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December 9, 2012


Replies: 5

Introduction to using tablets

Geo1995 Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Hi everyone, and thanks for taking time to help me a little.Somehow I decided I wanted to start a new project in my life, and that project is digital art.I couldn't draw at all so I spent a few weeks learning the basics.Somethings turned out quite well in my opinion.Then I decided I wanted a drawing tablet, so I bought a Wacom Bamboo.This is the 2nd day as it's owner, and I'm really frustrated.I can barely draw a cube properly.My lines aren't straight enough and it's quite hard(I'm using Photoshop CS5).So I have a list of questions to which I'd really appreciate answers:
-Can the sketch be drawn directly on a tablet, or does I have to draw on paper and then scan it?
-Where can I find a nice introduction to digital art/sketching on a tablet?
-How long did it take to get used to a tablet?

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Devious Comments

AlanTheRobot Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
-Can the sketch be drawn directly on a tablet, or does I have to draw on paper and then scan it?

You can... but it won't come out well. It's a last resort when you don't have a scanner or camera. If you can't sketch onscreen (it's okay, many people never manage it) than scanning it or taking a picture is the best option.

-Where can I find a nice introduction to digital art/sketching on a tablet?

I actually don't know. I have a tutorial on photoshop, but not tablets. If you search youtube though you should find some. Mostly you'll get tips on how to set up shortcuts, buttons, and pen settings in photoshop. You might want to search for beginner tablet exercises too.

-How long did it take to get used to a tablet?

I had been drawing on Tablet PCs (directly on the screen) for a few years. I bought an Intuos 5 and was super afraid I wouldn't get used to it (I had tried a friends previously and could not do the hand eye coordination), but in about a week I was used to it. It might take you longer. What I did was just draw circles over and over and over again until they were as good as the ones I could do with a pencil. Then I moved to straight lines. Than to quick sketches. These are the tablet exercises I was referring to.

If you're having wobbly lines I recommend trying broader strokes. Don't attempt slow lines (were you pressed the tip into the paper). I don't know about you but this is a common mistake with cartoonists who do very clean lineart on paper with slow thick strokes. Try using your whole arm more. For places where you need smaller strokes try quick flicks. They should start pointy, get thicker, and end pointy (less pressure, more pressure, less pressure). This might be a bit hard at first but it will allow you to do clean lineart even in Photoshop. The point ends "connect". You usually can't do a line in one go unless you have a program like SAI (with line stabilization).
SearchingforFreedom Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist

This might help you out.
mattchee Dec 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Just keep practicing. Tablets are not as intuitive as they seem, and it takes a little time to develop the hand eye coordination and muscle memory that you need. But if you just keep at it, it will be second nature before you know it.

I've been there! Don't give up!
knozos Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
1) Yes, I find it faster that way but some people prefer to start their drawings on paper.

2) Ctrl+Paint has excellent tutorials and resources for beginners [link] you should check them.

3) That shouldn't take you more than a month.
achipps Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now that you have a tablet stop using a mouse so you are forced to learn how to use only the tablet for ever function on the computer.

That is what it takes to get use to the tablet quicker.

You can always put the tablet away until you have more skills at drawing so your idea of quality will help you learn to do the same with the tablet.
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