Swing Music

Here's a fun bit of good ol' goofy cartoonin' I did for the Bay Area News Group sports section the other day. I don't often get sports illustration assignments anymore -- I suppose it's somewhat out of style in the mainstream -- but it's something I've really missed doing.

Drawn in Manga Studio, Painted in Photoshop. Open in a new window for a HUGER view.

The story is a fun piece about baseball players' walk-up music. For those who aren't totally hip to the trend, that's the music the stadium dj plays when a batter comes to the plate or a pitcher makes his entrance. In most cases each player picks out which tune he wants to hear.

Writer Daniel Brown talked to a few guys on the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants to get some material on the story behind some of their choices. The story is here.

Artist's notes:
For the line drawing I worked entirely in Manga Studio 5. I bought MS5 earlier this year, but I just don't know it well enough to lean heavily on it while at work; newspaper deadlines can be brutal and I haven't had time to develop a familiar workflow.

Before starting this illustration, I watched a few YouTube tutorials and practiced with some of the tools I like. After a couple of hours I was able to find a good routine for drawing comfortably. It felt limited, but no more so than if I had been really brave and just drawn the damned thing on paper.

I completely enjoyed the experience of drawing with Manga Studio. I'm definitely going to try to stick with it from here on out. That said, I did resort to Photoshop for the coloring process. I haven't yet delved into the MS5 painting tools beyond a few sample strokes, and though it looks to be very powerful and very cool, I need more practice. I'm just too comfy and efficient with P-Shop for my own good.

The End.