One of the very few things I lament since I switched to digital artwork is the look of traditional media. The effortless line variation; the dimensionality of thickly laid gouache; the flow of ink on a fine cotton rag—I had to look that last one up, that’s how long it’s been since I touched brush to paper.

Indeed, before I went digital I worked solely in water-based media. I enjoyed its spontaneity and resistance to control. Funny that I traded it in for a brush that allowed me to control every aspect of how it worked and the ability to erase anything. But then the other day I found Stumpy Pencil.

Here I finally found Photoshop tools that were remarkable facsimiles of the media I had missed. Granted, I had never looked very hard before (I was having a hard enough time learning to use the damn pen), but now that I can see the possibility before me, it is if a veil has been lifted, and I don’t have to be satisfied with the “digital” look. Here’s a close-up from today’s comic, which is about my desire to exercise more and my bemusement of “announcement” apps for Facebook and Twitter:

I’m especially enjoying the graphite pencil and watercolor brushes. Don’t be surprised if you see more experimental, arty pieces out of here.


Updates: If you’re in the NYC area, I will be attending Drinking Skeptically tomorrow at the Swift Hibernian Lounge in Manhattan. Sadly, I do so at the cost of missing this month’s Story Collider. So if you want to see me, go to Drinking Skeptically; if you want to avoid me, go to Story Collider. If you don’t care either way, you should go to Story Collider. Throw some money at them while you’re there and get a book of illustrated stories.