I decided to put together a masterpost of resources I know and have (mostly) used when making doujinshi, comics, etc. I hope this helps someone!
blambot - their free fonts are great for comics, and their license allows you to use them for self published works even if you’re making a profit
fontsquirrel - all fonts are advertised as being free for commercial use, but I’ve found quite a few that actually are not. has a lot of fonts, but please read the license first. if no license is included or if it’s not explicitly free for commercial use, don’t use it in printed works
eikou’s templates [JPN] - templates for comics are here if you don’t want to set up the guides yourself. however, if you’re printing, it’s probably best to use the templates/bleed specifications your printer provides
jetpens - they actually carry a lot of useful traditional manga drawing materials, like dip pens, manuscript paper, etc. also free US shipping over 25 dollars! the doujinshi size manuscript paper is A4 size (it trims down to B5)
deleter mangashop - sells manuscript paper, pens, screentone, etc. shipping is pretty expensive, however.
DaVinci Artist Supply - this particular davinci tends to carry screentones and doujinshi size manuscript paper, probably because they are so close to SVA
137 East 23rd Street New York NY 10010 Ph: 212 982-8607
clip studio paint - sai and mangastudio in one package. relatively cheap, also. carries a lot of screentones within the program and allows you to put down trim lines, text, etc. the cheaper version doesn’t allow you to organize your pages together in one big story, but shouldn’t really matter unless you want to mass export your files. UI is very similar to SAI when in illustration mode. I noticed that there was little to no learning curve when I first picked it up from using photoshop, SAI, and manga studio. overall a great drawing program and is great for drawing comics as well!
manga studio - a little hard to use but very versatile for comic drawing. I personally like drawing in clip studio more, but manga studio is still very good at what it does. it’s pretty hard to create illustrations with this software, but it’s more dedicated to comics (personally I use it to draw comics even though I have clip studio)
photoshop - if you really want to torture yourself. Not originally a drawing program, but has so so so many features. you can create your own guides which is a plus if you don’t want to use templates (clip studio doesn’t really allow for this, manga studio does but it’s a little confusing)
how to make doujinshi [JPN] - very useful site! google translate is ok here… mostly. even if you don’t speak japanese, you should be able to grasp the basic idea.
Understanding Comics by Scott Mccloud - this book was given to me as basically the bible of comics. you can judge it for yourself, but I think it was a very good read, even if you don’t plan on drawing comics. It’s less about the technicalities of drawing comics and more about understanding comic based storytelling. It is also a comic book itself, interestingly.
wally wood’s 22 panels that always work - I’m always looking at this when I draw comics!!!! it’s great when I wrote a long bit of dialogue and realized I don’t know where to put anyone because I’m a dang idiot!!!!!!!
hajimete no doujinshi [JPN] - google translate sort of fails here, so this is better if you have at least a little knowledge of japanese/japanese doujin terms (for example the japanese term for trim lines translates to “dragonfly”)
doujinpress - print quality was not great a year ago, but they are currently in the process of increasing their print quality. Staff are very helpful and kind. long loooong turnaround (6 weeks). they offer perfect bound. reasonably priced. not a lot of cover stock options, but I hear that will possibly change soon… also prints R18 material (!!)
smartpress - lots of cover options, paper options, etc! billies printed with them and quality looked good (I haven’t printed with them personally). reasonably priced and offers custom sizing. default turnaround time is 3 days (!!)
this is an incomplete list. Please add more if you think it belongs on here. Thanks!
IF YOU ARE STREAMING, DON’T USE PROCASTER.
DON’T. USE. PROCASTER.
Livestream procaster consumes large amounts of cpu for nothing. No joke, nothing. As a result your stream can become laggy and sometimes it can damage your hardware as your PC has to push itself to keep what your streaming functioning as well as possible.
"But if we can’t use procaster what can we use insteaaaaad?"
Simple. There’s two programs, both that are free, that you can use that uses very little CPU and has more options than procaster. These programs are called Xsplit and OBS. To keep your head in one piece, I’m going to go over how to stream on Livestream with Xsplit.
Under the cut of course.
I get the question often as to what size canvas I draw on. I’ve answered in responses to explain the basics numerous times, but I’m going to write a bit more detailed response so all can understand and reference.
(I’ll use my Dirty Pair piece as the guinea pig for this explanation.)
A lot of artists, primarily painters, typically like to work at a large size for things like detail work. However, this is not necessary. When you think of a traditional painter, they don’t paint at rather huge sizes on whatever they’re illustrating (unless they’re painting a mural or some sort of wall art).
Crossing over into the digital realm, I abide by that same logic. Unless you’re doing graphic design using vector-based visuals where things need to be crisp and clean, there is no need to draw/paint at a huge size (unless you just want to do it to achieve a visual effect or style).
The few people I’ve told know that I draw at a rather small resolution. My typical canvas size is 11x17 inches at 100 DPI. That equals 1100x1700 pixels total. (This image was drawn even smaller than that, at 1088x1245 pixels.) Why do I draw at such a small size? A few reasons:
- Much more control over your strokes. You’re working with fewer pixels at a low pixel count, resulting in less need of detail control. For example, drawing a curved stroke at 200DPI is harder to do than 100DPI because there are 2x the distance of the stroke. 300DPI, 3x the distance; 400DPI, 4x; 500DPI, 5x; you get it. The higher pixel count you have, the more care you have to take (and more ctrl+Zs you have to hit).
- Drawing small helps brainstorm. I tend to zoom in before roughing out my drawing, that’s right— at my base canvas size. It’s similar to the traditional thumbnailing approach where you don’t have to worry about details when you’re coming up with your pose. You just draw small, enlarge, draw in more detail, enlarge, rinse and repeat until you have all the detail you need for the illustration and then refine the lines.
- Your drawing speed is faster. Because of the above two reasons, you just don’t make as many mistakes and don’t have to worry about strict control. The byproduct is that your drawing speed increases.
Here are the native lines to the DP illustration below:
Above is the exact size and resolution I drew these two in. As you can see, it’s not a crazy trick. People ask “How do you get your lines so clean!?” when they’re trying to draw at a huge size. Well, just don’t draw at a huge size. You can zoom in and see that it’s nothing special beyond that:
It looks hecka pixelated and stuff.
Now at this point, you’re wondering “well, what if I have to worry about print and just having a huge version on hand in case I want to do something with it later on?” Well, this is answered when I’m ready to color my line art~
When I begin to color the piece, I enlarge it. For my refined illustration work, I usually color at 200DPI. I have a Photoshop Action that I run that resizes my linework to 200DPI. But an experienced digital artist knows that enlarging a low-resolution image results in blurriness. That’s why in that Action I also have a Smart Sharpen filter ran on my lines:
What this does is basically make it as if I drew the lines at 200DPI instead of 100DPI:
Everything carries over and you have crisp clean lines to get into coloring. Even after you color, it’s just enough:
Blending colors and stuff is even easier to do than at a higher resolution. Even at 200%, it’s not horrible:
We know 300DPI is the default that you should print at, so then just resize it to 300DPI then:
So, there’s no need to draw in a large resolution for your art, even when you’re worried about print. Drawing smaller makes your work cleaner and easier to manage and looks great when you enlarge it with the right settings. Photoshop has been advanced enough for some time now to utilize this method well.
And that’s pretty much it for this explanation! I hope all that made sense.
So go on and try to draw smaller instead of drawing huge. You may notice yourself getting faster and using Undo less often. ;)