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TOW-6 How to Draw Fast

######### UPDATE 12/6/2013 #########

Hey guys. It's been a year and a half since I uploaded this tutorial and I've gotten a ton of interesting feedback. In the time that has elapsed, I have discovered advanced ways of drawing that increased my ability to draw faster. A lot of people have been asking for an explanation as to how I update so quickly, so I am going to add these new methods to this tutorial as they fall under the category of speeding up your drawing skill.


Oh and I think I'll make it a tradition of listing the amount of work I've done whenever I update this tutorial with another time-saving tip/trick for you to use.

Currently my comics are at...
TSB - page 799
Hinata - page 200 (completed to page 213)
Lindbergh - page 199
TTX - page 108 (completed to page 143)
Glyphmaster - page 32
Kryth - page 2 (T-T)

So all in all, 1388 pages in 3.5 years, 397 pages per year, 1.08 pages per day.


So I just reached page 699 of my longest comic, TSB, and I realized that my 2 year anniversary was last month - June 13th. That means that in 2 years, I've drawn 900+ pages.

Last week I did a tutorial on how to draw things going fast, but this week's tutorial is about all the tips and tricks that I picked up over these 2 years that allowed me to draw at such a rate while balancing my work in medical school.

Sorry it's so late! This one took me a while!

Be sure to check out my other tutorials: Background Perspective Digital Editing of traditional media Webcomic Process for Tablet SFX in PSCS 1: Quick Motion BGs TOW-1: Photoshop Motion Lines Tutorial TOW-2: Lightning Tutorial TOW-3: Chains & Metallics TOW-4: Shading faces TOW-5: Depicting Velocity

...and while you're at it, check out my comics!

The Sixth Bar -…
Glyphmaster -…
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© 2012 - 2021 verticalfish
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Vyctorian's avatar
This is ssso sssuper ussseful!~

WikyWolfFox's avatar
fireytika's avatar
Very helpful! Thank you ^^
OmegaSaturn's avatar
i am too lazy, i gonna do crappy draws, idk what to do someone pls do a resume.
DarkJanet's avatar
Oh, I need this.
Wikipedia's avatar
Many thanks for this tutorial. A friend directed me to this in one of our correspondences -- I can't believe I had no idea how to use most of these before (I've used SAI since I was in high school, and now I'm in medical school!)

I've long contemplated turning my notes into a format closer to comics (I take notes, but I find I do not learn as effectively from that approach compared to drawing the concepts out,) but the time it takes me to finish a single page intimidates me from using it as my primary study strategy. (I also have some side projects, but that's another story altogether.)

I have a lot of respect for you, Doctor.
Ursusmaior's avatar
One of the most useful digital technique tutorials on da. Period. 
Arch-Core's avatar
This is really awesome and I feel that by doing this, I may finally be able to put more time in my drawings. Figuratively of course. I tend to not like spending hours on a drawings, so I often quit too early before I do my best work.

A quick question though. I'm left handed, so I'm wondering what I should set for my hot-keys. Sorry if I sound a little dumb for asking. I'm really pretty new to hot-keys.
verticalfish's avatar
I would use the ctrl key on the right side of the keyboard as the pivot point, instead of the one on the left. Put the tablet on the left side of the computer instead of the right and set up your hotkeys as a mirror image of the setup that I have described above using the ctrl key on the right side. Let me know if you have more questions!
DragonusPrime's avatar
it would be awesome if you made a photoshop tutorial on 3D modeling cities, such knowledge would be invaluable to me for an original comic I have planned.
verticalfish's avatar
This is something I'm planning to do, although I'm not quite sure when I'll get around to it...
DragonusPrime's avatar
Rradomile's avatar
Thank you so much for the suggestion about 3d rendered bgs! I had no idea you could do that, and the possibilities are insane. I tried Sketchup today, but I'm practically in tears! This will help me so much! Thank you so so much!
verticalfish's avatar
I remember having that revelation years ago. It was such an eye-opener and a major time saver and I'm glad I could share it with others. ^^
Akasora-Redsky's avatar
Oh gawd thanks. I was searching a good guide to get good keybinds for SAI for months ;_;

A question on your 'very fast' tips though. 3D modeling is good for things like buildings/scifi in term of time efficiency, but what would you do if you needed to draw, for example, a forest or something really really detailed that need more "smooth" lines ?
verticalfish's avatar
Haha, I had the same problem. Typically what I do when I have to use a detailed background shot that can't be modeled, I'll draw it once in a really big, Hi-res file and I'll use pieces of that file for multiple BGs (sometimes even all of them) of that type.
Akasora-Redsky's avatar
Not a bad idea, I must figure out how to be efficient with that now. ^^
Wereael's avatar
This is a really good tutorial! Thank you, saves a lot of time. ;-; I don't know if you ever DID do a 3D tutorial, I'll have to check your page.+fav
verticalfish's avatar
Not yet, but I'm planning one!
shindianaify's avatar
AWESOME! Thank you thank you thank you ;-;
verticalfish's avatar
Zekrio's avatar
How many pages can you complete in one week?
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