Is Tablet drawing not recommended for beginners/amateurs?

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    Is Tablet drawing not recommended for beginners/amateurs?

    Is Tablet drawing not recommended for beginners/amateurs like the Pedal is almost forbidden from use by people JUST learning the piano?

    Not sure where to classify myself in terms of skill so I'll do the next best thing: Schooling. I had Intro to Drawing.

    I've had this Wacom for 4-5ish years, but as a relative beginner in the arts, is it a good discipline to stick with the traditional media first until I learn the basics? I am looking for valid reasons of why or why not, or maybe "My teacher said that..." type answers.

    Much appreciated.

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    A tablet is just another medium, really. IMO, there's something to be said for getting a good handle on traditional media before moving into digital, if only because traditional is less forgiving and forces you to think your marks through more carefully, but apart from that, I've never heard anything about tablets being "restricted" from beginners.

    I think the only real rule to art is something like 'Don't worry, just do it.'

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    I do recommend beginning artists not to use a tablet, because it's not the same as drawing with a pencil/pen on paper where you will have better control with it anway, due to writing or scribbeling experience from before. A tablet is a new experience of drawing then, so you will get used to that as well, while as a beginner you have to learn still a lot with how to handle your pencil/pen. If you control that, a tablet would be the next step. Just like Atlantis said actually. Also, the tablet and resolution size also matters with this.

    If you want to colour digitally only, it's very recommended since there are no alternatives except for a mouse, which can be painful and not as quick.

    This is just my opinion and experience, I hope I made my self clear to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlantis View Post
    A tablet is just another medium, really. IMO, there's something to be said for getting a good handle on traditional media before moving into digital, if only because traditional is less forgiving and forces you to think your marks through more carefully, but apart from that, I've never heard anything about tablets being "restricted" from beginners.

    I think the only real rule to art is something like 'Don't worry, just do it.'
    It really is the fact that on whatever-computer-graphics-program, I have the ungodly luxury of Ctrl-Z that traditional artists would only dream about. And after watching stroke-by-stroke animations of my art, a LOT of those strokes are lost in the land of UNDO. I'm just more worried if I'm going to miss out on an important lesson or discipline by continuing.

    Last edited by aquarake; January 18th, 2008 at 03:57 PM.
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    in my opinion the tablet is the only viable way to paint digitally. the mouse offers nothing in terms of dexterity or nuance of mark that can be made. so you would not learn anything from sticking to using a mouse other than what a pain in the ass it is.

    that said, as i think has been mentioned earlier, the pen / tablet computer is just another interface between you and your work, like a brush, pencil or... finger it is something you need to learn to negotiate and master but there still applies the need for artistic understanding to create good work.

    I think what i'm saying is whichever medium you use the overall endeavour is the same.

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    I've only recently taken up the tablet after a lifetime of traditional drawing. My first thought was that it would be *great* for newbies! How many times have I done a drawing that was overall pretty good, but this needed to be moved a hair to the left, and that needed to be a touch smaller. How wonderful it is to be able to draw a lasso around things and yank them into their rightful places.

    But cruising this forum and seeing a lot of newbie tablet art...there's a terrible soft squishy "balloon animal" sort of look that a lot of new draftsmen seem to pull out of the tablet. Not to mention retina-burning color.

    So, where it's good it's really very good. And where it's bad, it's slippery and creepy.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    I see both sides. I do think there is no learning like learning to draw with traditional materials - but at the same time I think computer learning can also be very useful. Drawing with a tablet can be like training wheels on a bike - it is confidence building because there is the Ctrl-z safety net. But that can be an hindrance too. Personally, i taught myself color theory from using photoshop's color tools, so i can't bash computer learning. Do what works for you - but don't ONLY work with a tablet.

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    No it's not. It's dangerous to play around with a tablet. You might get the artistic aids and die before your 20th birthday...



    Really. Stop worrying and play around with whatever mediium you like, whether it be lensflares or tablets. You're supposed to enjoy what you're doing, not bother wether you can make money from it or not.

    There's alot of artistic fields. You don't have to be the best classic painter in the world to make money on art.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    I've only recently taken up the tablet after a lifetime of traditional drawing. My first thought was that it would be *great* for newbies! How many times have I done a drawing that was overall pretty good, but this needed to be moved a hair to the left, and that needed to be a touch smaller. How wonderful it is to be able to draw a lasso around things and yank them into their rightful places.

    But cruising this forum and seeing a lot of newbie tablet art...there's a terrible soft squishy "balloon animal" sort of look that a lot of new draftsmen seem to pull out of the tablet. Not to mention retina-burning color.

    So, where it's good it's really very good. And where it's bad, it's slippery and creepy.
    I may well start a thread on this interesting observation Stoat - where people can thrash out their views on the fundamental difference between digital and 'real' media.
    Just a quick observation from me for the moment:
    The digital experience is sorta like televised painting - you have the experience that what you see on screen is a representation of something a part of you is doing in another room with real paint.
    Rarely do we work in a way that deals with what is on screen AT FACE VALUE - a glowing surface a couple of microns thick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bennett View Post
    The digital experience is sorta like televised painting - you have the experience that what you see on screen is a representation of something a part of you is doing in another room with real paint. Rarely do we work in a way that deals with what is on screen AT FACE VALUE - a glowing surface a couple of microns thick.
    I dont feel that way at all, although I can definitely understand if someone does, but to me when I am painting digitally I feel like I am in 100% control, and I feel at one with my painting, but If I work traditionaly it gets tedious, random and un important for some reason.
    Also, It might just be that you have to get used to controlling the wacom, I dont even notice it when I am painting, its all just almost flowing from my head on to the screen, where as real tools just get in the way

    I dont hate traditional media as much as it sounds like in this post though

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    I suspect the disconnect comes from the fact that, unless you have a tablet PC or a Cintiq, you draw in one place and your lines appear in another. If that's been part of your drawing experience all along, it might not seem so weird, but I remember finding it VERY disconcerting when I first started digital graphics. It was like using a pantograph. (Yes, I've used a pantograph. I think I've used every tracing technique known to man).

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    archipelago and Stoat: I think you guys slightly misunderstand me: I have absolutely no problem with the wacom tablet at all. I took to it like a duck to water but for a while I found I was imagining it as real paint somehow on telly. When I figured out it was an essentially layering experience with it's roots in collage I was able to produce much more powerful images:
    I include something I've just knocked up this morning:

    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    That's odd, why is my picture appearing as a link? I've done exactly what I usually do, but it doesn't appear as a picture on the screen - only an attachment.....Anyone got any ideas?

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    CA's been flaky all weekend, due to...whatever it is they're doing behind the scenes. Attachments particularly are misbehaving.

    You do know to be careful when describing to Americans what you've knocked up this morning, yes?

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoat View Post
    CA's been flaky all weekend, due to...whatever it is they're doing behind the scenes. Attachments particularly are misbehaving.

    You do know to be careful when describing to Americans what you've knocked up this morning, yes?
    Thanks Stoat. Funny, but I've just made a post where I have used the term 'freeway' as opposed to 'motorway' because I was aware I was talking to an American......clearly had not got my arse (sorry, 'ass') in gear re 'knocked up'.
    I hear you are coming to live in these fair shores (as in blighty) sometime soon?

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    More than one American has arrived home full of breathless stories about hotel clerks who offered to knock them up in the morning. A wonderful place, Britain.

    And that's the plan. I'm trying to sell a house in the worst local real estate market in the past, like, twenty years...which is only fair, since I bought the house at the highest property spike in the previous, like, fifty years. Did you hear that? The little sob at the end of that joke? Soon as that's done, I'm out.

    Anyhow, not to hijack this nice thread. I have to go...put the cats in boxes or wipe the floors with sealing wax or chew open a vein or something. I'M NEVER MOVING AGAIN.

    I was once on the receiving end of a critique so savagely nasty, I marched straight out of class to the office and changed my major (sketchbook).
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    I think telling someone that they shouldn't play with a tablet when they don't know what they're doing would be the same as telling someone not to touch a guitar or piano until they know how to read music.

    The computer has really just become another medium, one with its own benefits, limitations and issues that every artist has to learn to navigate.

    Certain classical media and surfaces are still better suited to learning than any digital interface now, but that may change.

    At some point art students may walk into a life drawing studio full of "18x24" and 24x36" Wacom Tablet Easels and use their specially designed "chalks" (stylus derived sticks that mimic charcoal or conte in feel and use) and start drawing on the computer in response to the model using the full of their bodies to fuel the energy of gestures and other exercises. Side tabs would allow the students to flip through their class work and save the keepers to a memory stick. The remainder would be deleted as a courtesy to the next student. The memory stick would be the only thing the student would have to carry out of class -- no more tubes or messy bags of broken conte and charcoal.

    Right now, though, we have to struggle along with traditional newsprint and chalks.

    . . . sigh.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    My own experience with digital goes back a several years now, but I still prefer to do my actual drawing on paper with a pencil. This is a preference, though. I love the feel and sound of graphite on paper as well as the tricky little things that can occur with erasers of all sorts. All of these things I can just as easily mimic in CS2 or Painter (except the sound of my electric eraser, but I probably could do something along those lines if I really, really wanted) without the added sensual experiences, so it becomes a choice rather than a neccesity.

    Which is really the ideal of how artists should relate to their media.

    I digressed, didn't I?

    ~R

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    Quote Originally Posted by aquarake View Post
    Is Tablet drawing not recommended for beginners/amateurs like the Pedal is almost forbidden from use by people JUST learning the piano?
    Nobody told me the pedal was forbidden!

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    If you have both, why not do both? switch it up once in a while. tablets aren't substitutes for the real thing- they're an extension. A really nice extension.

    Lol, It sucks that I'm asian. I can't help it if I look like a million other people.

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    Although the tablet is just another medum to learn, there is something to be said about traditional drawing. I think one of the reasons it's not recommended is that well you have to be at a computer to draw. This limits yourself when it comes to observing and drawing.

    If your experience is going to be where that computer is when you draw it's going to limit you. You're not going to look at actual trees, you're going to google trees. You're not watching people walk or converse, you're going to watch youtube XD

    I am not saying that you can't learn tablet drawing but don't depend too much on it, and remember a pencil and paper have more places to go to than your computer (you can get a laptop, but it still has its limits).

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    Also, at least in my experience, you'll notice the more you do traditional media, the less you'll use the Ctrl+Z 'trick' digitally.

    I personally think you can 'play around' with digital all you want when starting out, but when learning it is best to focus studies and such in traditional media so you have to put more effort and control into learning the subject at hand. (Digital media is a very powerful tool for artists, and honestly for commercial art should be focused on in learning how to work the software/hardware, but in my statement above about studies I'm referring more to 'color theory', 'anatomy', etc. fields of study - not media specific).

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    The real issue I see is beginners going out and BUYING tablets when really it's basic study with a pencil and paper they need first. Save up vs splurg etc. I learned that the hard way.

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    Alzorath is right. Its not about learning how to use the tools, but about learning to use your own hand. While i'd never give up my Wacom Tablet, there's still nothing like a finished oil painting, whether it be commercial or fine art.

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    Having worked in both traditional media of many sorts and digital media/processes of many sorts, all I can add to the above is that it's a mistake to make any equation between digital and traditional media. Yes, there are similarities, but so much of the experience using traditional media is different from achieving similar visual results digitally that there should simply be no comparison. I'm talking mainly about process here, not ultimate results, which can look extremely similar depending on display venue.

    Learn both simultaneously, just as one might learn guitar and banjo at the same time. If you're conscientious about practicing in both modes, there should be no harm done from using a tablet. Just don't expect it to replace traditional media skills (which is a pitfall I think many beginners stumble into).

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    Quote Originally Posted by masque View Post
    Having worked in both traditional media of many sorts and digital media/processes of many sorts, all I can add to the above is that it's a mistake to make any equation between digital and traditional media. Yes, there are similarities, but so much of the experience using traditional media is different from achieving similar visual results digitally that there should simply be no comparison. I'm talking mainly about process here, not ultimate results, which can look extremely similar depending on display venue.

    Learn both simultaneously, just as one might learn guitar and banjo at the same time. If you're conscientious about practicing in both modes, there should be no harm done from using a tablet. Just don't expect it to replace traditional media skills (which is a pitfall I think many beginners stumble into).
    I'll asume the tablet is the banjo......
    Q). "What did the banjo player find when he realised he had left his instrument in the open trunk of his car?"
    A). "Two banjos".

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    I refuse to get into a discussion of relative musical instrument merits with a fellow living on an island whose northern regions spawned the bagpipe.

    Also don't want to derail the thread

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    It may take you a little time to adjust to using a tablet, but its certainly not going to negatively affect your drawing ability. You should still work traditionally, of course, but there is nothing wrong with adding another tool to your toolbox!

    My 5 year old neice learned to use a tablet in seconds flat. The transition was so seamless for her... so yeah, the earlier you start, the better

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