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Ok, first, I've been told by countless people that I should invest in a wacom tablet. If anyone has any suggestions on brands or sizes or what not, I would greatly appreciate it. And another question, for many of the concept art done here, is it all done with the tablet, or do you scan a sketch and paint it. I always wondered. I know you can do it both ways, but which is more affective?
I would reccomend starting out with a 6x8 tablet if you can afford one (pcmall has one for the same price as a 4x6 anywhere else). Go with Wacom, they are pretty much an industry standard.
Edit: It is a Graphire. If you are serious, definitely fork over the cash for an intuos.
As for how the concept art is actually done, there are a wide range of methods used. Some will start out with lineart, or even just a small thumbnail sketch, while others do it completely digitally. Really it is whatever feels right, there is no "best way" to create art.