Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wacom Tablet fun!

I treated myself to a Wacom Bamboo Create tablet. I'm getting the hang of using the pen and drawing on a surface where there is no image -- it takes some getting used to.  
Ladies at the cafe was going to be my St. Petersburg "Virtual Paintout" picture but I forgot
that he doesn't accept digital art. Oh well, it was good practice (this was the second picture using my new
Wacom tablet) and I always love drawing a Google Streetview scene.
These ladies were at the Caffe Centrale, according to the words on the awning, but I accidentally lost
the streetview link so I can't send you there to see it "in person." I haven't abandoned my
physical pens and pencils, so next month my VP will be with the rest of the gang!

What I like about the tablet is that I'm not a filthy mess by the time my faux pastel picture is finished. Also, if I'm trying to draw a portrait (which I am only so-so good at), it's nice to be able to erase and try again if an eye or whatever isn't quite right. Nothing is worse than spending hours on a drawing when the end result doesn't look like the person I was trying to draw. One wrong angle, and you've haven't drawn Sue -- it's now Sue's imaginary sister!

I know digital illustration may not be considered "real", and I can see the point somewhat. I'm not regarding it as a replacement for real pencils and brushes, it's simply a different tool in the box. And in that one tool is a universe of tools -- it's like a Kindle for artists.

Using the tablet is drawing...there's a tool in my hand that I use to apply marks to a blank surface. I'm not simply applying effects to an image. However, even if I later decide to take it one step further and use the filters or color correction features on my completed drawing, my choices are unique to me (out of literally thousands of options). If someone else used the same image as reference, their strokes and color choices wouldn't end up at the same final point as mine -- just like with real pastels, pencils, brushes, or whatever.

What do you think?

The tablet offers useful capabilities over physical utensils that I appreciate. Photoshop's layers allow me to test out if I want to add line work on top of a pastel-style image without messing up the work done so far. The various wet brush tools will allow me to create a watercolor-look without requiring me to invest in another expensive hobby (different paints, brushes, and paper than I already own.) And I don't have to frame the completed pieces so they don't get ruined (as with a pastel painting)!

Now look at this or this or's the talent, not the utensil, that makes the art. Whatever the tool, I still need more talent!


  1. Looks like you're getting used to it pretty quick. My tablet was cumbersome for the first few months I had it. What I love about it, though, is being able to paint without having to get out all the tools and make a mess. I think it's a totally valid medium and the making of a digital painting takes just as much skill as any other painting. The ony problem is that there is no "original" tangible piece. You can print it out, but that first print is exactly the same as the next thousand prints as far as value. Doesn't bother me, but it definitely bothers some.

  2. P.S. I love your idea to draw from Google streetview. I want to try that.



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