I am terrible at using drawing tablets. I must have practiced using the thing for years and still can’t get the hang of it. Sketching directly into Photoshop without waiting for a scanner to warm up would be a huge timesaver. (Yes, Breakpoint is still drawn with pen and paper, albeit colorformed together in Photoshop.) In practice though, using my Wacom tablet is like trying to draw through a black hole, hoping that what comes out the other end isn’t a pile of scribbly anti-matter.
Not sure what it is about the tablet that I get hung up on. Part of it is the “feel” of drawing, in that the tablet has none. The markers I use have a little grip to them upon contact with the paper, while the plastic nib on the Wacom stylus feels more like drawing on frictionless ice. I’m one of those folks who mashes the pen into the paper like a gorilla, so maybe that’s the problem. Then there’s the whole mental block of drawing in one place while looking at another. I have no clue why my hand-eye coordination can move Mario through the Mushroom Kingdom with the grace of a gymnast, but it can’t let me blindly draw the same cartoon dog I’ve rendered 10,000 times before. It could also be I’m using the dinky, low-end Wacom tablet pictured. Not a lot of surface space to work within… I usually have to put down a line, move the canvas, put down another line, etc. Not very paper-like.
Of course, the Ferrari of the tablet world is the Cintiq, which is more or less a tablet-monitor hybrid. It sounds like my Holy Grail: the pen comes with three nibs of varying friction, it’s got a huge working space, and the hand-eye coordination goes out the window as you’re once again looking at what you’re drawing. Also Ferrari-like is the price, which unsurprisingly is in the thousands of dollars. They just however released the 12WX, the first sub $1000 (by a dollar) Cintiq, which sacrifices a little bit of the surface area to get it within the price range. Still very steep, but a step in the right direction. Looks fun, too:
Maybe I just need to give my old tablet yet another try. Anyone else out there in internetland use a Wacom? Any tips about getting better with it?