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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.
Thanks to the venerable pixel, the emulation of traditional art tools is possible. Unlike mathematically described vector graphics, painting apps rely on a near-invisible array of mosaic-like pixels to construct an image. As displays in CPUs have increased in resolution and power, the pixels making up digitally painted images have become invisible, like atoms. Add a tablet and stylus capable of sensing artists' hand, wrist, and arm motions in 3-D, and an amazingly wide range of expressive possibilities exists.
I am going to be using Painter for this, and I'm just going to paint abstractly here because I don't want to focus so much on subject matter as much as the brush strokes, and while I'm doing it, I am going to describe a little bit of what I'm capable of doing. Also, I want to mention that I'm using the Art Pen. Now, if you buy a Wacom Tablet, by default you'll get the Grip Pen in it. The difference between the Grip Pen and the art pen is that the Art Pen is capable of barrel rotation, which means when I rotate my brush, a non-symmetrical brush tip will rotate with it, as you will see here.
So, let's start off with an opaque brush here that shows this, and right away you can see as I rotate this brush in my hand you can see how the cursor is showing me this difference in the angle based on the rotation of the pen. So, this means that with the same brush, I can draw a wide stroke, or I can draw a narrow stroke. And just depending on how I address the angle of the brush based on the rotation of the pen, I can really control the kind of expression I'm getting out of this brush, and that's the secret to this, is that one brush can produce a wide range of expressibility just by the fact that using a non-symmetrical tip I'm able to get so many variations out of it.
So, lets just start playing around here, and I'm going to just kind of paint abstractly. Well one thing you'll see, I am also using pressure here, so that very light pressure gives me very little coverage, whereas I increase the pressure I get more and more of that coverage. I can also go in here and let's just grab some other color and I can actually start to mix and blend these together, and again that's based on pressure. So, pressure and the rotation of the tip together gives me the ability to get a lot of variation throughout this image, and so far I have only used the one brush.
Now, I will switch to another one here. I am going to grab a piece of chalk. And this is another thing that's kind of interesting about digital art, is that I can start to combine mediums that typically would not be combined. Chalk and paint don't necessarily go well together on the canvas. But in this case I can start to play around with combinations that would be somewhat difficult to achieve otherwise. And then finally here, I am going to grab a Scratchboard tool, and I am just going to use this to do a little bit of line work, and here you can see how, again, this is very pressure-controlled so that I can go from a very light pressure point to a very thick, heavy pressure point.
So, the idea behind this is that the Wacom Tablet, when used in collaboration with an application like Painter, gives me the ability to get this wide range of expression through a single tool, or in this case three separate tools, and I've got a very complete kind of composition with a lot of variability in it. In artist's expression is intimately linked to hand motion. As a result, paint apps tend to utilize the tablet and stylus more than any other digital application area.
Thanks to digital paint's nonlinear nature, the artist has a wide safety net to try and do things impossible in the traditional world.
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