powerful, but there are some things that other apps can do better.

Clip Studio Painting

Moen and Nolan may design their pages and text in Photoshop, but the finish line always goes through Clip Studio Paint. “It is an excellent drawing program that sits very well between Photoshop and Procreate“Matthew added.

Designed as a tool for manga artists, Clip Studio Paint is packed with many of the same features you’ll see in Photoshop, but the way it handles line work is second to none. It renders each stroke beautifully and the lines feel much more fluid than in any other illustration app. When I first tried it a few years ago, I felt like I was cheating. The drawing engine does fair just the right amount of motion filtering to keep your lines soft and fluid, without making them feel less free and tactile. Just as Photoshop created a vast library of powerful tools over the years, Clip Studio Paint has done the same. There’s a lot more going on under the hood than you might expect.

Illustrator and contributor to Oh Joy Sex Toy Ripley La Cruz has been using Clip Studio Paint as a cornerstone of his digital art workflow for almost eight years. As a result, Ripley’s knowledge of the ins and outs of Clip Studio Paint is impressive. It’s not always the easiest app to use, and there are features that don’t get enough attention, one of which is the Alexandria Library-sized community library of templates, brushes, and resources available at your fingertips. “The robust library of free and paid resources is a game-changer,” says Ripley. “Do you need to draw an ornate chandelier from a very specific angle and can’t find a photo reference? Boom, someone made a 3D model of one and it costs two dollars.”

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