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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.
This set of exercises assumes that you have some existing pen and tablet experience. If you don't, go to the previous beginner lesson. We'll cover basic up and down motion, as well as utilize your signature to strengthen your eye-hand coordination. You can reference your Exercise Files for this example tablet workout. Now, to begin, we're going to use your signature as a means of just starting to adapt to using something that you're very familiar with as a means of getting used to transferring your already existing muscle memory to the tablet.
So what I'll often do is I'll just sit and keep repeating my signature over and over, until what happens essentially is it becomes nothing more than kind of an abstract pattern. But the fact that you're using something you already have really good muscle memory for, is a good way to start to transfer that kind of feel onto the tablet. Once you've played around with that for a while, I want you to progress to starting to use this lined ruled paper, which I provide for you in the Exercise folder.
We're going to start with just a simple up and down exercise here, and the idea is, you want to kind of gain speed over time, and try to keep the tops and bottoms basically at the top and bottom of the ruled line. You're not going to be perfect, and you can see I'm not either, but the idea is, you're starting to use eye-hand coordination to develop that sense of being able to stop at the tops and bottoms of those lines within reason. Next, we're going to do the same thing, but now we're going to introduce pressure.
So I'm going to begin very lightly, and then I start to build up pressure and then I reverse it, and I go down to light pressure and then back up to a heavy pressure. So, now we're starting to juggle a couple balls here, where you're both trying to keep your eye-hand coordination going, as well as introducing the changing pressure with your hand and the way that you're applying the stylus. The next one is a little bit like a seismogram. It starts large, and then it gets smaller, and then it gets larger, and then it gets smaller, and we just repeat this over and over.
And the idea, once again, is you're developing eye-hand coordination in the way that you are altering the sizes of those lines as you continually repeat them. Okay, let's up the ante a little bit, and this time we're going to use our pen but we're going to go down to a small light line, and then go back up to a heavy line. So now we're changing size as well as changing pressure at the same time.
And you may want to try playing with this the opposite way, start light and then go to a heavy pressure. Okay, so now for this final one you don't necessarily need to use the ruled lines, but what I do is I go from large to small and back, and I just keep doing this, and you'll notice that what this does is it kind of creates a diamond shape, and once you've made a few of these, you can start to start another row and nest it within the last one.
Again, all of these are basically aimed at applying eye-hand coordination to make these things happen. You may find some of these exercises to be a bit more difficult to master. If so, focus on practicing these harder examples. Once you're comfortable with these exercises, you can move on to the advanced tablet workout. Remember, no pain, no gain.
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