Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

The Process of Creating CatBird: A Manga Studio Illustration by Vince Dorse

Posted by Kayla Cytron-Thaler on Feb 3, 2015 1:00:56 AM

We want to give a big thank you to Vince Dorse for showing other artists his drawing process in Manga Studio. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for more exciting news!

I’ve been forcing myself to learn to paint in Manga Studio after years of relying on Photoshop. I knew Manga Studio was great for making comics, but I wanted to see if it could supplement/replace Photoshop in the digital painting department. I’ll start here with the finished piece, then a few process steps posted down below.


The pencil tools are great in MangaStudio 5. I quickly roughed out a simple idea for this image and polished it up with the colored pencil tools in MS to use as my guide. Next step, painting.


Some areas I flatted (the tufts of leaves) and went back in with different brushes for the details. I wasn’t sure which would work best — acrylic, pencil, pastel — I decided the pastel was best for the leaves in this image. Other areas like the sidewalk and tree trunk I went right in with textured brushes and started layering in colors.


The figures were painted with colored pencil and watercolor — wasn’t sure which I’d like better — but they ended up working well together. I also used a blender brush to smooth some of the transitions.


Later, I used the same methods to paint in some very simple bushes and trees in the background (see image up top) and did a quick levels adjustment to improve the contrast. Overall, a successful experiment since I learned a little more about the painting brushes in Manga Studio 5 and it made me want to experiment more. I still prefer to work in CMYK, and MS5 doesn’t have that capability yet. So I had to convert and adjust in Photoshop when I was finished. Not my favorite workflow. Maybe I’ll find a workaround the more I experiment.

You can also follow Vince on Twitter. Visit his Website, Blog, and his Bigfoot Comic!

Topics: Featured Artists

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