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Tablet doesn't mean skillz by HiddenxWolf Tablet doesn't mean skillz by HiddenxWolf

Post made by *KrisCynical

Why are so many younger deviants so vehemently against the idea of using a tablet for digital art? Are they trying to justify not progressing in tool use, or what? There's no point in being proud of which tool you use no matter what it is, really, but there's even less of a point in being proud of NOT using a tablet. You mind as well be proud of drawing with a potato instead of a pencil. Just because you're comfortable with something doesn't mean it's the best tool to use. Yes, it takes a lot of practice, but you're doing art. What else is new.

As a precursor, I'm a professional digital illustrator and I also teach drawing and digital coloring to high school kids, and that is where I'm coming from in the rest of this comment. I'm not attempting to convert anybody, but rather explain WHY tablets are important to digital media.

The message in your stamp is absolutely correct. Simply owning/using a tablet doesn't mean you're automatically going to be Super Artist, but if you want to get your work past a certain skill level, you NEED to use a tablet (and practice with it a lot in order to master it just like any tool or medium) and there is no way around that fact. It's the nature of the medium. You cannot draw as well with a mouse or touch pad as you can with a tablet. As I've said on other deviations like this concerning tablets, it's like cheap paint vs. expensive paint. Let me explain what I mean:

In all art supplies there's the cheap stuff and the expensive stuff (duh). Cheap paint is cheap because it's full of tons of fillers with very little pigment, so it goes on thin and the colors don't look all that great. Expensive paint, on the other hand, has tons of pigment in it with very little filler, so it goes on thick with vibrant color. If the same artist uses both kinds of paint, they will never be able to get the cheap paint to look like the expensive paint because of those differences. The same principle applies to Crayola markers vs. Copics (the ink behaves in an entirely different way), Roseart/Crayola colored pencils vs. Prismacolors (the cheap ones have lots of wax and very little pigment, Prismas are the other way around), and cheap brushes with plastic bristles vs. expensive brushes that are made of different types of animal hair according to which kind of paint you're using them for. Basically:

Certain tools and supplies have limitations to them that cannot be surpassed no matter how skilled of an artist you are. Touch pads and handheld mice are the cheap digital tools that have very specific limitations to them, and those limitations will not let you create your best work. Touch pads and handheld mice have no pressure sensitivity, which means you have absolutely no variation in line width. They're also severely limited in fluidity when drawing, so your work will always have a certain stiffness to it. Because of that, it's always extremely easy for experienced digital artists to tell when something was made with a touch pad or mouse.

Now, again, a tablet by itself won't make you a better artist, but if you want your work to improve past a certain point in skill then you MUST use a tablet. Using a mouse or touch pad doesn't mean you CAN'T draw on the computer, but you will be working under a handicap in capabilities. You will never be able to draw as well as someone who is skilled/has practiced a lot in using a tablet. It's not physically possible. My work, for example, could never in a million years be accomplished with a mouse or touch pad. That's not to diss touch pads and mice, that's just the way it is when it comes to digital art.

So you may not be meaning it this way at all, but with what I'm getting out of your artist comments, don't automatically ignore tablets just because you're stuck in your comfort zone with a touch pad or mouse. A beginner's DigiTech tablet is $30 brand new. If you have any interest in getting better at digital art, you will eventually need to get one.



:iconicamecombinedplz: - I CANT WAIT!!

-later on at home-

:icongrintwitchplz: - OMGOMGOMG!!! ITS INSTALLING!!!

:iconimspinninplz: OMG ITS DONE! SHITZ GOIN DOWN!!

-few minutes later-

:iconisawitplz: - Wtf is this... :icony-u-noplz: WHY I NO GREAT DRAWER YET!!

:icontabletplz: - Practice bro~ You need it.

:iconverynotimpressedplz: - wut...

:icontabletplz: - Practice~

:iconimrlynotimpressedplz: - .....

:icontabletplz: - U mad? :icontrollfaceplz:

:iconffplz: - FUUUUUUUUU

:icontabletplz: - :icontrollfaceplz:



Practice makes perfect, right~

I use only my touchpad on my laptop to draw. I mean look at my art, it's not perfect but just because you don't have a tablet doesn't mean you can't draw on the computer.
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Cleverpelt Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I think it's stupid to be against tablets. Sure, you don't have to like them, but let's be real. I'm gonna be real fucking honest: People who use tablets are generally very good artists, if they have the practice. Tablets are a good drawing tool, especially if you're used to traditional art.  And they're easier to use then mouses for me.… <-- Look at that. That was my first drawing with a tablet, and now I'm much better. So... yeah... tablet doesn't equal skill.

What was the point of this comment?
iheartwinky Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey I have that tablet!
JustinandDennnis Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I'm against using tablets.
Personally, I prefer to draw with a computer mouse.
SprinklezBackup Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2015  Student General Artist
How I wish I had a tablet that was made for drawing with...or at least that mine was compatible with a pen. I use my finger with my iPad currently.
ButtonCreator Featured By Owner May 23, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
I do a lot of traditional artwork and using a mouse is just to difficult for me and im inaccurate,when I use my tablet it is far more easier for me! 
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2015
I am totally against tablets.

Drawing in digital media is not the same as using physical media.
While art does take practice and patience, it also take feeling.
A understanding of every stroke of the hand. The make of the tool. The application of the medium. The feel of every texture being applied.

Tablets are for the "make anything for a laugh" crowd.
I'm sure professionals can utilize one but maybe for a laugh before using good old paint and brush.

Fundamentals kids, always fundamentals.
KrisCynical Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
"Drawing in digital media is not the same as using physical media... Tablets are for the "make anything for a laugh" crowd. I'm sure professionals can utilize one but maybe for a laugh before using good old paint and brush."

What is this "make anything for a laugh" crowd supposed to be, exactly? :unimpressed:

Speaking as one of those "professionals" (as well as a part-time online tutor for drawing and digital media for teens here on dA), besides the fact that that is incredibly insulting, you absolutely do not understand what you are talking about.

Based on your gallery, it appears that you have little to no experience with digital media/tablets. I absolutely do not mean that in an insulting way, either -- I simply mean that you appear to still be learning your basic fundamentals of drawing line work with pencil and paper, and you have no digital work in your gallery at all. Additionally, everything that you have said here is along the same lines as what many artists say about digital media who, in reality, have little to no experience or knowledge of it.

Professional digital artists (there ARE professional artists who work primarily digital out of simple personal preference) don't use our tablets "for a laugh" before getting out our "good old paint and brush". Our tablets and software ARE our "good old paint and brush", and that's because digital media and tablets require every single bit of funamental knowledge and skill that traditional media does.

Adobe Creative Suite costs thousands of dollars depending upon which programs you have. High end Wacom tablets are at least $500. Standard size Cintiqs are over $2000. Those are not silly toys for laughs. Every single top art school in the world (with illustration programs for a major, that is) has at least one digital media class that is REQUIRED in order to graduate, and every single work station in every single digital classroom/computer lab has a Wacom tablet attached to it. You just bring your own stylus to class.

Additionally, those classes can't be taken until you're an uppclassman simply BECAUSE you have to have your fundamentals down with traditional media first or else you'll never be able to use digital correctly. It takes skill, finesse, and a hell of a lot of practice/study to be able to use digital media, and in that way it is exactly the same as any other tool in your ArtBin.

To say that digital/tablets don't have or require an understanding "of every stroke of the hand", the makeup of the tool (in order to correctly use it), the application of the medium, and a general "feel" for drawing is a sign of inexperience, plain and simple. Even at the most basic level, if you set the pressure sensitivity on a tablet to the hardest it will go, it behaves just like any other sketching tool (especially on Cintiqs!).

I know, old comment is old and long reply is long, but come on. Basically saying no real artist uses tablets for anything other than screwing around is grossly ill-informed at best and grossly insulting at worst. How can you see the beautiful stuff on dA from the likes of sakimichan or Artgerm and say it's "just for laughs"? That is mastery of digital media, and it was absolutely done with a stylus of some sort whether it be a Cintiq or tablet.

Despite the hostility that I know will have come across in this comment (although there was none intended when I wrote it, but alas, text with no voice), I do wish you luck in your artistic development, and I DO hope that you will actually approach digital media with an appropriately open mind once your skillset is ready for it. You are simply not there quite yet, which will indeed make it seem like tablets and digital media in general are "missing something".
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2015
You may be right...

But I still prefer good ole media.
KrisCynical Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
And that's perfectly fine, but there's no need to call digital artists "the make anything for a laugh crowd" (which I'd still like to know what the hell that was supposed to mean :unimpressed: ) and degrade their work as being "for laughs", particularly when you have practically no experience with digital media.

Media superiority in general is stupid to the umpteenth degree in either direction. As I say in the description for my stamp about the disrespect directed toward digital artists/work, "Media is media is media."
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2015
Hello comment from a month ago.
I kinda moved on but thanks for catching up.
Unfortunately I have no more care for this subject. Sorry.
KrisCynical Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Not everyone has the time to check dA regularly, hun.

Of course you don't care anymore — I knew I wouldn't get an answer to my question about calling digital artists the "make anything for a laugh crowd". :unimpressed:
Idontknowwhoyouknow Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, this reminds me that I really miss my tablet...
Kjamesc Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2015  Student General Artist
Thank god i'm not like that. I all ready knew it would take practice. How ever, I keep having to repractice XD
AllysonCarver Featured By Owner Edited Jan 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Back in the day I drew with a mouse, and got a tablet as a gift, but really wasn't interested in it until I finally got the whole drawing-but-looking-at-the-screen thing down, which is surprisingly a tough habit to learn. I've been a tablet user ever since! But I agree- tablets don't equal talent. TALENT equals talent.
Noviazi Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Student General Artist
Totes mc scrots agree.
BeatlesandWebkinz Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I draw with a mouse because I don't have the money/need for a tablet. :|
Torchu325 Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Hobbyist Filmographer
EasierToRun007 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I got my tablet so that I can practice drawing digitally since it interested me so much via research and watching my friend use it :) 
DragonStar2197 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So fucking true. I started using y tablet again, mainly to get a grip on different styles I use when I draw on paper. Slowly I'm getting better with it.
InfinityYellowA Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Definitely agree with this
Revonsusi Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I draw with both mouse and the tablet. But drawing fur or hair is way easier with the tablet.
mongose11 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
FatherLuna Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yup, Tablets are an evil puppy.
I love my Monoprice and Wacom, but they straight up make me look like a noob to art.
You got to practice with every medium.
Switching from pencil to tablet is like going from crayon to water color.
jengatower Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Hobbyist
I actually give more effort to my traditional art than my digital. :B
LadySomnambule Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Quite true. It took a while for me to get used to using a tablet. Actually, my first tablet was a Jam Studio tablet way back when I was in grade school. It sucked. I always had a problem keeping the pen steady. After that, I used a mouse, and later, I got a Bamboo tablet Depending on what program you're using as well as your skill level, it works pretty well. It did come with some programs that work well with the pen pressure capabilities.

But just because you use either a mouse or a tablet doesn't mean you're going to be super good at either. And good point about the limitations. That was one thing I hated about inking my work with a mouse, and if you're not drawing cutesy chibis and stuff, no pen pressure just doesn't look right. :|
Drunk-On-Cake Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2014  Student Filmographer

yesss uwu
awesomepuppy101 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014
uh ma gud I got a tublet I DROW MAH WULV OC XD
IllBuyYourOCs Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014
Everybody talks about "LAWL I HAZ A TABLIT N I IZ GUNNA DRA SO GUD1!1!!!11!1!!1!1!!11!111!1!2!!2$:7;738;$7,7;&;"

Shut up! Nobody cares.
Ilya-Kyrrian Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You should make some stamp about art and art lessons. People think that when you are visiting art lessons they are free to consider your art unworthy, bcs in art class they teach you how to be a great artist, even if you have both hands left and are unable to draw straight line... this is not how it works and such people annoys me!
"Look what I painted, it costed me a lot of work..."
"Oh, cīmon! You had art lessons, I can do the same if I..."
just nooo! :iconfinegeezplz:
Mickey-the-Luxray Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It also depends on the painting program you're using. MS Paint can do very well with a touchpad or mouse simply because there is no pressure sensitivity support, so a tablet basically gets about the same results as the other two. Actually, in MS Paint a tablet is worse; I have an Intuos4 and that thing glitches like nobody's business when in MS Paint. But in something more advanced, like SAI or Ps, a touchpad is basically useless, as again pressure sensitivity is not possible.

So yeah.
Julie-Denka Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Professional Filmographer
My tablet is my bitch.
GoddessSpiritwolf Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I agree cause I don't own a tablet (didn't even know about them til like 2 years ago), and it's all about your skill level that makes you an artist, not the tool you use. Tablets can make lines easier to draw than a mouse, but your art will remain the same based on your skill level. To be honest, I don't even know how to use a tablet ^^;
jojo72627262 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Im actually looking for a tablet, the one i have is not one meant for drawing, and i only use it for uploading my traditional art. Can you recommend any good tablets?
WebkinzandMC Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
An Intuos 5 is pretty simple to learn to use, and it's wireless.
jojo72627262 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks but i already got an wacom :D
scn71402 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I thought that this stamp says that before buying a tabled you have to attend years of art school and draw with real oil paints realistic artwork, just like Ryepin or Claude Monet.
BluDoesMinecraft Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
This. This is awesome. This.

I totally agree with you. A lot of people expect to have their ass kissed because they use a tablet. I think they do that because not many people in Junior Highs and High schools don't normally do digital artwork, so they expect to get all popular. 

I like this stamp.
Keep this stamp. 
dannnniiii Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I use the mousepad too ;_;
Probably will be another few years until I'll get a tablet, if I even wind up getting one. Art isn't my 100% priority.
PhoenixSkywriter Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I just got a tablet, but I still prefer traditional artwork. :3
JaneyKara Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I want a tablet to help practice my art...Mouse sucks for digital art. Like, seriously. (._.)

I'm not a pro with tablets yet, but that's what practicing is for.
RekaTheAmazingTaco Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2013
I would like a tablet, since I'm better with a pencil than a mouse :P
Fun-dragoness Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013
Oh! At first I saw this and thought "why are they against tablets?" *reads this* OHHHHHhhhhhhhhh! I get it! *insta-fave*
puppyhowler Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Hobbyist
agreed a tablet does make digital drawing easier but it does not increase your art skills
KrisCynical Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist

I started skimming the description on this stamp and thought "Wow, this sounds just like something I'd say", then I saw the reference to me up at the top there. Hurr.

I'm flattered that you liked my yammering on the subject enough to use it that way! I have this stamp posted in my shout box. ^^

Vyanni-Krace-ACE Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

Thank you!


I have a tablet because I want to do digital art and I felt that having something that at least somewhat resembles a pencil and paper might make my life easier than using a mouse or whatever.


I prefer to draw with pencils and paper and I can actually draw quite well. I know I will not be a fabulous drawer right off the bat with a tablet, and truth be told my first attempts with it are all rubbish compared to my usual standards. But I am improving and slowly learning.


I just hate it when people assume that having a tablet will give them super-drawing-powers or something. Its not that easy! It takes effort and practice and you have to have some sort of skill in drawing to begin with if you want to produce something half-way decent on your first go!


My sister borrowed my tablet once and she took to it like a fish to water. Jealousy ensues.

TheStarOfLuck Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Student Artist
I wish I could read your description :/
Game-Spirit Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I suck at traditional art.
I am just really bad at it, even though, yes, I do practice. I was doing purely traditional art for years.
The only traditional art I'm good at is pen drawings and pencil sketches.

So I went digital, and it was just so much easier and better. But I still wasn't that good because I could never get the same level of control that I can with a pencil or pen with a mouse and a touch pad.

So tablet.

And it was awesome.

I'm not saying it made me an amazing artist because I'm not. It just provided me with a way to draw easier on the comp, gave me better control in the medium I'm best at using.
KrisCynical Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist

Some artists are just better suited for some mediums than others, yep. I'm the same way: I don't care for traditional media save for graphite and my trusty little mechanical pencil with blue lead. My media of choice for coloring/finishing out my illustration work is digital (Photoshop and Illustrator in my case) because I am a digital artist all the way down to my core.

When I was in school for my illustration degree I had to take a required class called "Illustration Media" which was basically a class that covered traditional media techniques of all kinds like oil pastel, scratch board, pen & ink, watercolor, dry brushing, etc. I was "eh" in that class, hanging around the middle as far as skill went. I wasn't amazing, but I wasn't terrible. When I got to the required "Digital Illustration" class, though? OHMYGERD. Duck to water on a jet ski. :lol:

I had the same prof for both classes and he noticed that as well. He once told me that he'd observed how I was "middle of the road meh" in Media but now that he was teaching me in Digital he understood why -- I was a digital artist. I still needed to take that Media class, though, in order to expand my boundaries and learn things that I later applied to digital media. You really have to master pencil and paper before moving on to digital, and it's a shame that so many kids don't realize that fact. 

So long story short, I'm in the same boat as you. Some of us are just better suited for one media over another, and they're all just different but equal tools in the ArtBin to choose from. :)

Tagsey Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013
I've been using a mouse for the last two years, and I personally love it. You can do things you wouldn't believe with just a mouse. The only thing I'd ever want a tablet for is pen pressure that doesn't look jumpy like it does with my fake pen-pressure brushes.
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Submitted on
November 22, 2011
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