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WideEyed's avatar

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Not being satisfied with merely playing guitar badly, and writing bad poetry, I have decided that I would like to expand my assault on the arts community, and draw badly as well.

Yes, I might be what you would consider a 'Renaissance Hack" wink

However, my respect for the environment leads me to want to avoid having trees destroyed to support this ill-conceived enterprise, so I've been thinking that a tablet would be the way to go.
I've read the Tablet Topics here, but found the main one to be somewhat out of date (being written in 2008 ), so I was hoping that some folks here could offer me some advice on which Tablet I should get.

To be entirely honest and blunt about it, I have no skill whatsoever, and any tablet is likely to be wasted on me, but that being said, I'm willing to drop as much as 150-200 on this Tomfoolery, so if you could suggest the best possible tablet that falls into that price range, I'd appreciate it.

Also, I was wondering if something like an IPad would be a viable option.
Once I finally give up on drawing, something like an IPad would at least be useful to me. wink

***UPDATE! ***


You are now reading the Topic of a the proud new owner of a Wacom Bamboo Create! blaugh
Who says good things don't happen to bad people! wink
I've only had time to go through the Tutorial and have a brief scribble using Gimp.
I don't think Gimp is going to be the way to go for this. sweatdrop
Anyways, it looks like it's going to be a blast, and I can hardly wait til I have a bit of time to play with it more extensively.
Thanks to everyone who offered their advice and suggestions!
Burdel's avatar

Newbie Noob

About IPads... no idea. I don't think I even know how an IPad looks like so I can't offer any advice here.
Now, tablets. Bamboo. /thread
i was freakishly bad at digital art, and i just got a wacom intuos4 large, and it's wonderful!
TarotBunny's avatar

Tycoon

Why not just get an ipad?

I mean you don't really seem keen on going that far with using a tablet anyway. And Im sure you can still doodle with an app or something directly on the ipad. Even people who actually think they were gonna make a lot of art with a tablet, sometimes have troubles using one and end up dropping digital art completely anyway. At least you'd have more options with an ipad.

If you really want to get a drawing tablet though, just go with any minimum priced wacom which ends up being a bamboo. As long as you take care of it, it could last for a really long time. Even if you do take like a couple years of a break and pick it up again so as long as your computer still meets the system requirements.

But really you should just get an ipad. Try some apps that can use a stylus? And if you end up being heavily invested on drawing directly onto a screen, buy a cintiq or something. Mind you their cost way more than a bamboo. But you skip the learning curve of drawing onto a regular tablet ie, drawing on a tablet and looking at the monitor (Bamboo, intuos) versus, drawing directly onto a screen. (cintiq) I mean it may sound like cake, and it is for some people, but for the majority it's not as easy as it sounds to use a regular tablet (no screen/bamboo/intuos) the way they want to. As for size, the bigger it is, the more expensive it gets. It really doesn't matter upon size. Honestly you can make due with a small size since most people spend a lot of time zooming into their pictures anyway. If your style of drawing is more all-encompassing and you enjoy the swooping motions of your pen onto a bigger canvas, then by all means get a bigger tablet.
iPads are not illustration tools. They can be bent to your will with pressure-sensitive styluses and third-party programs, but they were conceived as workday and entertainment lap computers, not art tools. If you want a tablet for drawing, get a proper one, not a "tablet PC."

Wacom is the most trusted brand in graphics tablets. They're sturdy, they're reliable, they often come packaged with a stripped-down graphics program, and they don't require a battery for the pen. (many lesser brands do; check for it.) You can get a budget art tablet, a Bamboo Create, for less than $160.00. If you buy it, and then decide you don't like digital illustration, you haven't wasted too much money. If you decide you DO like it, you can scale up to an Intuos or Cintiq.

I started with an Intuos 2 years ago, and now work with a Cintiq 21WX.
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IronSpike
iPads are not illustration tools. They can be bent to your will with pressure-sensitive styluses and third-party programs, but they were conceived as workday and entertainment lap computers, not art tools. If you want a tablet for drawing, get a proper one, not a "tablet PC."

Wacom is the most trusted brand in graphics tablets. They're sturdy, they're reliable, they often come packaged with a stripped-down graphics program, and they don't require a battery for the pen. (many lesser brands do; check for it.) You can get a budget art tablet, a Bamboo Create, for less than $160.00. If you buy it, and then decide you don't like digital illustration, you haven't wasted too much money. If you decide you DO like it, you can scale up to an Intuos or Cintiq.

I started with an Intuos 2 years ago, and now work with a Cintiq 21WX.


TarotBunny

Thanks to you both for taking the time to reply in some depth.

I've been considering a tablet for a couple years now as the urge to draw comes and goes (but the self-awareness of my lack of talent is ever present wink ), but I know so little about them, that I've always balked at pulling the trigger.
Wacom and Bamboo are names that I keep seeing in the Forums, and it's generally good press, so I've been fairly comfortable that I'd end up with one of their tablets, but the selection at my local Staples (office supply store) has always been limited to a couple of models ("Create" and "Capture" wink , and the descriptions on the box always led me to believe that they were more for editing pictures and adding "canned" graphics to presentations and such.
There never seemed to be much detail offered re: actually drawing with them, and the fact that there was never anything out of the box and on display for me to look at has always deterred me from buying one.
This would seem to be my best option.
Not being am artist, I don't know of any "artist-specific" stores in my area, and I would somehow imagine that anything would be more expensive at a specialty store anyways.

Thanks again smile
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I've only used Graphire and Intuos, but I'm pretty sure that the boxes almost always make it look like the tablet is purely for photo editing or graphic design. You should just look at their specs and programmable buttons. Also look at what programs come with the tablet. If it's stuff like Photoshop Elements and Painter Essentials or something then you're good to go.
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Soreiyu
I've only used Graphire and Intuos, but I'm pretty sure that the boxes almost always make it look like the tablet is purely for photo editing or graphic design. You should just look at their specs and programmable buttons. Also look at what programs come with the tablet. If it's stuff like Photoshop Elements and Painter Essentials or something then you're good to go.

Specs and programmable buttons are probably over my head, but I'll remember the tip about looking for drawing related programs next time I check the boxes.
Thanks for the tip. smile
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First of all, art is wasteful no matter what you do. Your use of a tablet and being on a computer is going to create a carbon footprint that is about as impactful on the environment as drawing on paper.

Also, paper pulp is often made from lumber scraps, not trees. Using paper makes the lumber industry more efficient, and while needless waste is pointless, you aren't saving trees by saving an ultimately small amount of paper.(Many sketchbooks are made from recycled materials, as well). If you really want to prevent deforestation, even the logging industry can't be implicated, because most deforestation (rainforests) is due in part to clearing land for cattle, or developing living areas, so, basically: want to save trees? Stop eating burgers.

Consider the packaging, carbon footprint and travel of a tablet made overseas. These things impact the environment, too. (Not to mention the likely use of underpaid, underage labor to assemble your fine electronic product.)

End point: draw on a tablet if you like. It's not any more environmentally friendly than using paper when you consider the bottom line, so you're pretty much screwing over the environment no matter what you do. I suggest Wacom if you do go with a tablet. And, also, it's going to take a period of adjustment to work with the stylus, it's not the same as using a pencil. Keep this in mind, don't give up too early.

e: Might I add, there are areas where going paperless/saving paper IS meaningful to the environment in a measurable way. This is more along the lines of large companies going paperless. And while I'm not trying to discourage environmentally friendly actions, saving trees in exchange for complex computer equipment that uses energy and is made in China is pretty much an equal exchange.
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WideEyed

Specs and programmable buttons are probably over my head, but I'll remember the tip about looking for drawing related programs next time I check the boxes.
Thanks for the tip. smile


Yeah, I've been using my Intuos3 for like 6 years and I never programmed the buttons... >_< I'd say get the trial version of Paint Tool Sai after you get use to the tablet. It'll be a lot easier to draw and color in it than in PSE.
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Has anyone mentioned that getting a tablet won't EVER magically make someone more skilled at art? I think that's important. If you're bad at drawing on paper, and you get a tablet, you will just be doing those same bad drawings except on a piece of technology.
However I recommend the Wacom Bamboo. If you're just starting out, you don't (and probably won't for a long time) need anything more expensive. I would only get an Intuos if I ever got seriously into digital art (as in I wanted to go professional, which I don't). The difference in pressure sensitivity will be subtle to you otherwise and the price gap isn't worth it if you can't appreciate the difference in quality.
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Cream Puffnut
Has anyone mentioned that getting a tablet won't EVER magically make someone more skilled at art? I think that's important. If you're bad at drawing on paper, and you get a tablet, you will just be doing those same bad drawings except on a piece of technology.
However I recommend the Wacom Bamboo. If you're just starting out, you don't (and probably won't for a long time) need anything more expensive. I would only get an Intuos if I ever got seriously into digital art (as in I wanted to go professional, which I don't). The difference in pressure sensitivity will be subtle to you otherwise and the price gap isn't worth it if you can't appreciate the difference in quality.


rofl
I have indeed heard that said before, and I have no delusions whatsoever that a nifty piece of technology is capable of undoing the millions of years of evolution that have led to this, singularly untalented individual. wink
That being said, I still want to draw, and one thing I've learned from trying to do it with a paper and pencil vs a mouse and Paint, is that it's a lot easier to undo my many mistakes in Paint, than it is with an eraser.
And there's a lot less rubber left on my Desktop too. wink

I'll probably end up going with the Bamboo Create seeing as it's reasonably affordable, but still has enough going for it that I won't be able to blame my results on my tools.
My technological tools at least. wink
God-the-almighty's avatar

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WideEyed
IronSpike
iPads are not illustration tools. They can be bent to your will with pressure-sensitive styluses and third-party programs, but they were conceived as workday and entertainment lap computers, not art tools. If you want a tablet for drawing, get a proper one, not a "tablet PC."

Wacom is the most trusted brand in graphics tablets. They're sturdy, they're reliable, they often come packaged with a stripped-down graphics program, and they don't require a battery for the pen. (many lesser brands do; check for it.) You can get a budget art tablet, a Bamboo Create, for less than $160.00. If you buy it, and then decide you don't like digital illustration, you haven't wasted too much money. If you decide you DO like it, you can scale up to an Intuos or Cintiq.

I started with an Intuos 2 years ago, and now work with a Cintiq 21WX.


TarotBunny

Thanks to you both for taking the time to reply in some depth.

I've been considering a tablet for a couple years now as the urge to draw comes and goes (but the self-awareness of my lack of talent is ever present wink ), but I know so little about them, that I've always balked at pulling the trigger.
Wacom and Bamboo are names that I keep seeing in the Forums, and it's generally good press, so I've been fairly comfortable that I'd end up with one of their tablets, but the selection at my local Staples (office supply store) has always been limited to a couple of models ("Create" and "Capture" wink , and the descriptions on the box always led me to believe that they were more for editing pictures and adding "canned" graphics to presentations and such.
There never seemed to be much detail offered re: actually drawing with them, and the fact that there was never anything out of the box and on display for me to look at has always deterred me from buying one.
This would seem to be my best option.
Not being am artist, I don't know of any "artist-specific" stores in my area, and I would somehow imagine that anything would be more expensive at a specialty store anyways.

Thanks again smile
Tablets are a tool and nothing more, you can make nice things with a mouse if need be, I've done it myself. You can also make s**t with the most expensive tablets. It's all in your skill. If I were starting out like you are I'd go for a cheaper bamboo. You can get them on Amazon.com for cheaper than the wacom site. Don't expect to get good for a while, unless you are used to making things on the comp it has a steep learning curve.
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God-the-almighty
Tablets are a tool and nothing more, you can make nice things with a mouse if need be, I've done it myself. You can also make s**t with the most expensive tablets. It's all in your skill. If I were starting out like you are I'd go for a cheaper bamboo. You can get them on Amazon.com for cheaper than the wacom site. Don't expect to get good for a while, unless you are used to making things on the comp it has a steep learning curve.


Wow! eek
All these years of searching for a sign, and it comes when I'm asking about buying an art tablet.

Where were you when I was looking to find my way during those difficult teenage years?
Or when I was struggling with the loss of my favourite cat?
Or just this week when I was asking you for the winning numbers for the Lotto?

All those times I asked for your help, and this is what you decide to advise me on?!?!?!

OK then...
Who am I to argue with the Almighty?

wink
God-the-almighty's avatar

Enduring Gaian

WideEyed
God-the-almighty
Tablets are a tool and nothing more, you can make nice things with a mouse if need be, I've done it myself. You can also make s**t with the most expensive tablets. It's all in your skill. If I were starting out like you are I'd go for a cheaper bamboo. You can get them on Amazon.com for cheaper than the wacom site. Don't expect to get good for a while, unless you are used to making things on the comp it has a steep learning curve.


Wow! eek
All these years of searching for a sign, and it comes when I'm asking about buying an art tablet.

Where were you when I was looking to find my way during those difficult teenage years?
Or when I was struggling with the loss of my favourite cat?
Or just this week when I was asking you for the winning numbers for the Lotto?

All those times I asked for your help, and this is what you decide to advise me on?!?!?!

OK then...
Who am I to argue with the Almighty?

wink
rofl You know, these days I almost forget the username.

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