ACW Episode 112 – The Hazards of Experimentation

A brief explanation as to what’s going on here. In my quest to discover the best way to draw the web comic on the iPad, I decided to try drawing this week’s episode using Inkpad, a vector graphics app. I like Inkpad a lot. It’s easy to use, it works very well and responds very quickly as I draw. It also allows me to draw at very large sizes, much larger than any of the other apps I have on my iPad. And if what I draw on the iPad isn’t large enough, I can simply export the image as a Scalable Vector Graphic (SVG), then import it into Adobe Illustrator and scale it up even further, with no loss to the quality of the image.

So I was very excited to try drawing this week’s cartoon with Inkpad. Only, for some reason, when I set up the document, it gave me a cartoon strip that was turned 90 degrees from the direction I needed. In other words, it gave me a sideways page to draw on.

I couldn’t figure out how to change this, so I ended up drawing the whole cartoon sideways. Thus the final product you see above. I have since figured out how to fix this, and I am creating a template on my iPad that I can reuse over and over again so I don’t always have to set up the document and add the credits. I can just jump straight in and draw.

Overall, how did it work? Well, **I** certainly like it. I was able to sketch the rough images with the brush tool first, then use the vector pen tool to create the line art and colors. The colors are nice and bright, the lines are dark and smooth. Plus I can now draw all the panels in one document and I can create a color palette in Inkpad’s color picker so I don’t have to keep hunting for the right colors once I’ve found them. And the fact that I can scale up the cartoon so that it’s large enough for quality prints? Abso-frikkin’-lutely beautiful! I can even scale and readjust the drawings in each panel if I need to, to make more or less space for the word balloons. In fact, this is just about perfect in my opinion, except for two small things.

First, Inkpad does not allow me to draw lines with tapered ends, like I would get if I used a brush pen. The only way I can get those tapered ends that you see in all the line art above is to draw each line as a closed filled object and then adjust the vector points as needed. That slows the process down a bit, and I’m not crazy about that. I’d rather just draw a line and have those nice tapered ends show up automatically, or be able to apply a brush style to the lines like I can in Illustrator. It would speed things up quite a bit!

My second complaint is the text tool. There’s no way to adjust the line spacing in blocks of text. To get the text spaced just right, I have to make each line a separate object, then carefully space them by hand, which is also annoying. If I could just adjust the line spacing, I’d be able to type in my text and BAM! Dialog would be done!

But still, these are minor problems, and I’m hopeful that future versions of the app will fix those problems. In fact, I’ve already sent email to the app creator asking about the tapered lines. Hopefully, he’ll respond soon.

So, I like it. And the truth is, it took me less time to draw this cartoon than the previous two cartoons, although the artwork in this week’s strip was much simpler. I’ll continue to work with it to see what happens when I’ve got a really complicated strip to draw, but right now, this is a good working solution for me.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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