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November 26, 2012


Replies: 13

How does a tablet benefit the use of painting on Photoshop?

I'm a high school student in my last year, considering taking art in tertiary study.. perhaps graphic design or animation. My teacher said I should look into purchasing a tablet for digital art once my skills improve, as I'm interested in digital art and painting in Photoshop. Just wondering, how does a tablet improve your experience whilst designing if connected straight to Photoshop on a computer?

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Devious Comments

AlanTheRobot Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Your question confused me a bit, but for graphic design (more product packaging, icons, etc) I still use a mouse.

For everything else (painting, animation, etc) I'd use a tablet, and everyone has pretty much explained why.
Thanks a lot guys. I'm probably going to consider getting one in a few years or so once my drawing is of a better standard. So I'm guessing there are virtually no digital artists that use a mouse?
PemaMendez Nov 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
well, first of all, when they "Tablet" they don't mean an Ipad or something like that, they mean pen tablet, which is a pad with a pen that picks up like a mouse, but with pressure, angle, and tilt sensitivity.

how does it benefit? well, it's fucking hell to try to get good at digital painting with a mouse, with the tablet it's like drawing on paper, not exactly the same, but simulates it pretty well.
Using a tablet is like using a colored pencil. If you can use a pencil to draw or shade, you can transition to a tablet in a few weeks.

Using a mouse to color is like using a pencil. With your feet. Sure, its possible. Just annoying and hard and it doesn't feel natural.
Spifmo Nov 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
it gives you the feel of pencil on paper. it's so much easier that you'll naturally be used to using it in a couple weeks time ( only thing that takes practice is drawing with your head up, for me anyways)
it's really a great tool and i completely recommend buying one for SURE.
You get a good one. Like a Wacom Intuos brand. And you're gonna fall in love. A tablet for a digital artist is as essential a tool as a paint brush to a painter. As for what it does for Photoshop specifically, a standard tablet uses pressure sensitivity. Meaning how hard you press with the pen effects what you do on the screen. Additionally, the newer models (paired with the newer versions of Photoshop) use tilt sensitivity, so which way you tilt the pen effects the outcome, just like a real brush. Along with programmable buttons on the tablet itself and an Ipod-like touch ring that itself is programmable (you can set it to zoom in and out or adjust the brush size), it really streamlines your workflow.
Cheboboh Nov 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Once you get used to working on a tablet, you will never want to live without! So much freedom, in a great natural way. These days tablets dont even have to be that expensive.

Dont be put off by the small size of the Bamboo tablet's, that way it easily fits in your bag with your laptop allowing for painting anywhere, anytime.
FriendlyHand Nov 26, 2012  Professional Digital Artist

The tablet is an input device that has been designed to behave more like a pencil (or paint brush) than a mouse. So it allows you to enjoy all the benefits of digital work (saved files, undo, copy paste etc.) and it will hold you back less than a mouse would.

However, you have to be willing to learn how to use it. It's like learning to use roller skates instead of sneakers. sneakers are much easier to use but roller skates allow you to be much faster and more graceful.

Also it does not automatically increase a person's artistic ability so you still have to learn all the fundamentals of anatomy, perspective, composition, color etc. I mention that as a general note and not a commentary on your particular skill level.

BTW, I think your nature photos are gorgeous.
Euterpe-The-Egret Nov 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
"Also it does not automatically increase a person's artistic ability so you still have to learn all the fundamentals of anatomy, perspective, composition, color etc. I mention that as a general note and not a commentary on your particular skill level."

ScribbleBees Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Tablets are really useful because they've got the pressure sensitivity and a similar feel to pen-and-paper work, which makes it feel more natural. It's really the pressure sensitivity that's the big thing, because with a mouse, you'd have to spend so much time messing with opacity and such, and even then, your strokes would always be a uniform size (unless you did something with the settings that changed that...? Though I haven't found a way to do that yet; not sure if it's possible). It just makes the traditional-to-digital transition easier, in my opinion, by removing the unnaturalness of trying to use a mouse to paint.
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