Brian Miller Answers Your Questions

Since the debut of How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad at Comic-Con International (aka San Diego Comic-Con) Kristy and I have been overwhelmed by the response.  We want to thank everyone who has downloaded the free sample tutorial from the iBookstore and to the each and every one of you who has purchased a copy of the book.  The e-mail we have received has fallen into two categories, thank you’s from people who are already using the tutorials from the book and creating artwork on the iPad, and questions from people who want to know a bit more about what to expect in How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad.  I’ll do my best to answer those questions here.


Do I need an iPad?

Yes, How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad is a Muti-Touch book available exclusively for iPad from the iBookstore. You can use any generation of iPad to read the book using the free iBooks reader app available from Apple. You will also need the SketchBook Pro for iPad painting app available from the iTunes App store.

SketchBook Pro for iPad How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad


Do I need to read a user guide for SketchBook Pro for iPad before I start?

No.  How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad includes everything you need to get started using SketchBook Pro for iPad.  The book includes interactive slideshows that walk you through every tool and feature. Plus, we don’t expect you to master all the tools at once.  Each project introduces a couple of new tools and features.  As you complete one tutorial and move to the next you will reinforce what you have already learned while new elements are introduced.  You will have so much fun painting super-heroes you won’t realize you are actually learning as you go.  By the time you complete all the tutorials in How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad you will have learned to use every major tool and feature to paint comic book artwork using SketchBook Pro for iPad.

This is the missing manual for SketchBook Pro, Nuff said! – Bily Foster

Full screen movies demonstrate important tips and techniques.

Do I need to be able to draw and paint already?

While any art experience will give you a head start Kristy and I do our best to make every project easy to complete by following the step-by-step instructions.  I find that staring at a blank canvas scares many people so we give you access to all tutorial artwork used in the book so you can follow along.  Use the tutorial artwork as the foundations for your paintings while learning and by the end of the book you will be ready to paint a variety of artwork including your own. How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad is a Multi-Touch book which means there are new interactive elements to help you learn how to paint even faster.  You can swipe through interactive image galleries that show various stages of each painting, watch video tutorials that show you exactly how to paint important elements of a project.  The book even allows you to highlight sections of text and add notes and bookmarks in case you want to revisit something important after trying a new technique or skill.


What if I don’t follow comic books?

Kristy and I work in the comic book industry and a lot of people want to learn how to draw and paint comic books for fun, or as part of their creative career.  We learned from our previous books, Hi-Fi Color for Comics and Master Digital Color, that many people want to learn how to paint and color but may not be interested in comic books.  The good news is comic book artwork is a fun way to learn.  Our goal is to create tutorials that are easy to approach and layout the techniques in a way that is not dumbed down, but accessible for creative people.  A tutorial is only good if you can follow the steps and achieve great results and that is what we strive for.  Kristy and I have received feedback from people who work in architecture, landscape design, product packaging, fine art, fashion design, film, video games, and a variety of other creative careers and hobbies.  Each of these people said the same thing, your tutorials helped me become better at my art. If you love comic books, you will enjoy this book and will find it easy to apply the tutorials to your own comic projects.  If your creative career is outside of comic books I bet you will still find many of the projects and lessons will give you an advantage and inspire you to new creative heights with your artwork too.

  I will be recommending it to students and anyone wanting to learn SketchBook Pro – Susan Murtaugh

I love your other books, is this the same or is it new?

Some elements of our approach to painting as a creative process will be familiar such as painting in flat areas of color before rendering.  This should make it easier and faster to get started.  The tutorials, techniques, and all the projects are all new.  You will see one familiar face though, Dave Bryant has provided a new drawing of the Scarab character from Hi-Fi Color for Comics and Master Digital Color for you to paint.  We liked it so much, we put it on the cover!


Learn how to paint comic book super-heroes and then add a background.

The description on the iBookstore is sort of vague.  What will I learn exactly?

How to paint Comic Books with the iPad contains 113 pages full of everything you need to paint your own amazing comic book artwork:

• How to use SketchBook Pro for iPad

• How to import sketches into the iPad

• How to make brushes and color swatches

• How to paint super-heroes, secret identities, and faces

• How to paint backgrounds, and special effects

• How to add word balloons and lettering to your comics

• How to save and share your paintings with friends

• How to export  to Photoshop for commercial print use


Do I need a stylus?

I use a stylus with my Wacom tablet every day when coloring and painting comic books on my Mac. I also own 3 different stylus for the iPad but I prefer painting with my fingers.  What I have found is that SketchBook Pro for iPad feels and works better, for me, when painting using my fingers.  The entire program comes alive when you can rapidly access the 3-finger tap to bring up the hidden tools and use 2-fingers to pan and zoom. If someone tells me they are not a fan of SketchBook Pro for iPad my first question is to ask if they have tried it using only their fingers.  It unlocked a whole new world of creativity for me and I encourage you to try it for a day.  That said I believe every artist should  use the tools they are most comfortable with.  For some it will be a stylus, for others their fingers, or it may be some combination of the two.

  I’ve been reading your iPad book and it’s already (in one day) taught me more than the last 2 months of self teaching – Jason Ballard

All the tools you are using are clearly identified before you start painting so you can relax and be more creative.

Can I do this while traveling?

Absolutely!  As a creative professional there are days I feel chained to my desk.  My computer, my Wacom tablet, e-mail from clients, Facebook, and everything else tether me down and sometimes I skip meals, or miss time with friends to make a deadline.  When Kristy and I started writing this book one of our goals was to figure out how to do remain creative no matter where you are.  I was able to paint an Iron Man book cover on the flight to New York to meet with Marvel Press.  I received a Boba Fett sketch via e-mail and painted it on the iPad while traveling.  With only a Wi-Fi or 3G connection you can use SketchBook Pro for iPad and How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad to transform your iPad into a mobile art studio.  We do include a bonus section in the book on exporting your paintings to Adobe Photoshop for commercial print use which will require a computer with Adobe Photoshop.  Everything else can be done with your iPad, computer free, wherever you are at any time you feel creative.  Your creativity, unchained.


I have tried to answer the most common questions we have received about How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad.  Did I answer yours?  If not feel free to email me  Kristy and I welcome your feedback and encourage you to leave a review on the iBookstore so others may discover the book too.

How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad

Available on the iBookstore