It’s crazy to think that because of how advanced technology has become, we’re starting to develop new skills and talents that otherwise would not have been possible multiple decades ago. For instance, the ability to seamlessly arrange music and produce engaging pop songs isn’t something that can be done without a computer. Nowadays, it’s almost entirely impossible to whip up a successful radio hit single without the help of a long list of devices, held together by inventive science.
Digital art is another perfect example. Many sketch pad artists and illustrators are now investing time, effort, and money into learning how to continue doing what they do best, but with digital tools. Still, the shift in platforms can be tricky and frustrating if you’re not determined and patient enough. For several digital art newbies, it can take a lot of time to master a new medium.
If you’re an artist more accustomed to traditional methods and you’re looking for ways to better go about the tricks in your digital sleeve, this one is for you. For this article, we’re going to talk about how you can easily improve your drawing experience using your tablet.
Let’s get right started!
Match the movements on the screen with your hand movements
When you’re just getting started, the first thing you’d want to align is the size of your screen to your drawing tablet’s ratio size. For instance, if you use a tiny drawing tablet paired with a huge monitor, even the pen’s slightest movement can cause a huge impact. Conversely, using a big drawing tablet attached to a small monitor may have opposite effects.
All this factored in, one massive reason artists find tablet-drawing to be inconvenient is because of the mismatch between the distance moved on the screen and the distance moved by one’s hand.
To prevent this from happening, adjusting one’s drawing environment and ratio settings is the most effective thing to do.
Controlling with your wrist?
It’s said that the pen stroke distance when drawing with the wrist is between 9 to 12 centimeters. In effect, drawing tablets don’t need to be expansive. If you want, you can try pushing your monitor a little further to the back to give the impression of a smaller screen. This lessens the discomfort of your cursor and hand’s mismatch compatibility.
Controlling with your elbow?
Every artist knows that big strokes demand that you use your whole arm to draw. These lines can turn out to be 25 to 35 cm in size. Still, snagging a big brand-driven tablet isn’t always the smartest move. So instead of doing that, look for a large drawing tablet. Pen strokes using a big tablet make it easier to match your cursor movement on a large monitor. If your monitor is larger than usual, try the old trick where you push it back a little further to make the screen seem smaller on your end.
Sit right in front of the tablet and monitor
If you still find your drawing experience inconvenient after having fixed the settings to suit your cursor-to-hand dynamics, the monitor angle and tablet placement may be the problem. If your tablet or monitor is in anyway slanted and not aligned, you’re bound to feel a mismatch and a disconnect in one way or another.
For instance, let’s pretend you want to draw a horizontal line. If your tablet sits on your desk in a manner that isn’t aligned with your monitor, you’re likely to see a diagonal line on the screen even if you’re meaning to draft something horizontal. This is referred to as an angle mismatch.
To prevent this, bear these two things in mind:
Position your tablet literally in front of your screen and face your screen directly.
Doing so also gives you a better grasp of space and perspective. When you match the direction of your tablet, monitor, and yourself, actualizing what you have in your head becomes much easier and faster.
Check the friction between your pen and tablet
One common feedback new digital artists talk about a lot is how slippery a drawing tablet is as opposed to traditional drawing materials like a sketch pad or a piece of paper. Because it’s true. The materials used in coming up with these devices are made of slippery items, so there’s bound to be less friction.
If this is what gets to you the most, resort to protective overlay sheets. There are plenty of these you can buy at your local store. If not, check online. The internet rarely disappoints. Using one of these almost immediately solves the “slippery” concern.
If you feel like your drawing tablet isn’t at fault, try replacing the nib of your pen. Do note, however, that nibs and protective sheets differ by model number and manufacturer, so research what kinds of accessories they come with best. By adjusting your pens and tablets, and making the effort to use other products when needed, drawing becomes much more desirable and easier to work around.
If you feel like you’ve done everything on the list and still something seems off, you may want to have your drawing gear checked at a credible repair shop. Sometimes, you never really know something is broken until a professional will take a look. BREAKFixNow is a fantastic example of where you can find experts to help you with damaged devices, so you may want to consider that, as well.
If you’re not exactly gifted with painting and drawing and you’d like to start now, that’s okay, too! There are now hundreds of online classes that teach you how to start drawing using tablets. Whether it’s wanting to master a drawing software or wanting to learn how to draw, to begin with, Skillshare, Master Class, and Udemy all have internet courses you can take to help you improve. If you’re not the subscribing type, there isn’t exactly a scarcity of Youtube videos, too. You can start there and keep learning as you go.
Whatever your case, the creation of art is supposed to be therapeutic and being able to realize visions, drawings, and graphics in your head is meant to be a delightful thing to do. Take it slow and don’t be too hard on yourself. Good luck!