Which One Is Better For Digital Art Creation, Graphics Tablets Or The Mouse?
This is a common debate between digital artists, since there are people who use both to create good art. To be quite honest, I personally have strong bias against using mouse for drawing & creating artworks. I have many reasons for that, which I illustrated in the rest of this post. This doesn’t mean that mouse doesn’t have any use or advantage at all, but it’s preferable to stay away from it whenever possible. At the end, it’s up to you to use whatever tool you think is best for you.
I summarized the points I made here below, in case you just want a quick answer to this comparison.
Very important to have if you are serious about becoming a good artist.
Offer key features like pressure & tilt sensitivity.
Is an additional cost some aren’t willing to pay.
The healthier choice.
Key Points About Drawing With Mouse
Good for pixel art.
Can only be used if you totally can’t afford a graphics tablet.
Needs to be used with caution, as it can cause strain on your hand.
Using A Graphics Tablet Is More Natural, It’s Also Faster
Compared to the mouse, using a graphics tablet is similar to using a pen for writing or drawing. Your hand is more relaxed when you use it. While mouse is used in one hand position that’s put some strain on it, and can be get your hand cramped if used for a long time.
Since graphics tablet allows you to point at any point of the screen very fast, it cannot just make you draw or retouch comfortably, but faster as well.
In my early days in using Photoshop, I used mouse primarily for everything. Once I eventually got a graphics tablet & got used to it, I now can’t imagine using the mouse for any sort of drawing & editing anymore (unless for very simple stuff maybe). The same thing can be said about drawing, painting, as well as photo editing & retouching. (unless you primarily color using the selections & path tools).
Graphics tablets are used for more than just moving the mouse. They also support pressure sensitivity. A feature that allows you to draw like the pencil, in that the more you press the pen on the tablet surface, the thicker or lighter the lines or strokes you create get. They can do much more than that based on the art program you use (Photoshop & Corel Painter support many settings for that for one). Pressure sensitivity is useful for both drawing, painting & retouching.
Some graphics tablets support another similar feature called tilt sensitivity. Which allows you vary the shape of strokes by tilting the pen. This is another feature made to allow you to draw the same way you do with pencils & other drawing tools. Not all tablets or art programs support it though, I know Photoshop & Corel Painter do to name some. Tilt sensitivity are available in higher-end Wacom devices.
Both pressure & tilt sensitivity are features the mouse lacks. Alongside with drawing faster & in a more relaxed way, they allow you to create better artworks.
Health Warning Regarding Drawing With Mouse
While I just illustrated the advantages of graphics tablets, let me repeat the biggest issue for using the mouse for drawing & the like. It puts strain on your hand, and using it for editing can causes you some issues like RSI & tennis elbow. In my opinion, it is not worth it to save money by using the mouse in the long term.
If you must use the mouse, make sure you take regular breaks whenever you draw that way at the very least (this same advice goes for doing anything repetitive). Just because there are people who have been fine with the mouse so far, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful about doing the same.
So, Is Mouse Totally Hopeless?
To be fair, just because the mouse is the technically inferior device for drawing & editing, this doesn’t mean you can’t create great artworks using it. Many artists did that for a long time now, Youtube has tons of videos of people doing that. Having practiced on using it, as well as knowing how to draw, shade & the like is more than enough to do so. It’s just not the ideal choice for that, for the reasons I mentioned above.
From what I know, mouse is a good choice in one area:- creating pixel art, where you place pixels one by one to create your artworks. I can’t imagine using a graphics tablets to create art like that, unless I don’t mind greatly zooming in to make sure I place each pixel correctly.
Check out the available graphics tablets in the following Amazon links:-
I am aware was probably harsh with the way I criticized the mouse, but as someone with hands problems, I cannot emphasize more against the importance of preserving your health. There’s also all sorts of advantages for graphics tablets that cannot be ignored. There’s a learning curve to drawing with graphics tablet & the mouse, so it’s better to do it with the better device.
I hope this post has helped you see the difference between drawing with mouse of graphics tablet is better. I am aware of being biased against the mouse, but I hope I was fair in my comparison here. Tell me any thoughts you may have in the comments section.
Comparing Yourself To Other Artists Can Be Used Both Negatively & Positively.
You’re browsing some art community. A good place to share the love of art, meet fellow artists, and see what art they create, only to keep finding many artists that are way better than you. You feel like you have a long way to go, that you’re not good enough. Such belittling to yourself is never good, and it’s the negative way to go about it.
The good thing is, comparing yourself to other artists can be used positively, to motivate you, and to help you become a better artist. There are few reality checks in this post you need to be aware of, the most important of them that you’re not really lacking it, you’re just not there yet.
Realize That You Don’t Know How Much The Other Artists Worked On Their Art
What if I told you that the artist you looked at their art spent at least 6 hours a day practicing for months, if not years? For the most part, we rarely ask these people how much efforts they put into their art, and this is usually not mentioned in their galleries. Unless these artists have some of their older artworks in there, so you could see how less good they used to be, you can never know what they went through to become this good. What appears to you that those people are really good, that they do create art very easily while you can’t. That it’s all a matter of talent. You forget that this is the natural result of working hard, that they struggled a lot along the way to get to the way they are now.
The same can be said about biographies & success stories. You read or watch the story of some of the most successful people. You see their successes happen so easily & fast. When it fact they had to endure many hardships to achieve what they did. We sometimes forget that their stories spanned over for the course of years, sometimes above 10 years or more.
For example to that, do you know the famous artist Van Gogh struggled with proportions in the earliest stages in developing his artists skills? Then two years later, he was able to overcome that difficulty. This is one of the aspect of personal development that’s usually hidden from us. We are always unaware of what those great people did to overcome their shortcomings. It’s worth mentioning that Van Gogh created about 2100 artworks in the 10 years he drew.
Not Good Enough?
One of the issues in comparing yourself to other artists is that it makes you afraid you’re not good enough, that’s specially the case if you are aiming to become an excellent artists, both for your career or to be able to express yourself. While it’s not constructive to belittle yourself because you saw people better than you, it’s certainly great if you could learn a thing or two from them. The feelings you have could be simply because you lack a certain skill, but that’s not a good reason to feel down and be demotivated. Feeling you have a long way to go can be good, it means there’s a room for you to improve.
It Happened To Me Before
I have felt this way before, multiple of times. I will tell you about the most prominent case of them. I too have an artist I inspire to be like. When I originally stumbled upon her profile long ago, I was awestruck by how good she was, I even felt bad & jealous too. I asked myself “how could someone be that good”. I felt like looking at jewels, not artworks. I browsed her whole gallery, I saved many of her artworks in my computer (they are so good after all).
I still have a long way to go to reach her level, but I know I can get here with the right attitude. To remind myself of my goal, I currently have one her artworks as the background picture on my main computer. The good thing is, I am a bit closer to how she’s now, I have equivalent techniques to the ones she has in her drawings now, which feels good since I probably wouldn’t think about studying such techniques had I never knew about this artist.
Yes, You Can Compare Yourself To Other Artists Positively
The attitude you take when it comes to comparing yourself to other artists is what determines whether it’s a good thing or not. If you became better as a result of that, you will like it. Once that happen, you may actually like to look at the other artists more.
The next time you see a great artist, ask yourself, what if I can draw like this or that artist? It can be the first step toward becoming like them. Granted, you may need to learn a lot of things to get there, but you can still do it if you did it a step by step, as long as you really want to get there. This may be a sign you need to dedicate more time to become better. After all, comparing yourself to other artists could be, in a way, a reflection of your desire to become better, the more you want that, the more time & resources you should dedicate to that.
Do You Look At Your Own Art?
Artists tend to look at others arts all the time, but do you look at your own art? It’s surprising how sometimes you forget to do that, as this can be a good way to compare yourself to other artists. It can help you spot the things you lack, and focus on them. Sometimes a subtle change in your technique can make your artworks look way better. Looking at your art, and possibly comparing it to other artists side-by-side, is one good way to discover these things.
I totally understand it’s not really that easy to get over the negativity you may feel when you look at artists that are way better to you. That’s why I emphasized that you use it as a stepping stone toward becoming better, as that make it easier. While you are at that, try to have fun learning more about art & practicing, that will make things way more enjoyable, it’s sad how many people forget about that.
I hope this post helped you, even by little, when it comes to comparing your art to other artists. See you again with another post. :>
Here Are The Things To Look For In Graphics Tablets Retouching
Graphics tablet allows you to edit your photos faster & more intuitively. In addition to that, they are a healthier choice compared the computer mouse. If you have health problems like RSI or tennis elbow or the like, they can help you a lot (this is based on my experience & other people. You still need to consult your doctor when it comes to this).
When picking a graphics tablet for photo editing & retouching. There are many things to look for, like pressure sensitivity, the number of hot keys on the tablet & the size of the tablet (and specifically the active area). If you have extra cash, you could even get a tablet with tilt sensitivity (if your art program supports it), or to have the convenience of using your tablet wirelessly.
Once you get your tablet, you may have some difficulty using it at first, but you will need to continue using it for few hours & maybe few days before you get used to it. Right after that, you will like how the difference it makes to the way you edit.
The tips I gave you here applies whether you plan to use your graphics tablet with Photoshop or some other art application, like Corel Painter, Gimp & others.
Also, you can check out the available graphics tablets form the following Amazon links:-
Reasons To Get A Graphics Tablet For Photo Editing & Retouching?
There are many reasons to get a graphics tablets for photo editing & retouching rather than to keep using the mouse.
Graphics tablet allows you to retouch faster than mouse:- Giving the way they work, graphics tablets allows you to move the mouse instantaneously, which makes doing certain tasks easier & faster. Features like pressure sensitivity allows you to place lighter or stronger strokes simply by pressing harder on the tablet surface. It’s a more intuitive way to work too.
It’s also more natural to use a graphics tablet:- Because you hold the tablet pen the same way you hold regular pens for drawing or writing, using a graphics tablet is more natural & relaxing to your hand than your mouse (which can puts some strain on your hand).
It’s better for your health:- I am not a doctor, and I will never be one, but tablets can help you if you have RSI or tennis elbow or any issue like issue in your wrist (or to prevent these issues if you don’t). This is due to the tablet & pen form factor, which is better suited for photo-retouching than mouse. The reason many people use them in place of their mice. I suggest you consult with your doctor about this to conform what I am saying. :)
After you use a graphics tablet for a while, you will find it harder to return to using the mouse:- This has been the case to many artists who switched to tablets, both for drawing or photo retouching. Even if you’re fine with using a mouse, you don’t want to work slower by working with the mouse again.
So, How To Pick A Graphics Tablet For Photo Editing & Retouching?
In my opinion, it’s much easier to pick a graphics tablet for retouching than drawing. In a way, it’s kinda equivalent to picking one for digital painting.
There are few areas to look for when it comes to picking your tablet.
Graphics tablets are not just used for moving the mouse. It also comes with pressure sensitivity, which allows you to draw thicker or lighter stroke based on how much pressure you apply on the tablet surface. Pressure sensitivity can also be used to place lighter or stronger strokes based on pressure too. They can do much more than that based on the art program you use (Photoshop & Corel Painter have tons of settings you can play with when it comes to that).
Pressure support means less need to change parameters like brush opacity,. It makes it easier to create different kinds of lines, and tapered lines in particular, a reason they are used in drawing a lot too.
In the last few years, I never saw a graphics tablet without this feature, most of the ones in the market have way more pressure than enough (1024 level or above), including older models. It’s worth noting that you don’t need to get the highest pressure sensitive ever, as it’s not the only factor to determine what makes a good retouching experience.
Check out the available graphics tablets form the following Amazon links:-
When I recommend a graphics tablet for drawing, I tend to advise people not to get one that’s too small for their monitor. The same rule goes for picking a graphics tablet for photo editing & retouching. At the same time, small tablets require less movement of your hand to move the mouse, something that can be great for retouching. Unless you want more precise mouse movement, in which case I advise you to pick a medium-sized tablet.
The good part about getting a larger tablet than you need is that you could resize its drawing area if you found it too large for your convenience.
To sum it up, get a small or medium tablet, as that’s what you will mostly need. Get a medium tablet if you have a large monitor to stay on the safe side.
It’s worth noting that the you can only draw on the active area of the tablet, not the whole surface. The area you could draw one is called the active area. It’s a common beginner mistake to pick a tablet based on the tablet surface rather than the active area, which’s what matters.
In case you want to know more about this. I have a dedicated article about picking the best graphics tablet size right here. It contains guidelines that fits with as much people as possible (people have their preferences, after all, so it may not apply to some people). It can be a good way to start if this is your first graphics tablet.
Number Of Hot Keys
Hot keys, or express keys as Wacom likes to call them, are button on the graphics tablets you could program to do almost anything you want, from performing a key combination or even mouse buttons clicks. The driver of my Wacom Intuos Pro even allows me to perform a sequence of key combination, which can be similar to creating macros in their usefulness (like, you can program a button to perform CTRL+A, to select the whole canvas, then CTRL+C to copy the image, all with a single press of a button).
If you don’t use much shortcuts, getting a tablet with many hot keys can help you ditch the keyboard entirely, which’s convenient. Otherwise, there’s a chance you will still use your keyboard, which defeats the purpose in getting a tablet with them in the first place. I suggest you get a tablet with hot keys to see how they work for you, they’re not much more expensive really.
Other Graphics Tablet Features
There are other graphics tablet features I didn’t mention here, mostly because they are extra or only needed by certain people. Some of these features are:-
Tilt Sensitivity:- This is a similar feature to pressure sensitivity, it allows you to draw different strokes by tilting the pen. This is another feature made to allow you to draw the same way you do with pencils & other drawing tools. Not all art programs support it though, I know Photoshop & Corel Painter do for some. Tilt sensitivity tends to be available in Wacom’s professional line of tablets.
Wireless Connectivity:- Some graphics tablets can be used wirelessly, either with bluetooth or using the USB dongle that comes with it. This is a very convenient feature. I use it in my tablet regularly. However, you can easily live without it if you can’t afford a tablet with it.
Touch Capabilities:- The surface of some graphics tablets works as the trackpad of your laptop, and it can replace it to some extent. These tablets also support multiple fingers gestures, like pinch-to-zoom or rotating your canvas. These gestures are similar to the ones you have in your Smartphone. These features can speed up your productivity if you plan to use them.
What Graphics Tablet Brand To Pick?
If you can afford it, get Wacom tablet, they are the leading brand when it comes to graphics tablets. They tend to last long too, and Wacom supports their devices for years ahead. I am not saying their tablets are not without issues, specially how their drivers can have some bad issues, ones I hope you will never face.
Huion & Ugee make some good ones too if you want something affordable. So, if you’re on the fence about getting a graphics tablet, or if you’re low on budget, getting one of their cheaper tablet can be good for you, they make for a good way to try a graphics tablet, as you won’t exactly need a really high-end tablet for the most part.
As I told you earlier, focus on getting one with hot keys (at least 4) to see if these keys can help you work better, you don’t want to replace your tablet later just because you want to try one with such keys. :>
Picking a graphics tablet for photo editing & retouching could be one of the best decisions to help you work better on your photos. They can be tricky to use at first, but as long as you’re willing to get used to it to see the result, you will be mostly pleased by it. There are many things to consider when picking up such a tablet, which could confuse you at first, but you will quickly get used to them after a short while.
Check out the available graphics tablets form the following Amazon links:-
You always wanted to draw well, and you probably tried to get better multiple of times, sometimes without much results. You wondered why that was happening, and whether drawing is for certain people only, or if you were simply not suited for drawing, or whether you were just doing it wrong. You asked yourself too many questions there, but with no definitive answers. This is what I will answer you here in this post.
This post is not aimed at giving you generic tips, but to actually guide you to improve your drawing if you already trying to get better, or to start your journey at it in case you want to draw but are hesitant about it. The key point here is to understand what do you need in order to do it well, starting from the right way of thinking about it to the right way of doing it.
Drawing is not just about producing some lines on paper, it may seem like that at first, but there are many concepts you need to learn in order to draw. These concepts includes, lights, shadows, perspective, anatomy, proportions, composition, techniques, eye & hand coordination, and more importantly, developing your observing ability.
Depending on what you draw, you may not need every single one of these aspects to draw well. At least not now, but you will need to know at least some of them.
The amount of things you need to know may overwhelm you at first, but don’t worry about it. You can achieve good results in the short term without knowing all these aspects, and gradually learn about them one by one. It’s not knowing about these aspect of drawing is what makes drawing hard for many people.
There’s a chance you already read about drawing, and probably attending some drawing courses, so you already know about these concepts. In that cases, what could be that’s blocking you from drawing well? Or at least the way you want to. To answer that, here’s the next reason of why drawing is hard:-
To Become Really Good At It, You Need To Practice It Correctly
To add on what I said just now. One common believe is that practicing your drawing over & over will get you to become better in a matter of time. This is true to an extent, but not entirely.
If all you want to learn is to be able to block in lines correctly, then doing that over & over may help you there, especially if you are mindful about the different kinds of lines you are drawing, but then you won’t really improve on the other aspects of drawing, that’s why there are artists who are good at copying other artists’ drawings, but are unable to draw much on their own: They lack the abilities they need to make their own creations.
Even if you keep at drawing the same thing, taking note of where your struggle and focusing on your weaknesses can help you more than mindlessly drawing for the sake of it.
Another issue with aimless practicing is that it may prevent you from trying to draw new things you never did (new poses, for example), something that can easily help you progress a lot.
You Compare Yourself With Other Artists
This is one area people fall down to often, you compare yourself to better artists, who spent years improving & enhancing their art. and realizing that you can’t draw like them, and so belittle your own art. It’s very important to realize that with the right steps, you could rise to their league. And use others’ artwork to motivate yourself or even try to imitate some of their techniques. Just take your time, draw regularly, and you will find yourself improving in a matter of time.
I myself have an artist I wish I could draw like. She has been motivating me, and I don’t plan on stopping drawing at least until I become like her, and maybe better. :>
Sometimes even good artists see themselves worse than others with different style, possibly for the lack of the techniques they used to create similar artworks. This is a chance to learn something new here, all without discounting what you already achieved so far in your journey to become a great artist.
It Takes Time To Draw Well
Here are two drawings of my original character, Lolita de Calémia. I drew the first one in 2012, while the second one in 2016, when I made Lolita Caramel into a visual novel. See how my coloring has improved? How the proportions are better too. I still have a long way to go, but I still can’t help feel good about what I achieved. :)
Improving your drawing, and artistic skills overall, takes time, and it’s sometimes a slow process, depending how much time you put at it, and how fast you catch details, and what you do to improve. Since it’s slow, you often miss the fact you already improved, something other people do easily. Keeping old artworks or getting feedback from people who look at your artworks can make it easier to see how you actually improved.
Here are two drawings of my original character, Lolita de Calémia. I drew the first one in 2012, while the second one in 2016, when I made Lolita Caramel into a visual novel. See how my coloring has improved? How the proportions are better too. I still have a long way to go, but I still can’t help feel good about what I achieved. :)Another good way to see how you improved is to redraw an old drawing you made before. I saw artists do that in Deviant Art often, and the improvement in the art quality is obvious. :>
To Draw Well, You Need Observation Skills
One of the many ways to approach drawing is “Drawing Is Seeing”. In my opinion, this is the pillar of drawing, as observing can help you understand what you’re drawing, and so depict it on paper on any medium of your choice the way you want.
Usually when people look at objects, they tend to simply classify them, but don’t look at them in detail, which’s what you need in order to draw them. This is something you acquire by doing it, it may seem awkward or even silly at first, but once you get into it & see the benefits this does to your drawings, you will appreciate doing it.
Frustration Is Part Of The Learning Process
As I said earlier, improving drawing can be slow, especially if the way you do it is not optimal. Trying to draw something over & over without much results can be frustrating too, this is part of the learning process. If you kept trying to draw a certain thing without success, try it another way, observe it carefully, try drawing it using guidelines, practice drawing the shapes the thing you’re drawing is made of (which’s the right way to think about the things you draw).
Is Drawing Really Hard? It Is Tricky, If I Say So.
Drawing can be tricky, but it’s not exactly hard, it just requires certain way of ways of thinking than most of our day-to-day tasks. It also requires skills & train to reach the level you aspire to get
I tend to think about drawing the same as learning languages, as both require you utilize multiple skills together, both also require you to know a lot of small details (vocabulary in languages, all sorts of different details in case of drawing). I may write a post comparing the two in the future. Learning few vocabulary can help you speak any language a little, learning more will allow you to speak even more. But you could become way better at that language by learning the grammars, idioms & different ways to use each words……. Etc. Both require you to dedicate some time to learn them, as well as consistency.
Drawing something new can be awkward at first, but it becomes easier once you get into it. I still feel awkward every time I draw something for the first time, but I get over it after that, just like the first time I drew a parrot for the second time in my life, it was for my Lolita Caramel visual novel. I have confidence that I will draw parrots, and birds in general, way easier the next time I do it. :3
What About Talent?
I almost sure you thought about talent multiple of times while reading this post. One of the misconceptions about drawing is that it requires talent to do well, which can’t be more far from the truth. This is something I have a strong opinion against. The main reason many people don’t draw well is because they do it wrong. To makes things worse, the myth of talent has always prevented from even trying. Which is sad honestly.
Even if we said that talent is important to reach extremely high level of skills, normal people can still reach a really satisfying level of skills if they really want to, the more you aspire for that, the more you will be able to work hard for it (again, the correct way).
Yes, people start at different level of skill, but we all can get to where we want by keeping at it.
I am aware that I may sound harsh here, but it’s important to let you know that you & many others how capable you really are. :)
Drawing Requires You Use The Right Side Of The Brain, Not The Left One
One important thing to know about drawing is that it requires involvement of the right side of the brain, a side people are not used to use that much. It can be very tricky to change the way you draw with your brain at first, but that needs to happen in order to draw well. In that aspect, drawing will change your brain forever, and so the way you think & solve problems will change forever. That’s one more reason to go forward & become good at it (it’s also one more reason some people do it easier than others, like left-handed people tend to have it easier to draw often than right-handed people).
In her book, Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain, Betty Edwards talks demonstrates in great details how the left-side of the brain tends to dominates over the right-hand, the who could allow you to drawing well, but it tends to fade away because we are too used to resorting to the left-side without knowing it (some of the information I mentioned in this post about brain functionality came from her book).
Remember what I said earlier in this post that drawing involves more than one thing? It’s the right side of the brain that’s capable of processing these multiple things all together.
The good thing is, the author showed some drawings of people who drew well, despite the fact they barely practiced. I can imagine how good those people can become if they set their minds on becoming really great artists.
I totally recommend you to read Betty’s book if you really care about getting good at drawing, it will change the way you think about it. I am glad I did, it confirmed my long-held views that anyone can draw if they went about it the right way. It also gave me good ideas on how to draw better in the future. :)
You can get Drawing With The Right Side Of The Brain from the following Amazon links:-
I plan to write a full review of this book soon, I will update this post with the link of the review once I do that.
Drawing is a skill many people wish they could do well. Many are hesitant about it, thinking it’s hard, when in fact, it’s not. Although it requires some investment in your time, develop some habits, and more importantly, change the unconscious way you draw using the left-side of your brain. After all, people who can draw get respected for a reason.
I may overwhelmed you with many things all at once here, but you can take your time with each of them if you want. I hope I helped you understand the way drawing work, even by little, and that you think better at it now. :)
How To Get The Right Graphics Tablet Size For Your Needs…
This is one of the most common question those willing to get a graphics tablet ask, whether they are getting it for the first time, or if they are getting a new one & wonder if getting a different size than the one you have.
The easy & quick way to answer that question is to look at your monitor size, getting a big tablet can make your life easier if you have a large monitor. In some cases, you may have preferences, but this rule will work with most people.
Other aspects to take into account the way you draw, like if you draw with your elbow, then you will need a larger tablet, and to make sure you won’t have to buy a new tablet in case you bought a new larger monitor.
Getting a medium-sized tablet is the most ideal case for most people, since it suits most monitor sizes & drawing styles.
I will talk about all these aspects in the rest of this post, in case you want to know more.
So you want to buy a graphics tablet, and probably for the first time, but you wonder what size to choose from, and what size is more comfortable, the one that makes you draw more accurately (or do better retouches, in case you do photography). You came to the right place, as I will give you many tips that will help you decide on the ideal graphics tablet size for you.
I talked about this problem in my Intuos Pro Review long ago, but this time, I am creating a more comprehensive guide to this. As that article made me realize how many people thought about that question. This post will follow a similar format to that one, since it helped many people in the past. I may reference the Intuos Pro more than once in this post, but everything I say here applies to other tablets brands as well.
In an ideal world, the best way to know which size is to try all the sizes yourself (like, if you know a shop that allows you to do so), but that’s not feasible for many people, especially those who never had a graphics tablet before (since you may still not make the best judgment at this stage). There are more than criteria you should use to determine the graphics tablet size to get, like the size of your monitor & the way you draw. I will talk about each of these in details right away.
Get A Suitable Size For Your Monitor Size
Compare the size of the tablet you’re getting to the size of your monitor, you want to get a tablet relatively close in size to your monitor. Having smaller tablet than your monitor is okay to some extent. The key is to avoid using a small graphics tablet with a large screen, as it’s harder to precisely control the mouse that way. Some people don’t mind doing that, but I don’t think most people would like that. I used to use a small Intuos 4 tablet with a 27-Inch iMac in the past, I was able to work that way, but it was kinda tiring, as the mouse kept moving relatively fast.
Depending on the size of your new monitor, you may need to change your tablet. The reason I used a small tablet with my 27-inch iMac is that I bought the tablet to with my 17-inch Macbook Pro, and when I upgraded, I kept using my tablet with my newer computer with a larger screen.
One of the reasons I tend to suggest to get a medium tablet is to future-proof you from having to change your tablet whenever you change your monitor.
What If I Have A Very Large Screen?
I am leaving this story here for anyone who may benefit from it. A while ago, a girl called Mary commented on this blog & asked me if the large Intuos Pro is suitable for use with her 55 inch TV, which is a larger screen than any screen anyone I know or heard of has used. I told her it could work with some effort, but the difference in size was too big. She ended up getting the large Intuos Pro & it worked well for her. Despite the fact her research that the Intuos Pro is only suitable for screens up to 47 inches. It was her first time getting a graphics tablet by the way. This is one example to show that different is size between the tablet & monitor can work in a way or another, specially for the larger tablet sizes.
Wacom used to have an Extra Large model of the Intuos 4 for those interested, but they no longer provided it with their newer models. My guess is that it didn’t work out well for them.
Using A Small Graphics Tablet
A small graphics tablet is good if you have a small laptop. I still use my older small Intuos 4 with my Macbook air, which has a 11-inch screen, and it’s working very well for me.
This size is very ideal for carrying around, though the same could be said about medium graphics tablets if you carry around a 15 inch laptop or bigger. Another advantage of small tablets is they tend to be affordable, so they are a good choice if you are on the fence about getting a graphics tablet (and you don’t mind upgrading relatively soon if it turned out medium or large graphics tablet is better for you).
Buy a small graphics tablet
. . .
Using A Medium Graphics Tablet
This is the safe choice when it comes to a graphics tablet sizes, as it works with many common screen sizes, and it gives you enough space to move your hands around. It’s not too big for people who draw with their wrists (meaning it can work with large screens for those people).
If you are confused about which tablet size to get, you can go with this size & most likely be okay.
Buy a medium graphics tablet
. . .
Using A Large Graphics Tablet
The large the graphics tablet is the easier to move the mouse cursor with precision. At the same time, the more elbow movement you will have to do (while it may be cumbersome to some this can help with drawing by the way).
In case you got this size, and it turned out to be too large to your liking, you could remap part of the active area to your monitor, thus converting it to a medium or small tablet. So if you ever regretted getting a tablet this size, you could resort to this trick to get the size you need, but this comes at the cost of buying a more expensive tablet & losing some money (this same trick could be used with the medium tablet as well. You could technically do that with the small tablet too, but I don’t think anyone would want to do that).
It’s worth mentioning that while this is a really good size to get, it’s not for everyone, as larger is not always better. That’s one more reason to recommend the medium size over the large one to more people.
Large is good for two screens setup, I always map mine to one screen, despite the fact I have 3 monitors connected, but you could benefit from the large area as if you have two smaller tablets side-by-side & control multiple programs that way.
Buy a large graphics tablet
. . .
Choosing the ideal graphics tablet size for you can be very tricky, and sometimes there’s more than one size that suit you. Making an informed decision is better than just picking a size randomly. Even if you ended up getting the wrong tablet size, you know what to get next, but it’s really better to avoid that situation if possible.
I hope my post helped you choose the best graphics tablet size for you.
Huion Giano Review (WH1409) In Few Words (Mini Review)
Huion Giano is one of very few large graphics tablet in the market, it’s good to see more choices for those looking for a large graphics tablet (I personally only know 2 other than Wacom so far).
Huion Giano does very well providing a good drawing experience, including wireless functionality. The drivers may cause you some issues, but that can be avoided to a degree with the tips I provided below.
Provides good value for the money for a large graphics tablet.
Has 12 hot keys, which is plenty.
Provides wireless functionality.
Cons Of Huion Giano
Has some drivers issues, many people could avoid them if they followed the instructions in this review.
Active Working Area:- 13.8 X 8.6 inch.
Connects wirelessly to your computer
Hot keys:- 12
Can be used for both left and right-handed people
Pressure sensitivity:- 2048 levels
Response rate:- 230RPS
Compatible OS:- Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP or Mac 10.8.0 and above
Model number:- WH1409
It’s not that we see much large graphics tablets each day, as the choices for this tablet size are limited, so it’s good for Huion to provide us with an alternative to the large Intuos Pro, for those looking for a Wacom alternative.
Huion Giano is a beautiful tablet with an active drawing area of 13.8 X 8.6 inch, which is a bit different than the 12.1 x 8.4 inch active area of the Intuos Pro 2017 (reviewed here). It supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is more than enough for most artists, even 1024 levels could be good, so there’s no issues with Huion Giano here. It can provide a good drawing experience as long as you managed to get over the drivers problems you may face with it (which I talk about more soon, I will mention some tips to avoid them too).
Huion Giano can be used wirelessly if you want, a feature that I expect to see more in graphics tablets in the future., as it can make things more convenient (even though you can live perfectly without it). To use Huion Giano in wireless mode, you need to plug the receiver hidden in the small lid at the back of it. The receiver also contains the drivers for Huion Giano, though I totally recommend you download the drivers from Huion’s website here (Huion Giano’s model number is WH1409)
You can charge Huion Giano’s battery via USB cable, which is the same as the Intuos Pro.
Numerous Hot Keys
Huion Giano has 12 hot keys, which is many. With the exception of the newer & more expensive Wacom Cintiq models (Like the Cintiq 27QHD), I don’t know any Wacom tablets with that much buttons.
You could program these keys to do all sorts of keyboard shortcuts for you, the buttons are laid out in a way you could use them as groups. Having many hot keys means there’s a chance you could use your tablet without having to place your keyboard nearby if you only need to use a certain number of shortcuts.
Huion Giano comes with a stand similar to the one you get with Wacom tablets (though Wacom has a new stand now that looks quite different), the stand contains 4 replacement nibs inside of it, which could last you for some time without having to get new ones (nibs tend to wear out after some times, depending on how you press the pen & the surface of the tablet).
The biggest complain about Huion Giano is the driver issues you may face with it, which is not exactly new. These issues could prevent the tablet from working correctly, and could cause problems like lagging & the like. If anything is going to ruin your experience with Huion Giano, it’s most likely this.
There are two common & effective solutions to these problems, these solutions are:-
Make sure you do a clean uninstall to any Wacom drivers on your computer, as these drivers conflict with Huion Giano’s driver.
Make sure you download the latest driver from Huion’s website, you can find the drivers in this page (Huion Giano’s model number is WH1409), as that can help you avoid many problems that are fixed in the new drivers.
Huion Giano is a good large graphics tablet giving the price & the size you will get with it. It can be good upgrade if you have an old or smaller Wacom & want an affordable alternative that’s bigger. The same can be said if you already use a Huion tablet & want a larger one.
There’re not much large tablets from other than Wacom, but now we have one more alternative to the large Intuos Pro
I hope you liked my Huion Giano review, and see you again in another review. ^^
Let’s See What The New Intuos Pro Has To Offer, Is It Better Than The Old Intuos Pro?
The new Intuos Pro has brought many changes over the older model, most of these are positive. It takes a smaller footprint than the previous model, while offering similar active working area. It offers 4 times the pressure sensitivity with the Pro Pen 2, and connects wirelessly to your computer using bluetooth, rather than Wacom wireless kit. As for touch, you can turn it off by using the toggle on the side, rather than assign an express key to do that. One cute feature of the new Intuos Pro is that the new pen holder could be used to remove the pen nibs, rather than using the ring inside the pen holder to do that (in the previous model). When it comes to the negative, there’s no small size model for the new Intuos Pro, so your only choice is to get the older Intuos Pro, which Wacom offers as an alternative to that.
The new Intuos Pro came lately, which I call the Intuos Pro 2017, or the new Intuos Pro, which includes many enhancements over the previous model. To make things easier for you, I made this comparison between the old & the new model for you to decide if the new Intuos Pro is good for you, or if you could just buy the old model.
Some of the differences are minor, while some are worth it, I will leave that to you to decide.
Now let’s get on with the comparison:-
Dedicated Button To Toggle Touch
Unlike the original Intuos Pro, the new Intuos Pro has a toggle button in the side, which you could use to turn the tough feature of & off. You could still assign one of the express keys of the old Intuos Pro to do so if you like. But having a dedicated button for that is very convenient.
Smaller Footprint On Your Desk
The new Intuos Pro is much smaller than the previous Intuos Pro, but offers a similar working area. The medium sized model feels kinda like the small modem of the previous generation. This makes it easier to work or to have more things on the top of your desk. The newer model also features a metal plate at the button of the tablet, which is a nice addition.
The Active Area
The active drawing area is a bit different between the new & previous Intuos Pro models. Kindly find the models in the active area for both the large & medium models in the following table:-
Old Intuos Pro
224 x 140 mm 8.8 x 5.5 in
325 x 203 mm / 12.8 x 8.0 in
New Intuos Pro (2017)
224 x 148 mm / 8.7 x 5.8 in
311 x 216 mm / 12.1 x 8.4 in
The New Intuos Pro Has No Small Size Model
Unlike the previous Intuos Pro model, as well as the older Intuos 5 & Intuos 4. The new Intuos Pro offers no small size. By the time of writing this post, Wacom offers the small version of the old Intuos pro in their size instead.
While I tend to recommend people to get the medium size or bigger most of the time. The small size has the advantage of being easy to carry around, especially if you have a small laptop (I use my small Intuos 4 with my 11-inche MacBook Air while I travel, and it works very well for me).
Pressure Sensitivity & The New Pro Pen
Pressure sensitivity on the older Intuos Pro is 2048, while it is 8196 in the new Intuos Pro. That’s 4 times the amount of pressure supported. While some artists would appreciate this, I totally don’t recommend you get the new Intuos Pro just for that. Both the new & old Intuos Pro support ｱ60 levels of tilt levels.
The New Pen Holder:- A New Way To Remove The Nibs
The dome-shaped stand looks more beautiful than the stand we are used to see in the previous models. Above that, the new stand doubles as a nibs remover tool, so there’s no longer a need for the nibs removing ring that we used for years.
While that also may not be something you will specifically get the new Intuos Pro for, it’s still a nice addition to enjoy in case you decided to get it.
Native Bluetooth Wireless Support
The new Intuos Pro works wirelessly via Bluetooth now, rather than the Wacom wireless kit, which came with the previous model, and required you to insert a USB dongle to your computer. This makes things easier, as laptops come with bluetooth all the time now, and bluetooth USB dongles are all available. Bear in mind that you can’t replace the battery in case of the new Intuos Pro.
The New Intuos Pro Offers Different Drawing Surfaces To Choose From
With the newer Intuos Pro model, Wacom offers 3 kinds of texture sheets:- standard, smooth or rough, the smooth surface is a welcome addition, as the surface of the new model can cause the nib tips to wear down.
In case of my Intuos Pro, which I had since 2014, the drawing surface became smoother with use, which is how I prefer it to be, and now nibs tend to last much longer. I would definitely have wanted to regain the drawing texture had I thought it was good, something that’s possible now with the texture sheets.
While the new Intuos pro provides some good & nice features, the older model is still a good viable alternative if you could find it at a good price. Specially with the replaceable battery. It’s not that all artists really need the increased pressure sensitivity of the older model.
The New Wacom Intuos Pro 2017 Review In Few Words (Mini Review)
With a new look & nice new features, the new Intuos Pro is a step ahead in advancing graphics tablet, especially with the new feature. It may not be worth it if you own the previous Intuos Pro model, but it’s certainly a great upgrade from the much older Intuos, as well as the Bamboo or the Intuos line (the 2015 models & before). If you own a non-Wacom graphics tablet, this could be one of your options.
The rough texture on The new Intuos Pro, while something some artists would like, as it imitates the way paper texture works, could also mean that the pen nib old wear up faster. Something many won’t like.
Touch Ring:- Yes – 4 customizable functions plus home button for capturing layers in paper mode.
Supports Precision Mode
PC And Mac Connection USB or Bluetooth Classic for wireless connection
Requires wireless via Bluetooth Classic for connecting to PC or Mac, Bluetooth LE for connecting to mobile devices (in paper mode).
Paper Size for paper sketching (medium):- A5/Half Letter
Paper Size for paper sketching (Large):- A4/Letter for large tablet.
Maximum number of Pages Stored (for paper sketching):- 200 pages with unlimited layers
System Requirements:- USB port, Windowsｮ 7 or later (64bit), Mac OS 10.10 or later, Bluetooth Classic.
Overview Of The New Intuos Pro
The new Intuos Pro is the 2017 iteration of the Intuos Pro line. For those who don’t know, Wacom changed the name of their professional tablets few years ago, the Intuos name used to refer to their professional tablets, while they used the Bamboo name for their lower-end tablets. Today, the name Intuos Pro is their brand for professional graphics tablets, while the Intuos is for the lower-end tablets.
The enhanced design of The new Intuos Pro looks lovely, it has a much smaller footprint on your office now Wacom made the tablets smaller. And now there’s a metal plate at the bottom of it, which is a quite a lovely addition. The tablets are thinner than the previous model too.
Unlike the previous Intuos Pro model, which required Wacom Wireless Kit to be used without cables (it came with it in the box), the new Intuos Pro supports wireless out of the box, as it connects to your computer via Bluetooth now. This is very convenient & make things easier, as computers, and
particularly laptops, come with Bluetooth nowadays. I also hope this is going to be more reliable in the long run (the Wacom wireless kit wasn’t 100% reliable, but it was a step ahead at the times). Unlike the wireless kit, you can’t change the battery, which seems like planned obsolesces to me. I couldn’t find the bluetooth version required by The new Intuos Pro anywhere I looked.
Being able to use your graphics tablet wirelessly is a lovely feature, while you could sure live without it, it’s very convenient not to have cables around while you draw. Think of it same as having a wireless keyboard versus having a wired one. You can still connect it using USB cable if your computer doesn’t have Bluetooth, or if it didn’t work well for you. Doing that charges The new Intuos Pro’s battery in case the battery depleted while you’re using it.
The new Intuos Pro comes with the Pro Pen 2, which supports 8196 levels of pressure sensitivity, a key feature in graphics tablets that allows for the creation of thicker or thinner lines based on how hard you press the pen on your tablet. I tend to recommend to have at least 1024 levels of pressure in your device. Having more is not that important in my opinion, and so it is not a reason to get this new model on its own, but it’s nice to have if you are interested in the other features this model provides, like the paper edition features, which I will talk about shortly.
The new Intuos Pro has a new dome-shaped stand, which has some spare nibs inside of it. The stand doubles as a nibs removal tool, so say goodbye to the small ring you used to remove your nibs. This is one of the small yet good additions in this new model.
The new Intuos Pro supports some of the older Wacom accessories, like the Art pen, but to be able to use the rotation feature in it, you will loss the 8196 level of pressure, and you will be able to only use 2048 levels instead.
The new Intuos Pro has a rough surface, which wears down the pen nibs faster. Since many artists don’t like that, I listed it as a con in this review, Artists who like that can ignore this part.
To give people some choice, Wacom offers 3 kinds of texture sheets:- standard, smooth or rough. Which could solve the problem if you don’t like the rough texture, but it will be an extra cost for you nevertheless.
Just like the previous Intuos Pro model, this new model also supports touch, including touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom & rotating the canvas. One of the common questions people ask about touch is whether it could replace your mouse or be used as a huge trackpad, the answer to that is yes, but it is not as convenient as a dedicated trackpad like Apple Trackpad.
If you’re afraid that touch will annoy you or get in your way for any reason (which happens at times), you can turn off this feature with the toggle on the side and use The new Intuos Pro as a regular graphics tablet.
No Small Model
As of the time of writing this review, The new Intuos Pro has no small model, only medium & large ones. To get a small Intuos pro, your only choice is to get the old small model. Unless you plan to carry your graphics tablet around, or you work on a small monitor, I generally don’t recommend you get that size. I am not sure if Wacom plan to kill the small size by this love.
Both of the medium & large versions of the The new Intuos Pro has 8 express keys, which you could program to do all sorts of shortcuts or key combinations, as well as tough ring, you could use to zoom in & out or resize your drawing brush. The express keys are similar to the one in MobileStudio Pro (reviewed here).
The Paper Edition
The new The new Intuos Pro has a special edition called the paper edition. It comes in a beautiful box that looks like book. It also comes with a paper clip, which you install on the top of The new Intuos Pro, and it holds the paper on the top of the tablet, so you could draw with it using the black pen that comes with it, which you must use in order to transfer your drawing to the computer. Although you can use any kind of paper you want, as long as the paper is placed on the top of the active area of your tables (indicated by square marks on the corners).
Once the black pen is close to the tablet, the ink mode activates. You can press the ring button on the The new Intuos Pro so anything you draw next is added to a new layer, which will make things easier once you move the drawing to your computer using Inkscape.
The paper edition saves you time if you prefer to work on paper then transfer your drawings & sketches to your computers. As long as you could you could integrate it into your workflow.
The new Intuos Pro made some good tweaks to the previous model, the smaller & sleeker design is something to be appreciated too.
I totally recommend you to get The new Intuos Pro if you never had a graphics tablet but are serious about digital art in the long term. If you own a Wacom tablet, upgrading from a Bamboo & the like to the Intuos Pro could make a huge difference. If you use the previous Intuos Pro model & don’t need the paper edition features, then upgrading may not be a good idea for you.
I hope you liked my The new Intuos Pro review, and see you again in another one.
Here’s A Quick Comparison Between The Mobilestudio Pro 13-Inch & 16-Inch Models
While the two are similar in many ways, like how they provide up to 16GB ram, up to 512GB storage (the 13 offers down to 64GB)
Same pressure & tilt sensitivity.
To save you time, the key differences between MobileStudio Pro are the screen size & resolution, the express keys count & the graphics chip used, you get the better technology in almost all these with the 16-inch model. I talk more about these in details below. :>
The graphics chip, in my opinion, is the biggest differentiation between the two MobileStudio Pro models.
All the models of MobileStudio Pro 13-inch come with Intel IrisTM Graphics 550, while the MobileStudio Pro 16-inch come with one of the two Nvidia Quadro chips:-
NVIDIA Quadro M600M 2GB GDDR5
NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4GB GDDR5
The Quadro chips in the 16-inch model makes them great for the CAD applications & the like, this is not something you need if all you want if all you plan to do is to paint digitally.
While it is obvious that the two MobileStudio Pro have different screen sizes, 13-inch vs 16-inch, there are some other differences between the two that may not be as obvious, for one. The color gamut between the screen is also different, 16-inch has 94% Adobe RPG, while the 13-inch has 96%.
Another key difference for the screen is the resolution, which is 2560 x 1440 for MobileStudio Pro 13-inch, while it is 3840 x 2160, or 4K for the MobileStudio Pro 16-inch.
Since MobileStudio Pro is made to be taken on the go, the number of available Expresskeys can be more important than in case of Cintiq or even Intuos tablets, since you have the option to place your keyboard nearby in case of the latter.
When it comes to that, MobileStudio Pro 13 has 6 Expresskeys, while MobileStudio Pro 16 has 8 of those. I personally don’t understand the reason behind this, other than to make the 16-inch model more appealing.
Comparison Tablet Between Mobilestudio Pro 13-Inch VS 16-Inch
Here’s a comparison table between the 13-inch & the 16-inch MobileStudio Pro, which contains everything I mentioned in this comparison, plus a few more.
Computing Power & Specifications
Intel Core i5-6267U (2.9GHz)
Intel Core i7-6567U (3.3 GHz)
Intel Core i5
Intel Core i5
Intel Core i7
Intel Core i7
NVIDIA® Quadro® M600M 2GB GDDR5
NVIDIA® Quadro® M1000M 4GB GDDR5
Intel IrisTM Graphics 550
Intel IrisTM Graphics 550
Intel IrisTM Graphics 550
Intel IrisTM Graphics 550
15.6 inch (39.6 cm)
15.6 inch (39.6 cm)
13.3 inch (33.8 cm)
13.3 inch (33.8 cm)
13.3 inch (33.8 cm)
13.3 inch (33.8 cm)
94% Adobe RGB
94% Adobe RGB
96% Adobe RGB
96% Adobe RGB
96% Adobe RGB
96% Adobe RGB
3840 x 2160
3840 x 2160
2560 x 1440
2560 x 1440
2560 x 1440
2560 x 1440
Up to 6 hours
Up to 6 hours
Up to 6 hours
Up to 6 hours
Up to 6 hours
Up to 6 hours
Since MobileStudio Pro is barely upgradable, picking the right device that will last you as long as possible is a must, and for that reason, I hope I was able to help you pick the right device for that purpose. I tried to keep the comparison short, if you want to know more in details about MobileStudio Pro, please refer to my MobileStudio Pro review here.
Getting Started In Digital Art (Or Digital Painting) For Beginners
Digital art is a fascinating subject, not only you get to draw much easier & faster than traditional art. It has a bit of a technical side to it, yet you still need to be able to draw & understand colors & the like. This post is about helping you to get on the technical side of digital art, while still encourage you to learn the artistic side, since that part is also important, as you can’t expect your computer to draw for you.
I try to be a bit more detailed than other posts about digital art here, so you could get started right away, I will link you to additional resourcess, so you could get to continue to learn more about the other aspects of it.
When you start with digital art, a graphics tablet is the most important piece you need to get. If you only have money to get that, do it, as the other thing you need, like some art software, could be obtained by free.
While you surely could draw with a mouse, I totally don’t recommend that, not that it’s just harder, but you could get all sorts of injuries, like mouse elbow & the like, dealing with those problems is more troublesome than the $50-$100 you are going to save from not getting a graphics tablet.
Fortunately, graphics tablets are becoming more & more affordable, you could get a wide selection at around $100, and there are many you could get for lower than that too.
Some graphics tablets come with a free art software, one you could try along with the ones I will suggest to you shortly in this post.
Or find a graphics tablet by clicking on the following links:-
There are many art software you could use in your journey to become a great artists. I picked up some of the most common ones for you to choose from,
I didn’t use all of these to be quite honest with you, but I wanted to give you more choices to choose from, there are other drawing software out there other than those in this list, so use this list as a starting point. :)
Most of the common at software are free or very affordable. You can try all of them for free to see how they work for you.
Adobe Photoshop:- This is the art software I personally use. It contains everything you need for digital painting and much more. It also contains tools you could use for graphics design, photography, Photo-editing, and more. For that reason, Photoshop can be an overkill for digital art only, the reason why some artists don’t recommend it unless you’re going to use it for other things. For me, this is an advantage to it, as I like how vast & versatile it is, just take a look at how many brushes are available for it online.
There are two things that wouldn’t make me recommend Photoshop, first, you need a relatively powerful computer to use it compared to most art software (you could use it on a normal computer if you won’t be using many layers or work on very large images). Second, it has a higher learning curve, both to use the application & to use it for digital art effectively. If you are interested in learning the most important basics of Photoshop, I recommend you my book, Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures, which teaches you Photoshop basics, along with other useful things.
Paint Tool Sai:- A very lightweight & popular art program, it contains many tools that makes drawing & painting easy, and it is relatively easy to learn. Many Anime artists use this one.
Corel Painter:- This program is very good at imitating traditional brushes, you could use it to paint as if you are using traditional brushes & canvas. It is one of the most expensive ones in the list, but it is surely worth trying.
Manga Studio / Clip Studio Paint / Comic Studio:- This program, which comes in multiple names, depending on where you live, is very good for lineart, as well as creating Manga & comics (it contains the tools for creating comic balloons, frames & the like). It is not the best software to colored in my opinion, but if you’re into creating colorful drawings, you could use it to create line art, then export that to Photoshop & other art software & color them there.
GIMP:- This free Photoshop alternative is great if you can’t afford Photoshop but wanted something with similarly vast tools. GIMP also has a Linux version if you are not into Windows & Mac. GIMP has the advantage of taking less resources than Photoshop, so it’s also a good choice if you have an old computer.
Sketchbook:- As the name suggests, Sketchbook gives you an interface similar to a sketchbook, with tools panel to pick brushes & rulers from to help you draw. Sketchbook comes in two versions, Sketchbook Express, which is free, and Sketchbook Pro, which is still affordable if you liked the Express version but wanted the additional features. I used Sketchbook before for some time, and I have always admired the clean interface it had. Since it’s free, I don’t see a reason not to try it.
ArtRage:- ArtRage is an easy to use art software for digital painting, and could be used to imitate traditional brushes with its lovely coloring abilities.
Getting Started In Digital Art, Starting To Draw
Now you got what you need to start (graphics tablet + art software), here are some things you need to learn in order to start your journey as a digital artist. Knowing these things in advance can save you a lot of time, and can help you become very good at drawing.
Draw With A High Resolution Canvas
Canvas is the area you draw in any art software, the larger the canvas is, the bigger your drawing will be. Drawing on a small canvas is one of the most common mistakes newcomers to digital art make, it makes your lines look rugged, and you lose the advantage of sizing down the final drawing before posting it, which hides many small mistakes you may have made, which could take a lot of time to fix. Drawing on a large canvas can alone make it much easier to create clean artworks without much of a hassle.
While drawing with a bigger canvas is always good, make sure you don’t overdo it, since having a very large canvas can be taxing on your computer. So try to balance between the two.
Now You Got A Large Canvas Down, Make Sure The Brush Size Is Large Enough Too
For novice digital artists, it can be tempting to draw with a 1 pixel brush, since you may want to have the thinnest lines possible, however, drawing that way won’t just create thin lines that’s hard to see when you color them (unless that’s what you want to create). Drawing that way also won’t allow you to benefit from pressure sensitivity that much. I recommend you draw with at least 3 pixels brush, but to also try to draw with even larger brushes if your canvas is bigger. Generally speaking. the best brush size depends on your canvas size & your art style, as some artists like to draw with thick lines while others like thinner ones.
Before You Draw, Make Sure Pressure Sensitivity Is Enabled
Pressure sensitivity is one key feature in graphics tablet, it allows you to draw thicker lines by pressing harder on the tablet, just like you could with regular pencils. Pressure sensitivity can be used to create a more or less transparent strokes as well.
Checking if pressure is enabled is easy, just draw several lines, with each line, press harder on the graphics tablet surface, if the lines keep getting thicker, then pressure is enabled.
Depending on the art program you use, you may need to make sure pressure sensitivity is enabled, or else you will get the same thickness of lines no matter you draw.
In case of Photoshop, you could simply use brushes that support pressure like the Hard Round Pressure Size one.
Fortunately, most art programs allows you to benefit from pressure out of the box without any configuration from your part, but knowing you may need to do something on your own to enable it can save you a lot of time.
Getting Used To Graphics Tablet Takes Time, It Can Be Quite Frustrating At First
When you draw your first few lines with a graphics tablet, you will make some very bad lines at first. While that can be extremely frustrating, it’s fine really. You will need to use your graphics tablet for a while before getting used to it. After playing around with it for some time, go ahead & create some actual sketches, this will help you get better at it.
Even if you are used to drawing with pencil, you still need to get through that learning curves, some artists say they’re better at drawing with pencil than graphics tablet, despite using those for years. But hey, at least you can undo in case of graphics tablets. :)
Learning How To Draw, Either On Pencil, Or Directly On Your Art Program, Is An Excellent First Step
While I am almost sure you are reading this post because you want to create dazzling digital paintings. You can actually start your journey with digital art by learning to draw with the good old pencil, as it is easier to draw lines that way. While drawing digitally make many things easier, learning to draw is still an important step for you.
Sure, you can do that step digitally if you like, where you can erase lines and fix your mistakes more easily. The point is, your computer or pencil are a tool to help you create lovely things, you still need to work on yourself to create those lovely lines (and shades, which is something you need to learn about after line art).
Here’s a confusing but important tip, while practicing a lot can help you a lot to a degree, conscious understanding of what you’re doing can could do wonders for you. It will help you plan where you want to improve. I know I may not make sense here, but the things I am saying in the last paragraph alone could help you become a very great artist if you understood what it means, trust me. ;)
You Won’t Create Good Results Right Away, It Takes Time To Get There
Just like as I said above, you will create very bad artworks when you first start, it is super frustrating really (I got my share of that when I first started). But be patient, it takes a lot of time to become a good artist, and there are many things you need to learn for that, which are not really hard, but they take some time to learn & getting used to, some of these things can be confusing at first (like shading), and so you just need to delve into them, and they will naturally become normal things to you.
Again, remember my point about conscious learning, just blindly practicing won’t always get you better, you need to try drawing new things, create a lot of drawings & artworks, and focus on the areas you need to improve on. Getting feedbacks from others is one good way to do so.
Digital Art Provides You With Some Good Tools, Use Them To Create What You Want. But Don’t Overdo It.
For example, while learning how to draw a circle by hand is good for your drawing skills, this shouldn’t stop you from using the circle tool in your art program to do the same. It will help you create a better art faster. But that doesn’t’ mean that you fully depend on your art program to do everything for you, sometimes it is better to draw the little details in your scene yourself, as the results there can be more natural.
The key in all that is to control the process with your skills, and to know what you are doing. This is where to draw the line between doing things yourself or just rely on your computer
Don’t Draw Things From Your Head, Use A Reference For That
It’s very common to try to draw things based how you remember them, which can lead to drawings & artworks with many mistakes in them. Using a reference is an easy way to avoid many of these problems.
Let me give you an example, you may know how a plain table looks like (a surface with 4 legs), and so you won’t have any problem drawing a table. Things won’t be that easy for the more complex shapes, you may remember that a car is a vehicle with 4 wheels, but there are tons of other details in it you won’t remember on your own, and so using a reference is a must.
You may be tempted to try to draw things from mind to challenge yourself, this is fine for the things you actually know how they look like, but please don’t, we are here to create great artworks eventually, and using a reference will help you do that with the least effort. The cute thing is, the more you use references, the more you will be able to draw them without one.
One benefit of using a reference is that it can help you add variance to the things you draw (draw a stylish table rather than the plain one you remember, for one).
A good way to use a reference is to change the object you draw a little bit, rather than blatantly copying it. This can help you think & understand the object you’re drawing more.
In this long post, I gave you tons of information, translating all these things into action will take time, this is what learning process is, to experiment, to add to it from other resources, and to try things on your own.
This post may contain some abstract things that may not make sense to you right away, don’t dismiss them for that please. Just keep them in mind, they will sink in when the time comes, and they will benefit you a lot in the future as I hope.
The most important thing for you to do now is to stick to it, most people quit within few weeks, if you really dreaming about doing great artworks someday, keep at it, because it is really worth it to gradually become better at it.
I hope I was able to help you to get started in digital art, even by a little, and see you in another post. :)
Ugee HK1560 is a small pen display with a beautiful design, with a small screen that many will appreciate, as it’s larger than the 13-inches we used to see in the smaller pen displays.
Some people may have some trouble setting it up, but there’s a good chance you will like what you get once you do. The lack of the hot keys won’t be an issue if you don’t mind using the keyboard for shortcuts.
Has an adjustable stand that allows you to tilt to forward & backward.
Compatible Operating Systems:- Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and Mac OS.
Pressure sensitivity:- 2048.
Ugee HK1560 has 15.6-inches screen size, a unique size for a pen display. Lately, we started to see pen displays between the 13-inches & 19-inches sizes we used to see, and I hope this continue to be the case in the future, since 13-inches is small for some artists, while 19-inches is big for them. The smaller size of Ugee HK1560 makes it relatively easy to carry around than the bigger pen displays with 19+ inches displays, it is not really portable like an iPad or anything, but it is really good to move around & establish your own small studio when you travel.
The panel type of Ugee HK1560’s screen is IPS, which has good viewing angles, the screen has 1920 x 1080 HD resolution. It supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which dictates how much your strokes can be larger or smaller based on how much you press your pen on the screen, just like regular pencils. Ugee HK1560 offers no tilt sensitivity or touch capability, but the ability to draw on the screen for its price is very good.
Ugee HK1560 has a glassy screen surface, which is smooth for drawing. It also comes with a protector to give you some texture in case you want to draw kinda close to traditional drawing.
Ugee HK1560 has a slight parallax, or an offset between the pen & the cursor, this happens around the edges of the screen, it is not a big issue usually, but it is better that you try Ugee HK1560 yourself to see how fine you are with it.
Ugee HK1560 is connected to computer via 2 cables, USB & HDMI. You will also need to connect a 3rd cable for the AC adapter. The ports of all the 3 cables are on the side of Ugee HK1560, which is good, given how some of the pen displays I reviewed had them at the bottom, so they used get squished whenever you tilt the device in certain positions.
Ugee HK1560 has a stand that allows you to tilt the device backward & forward, which can work well when you sit it on your desk. To give you more options, removing the stand reveals a VESA mount at the back of it, which allows you to mount it on an arm, like Flexible arm, that can make a big different in the way you draw with Ugee HK1560, since you can sit it in many useful positions & even rotating it, so some of the tricky lines to draw could be easier.
No Hot Keys
Ugee HK1560 has no programmable hot keys, keys that you could program so they replace some of the key shortcuts you use in your art programs. Having these are nice if you only need to use few & specific shortcuts, but many artists don’t mind not having them. The only hot key you get with Ugee HK1560 is the one on the pen itself.
Just like the case with the other Ugee pen displays I reviewed, Ugee HK1560 comes with 2 rechargeable pens, which is good in case one of them broke or ran out of power, though the latter is very unlikely to happen if you kept on charging it regularly.
Ugee HK1560 also comes with a pen stand, which contains 8 spare nibs inside the stand, since the nib of the pen keeps rubbing against the screen, it may need replacement every now and then. How often you need to do so depends also on how much you press the pen on the screen while you draw.
There are two buttons on the pen itself, one of them activates the eraser tool by default, but you can customize the two buttons to your liking.
Not really as portable as an iPad Pro or something, but it is easy to carry around for traveling, where you set a mini studio to do your artist work in a hotel or something, if you know what I mean.
Installation & Possible Problems
Ugee HK1560’s installation may be tricky for some people, downloading the latest driver form Ugee’s site can help a lot, since such drivers can have some bugs fixed in them.
Having a Wacom driver installed on your computer always causes many problems when you try to install a device like Ugee HK1560, so removing it first is a must. Using a removal program like CCleaner, whcih can help you a lot here. You will need the paid version to fully remove the driver, but you could download a trial version of it for free from this link.
While it may not be a Cintiq killer, Ugee HK1560 is still a good device to get. The most appealing thing in it is the unique screen size, as many of the aspect seen in similar pen display from Ugee & other manufacturers. Some artists may prefer to have a larger screen, and for those I recommend they check out my other pen display reviews here, which tend to be within the price of Ugee HK1560, so it is not that you will pay much more for that.
I hope you liked my Ugee HK1560 review, and see you again in another review. ^^
Choosing The Best Device To Draw Digitally On The Go
Choosing among the 3 main art creative devices that uses Microsoft Windows & allows you to create artworks using full-fledged applications like Adobe Photoshop may not be easy, as each of the devices has its own ups & downs, and for that reason, I will present you a detailed comparison between all the 3. For one, the Surface Pro 4 has a reflective screen that makes it less ideal for drawing outdoor, but it has the best stand, not everyone may like drawing with it. Some may like drawing on it, while some others will love the lack of parallax in it. Having Expresskeys on Cintiq Companion 2 & MobileStudio Pro is an important feature, since you take those devices with you wherever you go, where having a keyboard may not be always ideal, the Surface Pro 4 lacks that. But you will surely appreciate the battery life the Surface Pro 4 provides. The comparison goes on & on.
I hope I was able to help you choose the best device for you & your budget. For that reason, you will notice that I didn’t pass judgment on which device is best here, but more like explorer where each of the devices perform.
Offers 16-inches screen, an uncommon size for such pen displays.
Can be attached to a computer & used as a Cintiq to draw.
The screen is matte.
Has an improved parallax.
Offers the highest resolution among the 3 devices compared here.
Cons Of MobileStudio Pro
Requires an external adapter to connected to your computer & be used like a Cintiq.
Pros Of Surface Pro 4
A good portable computer for simple sketching or notes-taking.
Has an official cover that allows you to use it like a laptop.
Has the best stand among the 3 devices here.
Has the highest battery life too.
Cons Of Surface Pro 4
The screen is reflective, and can look like a mirror under certain lightings.
Can’t be connected to your computer, at least I don’t know of any reliable way to do so.
Lacks any kind of express key.
Pros Of Cintiq Companion 2
Also has a matte screen, which won’t reflect light or turn into a mirror under certain lighting conditions.
Can be attached to a computer & used as a Cintiq to draw.
Wacom improved on the parallax on this device thanks to the driver they released lately.
Cons Of Cintiq Companion 2
Depending on your power settings & the application you use, the Fan can be quite noisy for a mobile device.
When getting to buy a portable device to create artwork. One you could also use to run full fledged art programs (which is why the iPad Pro is not included here), there are 3 main devices one would consider buying. But since there are many differences between the 3, one may have an issue choosing the best one for the buck, so this comparison will hopefully help you choose the best one to buy.
As usual with my comparisons, I won’t pass a final judgment here, since this can change based on your need. None of the 3 devices is really better when it comes to all the aspects of the comparison anyway.
I already compared Cintiq Companion 2 with the Surface Pro 4 before, so some of the things I say here are going to be redundant, but since many people are going to compare these 3 devices together when they make their buying decision, I am going to proceed with that.
Now let’s start with the comparison~
To a degree, the selection of screen size is a matter of preference. Same goes for resolution, some don’t like to work on high resolution screens, as they make buttons & icons small to look at, while others prefer them since they work on high resolution images.
The Cintiq Companion 2 comes with a 13.3 screen with a QHD resolution of 2560 X 1440. The screen is matte, which means it won’t turn into a mirror or glares at you whenever a light is shed on it, something glassy screens suffer from.
When it comes to the screen size, MobileStudio Pro gives you more of a choice, compared to the other two devices. It comes in two screen sizes, the 13 model, with a 13.3-inches screen & the 16, with a larger 15.6-inches screen. This is one of the things I totally applauded when I reviewed MobileStudio Pro here, as most of the time, we always got the 13-inches screens or 19+ inches when it comes to pen displays(or 22+ inches only in case of Wacom Cintiq).
The screen resolution for the 13-inches MobileStudio Pro model is 2560 x 1440, while it is a 4K resolution of 3840 x 2160 for the 16-inches model. The MobileStudio Pro screen is also matte, just like its predecessor.
On Microsoft’s hand, the Surface Pro 4 features a 12.3 screen. The resolution of it is 2736 x 1824. Overall, the quality of the Surface Pro 4’s screen is much better. Unlike the screens of Wacom’s offerings, the Surface Pro 4 screen is reflective, which means that under certain lighting conditions, the screen will look like a mirror, which is not nice for a portable device. That can make it harder to use the device under such conditions, something that is not good for a portable device, but you could install an anti-glare screen protector in it, or raise the brightness of your the screen to the max to improve on things a little (at the expense of battery life).
It is worth noting that Wacom use their own digitizer, which have been trusted by artists for a long time until now, and that’s one of the reasons Wacom is still the king of digital art devices (not to say others don’t make good drawing devices).
Cintiq Companion 2 has 2048 pressure sensitivity, which was the standard pressure sensitivity for a long time, and it is more than enough to draw, I tend to not recommend anybody to pay to pay more for anything beyond 1024 levels, unless there are other features in the tablet you really want.
Now that I said 1024, that’s exactly the pressure level the Surface Pro 4 supports, while the MobileStudio Pro has a whopping 8196 level, which I never expected it to have prior to its announcement (I expected 4096 levels or something).
When it comes to the initial activation force, which is a very important measure to evaluating drawing experience, as it dictates the minimum amount you need to press your pen on the screen to get a stroke. The Surface Pro 4 has really improved on that compared the Surface Pro 3, but it is still behind what Wacom offers in their two products. Drawing on the MobileStudio Pro is the best from what I know, though you could create great artworks in all the 3 devices, you won’t go wrong if you if you could afford it. If possible, I totally advice you to try all the 3 devices to see which one is better for you.
One important aspect of drawing on a pen display is parallax, which I will talk about in its own section.
Parallax is a small cursor offset to the position of the pen, which can be caused by the distance between the pen tip & the actual cursor. This can particularly happen around the screen corner. This problem have been more easy to spot on the Cintiq Companion 2, although Wacom released a new driver that makes it work really better.
The MobileStudio Pro has much less parallax compared to many other Wacom product, not sure if this has only to do with the new driver I just mentioned, or if the hardware also got better.
Since the Surface Pro 4 uses the N-Trig digitizer, which is generally better when it comes to parallax, you won’t have to worry much about this issue when it comes to it.
Since the prices of these 3 products can change with time, I won’t be placing prices here. But in general, the Surface Pro 4 is the cheapest one to get among the 3 devices, both when you compare the base price & the price for the top model, it is very clear that it is the device to get when you are on a budget.
However, if you don’t like the N-Trig digitizer, or if you are too used to Wacom devices, getting any of Wacom’s offering is worth it, particularly in case you also want to have express keys on your device. If you are on a budget, then getting the Cintiq Companion 2 is the ideal choice here.
If money is not an issue, I would pretty much get one of the high-end MobileStudio Pro models personally.
Battery life is a very tricky subject, since it not just depends on the configurations of your devices, but also on how you use it, and what are the power settings you set in your system. The rule of thumb is, never trust the official numbers manufacturers tell you, since they tend to be very exaggerated. So this part of the comparison is going to be a bit generic, so take it with a grain of salt.
The expected battery life for MobileStudio Pro is up to 6 hours, according to Wacom. The Cintiq Companion 2 features a battery life up to 5 hours, or 4.5 hours according to my review about it. While the official battery life of the Surface Pro 4 is about 9 hours. While both numbers are generally good, the 9 hours of battery life for the Surface Pro 4 means that you can use it for a whole workday without having to recharge it at all. Which makes it the winner of this round, even if you only got 7 or 8 hours out of it, it still wins this round quite easily.
If you have seen the Cintiq 13HD, then you have a good idea on what to expect with the Cintiq Companion 2. It has 6 hot keys and one rocker ring, the 6 buttons can do programmed to do all the things you want to do. The rocker button allows you to perform functions like the resizing the brush & the like.
MobileStudio Pro has very similar 6 Expresskeys & rocker button for the 13-inches model, while the 16-inches model has 8 keys, making it the model with the device number of express keys.
The Surface Pro 4, on the other hand, doesn’t have hot keys. So Wacom’s offerings win here. Normally express keys can be less important for many people, since you could just place your keyboard beside you, however, this may not be feasible to do on the go for some people, unless you can switch tools using the interface of your art program or use some sort of hot keys application.
You also have the option of using on-screen controls or customize the interface of your art program to get around that. Carrying a portable keyboard or using the keyboard cover are other options you have here.
Surface Pro 4
Cintiq Companion 2
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Stand & Ergotron Arm
Each of the 3 devices comes with their own kind of stands. The Cintiq Companion 2 & the MobileStudio Pro comes with a similar stand that allows you tilt it in 3 potations, it is an okay stand, but you may find it less ideal to carry with you on the go.
It is worth noting that for the MobileStudio Pro, the stand is sold separately. Some of the Cintiq Companion 2 models, like DTH-W1310T, doesn’t come with one either.
The Surface Pro 4 comes with a much better stand, a continuous stand that you could adjust to many positions, and it is built in the Surface Pro 4 itself. I really hope Wacom would come up with a stand like that in the future~
Mounting your device on an Ergotron arm, and particularly a device you draw directly on, like our 3 devices here, can make a big difference in the way you work. Since you could rotate your device so some lines are easier to draw, and you could get the device adjusted to the way you sit, rather than the other way around.
Since all of the 3 devices were made for drawing on the go, they don’t have any kind of mount in them. But you could use some sort of easel or an adapter.
Connecting To Your Computer
Using the dedicated cable for that, you could connect your Cintiq Companion 2 to your computer’s USB & HDMI ports, so if you have a more power computer, or you got one in the future, you could benefit from its capabilities. While benefitting from the Companion’s mobile capabilities to work as you go around, particularly in case if you got one of the low-end models.
The same can be said about the MobileStudio Pro, however, to connect it to your computer the same way, you will either need a USB-C port with that supports alternate mode, and that way, you will be able to connect it directly to your computer, or purchase the Wacom Link adapter, which allows you to connect it to a mini displayport Port or a regular displayport (using a cheap adapter to mini displayport). Connecting it in any other way may work, but I can’t guarantee that, this is a huge bummer for those with only HDMI ports on their laptop.
As far as I know, the Surface Pro 4 can’t be connected to your computer & be used as a Cintiq, unless there’s a method for that I don’t know of.
Since these devices cost a lot of money, it can really help to know which kind of problems you can expect from them, especially since some of these problems can be deal breakers for you. So here I will list some of the problems in these devices.
Fans Problems Cintiq Companion 2
The Cintiq Companion 2 has one nasty problem, sometimes the fans run very noisily. This won’t stop you from using the device & do what you want with it, but this is worth mentioning, since some people totally can’t tolerate that.
You could mitigate that problem by using a headphone, or play with the power settings.
Mobilestudio Pro Bugs
Here are some of the issues for the MobileStudio Pro, you could see a full list here in this Reddit post. Since it is the newest product among the 3 I am comparing here, I hope these issues will be solved by Wacom in the future.
After waking from sleep, the pen & Expresskeys won’t work:- putting it to sleep again solves this problem.
Heavy applications that uses a lot of vram, like 3D applications, causes the 16-inches model to crash:- Forcing the device to use the Intel graphics chip solves this problem, but this beats the purpose paying all that money for the 16-inches model (unless you only wanted it for the bigger screen, but still).
While hovering the pen above the screen, the cursor doesn’t pick up the small change in movement:- You could see that in the following video.
Credit for the video to:- HappehLemons
Surface Pro 4 Issues
There are many issues people faced with the Surface Pro 4, these issues doesn’t mean it is a bad device, and many of them are unlikely going to happen to you.
The eraser won’t work at times:- Restoring your PC can help here (yes, this can be quite annoying).
Sometimes, the touch screen stops responding:- Restarting your device can solve this problem.
Other Useful Things
MobileStudio Pro is equipped Intel RealSense 3D Camera, which you could use to capture real life objects.
The 13-inches i7 512GB model of MobileStudio Pro comes with 12-months license of Artec Studio 11 Ultimate scanning software, which is compatible with SolidWorks CAD & Design X.
The Surface Pro 4 is the only device in this comparison that has an official cover that makes it usable just like a laptop.
Surface Pro 4 & Cintiq Companion 2 support up to 2TB MicroSD cards. I guess the MobileStudio Pro does the same, but I only confirmed that it supports at least 512GB.
Cintiq Companion 2 has 3 USB 3.0 ports, Surface Pro 4 has 1 USB 3.0 port, MobileStudio Pro has 3 USB Type-C ports, but no regular USB ones.
Choosing one of these devices is already tricky, since none of the devices has surpassed the others when we compare all the features & price, and for that reason, I hope you found this comparison useful, and hope you get to create some great artworks with your device of choice.
It is always nice to see a new iteration of Cintiq, Wacom’s product for drawing director on screen, as compared to regular graphics tablet. Cintiq Pro is a nice upgrade from Cintiq 13HD & its touch counterpart. It has greatly improved on parallax, something competition products like Surface Pro are better at.
Unlike the previous Cintiq 13HD models, Cintiq Pro has no express keys on the top of it, as it supports Expresskey remote, which contains 17 express keys on it, as well as one touch ring. If you are familiar with Cintiq 27QHD, then you have a very good idea about the remote. It is worth nothing that the Expresskey remote is sold separately.
In my opinion, the addition of 16-inches version is the most exciting thing about Cintiq Pro. Because a larger screen is something many artists wanted, and Wacom gave that to them.
Cintiq Pro uses USB-C, which requires you only 1 cable to connect your Cintiq Pro to your computer. That’s very convenient if you have a computer with that port in it. Wacom offers the optional Wacom Link in case that’s not the case for you.
The Pro Pen 2, which Wacom first introduced with the MobileStudio Pro, supports 8196 levels of pressure sensitivity, 4 times Cintiq Pro’s predecessor. Though I can’t say this will help you much to create better art honestly, but overall the Cintiq Pro is much better to draw compared to the previous version of it.
Note:- Specification numbers like display size, active area and weight are approximate
Cintiq Pro some in two screen sizes 13 model, which has 13.3 inches screen, and a resolution of 1920 X 1080 Full HD, the same as Cintiq 13HD & its touch counterpart, while the 16 model with 15.6 inches display & 3840 X 2160 resolution, which is also known as 4K. It is very nice that Wacom is offering more screen sizes between 13 & 22 inches, since there has been always been a gap between these two sizes, where 13-inches is too small for some artist, while 22-inches is too big for them. It is worth mentioning that Wacom also introduced a 16-inches model with their MobileStudio Pro, the newer model of Cintiq Companion. The design of Cintiq Pro is kinda similar to a mini Cintiq 27QHD in a way.
You connect Cintiq Pro to your computer via USB-C (for optimum performance), you no longer need to use 3-in-1 cable like in case of Cintiq 13HD. In case you don’t have a USB-C port in your computer, which is most likely the case, since most people don’t, or Mini DisplayPort using Wacom Link, which is sold separately & doesn’t come with Cintiq Pro.
The color gamut of the 13-inches model is 87% Adobe RGB, while the 16-inches model gets higher gamut of 94% Adobe RGB, Which is good in case your drawings & design are going to be printed.
Cintiq Pro’s screen supports multitouch gestures, meaning that you can zoom & rotate your pictures with your hand while you work.
Cintiq Pro features 8196 levels of pressure sensitivity, 4 times the 2048 levels we see in graphics tablets & pen displays these days. It has been long since we saw a jump in pressure sensitivity like that. To be frank, pressure sensitivity can’t be used alone to judge pen displays & graphics tablets, for the most part, you won’t need more than 1024 or 2048 levels of that. Some artists won’t even need more than 512 to be frank. Response time & Initial Activation force combined with pressure sensitivity is what you need to get to draw comfortably with your device, and area where Cintiq Pro excels at
Speaking of response time, the 16 model of Cintiq Pro has 25ms response time, while the 13-inches has 30. I doubt that the difference will make difference for most people, but it is certainly higher than many of Wacom’s previous offerings (The Cintiq 13HD has 25ms response time).
Out of the box, none of the two Cintiq Pro models has any express keys on them. In case you need Expresskeys, you need to purchase the Expresskey remote, which has 17 keys as well as on touch ring in it. Not having express keys can be both good & bad, it is good because not all artists really use them, but prefer to use the keyboard instead. So it could be a way to save some bucks (assuming it actually caused Wacom to lower the price of Cintiq Pro). In case you plan to purchase the Expresskey remote, kindly find it in the following Amazon links
Just like the case with MobileStudio Pro (the successor to Cintiq Companion 2), Wacom has greatly improved on that with Cintiq Pro. Parallax causes cursor offset between the pen & where the cursor really is, this can appear more clearly near the corners of the screen. I am not saying you couldn’t use the previous models because of that, but the competitors products of Cintiq, like Microsoft Surface Pro (which uses a different digitizer than Wacom’s), were much better when it comes to this.
Pro Pen 2
If Cintiq Pro is the first Wacom product you plan on purchasing, their pens comes with two side switches, which you can customize to perform many common actions quickly, like undo/redo or switching to a certain tool. The pen requires no battery at all, since it get its power from Cintiq Pro itself. The other side of the pen has an eraser on it, which makes drawing with it closer to drawing with real pencils (though many artists, including myself, don’t really use it).
Just like the case with many Wacom product, the pen come with a stand that contains 10 replacement nibs, with 6 standard & 4 felt, and nib removal tool. It also comes with multiple color rings to customize it to your liking.
As I mentioned above, the pro pen 2 supports 4 times pressure sensitivity than its predecessor.
There’s a small clip that allows you to attach the Pro Pen 2 to Cintiq Pro, making it nice for carrying it around.
Out of the box, Cintiq Pro has two legs that pops out of it, it allows you lay your device at 20°. Also, Wacom offers an optional stand for Cintiq Pro, the stand is the same stand for Cintiq 13HD & Wacom Companion 2. Which allows you to adjust the in 3 different positions, as well as laying it flat.
Connecting Your Cintiq Pro To Your Computer
To connect your Cintiq Pro to your computer, you need to either have a USB-C port that supports alternate mode on your computer, or a mini DisplayPort. In case you use a Mac with a thunderbolt, you are good to go. If your computer have a regular DisplayPort, you can get a cheap converter to mini Displayport to convert it to mini DisplayPort. Which you could find from the following Amazon links:-
Cintiq Pro is a nice upgrade from Cintiq 13HD & its touch counterpart. With the improved parallax, the support for the Expresskey remote, and more importantly, the addition of 16-inches screen size, which is a very welcome addition. Adding support for USB-C, which requires you only 1 cable to connect your Cintiq Pro to your computer,. That’s very convenient if you have a computer with that port in it. But you will need a separate adapter in case you don’t, which won’t be a problem once the adaption of USB-C grows.
I hope you liked my Cintiq Pro review, and see you again in another review. ^^
Here’s What You Need To Know To Connect Your Cintiq Pro To Your PC Computer With Displayport Or HDMI
Cintiq Pro is a pretty good drawing device, it has low parallax & lovely new look, but it requires the new USB-C to connect to your computer, while many modern computers only have displayport or HDMI, and some has mini displayport or thunderbolt like in case of Macs. So connecting it to your computer can be an issue, especially with how many solutions & converters don’t work that well.
In this small guide, I hope I will be able to save you some time & money by giving you a solution that works right away. There are 4 common cases I will discuss right here, which will help you connect Cintiq Pro to most computers.
The rule of thumb is, you need either USB-C with alternate display mode, or a mini displayport. Since installing USB-C with such mode is not always an option, like in case you are using a laptop. Converting your existing port to a mini displayport is your best bet here. I will talk about the most common cases right now.
Tip:- In case your Cintiq Pro still didn’t work, make sure to update your graphics card driver, as that worked with some people. :)
Connecting Cintiq Pro To Your Computer Using USB-C
In case you plan to use the USB C port with alternate display mode (not all USB-C ports support it). Many PCI USB-C cards don’t provide ports that support that mode, so be careful when you are shopping for ones. However, the USB-C ports that comes with your motherboard tend to support it (still, some motherboards have USB-C port that doesn’t offer the alternate mode).
Connecting Cintiq Pro To Your Computer With HDMI Port
This is the trickiest case to deal with, and it is pretty much advisable to go the other routes, since it may not work. Unless your computer, and particularly laptop, only has HDMI port.
You simply need to convert your HDMI port into a DisplayPort using an active adapter, which you could easily convert into a mini DisplayPort like I explain below. Kindly find an adapter that does that in the following Amazon links:-
Or look for it in eBay:-
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Connecting Cintiq Pro To Your Computer With Displayport Port
If you have a display port on your computer, you can simply convert it to a mini DisplayPort using an adapter. Leif Mariussen explains the whole process in his video here:-
Kindly find the converter Leif used in the following Amazon links:-
Or in eBay here:-
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Connecting Cinitq Pro To Your Mac Computer With Mini Displayport Or Thunderbolt
Cintiq pro can be connected directly to thunderbolt for Mac users, and you won’t need to buy anything to get things to work. All you need to do is to connect the mini display cable from your Mac to the Wacom Link, and then connect a USB-C cable from the Link to the Cintiq Pro, and you are done. :>
What To Do If I Only Have VGA / D-Sub Or DVI Ports?
As far as I know, you can’t connect Cintiq Pro to a computer with only these ports, if you are using a desktop, your main choice is to upgrade your graphics card or to install a PCI USB-C card with alternate mode. In case you are using an old laptop, you are out of luck. This is one of the time where upgrading what you have is a must.
In case you are desperate, there are cables that converts such ports into HDMI ports, which you could in turn convert into a mini display port. However, bear in mind that this method hasn’t been tried yet, and I don’t know if you will get a good picture that way. Here are buying links to the adapter I am talking about:-
Or in eBay:-
. . .
List of adapters that didn’t work
Here’s a list of adapter that didn’t work with the Cintiq Pro, courtesy of Dani in the comments below:-
Staples Mini DP to HDMI Adapter.
Insignia Mini DP to DVI Adapter.
Insignia Mini DP to HDMI Adapter.
Insignia USB Type C Multiport Adapter.
Apple Mini DP to DVI Adapter.
Apple USB C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.
I hope this mini guide helped you connect your Cintiq Pro to your computer, please share your experience with me so I could update this guide to help more people.
Here’s How To Hopefully Save Few Bucks By Getting A Used 3D Printer Instead Of New
First of all, allow me to congratulate you for being brave for considering buying a used 3D printer. As this is not that common thing from what I see. In this post, I will show you what I know about buying a used 3D printer. Including any possible problems you will encounter, I hope you find these information here useful.
When you buy a 3D printer used, it is not uncommon to get a 3D printer with a problem. Of course, many of those can be fixed, but you may need to order some new parts or tinker a bit for that. Unless you got yourself a 3D printer that was used once, or its owner didn’t want it. Those could be good deals.
Kindly find a list of used 3D printer listing from the following Amazon links:-
See if you could let the seller make a video of the printer calibrating process & send it to you, that would be a great way to make sure it is working correctly. If you are new to 3D printing, such a video can still be useful to make sure the seller is honest. Asking someone with knowledge of 3D printers calibration can help you a lot evaluate how the printer is working.
If Possible, Make The Seller Send You An Object Printed Using The Printer
Some sellers do that on their own, seeing an object made with the 3D Printer itself is not only good to see that it is working, but also to know what kind of object you can produce with it. This is particularly good if you want to print high quality objects.
Granted, the seller may send you an object made from another working printer, but that’s still a useful step to know how the printer works (in case of a honest seller).
Get Yourself Some Protection, Buy From A Reputable Source & Seller
Unless You Can Trust The Person You Are Buying From, Buy Via A Reputable Site
No matter how cautious you are, getting a used 3D printer is risky. There’s always a chance you won’t like what you got, or in case a buyer scammed you, having a way to get your money back is good for such cases.
Check Seller Rating
When buying a used 3D printer from sites like eBay, make sure you are buying from a seller with high rating. One with many ratings if possible. This can help you be more sure about your purchase. This may make it harder for new seller to get in the market, but it assures buyers than they are dealing with a reputable source.
Buying a used 3D printer can be a good way to get one for a good price. As long as you don’t mind tinkering with it & replacing some parts if needed. There is a good chance more people would sell their used 3D printers once the market for these devices get bigger, which could translate into better deals for those who look carefully.
I hope my post helped you pick yourself a god 3D printer, and happy printing. ^^
Kindly find a list of used 3D printer listing from the following Amazon links:-
How To Choose The Best Affordable Graphics Cards For You?
In this post, I will outline some tips that will help you choose the best affordable graphics card for your needs, and what the things to look for and things to avoid.
Generally speaking, there are multiple simple ways to get a nice deal by using simple tricks, like getting a high end model from last year, or getting one based on the resolution you plan to run your games at.
One very important thing to look for an affordable graphics card, or any graphics card in general, is to avoid comparing the cards based on the amount of VRAM memory each card contain. Having more memory can be useful for performance in some cases, but there are other aspect that are more important, like the bandwidth. And the type of memory can dictate on how much bandwidth it has (among other things).
I will talk about each of these ways in details below.
In case you want to see a list of affordable graphics cards, kindly find a comprehensive list of them in the following Amazon links:-
Get A High End Model Of Last Year, It Is Way Better Than Getting A Low-End One
The first thing may come to your mind is to get a low-end one. Since those tend to be cheaper, and they can be more suitable to what you want to do, which is true. However, buying a high-end graphics card from last year, or the year before, can give you more performance. Even if that high end model cost a bit more than the current low-end one, the difference in performance can be surely worth it.
One thing to need to check out in such older card is the power consumption, since some of these cards needs more power than low-end ones. Many of them require to take power directly from your power supply unit (PSU). The part responsible for supplying your graphics card with power. So you need to upgrade that as well. For example. GeForce GTX 980 Ti requires a 600 watt power supply (according to GeForce website).
Know Which Resolution You Plan To Run Your Games At
You can get a more affordable graphics card by getting one that runs your games at your screen resolution. If your screen has a 1920 X 1080 resolution, or 1080p as it is known. Then getting those cards made to run games at 1440p or higher is overkill. You could save tons of cash to get a card made to run games at 1080p, even on high settings.
An exception to this is in case you plan on getting a high-resolution monitor, in which case getting a higher graphics card is totally okay.
Consider Getting A Used Graphics Card
Since many hard-core gamers tend to upgrade their cards often, getting a used graphics card is a good way to get an affordable one. If you are lucky, you could get one with the warranty with it. I have made a detailed post about this here.
Just make sure to avoid the deals that are too good to be true, check the seller rating, and try to have a graphics card with a transferable warranty whenever possible.
If You Are Buying A Graphics Card For Photoshop, Don’t Get A High-End One, If Any
In case you want an affordable graphics card not for gaming, but to benefit from some of the GPU acceleration features in Photoshop, like scrub zoom, you don’t need the most powerful card for that. There’s even a chance your current graphics card will suffice. In case Adobe increased the GPU support for Photoshop that it became totally worth it, you then could upgrade your graphics card to benefit from that.
If You Have An Old CPU. It Won’t Keep Up With Modern Graphics Cards
While adding a new graphics card can breathe a new life into your computer, especially if all you do with it is to play games. There’s a limit to how much your computer can benefit from the new card. There are many Youtube videos that shows you top-of-the-line GPU along with a very old CPU. There was a boost in performance, but that performance can’t be compared to running the same Graphics card with a much newer CPU.
Don’t Compare Graphics Cards Based On The Amount Of Memory (VRAM)
While the amount of memory can be useful when comparing the graphics card, it is a common mistake people do, as it is not the most important factor at all. It is the bandwidth, which is the first thing people tend to compare cards for. Of course you could get a graphics card with more ram, then that’s great.
There are many factors in choosing the most affordable graphics card. I tried my best to highlight the most important factors that helps you choose one to yourself. Knowing what you want and what to look for is the key that will prevent you from getting a graphics card.
For that reason, I hope this post helped you find the most affordable graphics card, and see you again in another post.
Here’s A Tutorial On How To Create A 3D Button In Photoshop
In the Photoshop video tutorial, I will show you how to create a 3D button with Photoshop. I made the tutorial as much simple & short as possible. But you could change many of the steps in the tutorial to get different results. Since such buttons can be used for tons of uses, like a follow button, subscribe button, download buttons to name a few.
Additional Photoshop Tutorials To Create 3D Button
As I said above, there are many variations & additional way to make your 3D button more sophisticated, that it is not possible to cover in one video or tutorial. And so I present you with some additional good video tutorials for that.
Photoshop Design Tutorial: How To Make A Simple 3D Button
Photoshop Tutorial | How To Make 3D Button | Graphic Design
How To Create A Clean 3D Button + PSD ・Photoshop Tutorial
Creating a 3D button in Photoshop is a very common & useful task in Photoshop, and it is a very simple process at that. I hope you liked this Photoshop tutorial, and see you again in another tutorial. ^^
Deciding On Which Application To Learn first, Photoshop Or Illustrator?
Photoshop & Illustrator are common application for graphics design & other things, learning any of them cannot just give you a boost in graphics design. But it can look good in your resume. Deciding on which one of the two you want to work on depends on what you want to create the most.
So, What’s The Difference Between Photoshop & Illustrator?
The main difference between Photoshop & Illustrator is the kind of graphics each application creates, Photoshop creates raster graphics, while Illustrator creates vector. In case you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, as I will talk about them right away.
What Is Raster Graphics
Raster graphics is the kind of graphics where the image is created by having small squares, called pixels, arranged side by side. The computer memorized the arrangement of these pixels & uses that to display the picture. Like this:-
Raster graphics has one key disadvantage, since the pixels are memorized by the computer, it can’t be enlarged without losing some of the quality. There are many techniques where the computer try to produce additional pixels to create a bigger picture, but there’s a great limit to how much you could resize the picture without losing much quality. So having a large enough picture from the beginning, either by drawing on a big canvas, or to by taking picture with a camera with high resolution is a must. It is not uncommon to have pictures larger than what you need too.
As I previously said, Photoshop is mainly made for creating & editing raster graphics.
Okay, What About Vector Graphics?
On the other hand, Vector graphics are created using mathematical equations. If you have a line drawn that way, every time the application displays the line, it redraws the line from scratch using the equation it has in memory. This gives vector graphics a huge advantage over raster, no matter how you zoom in or enlarge the picture, and no matter how large the paper you want to print the image on is, vector graphics will never fail you here.
Here’s how an image would look like in case it was zoomed in both raster & vector graphics:-
Since the equation of the object (the line in this case) is simple & short, vector graphics tend to take much less space compared to raster graphics.
That being said, you may be thinking that vector graphics should be used all the way. That may be the case in some cases. But vector graphics has some disadvantages too, like how you can’t use it to create complex images.
You should learn Illustrator in case you want to create vector graphics.
Both Photoshop or Illustrator have the capability of the other one. Photoshop can create paths, which are vectors, while Illustrator can have raster objects that can’t be resized. But it is totally better to use each application for their intended use, rather than use one for everything.
I hope this post made it easier to you to chose whether you should learn Photoshop or Illustrator. :>
Graphics cards are staple devices for gaming & many graphical applications that depends on it. Having a powerful enough Graphics card can sometimes determine whether you will get the performance or experience you want from your computer, either by the amount of frames per second your graphics card produces, or the speed by which your art program works.
While there are many great new graphics cards out there, many of them are out of reach to some of us, so getting a used Graphics card is one possible way to get it at a good discount, if we may call it that. Also, Graphics card can last for long, and many people, especially hard-core gamers, who tend to upgrade their graphics cards to stay on the top of the game. So there are a lot of opportunities to find bargains, especially if you looked around carefully.
Besides that, a used graphics card, even a relatively old one, can do you very well if you are not demanding about gaming, like if you play on a relatively low resolution, like 1080p, or in case you are casual about you gaming.
In this article, I will try to outline some of the things you need to look out for, as well as some tips that will hopefully help you get the bargain you want, while at the same time save you from any scams or misleading offers. So let’s get started.
This is a key part of buying anything online, and not just used Graphics card, but anything else really. The graphics card you are checking could have a problem or some sort of deficit, and if the seller was honest & mentioned it in the description, then in that case you may not be not able to return it for that specific problem. Otherwise, if the seller didn’t specify that problem, then you will be able to complain about it & get your money back, but that’s a different issue.
The description is also useful to know if the Graphics card still has the warranty certificate or not, as well as the original box. Which can be good signs to buy from the seller.
If You Are Buying From Ebay, Or Any Similar Site, Always, Always Check Out The Seller Rating
This is one of many advantages of buying used things from such sites, since with one glance, you get to get a good idea of how the seller’s track record is. For example, if the seller has %97 satisfaction rate or higher, then there’s a little chance you will get into a problem with them. Some sellers get to have even better ratings, like %99.
While this makes it harder for new sellers to get into the market, it is a very good thing for the sellers who have been there for so long while serving many happy customers over the years.
Avoid Too Good To Be True Deals
Because we look for a deal when we buy used things, some people try to take advantage of that, and so they post used graphics cards for very good price to be true.
Until proven otherwise, these deals are scams. At the very least, there should be a reason why the graphics card is sold for such a low price. Note that when someone wants to give something away, they resort to things like giveaway & the likes.
In case you are buying from Amazon, be careful from the “Just Launched” sellers with great prices. many of those are scams.
Check The Picture Of The Listing
Usually, when someone list a graphics card online, they post a picture of the card taken with their mobile camera or something. They don’t copy the stock picture of the card from Google Images. Not having a custom picture could be a sign of a scam. Though I don’t deny that some people are lazy to take a picture for their used graphics card, but it won’t hurt to be careful about this.
Having The Warranty Is A Good Thing
Some people keep the warranty of their graphics cards (which tends to last for years by the way), which will serve you well in case something happened to the card. Having the certificate is another sign for a good deal too. Also, please make sure the warranty of the graphics card is transferable. The warranty of some cards doesn’t transfer to the new owner. But some manufacturer have the warranty tied to the card itself, not just the original owner.
Note:-Having the warranty for the Graphics card could be a must in case the card was used for mining, something I will take about shortly in this post.
Never Transfer Money Directly
It is never a good idea to pay with a wire transfer. Always use a payment service like PayPal or your credit card at the very least. These payment methods provide you with protection, and may help you get your money back in case something went wrong (Though in the ideal world, you would want to avoid getting into trouble as much as possible).
Check Out The Return Policy
No matter how careful you are, there’s still a chance you will get a bad graphics card. Trying the card for some time is the most accurate way to assess it, and so having the ability to return the used graphics card you bought is a big plus here.
Be Careful If The Graphics Card Has Been Used For Mining
While people use Graphics card for gaming or designing for the most part. Some use them in a different way, like to mine bitcoins, the virtual currency. Using Graphics card in such way is common, and so there are many used Graphics card that previously used for that.
No matter what, getting such Graphics card is risky, but could also mean you will be getting a good bargain. This is mainly because you don’t know how the previous seller has used the card before you. And for that reason, this is one of many areas where the warranty is very important.
Check If The Card Has Been Overclocked Before
Many people overclock the GPU & memory to get more performance for their games, or to let their card last longer so they won’t have to upgrade. There’s nothing wrong if this was done in moderation, especially with the appropriate cooling. But if the card was overly overclocked, it may hurt the card. It may not always be possible to know that, but at least keep that in mind while you read the description. This is one more reason to buy cards with their warranty still valid.
I hope I was able to help you buying a used Graphics card, since you are going to get something someone doesn’t want. But you do, so in the right conditions, both you & the seller benefit from this. As long as you are careful, you will be able to do very well not just buying a used graphics card, but when buying used things in general.
So, you have been wondering for a while whether you should learn Photoshop, but you keep postponing doing that. And every now & then, you get the argue to learn it again. You sometimes wonder if it is worth the time, or if you are going to end up using it at all.
My short answer to this question is yes, you should learn using it, it is very useful skill in this day and age, as for why I am saying that, keep reading. :)
If You Use Computer A Lot, You Should Learn Photoshop
Think about the things you could do better if you can use a photo-processing program like Photoshop. For example, if you run a blog, Photoshop allows you to optimize your images, add borders to them, create unique featured images for your posts, and many other things. If you are an application developer, you could use it to create icons for your apps. You could use it to enhance the colors of your photos. You could use it to create icons & headers for your social media accounts. The number of things you could make with it are a lot.
It Is A Good Drawing & Painting Tool
If you like to draw, and if you are thinking about getting into digital art, then Photoshop is an excellent tool for that. You could use it to create all sorts of wonderful art from scratch, it is the art program I use the most for that personally.
It is worth noting that if digital drawing & painting is your only goal, then there are many other cheaper art applications for that.
It Is Fun To Use
Imagine placing your friend over the white house, or making him stands right besides a celebrity. The sky is the limit to what you could do to your pictures here.
You Could Use It To Fix Your Pictures
Who among us doesn’t have old picture they want to restore? Even if all you ever used are modern digital cameras, it is very common for pictures to turn out bad. Like how the lighting in your picture is bad, or for some of the colors to be off. So anyone who has pictures (particularly anyone) can benefit from Photoshop to fix such photos.
Learning The Basics Is Easy By The Way
Even if you are busy, you could still be able to benefit from Photoshop, since the basics can be learned between 4-10 hours, depending on what you plan to learn, and how fast you learn. These few hours makes a huge difference compared to not learning Photoshop at all.
Bear in mind that you may not be able to do every single thing I mention in this post by learning only the basics, but you could at least learn what you need right after that.
If You Learned Photoshop, You Can Learn Similar Programs More Easily.
In case you found the world of design & digital art fancy for you, then learning Photoshop could be your gateway to it, since many graphics applications work in a very similar way to Photoshop. Learning it can smooth the curve for you to learn these applications as well. Actually, all of Adobe’s applications share the same type of user Interface, so you will be able to customize them the same way you do for Photoshop.
Okay, I Want To Learn Photoshop Now, Where Do I Start
Here are the good news, there are tons & tons of resources to learn Photoshop, many of them are free. So there’s no risk in case you want to spend money here.
There are two common ways to learn Photoshop, books and online videos (or paid ones). I will take about both of them one by one.
Books are the preferred way to learn not just Photoshop, but almost anything else, books are nice in that they allow you to learn in your own pace, you can carry the book around with you, or store it in your computer or tablet in case you got a digital one. Something that makes them very suitable to learn Photoshop offline.
Or Youtube videos, for the most parts. Many free ones, they range from short ones, that are few minutes long. By simply searching for “Learn Photoshop” in Youtube, you will be able to find innumerable amount of videos, there are also many playlists that contain tutorials that act like a video course.
Photoshop is one of the most useful computer programs to make, one I talked many people about learning it. I can assure you that no matter what you do in life, you are going to benefit from learning it, sooner than you think.
I hope this post has made it clear to you whether you want to learn Photoshop or not.