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Using a mouse over an art tablet, thoughts?


Digital
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So this is for some of our artists, such as @kami, @LIZ, @Aminirus, @Pepper-Head, and really anyone else who has thoughts.

I have my mouse, I am not really an artist (I frankly struggle with most things art outside of simple things). Do art tablets really provide value or improve one's art, or they just a tool that make existing talent better? Is it worth it for someone like myself, who is really an artist, and may dally in it casually to purchase one, or just keep using a mouse?

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I would highly recommend a tablet to anybody who wants to draw digitally. Without it, it's like drawing without a tool. (And instead you're trying to hold onto a broken piece of graphite haha.) I used to draw with a mouse for 2 years and BOY my improvement spiked as soon as I switched to a tablet.

That being said, it is certainly possible to produce some great things with a mouse. But it's going to be a fight since you'd be missing a lot of pen pressure sensitivity and ease of workflow that a tablet provides. And there'd still be limitations that would require awkward and time extensive workarounds to get to what a tablet could do in seconds.

Good drawing tablets can be as low as $60, and actual tablets (androids, apple, etc) are getting a lot better. One of my roommates had a nice sensitive stylus with extra nibs for like $10 from Amazon. Art doesn't have to be expensive, but if you ever try to buy other mediums (pastel, good colored pencils, acrylic, etc) that cost could be about the same anyway.

@Digital I know you were tinkering with pixel art before! I actually prefer my mouse for pixel work, it feels much more careful and precise, at least to me.  :) 

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Well, I can tell you, I tried drawing with just a mouse before... it didn't end well...nope.... not well at all. It literally looked like I went back to preschool with art.

And I would too recommend a tablet, just like @Pepper-Head suggests. Yes, a tablet is a tool, but quite a worthwhile one. It does take a little bit of getting used to, but I love mine to death and don't know what I'd do without it. I own a wacom, intous medium tablet, which I think was maybe like $80 ish at the time. Its a large enough style that gives you plenty of hand space for movement but not too big that it swallows up your desktop. Almost about the size of a standard notebook really. 

The tablet lets me draw the way I want to draw and use angels that are best for me. I did buy some of the good plastic sheets you'd normally use for paper or projects in binders. I put my tablet in it. I cut off the part where the binder rings go through and tape the other end. This protects the tablet surface and my pen tip so I don't go through tips fast or damage the surface of the tablet as terribly. 

Tablet will not improve your artwork. Like anything else, you have to practice with it and keep trying to figure out what techniques work best for you. Drawing digitally does have its perks though since you can easily erase mistakes and bend lines better to what you'd like. I use it with a combo of Manga Studio 5 and occasionally other programs. Each program will have things set up  differently. I personally enjoyed working with Photoshop CS6 but currently still do not have the money to own one, so since I got Manga Studio as a gift, I use that to the fullest and have learned quite a bit about it. Like any tool, once you've practiced well enough, the tablet becomes quite the ally to an artist. I've only ever owned 2 tablets in my life and I love them both. The first one finally had to be retired but if you take care of it, it'll do good for you.

Like I said before though, the tablet is just a different way of doing things but the skills are still dependent on you. Yes, there are ways to make things faster but you still have to have the knowledge to know how to use and do it right so it doesn't look like a mess. Over the years, I've improved as a traditional artists and ultimately that shows in my digital artwork too. To me, a tablet is well worth it for an artist who wants to partake in the digital medium on a higher level than pixel art.

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Drawing with a mouse is 100% possible and you can do a TON with it. That said, if you want to make things easier on yourself, that's why tablets were invented. You won't magically be a genius with digital art after getting a tablet (as soooo many beginner artists believe), but it'll make things easier for you in the long run.

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