The Ultimate Tablet For Artists

Hello, is there anyone who uses a graphics tablet for painting or sculpting? I am disappointed so far about design tablets because I have not yet manage to exceed my technique with pen and paper. It’s very strange because I see in youtube some artists (or even teenagers) that can achieve great artwork with simple Bamboo tablets so I try not to fall in the mindset of the madman blaming his tools, but on the other hand “good” tools are more helpful than “clunky” tools.

I first bought a Wacom Bamboo Fun (about at 2007) but it was practically useless due to the very limited working space, also resulted to jerky mouse movements (good bye straight and smooth lines) also very frustated that the pen tip worn off (needed to buy a new for 35 euros while the whole package cost 50-60). No more no less I give it away after 1.5 year of usage.

At 2009 I bought a Trust design tablet (TB 7300), it was quite a risk because I do not know about this brand, but I was very happy about it, the large working area makes it a joy to use, which results to perfect precision of mouse pointer. I have used it fine since now for painting and sculpting, but yet still my traditional pencil-paper skills are superior to to digital ones.

From this moment on I think that sometime in the future I will choose either something like these:
0. If something happens to my tablet then I will replace it, no big deal. But, if there’s something better then I will be interested to know.

  1. A Wacom Inkling, quite different in relation to a design tablet but more natural and precise feeling, not quite interested about spilling ink on paper, it seems that I will use inkless tip to make it useful.

  2. A Slate/Tablet PC with multitouch and pen capabilities, quite expensive but it will worth the shot. If I throw my outdated computer and decide that I do not want to use a desktop anymore (due to interests, usage, type of lifestyle).

  3. A Cintique multitouch, quite expensive but for serious professionals. If… In the very distance future I decide that I will become a dedicated sculptor/painter.

Notice: It’s a clear fact that anyone can use what makes sense for him (use something useful), it’s not guaranteed that everybody have the same interests.

What are your opinions about design tablets e.t.c.? Also about traditional painting? Also do you think that this posts makes sense?

I have an Wacom Intuos 4 currently – I had a Wacom Graphire and Graphire 4 in the past (precursors to the Bamboo). Don’t have many complaints about any of them. Original Graphire I had for like 8 years and finally killed it accidently smashing it in a car door believe it or not. Replaced it with the Graphire 4 and it was good. Went with Intuos 4 when it came out mainly because I had a tax return to burn - also it fits widescreen monitors better.

It took some time to get used to them at first, but I’m pretty comfortable with them now. I don’t necessarily exceed my technique with pen and paper, but I don’t think I’m worse either.

You will never exceed your ability to draw traditionally, it all comes down too… Can you draw. You do the drawing not the computer, even on a tablet. I have been using various intuos models for a few years now for painting and Photoshop, have also owned a bamboo. The bamboo capture comes with multitouch if that’s what your looking for.

Also don’t expect to get great results with a touchscreen computer, lots of them have no pressure sensitivity and for those that do there is no tilt and roll sensitivity. Unless you gave 3 grand and can buy a cintique. Although there are a few cheaper alternatives like yiyinova which have pretty cheap artist screens.

Overall having a tablet is great if you put the effort in to learn to use the controll surface on it. It makes photo editing much better if you find yourself needing to use the brush or eraser tool often as you won’t have to keep changing the size, hardness, and opacity values. And if you do digital profetionally, the price is quite cheap and it would be crazy for a profetional not to have one.

And about YouTube… A lot of people take a drawing that is a very light blue colour and when the video is recorded it won’t capture the blue so they can quickly rotoscope. You have to take everything digital with a skeptical eye :wink:

The drawing experience on my Asus EPE121 is really very good. I also lent it to an animator friend of mine, and he absolutely loved it - I had to yank it out of his hands! :wink:

Although the EPE121 is no longer available, Lenovo is coming out with a great alternative (1024 pressure levels Wacom built-in):

This one offers 10 hours on the go - while the main drawback of my epe121 is the short (3.5 hours) running time.

If you have money to burn, try this one:

Or the Sony:
(256 pressure levels Wacom)

For digital drawing all of these tablets work extremely well, and are more than fast enough to run Photoshop (mine included). For 3d stuff - well not that much. All Intel chipsets, so do not expect good OpenGL performance.

Zbrush, however, runs great on my EPE121, and I can easily sculpt up to 8 million quads.

Honestly, at this point the new Lenovo Helix looks like a perfect drawing partner on the go. I may have to replace my epe121.

I have to agree that practice makes perfect. It’s a fact that it’s a matter of skill, that means that 10 years of experience is better than 5 in relation to skill and expertise.

Thanks for the info, it’s good to hear that it works fine, I will look into it.

If you want a Wacom intuos 4 alternative, the HUION H610 is a great one (
a Cintiq alternative would be any model from Bosto (
a great tablet PC is the ASUS Eee Slate EP121 (