Many artists consider drawing tablets to be an essential tool in their collections. You no longer need to worry about purchasing markers, paint, pens, papers, and any of the other tools that you may need. But are drawing tablets all that they’re hyped up to be?
Are they really that easy to use?
Drawing tablets, especially depending on the type, can be easy to use for many people. They provide you with many essential features that you will quickly adapt to. But some types of drawing tablets might be more difficult to use than others. It will require some practice at first to get used to.
In this article, we will take a look at the different types of drawing tablets, which ones are easier to use, and give you some advice on how to get used to drawing with tablets.
Using Tablets With a Screen
The first thing that you need to realize when you shop for drawing tablets is that they come in two different types: display tablets and non-display tablets, or drawing tablets with and without screens.
Tablets with a screen are generally considered to be the easier option. Although they are more expensive, they are much easier to use and to get used to.
Why these tablets are easier to use:
It properly mimics the sensation of drawing on paper.
This is, perhaps, the most important reason. With a screen, you will be able to monitor your progress without having to constantly look back and forth.
Despite the fact that you generally still need to use your computer or laptop in order to operate these tablets, they are easier to use because you will be drawing and viewing your work right on the tablet’s screen.
They are designed to feel like you are drawing on a piece of paper, so it will be much easier to adapt to drawing on a tablet.
They work great for beginners.
Display tablets are generally marketed towards people who are just starting off in the world of graphic art. They are much easier to use and operate and you won’t have to spend as much time figuring out how to use it and how to draw with it.
However, they are more expensive, which might not be the most suitable for a beginner’s budget.
They tend to come with many features.
This is one of those cases where “you get what you pay for” applies. Display tablets tend to come with many advanced features that will allow you to get used to the device easier and enhance your skills as an artist.
Many of them also offer extremely high levels of pressure sensitivity, which will allow you to learn how much pressure you need to apply in order to get the strokes you want.
Keep in mind…
It might be more difficult to use some general-use tablets. The reason for this is that they are not designed specifically for artistic purposes, so they might not be compatible with all the software that you need to use for your artwork.
This is another factor that might complicate your ability to use drawing tablets: make sure that the one you purchase will be compatible with any computer or other drawing software that you intend on using.
The video below shows you some great picks when it comes to drawing tablets with screens.
Using Tablets Without a Screen
For tablets without a screen, you need to hook it up to your computer or laptop in order for it to work, and you draw on the tablet using a stylus and monitor your work on the computer screen.
For obvious reasons, drawing tablets without screens are generally considered to be the kind that is more difficult to use.
Why are these tablets difficult to use?
They require unnatural coordination.
As you draw, you are typically watching both your hand and your drawing at the same time. This gives you the opportunity to watch the movements of your hand and see how your drawing is progressing.
But you will not have that opportunity when you use non-display tablets. There is an active area on the tablet that you draw on, and you will see your movements on the computer screen.
However, you will need to grow adapted to not watching your hand movements and only watching the computer screen, which could make using these tablets a difficult task.
They’re more suited for professionals.
Due to the fact that these tablets are generally considered to be more difficult to use, they are not exactly marketed for people who are just getting started in digital art. Typically, the people who use these kinds of tablets are professional artists, animators, graphic designers, and more.
The major reason why many people consider purchasing non-display tablets is the fact that they are much less expensive than their counterparts with screens. You will be able to find plenty of great options for less than $100, which could be more budget-friendly.
If you do choose to purchase a drawing tablet without a screen, there will be a learning curve to get used to, but it might help you save money in the long run.
How to Get Used to Drawing With a Tablet
Regardless of the kind of tablet you choose to purchase, there will still be some learning curve. You are, after all, drawing on an electronic device and not a piece of paper. It might be a little more difficult to get used to drawing on a tablet in the beginning.
But here are some of our best tips for getting used to drawing with a drawing tablet to make the process much easier.
TIP ONE: Start by drawing anything you enjoy.
There’s a saying about how you should choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. The quote can be applied to this situation, too.
You should use your drawing tablet to draw things you enjoy as you get used to using it. That way, you will feel more motivated to pick up the drawing tablet and get used to the new technology.
You’ll enjoy the process of learning how to use a drawing tablet this way. If you’re not drawing something you like, it’s going to feel more like a chore.
TIP TWO: Take some time every day to practice using the tablet.
This is an important step. You really should take the time every day to practice using it. Allocating an hour or so every day can do wonders. This will allow you to get a feel for the tablet and practicing will allow you to learn new skills.
This practice can also allow you to track how you’ve improved over time, so you can see how much easier it has become to draw using the tablet.
TIP THREE: Make sure that the tablet has all the features you need.
While most drawing tablets are compatible with modern computers and software, you will still want to double-check to make sure that the tablet you have your eye on will work with the computer you have (especially if you have an older computer) and if it has the ability to work with software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, or other key tools.
TIP FOUR: Practice some drawing exercises.
No one likes drawing exercises, but if you want to make art into a career, you will be able to get used to the drawing tablet in a lot less time if you practice some exercises.
These exercises are designed to help improve coordination and build some of your fundamental knowledge. You will get a better feel for how you should draw on the tablet.
How long you should anticipate it taking before you get used to the drawing tablet?
This is highly individual, but it usually takes most people between 1 and 4 weeks to get used to the tablet. Of course, this depends on how serious you are about using the tablet and whether or not you take the time to practice every day.
The bottom line is that drawing tablets aren’t meant to be difficult to use, though it can be more difficult to get used to non-display tablets as opposed to ones that have a screen.
Tablets with screens are generally considered to be much easier to use and are recommended for beginners. It will take some time for you to get completely used to drawing on a tablet as opposed to a piece of paper, but with enough practice, this will be a breeze.