Drawing tablet recommendations sought

Montero

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I was thinking of taking up drawing again for the first time since my early teens - I wasn't that great but wanted to continue art at school but it clashed with my science preferences. I have tried sketching using a mouse, but didn't work for me. I took a look at the drawing and graphics tablets which seem a better idea - pen like handling, but something that is instantly an electronic file for easier editing.
Anyone use these?
Any recommendations - especially for a budget one as I am just starting to try this out. (Budget being sub £50).
Ideally I want to be able to plug it into my Linux Mint PC, or at least be able to transfer files across. Things like filling and colour I'll probably do on the PC - unless that is a bad idea because there are more functions on graphic tablets.
Thinking of sketching freehand and also tracing outlines from photos as a starting point.
 

CupofJoe

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I'm probably really out of data, but most drawing tablets I know are dumb devices. They are just input [and sometimes display], there is no storage.
I use a [10 year old] Wacom Bamboo tablet. It is A5 in size and the brush/pen/stylus is a little slow/laggy but is okay for sketching. It pretty much a pen like mouse that was pressure sensitive. The tablet was good for tracing. I would lay a small image [photo drawing etc.] and then trace it in to the graphic package. I used Photoshop CS3.
The best tablet I've seen was another Wacom tablet. Half screen, half drawing pad, it was close to A3 in size and you drew straight on to the image on screen. It was incredibly sensitive and accurate. But it was about £2500 when we bought it at work and that was a long time ago.
 

Montero

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Thanks. You say there is no storage - so is it plugged into a PC when you use it? Or do you plug in a pen drive?
Something that plugs into a computer is good by me - I currently know nothing about these.
 

CupofJoe

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The ones I have used have all been plugged in to PCs. For the low end one [like I have] it is a usb lead, they are a form of very specialist mouse - as it were.
The high end one had its own graphics card and a chunk connection lead so was more like a touch screen but with really high dpi accuracy stylus.
But they both need suitable graphics packages to work with them. they don't have drawing or art software built in.
I know people have iPads [and I guess Android tablets] as portable sketchpads but I don't know the software used.
 

Mon0Zer0

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Budget Wacom tablets are perfectly fine, but I have no idea about the compatibility of Linux, which might be your biggest stumbling block. Last I heard in 2018 was they were developing linux drivers for bamboo.

I use a very old Wacom Cintiq screen - about 24" that I picked up for about £200 off ebay - works fine with Photoshop CC. I also have a 2018 ipad Pro that I use with Apple pencil - really was blown away by the responsiveness of Apple Pencil. When you're ready to move on - you could probably do little better than a regular ipad with pencil and Procreate. Procreate is pretty mind-blowing for a free app. I also use clip studio on the ipad.

These were done on an ipad in Clip Studio.

Izobel-with-gun.jpg


Cybercity-oedo-bg-study.jpg
transformers-background-study.jpg
 

HareBrain

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I bought a Wacom Intuos 2 probably around 2003 for drawing, and found it pretty good. I still use it instead of a mouse. It's much faster, the cursor positioning on the screen is near-instant and very accurate (once you've had enough practice -- I've found it very amusing watching my friends try to use it for the first time), and it stops RSI. I know nothing about more recent ones, but I think as input devices, they're great in concept.
 

Montero

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@Parson - probably both. After all there is an enduring story that a ready meal company got as far as a marketing material meeting where the sniggers started - they had a product of small pieces of cod covered in batter and had logically called it "battered cod pieces".
 

Astro Pen

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I have a small old wacom also though I don't use it much.
One thing that takes a bit of getting used (ironically) to is the direct correlation with the computer screen. One is so used to lifting the mouse and moving it in strokes to a region of interest that the pen takes a bit of overlearning. It isn't a mouse and it is very different to use.
One great benefit though is the pressure sensitivity which enables you to use it like a coloured pencil or even, set fine, like a biro! Below is a quick biro like demo, not an artwork obviously. :rolleyes:


Pen demo.jpg
 

Montero

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I use a roller ball mouse and have for a while, so might find the transition a bit less. Also use it with my non-dominant hand.
 

Laura R Hepworth

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I use a Huion H610Pro graphics tablet. It's a good starter tablet that shouldn't break the bank. Uncertain about compatibility with Linux though.
 

Montero

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So I am now a proud possessor of a little Wacom One tablet - about 6 inches by 4 and with downloaded Linux drivers it happily talks to GIMP. I've been sitting and doodling for the last half hour - trying to recreate things I used to draw like Christmas trees, M seagulls, hills with a rising sun and just lots and lots of intersecting loops of the fancy signature like Queen Elizabeth the first.
Mostly played with it with the brush and it was very sensitive to pressure.
Found that you can have the mouse attached at the same time and that if you change settings with the mouse then they are mapped on the mouse and if with the pen (that you move across above the tablet rather than touching it) then the settings are on the pen.
Which gave me an eraser on the mouse in my left hand and a brush on the pen in my right hand. Works an awful lot better than trying to draw shapes with a mouse.
I clearly have a long learning curve.
A very long learning curve (I wrote curse and edited. Curse may be the correct word.)
What does work well for me is looking at the screen while the board and pen are propped on my lap against the table -the co-ordination is fine.
Now I have to get back some of that fine motor control and build strength as my hand got tired quite fast.

Anyway, thank you all, I am up and sort of motoring.
 

Magic_Muscle

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I use a Wacom myself, but I use it with Corel Paint. It serves nicely, no real maintenance or inconsistencies. But how the tablet works is largely dependent on your computer and art program in terms of delays and what not.
 

JunkMonkey

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I use a Wacom myself, but I use it with Corel Paint. It serves nicely, no real maintenance or inconsistencies. But how the tablet works is largely dependent on your computer and art program in terms of delays and what not.

Me too - or rather I use half a Wacom. Because I have a dual monitor display with the left hand monitor turned portrait, right hand landscape. When I'm drawing I have the art on the left portrait monitor and the tools pallets etc on the right one so I can have everything up and don't have to keep swapping and toggling things. The left hand side of my tablet gets a lot more use than the right - and it shows.

Montero, I will say that there are some things that are easier with a mouse. I'm always swapping to the mouse to scroll through menus, or drag and drop stuff and anything that requires a precise positioning for a click. (Like adding a handle to a path or selecting smaller intricate areas with the flood fill tool.) It's easy enough to keep the stylus in your hand as you swap - in fact I just realised I've typed this whole post (both hands proper typing not hunt and peck!) while holding the stylus in my right hand.
 

HareBrain

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I will say that there are some things that are easier with a mouse. I'm always swapping to the mouse to scroll through menus, or drag and drop stuff and anything that requires a precise positioning for a click.

That sounds strange to me. I use a Wacom board/pen instead of a mouse, for everything, and it's always seemed to me much faster to get the cursor exactly where I want it.
 

AnyaKimlin

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My daughter started out with the LIDL (Silvercrest) one that comes out around Christmas - my wife assures me it should work with Linux. I just checked and it is available on eBay for about £24.

It did her for many years and our younger child now has it as she upgraded.
 

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