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November 11, 2012


Replies: 14

why can't I sketch with my tablet?

kinseka Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now, I haven't MASTERED my tablet in anyway, but I feel fairly comfortable colorin. I just can't sketh; I feel like I don't have enough control. I have to start on paper > scan > lineart on tablet. So tracing I'm able to do but whenever I try to sketch it ends up terrible.

Has anyone else struggled with this? How do you recommend I practice? Any specific techniques to try?

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Devious Comments

Muffinspider Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Yeah pretty much what everyone else said. :)
You could start by scanning in really rough drawings so that you have to do more drawing on the tablet. For example if you were drawing a person, scan in an almost stick figure type drawing so that all you have is the proportions and rough shape before starting. It’s quite a good way to get used to sketching on a tablet because it makes it a little less daunting but you’re still drawing almost from scratch.
prisma61 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I second *mousbomb's zoom out suggestion. I typically try and work at about 25% zoom in PS, and move in to about 50% for details after the overall peice reads. I do still struggle with this and want to detail the heck out of things.

You want your lines to look good at print size. It doesn't matter what they look like at 100%.

I have also heard good things about putting paper over your tablet, but have not tried, as I have become accustomed to the slick surface at this point. While I am not satisfied with where I am at artistically, I am pretty happy with the progress that I have made in the last year or so.

Just keep plugging away, and you'll get used to it. I was seriously frustrated when trying to draw on the tablet originally, but now it is SOOO much faster that I haven't drawn on paper in about a year.

Good luck!
shinjifujioka Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist
Although I would probably benefit from starting pieces on paper, I normally start all my work digitally. Perhaps you have tried these already, but a couple things I have found that helped me when starting a sketch digitally:
Change the opacity of my brush to 30% or even lower. That way I can go over line work several times and the intended path usually becomes the darkest.
Zoom out. This helps me get general forms with very few brush strokes.
Don't use control+Z a whole lot. I have a bad habit of overusing it. But I've found that if I always rely on it, progress on my piece slows tremendously. Sometimes those accidental strokes become a source of inspiration and direction for your piece.

Anyway, if you are already comfortable sketching on paper, I don't think it would take you too long to become comfortable with sketching on a tablet.

Hope this helps!
Hurricaneclaw Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Practice! Just try doing a whole bunch of sketches different ways. I could not sketch well when I first got my tablet either. Although I am still better on paper... I think everybody is though. :P
gisela1910 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
I am a complete newbie I am not an artist traditionally nor digital. I have never sketch anything whether on paper or digitally. I don't like tracing the image I want to be able to sketch digitally from scratch on a blank canvas. I found using guide on the reference photo then copy and paste the guide on a new white layer helped me a lot just finished practicing a new sketch please see link


I am not saying my sketch is good but i've managed to draw a sketch just practice you'll get there. I use wacom intuos 4 pen and tablet. I've tried with mouse it was utterly useless now I use my wacom pen all the time.
Schnitty Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist
You'll just have to practice with it. I've been using a tablet for several years and I still have issues with control.

So I prefer sketching with traditional tools and painting with digital. But if I don't want to get out paper I'll just sketch with my tablet. Hee.
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And accept that digital art isn't nowhere similar to traditional. My way of digital sketching looks entirely different from pencil. Yet, I manage to make useful sketches. It's a matter of acceptance.
egypturnash Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
1. Unplug your mouse. Put it in a drawer. Forget you have it. Cover up your touchpad if you're on a laptop.
2. Use your computer as normal. Whenever you'd reach for the mouse, use the tablet instead. Maybe play some games that involve precise control of the cursor now and then.
3. If you want to play a game that expects you to push the cursor against the edge of the screen to move, you can plug in the mouse. Put it away when you're done - it's now a specialized game controller in your world, not a general input device.
4. Profit!
mattchee Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Rovanna Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012   Digital Artist
Practice by just doing it lots. :D I can't sketch on the tablet either, but I don't want to. I prefer to draw with pencil and scan it in.
Katy-L-Wood Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student General Artist
There's really no magic trick to it, you've just got to practice a lot and figure out what works for you. My advice is to learn to use quick, long strokes. Draw the whole line of, say a chin, at once. Don't chicken scratch in a ton of little lines to form the one big line. You'll suck at it at first, but you'll get the hang of it if you do it enough. Also start with a base sketch that isn't a clean perfect sketch, then go in and ink over the top of it. See how this person: [link] has a very rough sketch that they then go in and ink over? That's what I'm talking about. You're not going to be able to get a perfect sketch right off the bat, just loike you can't do that with a traditional drawing either. Just keep at it and you will get the hang of it!
Mercury-Crowe Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Put a sheet of paper over your tablet and try drawing on that.
fROSEn24 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
puppy dangerous that is a good idea i never tried that also i been using a table for 5 years and still struggle with straight lines so dont worry if you dont get it too well i like to color with the tablet only because i can get things done so much more faster when i draw traditionally but try programs like sketchbook i never like photoshop for drawing. also look at this for sai [link]
CatharsisGaze Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Professional General Artist
I have the same issue with sketching digitally. ^^'
I prefer getting off the screen every once in a while anyway, so I don't actually do anything against it. XD
Keeps my gt good for a longer time...
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