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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.
Drawing freehand is one of the basic means of communication. The term freehand means to draw using only eye-hand coordination. It is a method for explaining something that can't be fully expressed in words alone. Even a simple map drawn to explain to someone how to get to a location is a freehand drawing. We use freehand drawing to transfer something we see in our mind's eye to a form that is viewable by others. Beyond a simple sketch, drawing becomes a means of expressing our inner feelings to others.
At its highest level, drawing becomes a mirror into the times a drawing is created. A pen and tablet provide a means to preserve these expressions in a malleable, digital form. I'm just going to start sketching, and I am really not even thinking about what I'm drawing here. It's just basic, kind of mindless sketch play. And this is one of the best ways to get yourself started. If you begin trying to emulate objects that are in reality in front of you, you're going to run into the problem of feeling as if you're not matching up to the expectations of how that object looks.
Just making things up as I'm doing here, just drawing a simple cube, for example, is just a way to exercise those skills of, in particular, playing with the thinness to thickness of an expressive drawing, and the thing that's key here is that pressure is really your main attribute in terms of expressive drawing. I'm just going to do a little sample over here. If I start very lightly, you can see how I'm getting a very light stroke on the screen, and it's not entirely opaque.
But, as I start to press harder and harder, what happens is I begin to get a much more intense line. So it's learning how to control this thinness to thickness and opacity to transparency that all comes about once you start incorporating it into a drawing. And the thing to remember is, once this becomes internalized, you're not even going to think about anymore exactly how you're doing it. It just happens, it becomes an expression of yourself. So, freehand drawing is the underlying foundation for all forms of visual communication.
The eye-hand coordination, which is learned via sketching, applies to all stylus-based expressive media. If you're at the beginning of an expressive journey into visual art, practicing drawing skills is the fastest way to improve your drawing ability.
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