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  • Some general advice on

    I graduated in Fine Art last year and specialised in drawing. Lately I've started to use acetate and tracing paper to 'layer' my drawings, as you would in Photoshop, to be able to make multiple changes to an initially-labor intensive drawing.

    It looks like my work is becoming more and more like an illustrators' sort of work than a 'fine artist' so I'm thinking I should learn Photoshop and Ilustrator and start to learn to use a graphics tablet. (I have little experience in Photoshop/Illustrator but can get hold of them cheaply.) I believe that by learning these programs/tools I'd hope to be able to add colour, change lines, scale up the drawings, and eventually make prints hopefully people would buy. However, I have a problem.

    Often these graphics tablets require pens when I prefer to draw in pencil. The way I use a biro, technical pen or pencil is entirely different to each other, so a graphics tablet, which requires a graphics-tablet-pen, probably isn't the best nor only solution.

    So, I'm guessing I'd have to use a combination of a scanner, a graphics tablet, Photoshop and Illustrator to be able to digitise and edit a pen/pencil drawing.

    Any suggestions for what graphics tablet I should get as a beginner?

    Also, is there a resource, such as a magazine, book, newsletter, or website that would be ideal for someone in my position (with little experience in 'graphic design' or 'illustration' as a career/passion).

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Originally posted by mjw View Post
    I graduated in Fine Art last year and specialised in drawing.
    You didn't learn to digitize your work for print or web duplication in school?
    that's really scary!

    It's all about your comfort zone, in my opinion, I'd suggest checking out and trying out tablets. But be prepared to spend the money if you're serious. Let's face it the $100 tablet will be just a joke for what you want to do, even the $350 one might not have all the options you need.

    Many of the tablets I've looked at (when I was hoping to get one), were pressure sensitive for how thick the line was. I think this is something one has to "get used to" or train themselves in if you're used to switching up your pencils to different grades all the time.

    You can continue to scan in your work and digitize it that way. An illustrator I recently worked with did his initial cartoon with his usual pens by hand and then scanned it into Illustrator, "drew" it all in to be digital. I think that is a really long process but the final product is just beautiful.
    I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not. ~ Kurt Cobain


    • #3
      Seems a bit odd to me, an artist should be confident in every stroke they put on paper (or what ever surface they're working on).

      Using a stylus shouldn't be that far of a stretch for the most part, there is a cornucopia of different "brushes" you can download/purchase for both PS and AI (you can even make your own), so matching an effect shouldn't be too tough.

      I bought a relatively inexpensive tablet about six years ago (wacom doesn't make it anymore) which works great for what I need. I would look at a wacom intuos4, and pick the size based on how you like to work. I prefer a smaller tablet, partially because of the amount of space it takes up on my desk and –I'm pretty certain I can say this– EVERY creative program has a zoom feature.
      Design is not decoration.


      • #4
        It doesn't sound like this post is not about knowing how to digitize art. It's more about how to switch from Hand-drawn on paper to Hand-drawn on computer.

        Quite honestly, Photoshop is the probable easiest entry point for this kind of transition. But you have to understand how to use resolution and layers in Photoshop (Illustrator too to some extent). Be sure you learn about reproduceability and resolution before you create a masterpiece too small to print. Also your computer has to have the balls to render the art in all its layers in a timely fashion (LOTS of ram and available Hard Disk Scratch space and a good graphics/video card).

        Like any new medium there is a learning curve. You can't expect to go from pencils to tablet any easier than you would go from pencils to oils. Digital art is not pushing the Easy button. You do have to learn to do it, and you may have to do it differently from the way you are working now.

        Illustrator 'draws' entirely differently from the more natural hand-drawing. It's more like architectural drawing where you have to literally control how the computer makes the line using nodes and bezier handles. Sometimes it's not intuitive and many times it can be downright frustrating. While it does have brush and line tools, it isn't nearly as responsive as Photoshop when it comes to organic shapes and features.
        Last edited by PrintDriver; 09-10-2011, 06:58 PM.


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