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November 11, 2012


Replies: 33

Drawing with a mouse?

ASimpleMare Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sadly I cannot afford a nice tablet to use to draw. Instead I usually have to draw things using my mouse. Usually when I do the lines always appear choppy. I was wondering if there was a way to make it so that they looked less choppy and jagged?

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Devious Comments

Timberfleet Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
When it comes to a mouse, it usually depends more on the surface you're using it on as opposed to your actual precision. Of course, yes, it is still difficult to draw with a mouse, but usually if you just try to take the drawing slowly you can get nicely drawn curves and lines. I'd recommend using a surface like a thin cloth or a couch surface even. This will give you some friction to work with instead of a slippery surface like a desk. Mouse pads work wonderfully for this kind of thing as well.
Chronos-Kun Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
less choppy lines? I feel your pain. I used to be in your shoes a few years ago.
a few options...

1. pen tool (hate it, but it can work. only thing is you would need to scan in a piece of work.)
2. The Hard Way ( ctnrl/cmmd+Z fifty billion times and re-draw the line till you get it as close as possible.) ultimately, in the end, this teaches you great line control in the future when using other tools.
3. tablet and/or program that has top notch line clean up (like illustrator.)
[tablet is cheaper option]
sleepingmarlon Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The hard way is better...

haha I'm using eraser tool instead of redraw it on another layer

another way is by doing it in a painters way

Using a mouse doesn't mean you can't make a good drawing.

It's handicap haha

NamezMud Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012   General Artist
I'm in a similar situation.

Something that helps me out sometimes is making a really rough drawing on one layer then reducing the opacity. Then making a new layer and drawing over that one using the rough drawing as a guide only the new drawing is being tightened up and having more detail added to it. Repeating the steps as needed until the drawing looks the way I want it to. And after that using the pen tool to trace over the drawing as the final line work if I want my lines to be extremely crisp.
bdec Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Try the Bezier Curves! ;-)
burnskate Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
I draw witha mouse as well.
But err..

I used to use PS a lot. I took a class for it in HS so I was partial to PS.

But just a couple weeks ago, I started using Sai.

Using the pen tooll.. It's makes very neat looking vectors.
And you can mimic pressure as someone else says.. I could maybe help you a little if you want help.
Herr-Drosselmeyer Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I draw with a mouse, if I'm patient and careful I can almost get straight clean lines but it really hurts my hand and wrist and takes forever to make decent art. My advice is to play with your brushes and eventually you'll find something passable, but as long as you use a mouse you're likely to always have a bit of trouble. It doesn't allow for the control or precision of a tablet with a pen and it never will. I borrowed my friend's tablet once and it was almost like drawing with an actual pencil, no mouse can compare for me. My advice to you is to save up for a tablet, which is what I'm doing currently.
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
a tablet is like $40.
achipps Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A long time before artist used a tablet they were confused to believe the trackball was the best artist tool.

It is easy to think anything is better than what you have, but that is just propaganda. All commercials are propaganda so art people that like to convince you the mouse is not the best tool for an artist. They play on you lack of skill to sell you a distraction, which is just another tool to get use to rather than deal with the real problem. The lack of skill.

A lot of sales people see this as a good sales opportunity. Any thing that can be a good sales opportunity you know some people can not pass up. It is like marking your face with the words sucker all over. A fool and their money will soon part.

So a tablet is not the best tool, because the mouse has been around much longer. I don't like people who pick on peoples faults for profit, but that is exactly what makes everyone thing the tablet is better. In a way it could be, but it is not necessary as people like to make you and everyone believe.

To be honest the first tablet I ever saw was on the Disney's 600 million dollar computer system, that created cartoons. On one end you have a VHS recorder that records the animation, because it made people believe it can create a 30 minute cartoon in 30 minutes. I could never know if that was a lie, but I was artist using the tablet for the first time, and it wasn't until the next decade before you could actually buy a tablet.

So people can make you believe anything to sell you a tablet. Yes, they have been around for years if you wanted to buy the 600 million dollar computer. the offer for just the tablet was never offered back then. It was another sales gimmick. If you want this you have to buy this, type of thing.

I am sure some of the best digital artist you know were great before they knew about a tablet.

If you want to do more with a mouse, then practice doing more. If you practice hand writing with a mouse you will get good at it, the same as you would the tablet, because that would be one thing you would practice doing.

Your skills don't get worse, they just need to follow a new set of rules, and with a tablet you will still need to jump through the same hoops.
keanove Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Mouse, indeed very hard to handle...
First time, second time I was using mouse, my hand was cramp (╥﹏╥) ~

But, without I realize I already tame my lovely mouse and as result all my work was on this DA \(^‿‿^)/ and I can't stop using it till now~ cause I'm still can't buy pen tablet (─‿‿─)

The key is... never give up with what you started, always try and be better and better~
to make better lineart, I was done two things so far~
- rough sketch with pencil > scan it > Clean it in photoshop with adjusting brightness/contrass or Threshold
- explore the pen tool in photoshop for better line art (So far I'm using this method)
Athough, The big challenge is coloring and shading... ヽ(`Д´)ノ
MrEkul Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012
I would suggest looking up tutorials on using the pen tool. If you don't want to do that, then I wouldn't recommend digital drawing at all until you get a tablet. Using a mouse is actually pretty bad for your wrist.
Immer-Frei Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Oh god.... I painted with a mouse for so long. /grimace.
If you don't want to pay big on a tablet, you can get a DigiPro 640 tablet on Amazon for about 30 bucks. It's what I use right now. It may seem way too good to be true, but this tablet has lasted me almost two years, and it's absolutely fantastic, especially if you have little to no budget (like me ^^;)
But, if you don't wish to use a tablet, the pen tool and a steady hand (along with a lot of practice and editing) will get you a long way. It just takes a lot of time.
ardiith Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
thank you so much for this post. its because of you i might get a tablet for my bday after all XD
Immer-Frei Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Hey, cheers! :heart:
Being broke as all hell, you learn these secrets. XD
Tell me how you like it, if you still end up getting it. :-)
ardiith Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
i will certainly let you know if i do get it. hopefully i will. its been hard since i lost my bamboo tablet :P you use the digi pad right?
Immer-Frei Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Oh yes. XD It's my baby; I use it all the time.
ardiith Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
yeah i figured thats why i took your advice your a good artist :)
Immer-Frei Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Oh jeez... I'm still getting the hang of digital stuff...
My traditional is much, much better. ^^;
jatomlinson Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
I'm actually giving away two Bamboo Pen and Touch tablets starting tonight at midnight if you want to enter to win. I know what it's like trying to draw with a mouse so I wanted to give away two new tablets to two people in need! [link]
WhiskyOmega Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional General Artist
Before I ever got a tablet the only way I could draw digitally was with a over time I became very good at it.

I learned many tips and tricks, but one in particular allowed me to keep a steady hand and keep from making those un-even lines; controling my breathing.
Sounds lame, but simply by shallow breathing or holding my breath for short spurts of time I was able to keep my hand steady when I needed to make a steady line.
It works.
Try it.

The same goes for tablets too, amazingly enough.
After I finally got one I found this breathing tip also helped keep my hands steady, especially when making straight lines (i refuse to use the line tool!).
FlameWolf33 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
It depends on the program you're using, I use Inkscape, and it's easier than it looks like.
ChizuMichi Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
same here... i can't afford pen tablet too :D
so, i'm using mouse for almost all of my drawings :D
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
I also use a mouse so I understand how you feel :eager:.
Actually everyone knows how you feel. One thing you can do is draw it with pencil/pen and scan it to colour digitally. Or just use small short strokes to colour and line the work by zooming in. Or use the pen tool for lineart. That helps quiet a lot for lineart or other types of functions you would like to do. You can't have flow and pressure sensitivity or stroke changes with a mouse, but you can make do with colouring step by step. It won't be ok at first but slowly you can train your hand to coordinate with mouse well.
Nalenthi Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Increase the stabilizer a lot, or use a vector program like Inkscape. (I think that's what it's called)
HMontes Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional General Artist
I've been inking with a mouse using Paint Tool SAI. But there are several free programs you can do it with. Inkscape is one most folks mention. But I can recommend Serif DrawPlus Starter Edition. It's free and you can use the mouse to draw vector lines you can adjust. And you can also apply pressure profiles to the lines to add thick and thin widths and make it look like it was done with a tablet. My most recent deviation was done this way.
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Student General Artist
Drawing with bigger canvas, and no zooming will help your drawing a bit. The pencil tool may not be a good line to use, but some brushes have better options.

Resizing a big canvas alot of bad lines or edges will go away.

No matter what tool you use, drawing is still drawing. It uses the basic fundamentals, and in dynamic sketching, you just need to learn to be loose eventually. Nice clean lines, usually come with practice.

Its also the problem of the pentool, you can't control the flow for lines. Although you could try changing the brush for it, it won't look close to your sketch.

If you want some inspiration look around trejim's site. He is a mouse artist:
Boogol Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
IMO Paint Tool SAI has the easiest pen tool. It autofixes your lines if you choose right
option and plus the learning curve for it is pretty quick ^^
ASimpleMare Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the advice :D
TB-Samurai Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You could always save up money for a tablet. Bamboo tablets by Wacom are less expensive than some of their other tablets. Or you could do what I did before I got one. If you have a scanner, sketch and ink your drawing on paper, then color it on the computer. Trying to draw with a mouse is like trying to draw with a bar of soap.
thelittleone Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
People have already given the advice I would have, but personally, I'd save up for that tablet. I find it sooo much more natural. I was able to find a small wacom 4 tablet for $135 on Amazon. Save up and you'll feel the difference.
jas7229 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I use a mouse with the pen tool, which does usually produce a nice clean, crisp un-jagged look
([link] has some of my stuff in that style, if you're curious)

It takes a little longer than straight out drawing though, if that's what you've been doing. Once you get used to pushing around anchor points and paths though, it's not so bad ^^

I wish I had a good tutorial to recommend, but I attempted self-teaching myself on the pen tool xD I'm sure with a dA/google search you could find some good ones though!
TheBlackBullets Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, defently use the pen tool. It'll make your lineart a lot neater. I also use the pen tool as a guide to help shade and do highlights.
UltraLiThematic Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm. People keep mentioning the pen tool. But I donīt know how to use it. I remember some tutorials here on dA about using the pen tool and drawing with a mouse. Maybe you can find them.

Personally, I sketch and do the lineart traditionally, scan it and then I clean it up in Photoshop.
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