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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 Grip Pen, the Art Pen, and the Airbrush Pen all have 2048 levels of pressure and an eraser tip. In addition to the 5 degrees of freedom that the standard Grip Pen and the Airbrush Pen feature, the Art Pen adds the 6th degree of freedom, Barrel Rotation. The Art Pen is capable of capturing all of the combined motions of the artist's hand. As such, the Art Pen is the stylus to have for maximum, expressive mark making. Because the stylus senses barrel rotation, it's perfectly matched with non-symmetric dab shapes. Let's take a look.
So, I've now got the Art Pen in my hand, and I've got a Fan Brush here, so we can see that it's an asymmetrical tip, and if you look at the little 3D model up in the upper left, you can see that as well as tilt and bearing, what is different here is, when I rotate this pen in my hand, it's literally rotating the shape of the brush as well. So, what this means, unlike the Grip Pen, if I want to get a wide line in this dimension and a wide line in this dimension, I can, and alternatively, if I want to get a narrow shape and a narrow shape in these angles, I can.
So, whatever angle of the shape I want to paint with, it's available to me, and because of that, it just really makes it the ultimate in expressive brush capabilities. What I want to emphasize here is when you do use this, at first it's kind of this parlor trick of oh, wow I can change this shape, and you'll be conscious of it for awhile, but the real effect you should have over time is that you don't even think about it. You use it and you'll naturally acclimate to the fact that the varying rotation in your hand, as well as tilt and bearing, all add up to give a single pen, or a single brush in this case, a wide variety of shape.
Just looking at what I've done on the screen, that's all one brush doing that, and yet there is a very wide variety of expression throughout all of the different lines. Now the other thing I want to point out about this pen is I want to compare it to the Grip Pen, and if you look at these two pens, they are almost identical. The Art Pen does have a slightly fatter shape at the tip, but still, if these are just laying around, I can tell you from experience, it's very easy to pick up the Grip Pen and start working and realize oh, I don't have barrel rotation.
So there's something you can do. I generally will do it to the Grip Pen. There is a little accessory that will come with your Cintiq or Wacom tablet, and it's this little plastic baggy with these little rings in it, and I've pulled out the red one in this case, right here, and what you can do is you just unscrew this flange, and then we take this, we put it in here, and then we just screw it back on.
Now, we have a visual identifier, so now these two pens have an obvious difference that they didn't have before. So, this is just a very simple way to keep your Art Pen and Grip Pen in the same environment, but not run into, you know, which one am I using. It'll be obvious to you with that little red flange associated with the Grip Pen. If you've never experienced the Art Pen, you won't miss it. But once you have, you'll never want to return to the Grip Pen. The ability to rotate non-symmetric brush tips adds a whole new level of expressiveness to your brush strokes.
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