A little over six months ago I blogged about buying my first real digital tablet. You can see that post here. I was \ probably \ unsurprisingly impressed with what could be done with it, particularly in Photoshop, or other painting and illustrating and photo editing software. I got good results almost instantly, which was not a small surprise to me – one never knows what a new medium is going to feel like. Even though I went for a budget tablet, which I still think was a good idea and which I will stick with using for some time yet, I soon saw that my computer was struggling to do some things and completely incapable of doing others. Needless to say I simply don’t use those features and I work with what I have and that is totally fine so long as I know and remember the parameters I can work in.

Now I am used to working with the tablet daily, and work has both improved and speeded up, I am now really keen to use the full features of the painting abilities included in the recent versions of Photoshop CS. I’ve had a glimpse and it is so impressive how some of the brushes can mimic the effects of paint or ink etc. Instead of just putting down layer upon layer, as is done with most digital brushes, some have been set to do things like blend and smudge and fade etc. while one is actually painting with them. The effect is that the paint that has already been laid down gets moved about and blended if gone over again, just like paint would. Like I say I’ve only glimpsed these settings because of the limitations of my computer, which brings me to the point of this post:

I have been saving for a very long time and I now have just about enough to buy a new PC. My one is beyond defunct and can’t even get the standard Microsoft updates, so it is actually operating on a system about 8 years old with zero system updates! At some point I will put a new version of windows on it and use it as a back-up / stand-by machine. I’m not getting anything super fancy but fancy enough that it shouldn’t need upgrading for a couple of years or so. I decided to get a Dell again as I have used them before and have always had good service and good products. Also I need the whole package: New monitor, mouse and keyboard, so that’s another good reason to shop in this way. A new and much wider monitor will make painting so much more efficient as I will be able to push palettes and source images off to the side, rather than having them on top of what I am working on, or on layers that are constantly ‘shown’ and ‘hidden’ again. My current machine is so glitchy that it is difficult not to think that it is going to be just like having a computer for the first time again. Just think, USB’s that actually work! And not having to re-install everything every time a peripheral gets used.

One day I will also get a Wacom tablet, which has double the sensitivity and functionality of the Monoprice tablet I currently have, and at that point it will be Time To Bite The Digital Bullet III

There is only one very minor down side to getting a new PC: I am going to have to re-teach the dictionaries all those words we use every day but which always have a little red squiggly line under them when typed on a Windows PC. I have no idea why it is that the boffins who develop these things can’t bare to include every day words.