Going Digital With Sketchbook Pro

Tiny Grace tries to fly the witch's broom in 'The Witch of Golden Acres'

Tiny Grace tries to fly the witch’s broom in ‘The Witch of Golden Acres’

I really love drawing and painting but I have to admit that colouring in my inked illustrations is my least favourite thing to do. Once that paint brush hits the paper, it’s done. No going back and sometimes that permanently placed colour turns out to be oh-so wrong. What to do…

After (jealously) examining the works of other illustrators’ fabulous online portfolios, I figured it was high time I learned to how to apply my colour digitally. I did not want to spend the big-bucks on Photoshop and put the time in to learn how to use it. I am writing a novel, after all, which is taking up more than its fair share of time! So, Sketchbook by Autodesk was a good fit.

At first, I tried the free version, Sketchbook Express, to get a feel for the program. I played around with it for a few months but became frustrated by the fact that it did not have a transparent background option. This is an especially important option for artists like me who chose to start their drawing on paper and then import it to a program like Sketchbook to finish it there. When I wrote to Autodesk, I found out that the transparent background option was only available in the paid version, Sketchbook Pro.

So I paid the $60 (not a bad price!) and downloaded Pro. So far, I have to say that I am very pleased. I still have to put in the time to learn the program which I am doing by watching video tutorials and just jumping in and ‘learning by doing’. The illustration (above) is a ‘learning’ piece as I am sure the next twenty illustrations I work on will be.

The best thing is now I can fearlessly look forward to colouring my work without concern for placing down the wrong colour. I also love how the strong digital colours really pop and turn a simple black and white inked drawing into a visual delight!

About Theresa

Theresa is a freelance illustrator, painter, and aspiring kids author. She is a mom of two and lives in British Columbia.
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