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Wacom tablets are a popular alternative to the mouse for painting, drawing, and navigating your computer in a more natural position. In this course, artist and teacher John Derry shows how to get up and running with a variety of Wacom tablets (Intuos, Cintiq, and more), covering everything from setup to stylus selection. He then shows how to speed up your workflow and enhance your command of the drawing surface with ExpressKeys, the Touch Ring, and other controls. Plus, learn about tablet ergonomics—which makes your Wacom even more compatible with your working conditions—and follow a few exercises to warm up your drawing arm.
The Airbrush Pen is a specialty stylus aimed at replicating the ergonomics of a traditional dual-action airbrush. Traditional airbrush technique utilizes a choreography of airflow, color volume, and distance. The Airbrush Pen replicates this style of control, which requires practice to become proficient. It's a little bit like patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. Let's go ahead and take a look. Now this is the pen itself, and you'll see it is a rather unusual shape, and you may be asking why does it look like this with this little porpoise-like appendage on it.
A traditional airbrush typically will have an extension in the way it's built, so that it can handle the connection of a typical air hose, and it also often will have a receptacle here so that you can attach a small container containing either ink or paint. The other thing that's unique about the Airbrush Pen is that it has this little wheel on it, and what this wheel does is emulates a traditional airbrush's needle valve, which works in concert with the fact that you have this air blowing through it and by creating a slight vacuum, it's able to start sucking up the spray of the paint, and it atomizes and sprays it out into a very fine mist pattern.
But what the needle valve does is, as you close it, it more and more closes up the flow of the paint, and as a result, you can go from no paint all the way to full open paint, and then you have all of the variability in between that. So, that's basically what this does. Let's take a little look at how this works. So, I've got my pen here and at first it looks very normal, and we'll just spray a little bit here, and like a traditional airbrush, to emulate distance from the surface as I press down more and more, I'm emulating the distance from the surface, and that may look like a very fine line, but you literally can get an airbrush so close that you literally do reduce it down to that narrow of a line.
The other thing that we were talking about here was the actual wheel. As I adjust this wheel, you can see how I can subtly slow down my spray till it's completely gone. The third thing, and this is probably the most interesting property of this, is that using tilt, you can see how that shape is going from just a perfectly circular spray pattern, I'll do a little bit here, to a very elliptical pattern, and that kind of falloff of density is very, a signature look of traditional airbrush art, because what's happening is, the closest part of the airbrush is applying the most amount of spray.
But as you get farther and farther, you start to get less and less of a spray pattern until it tapers off to nothing. So, this ability to use this tilt becomes very germane to the way an actual airbrush will work. Another important point is that the standard Grip Pen uses tilted pressure, which is quite capable of controlled airbrush technique on its own. The airbrush pen is aimed at a very specific audience. If you are a member of that audience, you'll appreciate this stylus. Most artists, however, are not going to find this style of control life changing.
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