As it pertains to drawing and the main creation of my comic art - I mainly just use Clip Studio Paint. Especially now that it is available on Galaxy tablets and I can easily sync between devices.
I also use Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, but more in a print production capacity.
Basic process is something like this:
- Rough "pencil" layouts in CSP, then tightened a little in CSP. Usually on my tablet. Also figure basic lettering out at this point for layout.
- Print those out and light box them onto bristol for traditional inking (though sometimes I convert to blue lines in Photoshop and print those directly onto the bristol for inking - depends on mood I guess).
- Scan inks back in and adjust levels in photoshop to get the blacks super black and make the blue lines disappear. Could probably use CSP on this step but frankly i need to use PS for the import because CSP doesn't work with my ancient (but large format!) scanner.
- Drop those inks into the CSP file, and do all my color work in CSP.
- Do my lettering in CSP
- Export images to layout for print either in InDesign or Illustrator (usually indesign - I do arrange some mini comic stuff that I print myself in illustrator because it's convenient).
Everyday though, I find I do more and more in Clip Studio because it seems to do it all, and do it all really well. Just-- old habits in some cases. But for drawing. I've found that nothing really can beat it. Been using it for well over a decade back to when Smith Micro marketed it as "Manga Studio". I started with Manga Studio 4, probably 2007ish. I don't think you could even do color with it back then. Been great watching the software develop over the years. I used to digitally ink everything, too, but I enjoy traditional inking too much these days, so I don't do that anymore.
CSP all the way. Rarely, I would draw on ibisPaint if I brought my iPad with me to outside and I had nothing to do. Although it usually ended up as an idea sketch and redrawn from scratch again on CSP.
Clip Studio is my fave. I've been using it forever, however I switched to mostly traditional drawing. I would do a lot of my roughs digitally, but I got tired of sitting at my computer. I got a tablet PC laptop thingy, but it was too bulky. I switched to just doing my roughs traditionally as well-- but I did a few spot comic panel roughs on my android tablet in medibang, and realized I liked the small form factor of the tablet for working away from my desk/drawing board. Once Clip Studio came out for Galaxy tablets, i decided it was time to upgrade my tablet, and now I'm doing fully drawn roughs in Clip Studio again.
Not sure what is faster or better, but I'm enjoying this process lately. frees up where I can work on some of my comics (on the sofa, at the kitchen table, in bed, etc.) - gets me away from the computer, and then I just print out the roughs and lightbox them onto bristol, and do my finished inks. NICE.
The only downer of using CSP on tablet (which maybe iOS doesn't have this problem) is that for lettering you're restricted to their preloaded fonts, vs on desktop you can use any fonts from your system. Especially unfortunate is that it causes issues syncing between tablet and desktop. Not a huge issue for me at the moment, because I have been hand lettering lately, but if I wanted to do lettering work it could get to be a pain. Hopefully they can figure something out on this...
I used to use Firealpaca a lot but moved to Krita for a more professional and with some advanced tool sets with the possibility of animation if I so chose to do that in the future. I might move to Clip studio Paint since I have heard a lot of good stuff about it in terms of comic development.
I would gladly use procreate but I don't own any Apple products. And I wouldn't break my back over that program unless I had to in a job.
Aseprite is my number 1 pixel drawing software that cannot be replaced. Change my mind
I also have Marmoset Hexels but it doesn't entice me as much as Aseprite, the commercial for it sells the software really well.
MS Paint for shitposts or any sort of editing to a picture to point out something.
I only really use one for drawing, and that's Clip Studio Paint-possibly the best drawing software I've ever used (though, that's just my opinion). I rarely draw on anything other than my computer or paper, but if i do end up drawing on my phone I use Ibis Paint X.
I currently use Clip Studio for drawing / painting and Affinity Photo for editing my art. I find it a bit easier to make adjustments in Affinity because they have Photoshop / Lightroom style effects and non-destructive editing layers.
I do the program-switching thing with sketchbooks; one for colored pencil drawings, one for lineart/ink, one for warm-ups/practice, one for sketches, one for character bios, one for watercolors... at least they're different types of paper. As far as digital art goes, I either do the whole thing in Krita (if it's lineless or painting) or I'll do the lines traditionally and scan them into Krita (or GIMP/MS Paint if I plan to do anything with pixels... it's been a hot minute since I've messed with that but I still remember how)
I have more than I normally use. If I give advice on something people can do in a program, I keep that program on my computer to help describe the details.
Normally, I use a lot of programs when I need them. Like if I need to draw circles inside circles, lines or a lot of things that helps to be exact, I use FireAlpaca for the snap tools. Free handed stuff is drawn in Photoshop, and I also use it for cartoons to draw lines around shapes, so I can let the program do most of the lines in the line art. What I do is a lot of different things. I might design a desk in IMSI TurboCad 3D, or make models in Hexagon 2.5, and create the rigging for animations in Poser 7. Then I render 3D in Daz Studio to test and I use Photoshop to make image maps. When I set up a model to be used in Daz Studio, I make sure all the links to the images will work but, removing information that shows a file uses another drive, or not addressed to inside the main folder. I use Notepad ++ to edit the scripts. When I do animations, I can use Photohop 7 for that, or do it online with AlpcaDouga on the FireAlpaca website.
There is a good program you can use called SmoothDraw, and you can find it by adding .com to that name. When you download it,it will not take long, because it a a very small. When you use it, there is nothing more important, than what you do.
For photography, I actually use more than one. I start off with Canon's DPR to adjust the RAW file, because that's lossless, and then export to JPG and move over to Gimp for final touchups, signature, etc.