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I have at last joined the digital world and the 21st century in relation to my art and design work. I have bought a large graphics tablet. The damn thing is nearly as big as my desk! It goes without saying that this is long overdue. Partly I was just being ornery in not converting to working digitally, but also I have resisted because I never felt I could afford equipment good enough to get the benefit from and at the same time enjoy using. Also I love to draw and paint with actual drawing and painting implements, and I spent years learning how to for that very reason, and for the results one can get of course when working with physical materials and equipment.

However, now that I have commissions coming in all the time and I hate to say no (and can’t afford to!) I can no longer afford to put it off. And wow, what an eye opener! Tablets these days can be pretty impressive bits of equipment. They are way out of my price range for the most part. The industry standard ones start at around £400 and upwards, which is out of my reach at this precise moment. Luckily there is at least one cheap alternative that sounds like it will do the job. Maybe one day I’ll upgrade to one of the more professional models. Thanks to @americannamor for pointing me in the right direction.

Below is a professional tablet.  Wacom seem to have cornered the market and have very little competition. This model is a Wacom Intuoso 4.

It has amazing sensitivity and resolution, and the short-cut buttons, and wheel for zooming and scrolling, and changing brush size and opacity etc make all the difference to the ease and speed of art and design work. The very expensive ones actually act as a monitor screen, but they are thousands of pounds.

This is a cheap alternative that gets very good reviews for a beginner level graphics digitizer tablet. It is made by  Monoprice and retails for around £68, which is about a 6th of the cost of a Wacom.
Getting one of these should have quite an impact on the amount of work I can do. The amount of time involved when working with paper and paints can not easily be reduced without it showing in the end result, but when working digitally everything happens about ten times as fast. I’ve worked on a couple of illustrations using a ten year old tablet that is about 5 x 3 inches, and even that can speed things up on occasion, though I use it rarely because it is poor quality and is therefore not that pleasant to use – unresponsive, glitchy, and very  small. Compared to the tablet I received this week it is a complete piece of junk. On Sunday evening I ordered the above Monoprice 12″ x 9″ tablet from Amazon. It arrived just two days later! It may only be the cheap option but that one piece of plastic can replace easels, painting boards, brushes, paints, paper, a studio, ink, pens, pencils, pastels, jars of water or white spirit, turpentine and linseed oil, retarding agents, rags, etc. etc. etc. All or which I can now use on my more personal pieces, and just for the fun of it. I often don’t use my paints for my own work because I know I need to keep a stock of them for work-work. This tablet should help alleviate that to some degree. It won’t replace everything I do, but it is going to be a great addition to my main method of working. The only possible drawback I can foresee in the immediate future is the potential for a numb bum from sitting at the PC all the time.

I’ve had a good play with it already, and I must say that I love it. The Wacoms must be unbelievably cool to use, but this will do for me… for mow 🙂

Have you ever radically changed the way you do a particular thing, due to technology, or a change in circumstances?