I ended up getting a Wacom that I never really use anymore. For me the hurdle was too big to jump. I may save up for a Cintiq once I get out of school (like a Wacom with a screen) but hours of practice with the tablet have done little to change the feeling of it - it just feels off. I game well enough and have decent hand to eye coordination in those but with my artwork it is just too much separation from the medium. Also, I have noticed that it takes much longer to do anything digitally as opposed to traditional.
Sketching and inking art by hand takes me a few hours - doing the same on my Wacom in Photoshop or Open Canvas takes four to eight times as long due to having to draw erase draw erase until it looks right. I tend to dread coloring digitally as it is a chore that is draining compared to doing it by hand which is fun.
Don't let me discourage you as I am clearly in the minority, but do realize the potential danger of simply never getting it like I didn't. If you have a community college nearby you maybe able to take a cheap class there and try some out before buying if you like. Good luck.
Remember that when working digitally all the nice texture you get from traditional medium is missing. Avoid overusing soft digital brushes and try adding some noise to your finished pieces. It's way too easy to make a digital piece look too clean.
In the end digital tools are only the means like traditional tools. Everything you've learned so far helps with your digital pieces.
A tablet for digital painting is a must. It shouldn't take too much time to learn to watch the screen instead of the pen. At least your hand is no longer in your way
If you're good at traditional, you can be just at good (at least) in digital with a tablet. That said, unless your forking over the big bucks for a cintiq, there is a bit of a hand eye coordination hurdle that you will probably have to jump.
I know that when I started using a tablet I was a bit (ok, really) frustrated at first that it wasn't as intuitive as I had expected. However, don't give up, if you just keep at it for a bit, the hand eye thing will come together really quickly and it will be second nature. I think it's a pretty common experience for folks to get really frustrated at first because they expected it to be instantly intuitive, but it takes a little brain training and muscle memory to kick in.
I like to tell all folks looking to get started in digital that. Because I really want them to get on board with digital, but I know how I felt at first, and an don't want them to get frustrated and give up. I got so frustrated I put my tablet in the closet for a year! Luckily for some reason, I decided to give it another shot, stuck with it, and am a much happier man today.
Self-EpidemicFeatured By OwnerDec 6, 2012Professional Digital Artist
Its just like a pen and paper, the transfer to pencil to digital was quite easy for me. The problem would probably be learning the tools, but tbh all you need is the brush and eraser and you're fine. Don't start replacing knowledge with stupid photoshop filters or blur effects. Paint it, like you would on paper.
absolutely! i was a little skeptical at first too but (i know my art is still improving) it transferred easily for me. As far as process anyways. I am still getting used to inking sketches cleanly on the tablet because i can't put my face two inches from the paper XD And no more eraser peelys!! yay! if you use plastic erasers that is. There are so many different mediums within a program as well, so going out to buy paint and what not when you want to paint. It's worth the money just to have the versatility also. I've also learned a lot practicing my digital art that I can apply to my traditional art (don't know if that will be the same for you). So yes in my opinion it is worth it! Good luck to you, friend!
A tablet-pen is a funny-shaped mouse. It's not a pencil that leaves a mark. You still have to look at your computer monitor, so hand-eye coordination is important. That's easy enough to overcome if you practice enough, though. The exception is if your tablet is a screen, but those are expensive.
If you want to try one, get a cheap Wacom. Whether it's worth it or not depends if the money spent on the software and hardware is a better investment than traditional tools.