REVIEW: Linework in Photoshop vs Lazy Nezumi + Clip Studio

I’ve always enjoyed linework.

Looking at it.

Because DOING linework is hard.

I’ve always struggled with doing linework digitally. It took me forever to do, looked like trash close up and was just a really frustrating, long process for me. There’s definitely a learning curve to digital art. It’s hard to explain, but drawing with a tablet doesn’t feel exactly like drawing with a pencil and it’s very difficult to get smooth lines in digital art. I work primarily in Photoshop which, up until recently, lacked any kind of line stabilization. In order to get smooth lines in Photoshop you needed a tool like Lazy Nezumi. After years of struggling I grabbed a trial of Lazy Nezumi and very quickly become dependent on it. It made a huge impact on my linework and I found that I was working much faster. But I still felt like my linwork could be better so I started bugging every artist who has good linework doing research.

What I found that a lot of the artists who had great linework weren’t using Photoshop. They were either using Paint Tool Sai or Clip Studio. I started watching artists on Twitch and got to see Clip Studio in action and I realized I needed to try it.

I really REALLY liked Clip.

This was the first piece I created with Clip Studio and it just felt so intuitive and smooth and I really loved using it. (By the way, if you like this drawing, it’s available as a coloring page on my Gumroad page.

While I still love Photoshop and feel like it’s a great program for art, I’ve switched to doing linework entirely in Clip Studio. But since I’ve made the switch, Photoshop did something sneaky…

They added line smoothing! FINALLY!

So of course I’m thinking “Oh man, did I just waste a ton of money on other programs?” Like… they put this update out RIGHT after I bought Lazy Nezumi and Clip Studio. Within weeks.

I had to know how Photoshop line smoothing compared to my new go-to Clip Studio and I thought the best way to test it would be to ink the same piece in both programs and compare them.

Since I also spent money on Lazy Nezumi, I figured I’d check that out too. (I do want to point out the Lazy Nezumi does a bunch of other stuff too so even if I end up not using it for linework I don’t regret the purchase!)

So here is the same piece, inked with 3 different programs/tools. I think they look completely different, but my sister said they look the same and I wasted my time, so who knows?

Linework in Photoshop with 10% smoothing –
1 hr 40 mins

Linework in Clip Studio – 1 hour 20 mins

Linework in Photoshop with Lazy Nezumi – 43 minutes

Personally I still prefer Clip Studio, but I think ultimately they are all great tools for line stabilization at this point.

Which do you prefer? What software do you use for linework? Comment below or Tweet @ me.

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