Schwag Learns to Draw
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By Wes J. Pimentel
I haven't been "hubbing" much lately. Sorry. I've been doing productive things with my time; namely drawing. I just got this sweet new digital drawing tablet (run out and get one NOW!). I got the Medium Sized, Bamboo Fun Tablet. It came with three programs; Adobe PhotoShop Elements, Corel Painter Essentials, and Nik Color Efex Pro. It retails for about $200.
I started playing with Adobe Photoshop Elements and I was diggin' on it a little bit. It seems like one of those programs that will generate super kick-ass images, if you're an Adobe master. I am not. I was able to generate some sub-par stuff. Sokay.
THEN, I played with Corel Painter Essentials. Dude. That program is awesome, the tutorials are easy to follow and understand and the guy who does them is this chubby old guy with a lateral lisp. He's adorable. Anyway, it's been a lot of fun. I was able to generate the picture below using it (the background was done in Adobe and I was able to slip it in underneath, on a separate layer). Basically if you can doodle, you can use this program. Another thing that makes it so fun to use is the incredible variety of media that you can use. It has pencils. pens, brushes, airbrushes, markers, etc. Then, within each tool is a range of options that will change each one. Then, there's the colors. It's so easy to maintain the integrity of your image, once you learn how to "sample" the colors and even mix them like they're paint on a palette. You guys should come over and play with it sometime.
About the tablet, itself. Wow. The design of this device is simply flawless. I have noticed no limitations, or difficulties inherent to the design. It's crazy. It feels so much like conventional drawing. If you didn't know better, you would swear you were drawing a pencil across some nice, heavy stock. The tablet is also an incredibly easy-to-use input device. It will replace your mouse and you'll never look back. At first it was really weird and foreign feeling, but if you give it a chance, you'll be navigating through all your programs and the internet, like a pro. The "pen" or stylus for it is wireless and even has an eraser at the back. As soon as you flip it and put the back end near the tablet, the programs switch to eraser mode.
So, that's it. If you like to draw or paint and are looking for a way to digtize your art, without having to compromise the quality of the image using a scanner, you might want to consider a tablet. Another thing you can do is (if you already have some of your art scanned) start one of your projects with an image that's already on your computer. You can load it up, convert it to a sketched version of itself and work on it with anything from a brush loaded with oil paint to an airbrush to a calligraphy pen. Sweet.
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