Thursday, July 12, 2012

Digital Art Equipment

Tablets are great and Cintiques are very handy, but there are downsides to both.
If you learn to draw on a tablet, then switch to a more cumbersome and expensive Cintique, you'll find it hard to switch back.
You'll be stuck with the Cintique. You can swap from one to the other of course but, for a digital artist, this can take weeks of adjustment.
Weeks that, if your creative work is your source of income, you just won't have.

If you're not used to drawing with a tablet and you'd rather not spend weeks getting used to it, then getting a Cintique makes sense as you can just draw on the screen and get comfortable using it very quickly.
Of course, your drawing hand can get in the way sometimes, obscuring what you're drawing, just like in life.
Not a problem with a tablet.
With a tablet you are less cramped in the way you work, though carpal tunnel syndrome can occur with long term use of either instrument.
My advice (having tried both) is to get a tablet, or if you do really have to get a Cintique, get the anglepoise bracket to go with it and change your drawing position regularly to avoid health issues.

Whether you’re considering freelancing, hotdesking or just feel like setting up shop in a pub or cafĂ© for a while, here’s some recent developments that may be of interest.
They’re not all available today but they’re a lot closer to release than hoverboards (which will only become available in 2015).

The Sensu Brush
The Blue Tiger Project
The iPen
The Inkling

This just in (I mean I should have added it when I wrote this post in the first place!).
The Leap, from
The Leap

Also of interest- Muji (the Japanese goods chain) do a few interesting pens now.
1. Pen and biro in one (twist to switch between the two).
2. Erasable blue drawing pen (0.5 nib).
3. A 0.38 drawing gel pen for just £1.


Shane Smith said...

The sensu brush (like the nomad brush looks like a bit of a gimmick to me, the video is cleverly edited to give the appearance of pressure sensitivity - which it hasn't got. Unless each individual bristle can be detected I won't be buying a brush stylus any time soon.

The Bluetiger looks promising but lacks the fine nib of the iPen.

The iPen looks pretty good but I can't find any confirmation that it has pressure sensitivity, plus it's super expensive if it lacks that feature.

Combine pressure sensitivity, a fine nib and an affordable price and you're onto a winner!

I've found a few other styli (is that the right word) that could be an option;

Jot pro ( info at - Pretty cheap and it has a fine nib, although it kind of cheats to achieve this. From what I can gather it's as accurate as the iPen but for a fraction of the price. Although, like the iPen, it doesn't have pressure sensitivity. Check out this video for a good comparison -

Jot Touch ( - Fine nib and pressure sensitivity BUT is a bit pricey ($100) and I'm not actually sure if it's been released yet, although it should be hitting soon based on this preview

Here's an interesting post on a similar subject;

runninghead said...

Cool! Great contribution Shane, thanks. Will look in to that stuff. Just getting to grips with the Blogger UI so apologies for the slow approvals all.