Anonymous said: Hi this blog is cool! Do you have tips or reference for first wacom user?
Hmm don’t think so, other then keep practicing and getting used to using one.
If anyone’s got a suggestion for this anon leave it as a comment here :D
I think my main tip would be to remember that drawing on a tablet can feel a lot different than drawing traditionally, and it’s going to take time to get used to it.
Watch your pen nibs—when they start to feel rougher and look flat instead of rounded at the tip, you need to replace ‘em. It’s harder to draw when they’ve warn down, and can scratch your tablet’s surface. Wacom pens almost always come with spares included, usually in a bag or inside the pen holder if you unscrew it (depending on the model of your tablet).
Spend a little time setting up your tablet preferences. I’m serious; this can make a huge difference. Figure out what you want to set your buttons to do, which side you want them on if they’re on the left/right (instead of the top, like some of the older tablets are). You can usually set the button functions to be different depending on the active application, and as you get used to using it more you can adjust them.
When I’m painting in Photoshop or similar applications, these are my preferences for my Intuos5 and old Bamboo Fun:
(X switches foreground/background colors, Shift snaps to straight lines/set angles/forces constrained proportion/etc. depending on the active tool, Cmd + 0 resets zoom, and I use Cmd + A, Del, Cmd + D a lot to clear a layer quickly when I’m sketching)
And then the same goes for pen settings, in terms of figuring out the feel that works best for you. I like to set the front of my rocker switches to alt/option, the eyedropper shortcut in Photoshop and most other mainstream art programs I use, since it lets me switch back and forth quickly for blending color, and the back to right click. Here are my preferences, again, but they’re really something that’s different for everyone:
Also, if you look under Advanced in the pen settings (at least on a Mac; it’s been a while since I used a PC and don’t remember the menu organization) you can change the default for the rocker switches from working on hover to actually having to hold and tap, which I find more natural.
Oh, and take a minute or two to figure out the best angle for your tablet. For me, it’s not usually parallel to my desk (and acutally, I don’t like using my tablet on a desk that much; I like having it on my lap or, even better, next to me on the couch so that I can keep one hand on the keyboard)
That’s the other thing, if you’re not already used to doing it, although it’s not directly related to learning to use a tablet—KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS ARE YOUR FRIENDS. There’s a post over here that has the main CS ones (although there are a lot more that you’ll pick up over time), but pretty much every program has them and they’re a massive time-saver. Once you get used to using them, you can never go back.
And finally… just practice. I wouldn’t jump into anything too daring right away, because it can get frustrating. Take a few to play around and figure out how sensitive your pen is, how rotation/tilt work if your tablet supports them, how all the size and opacity dynamics work, and all that jazz. Gesture sketches and thumbnail sketches are your friends at this point, too, along with those keyboard shortcuts.
Now go forth, make cool stuff, and welcome to the wonderful world of digital art (and as always, feel free to hit up my ask if there’s anything else you need to know)!