Pen and paper vs Waccom? What to start with? (beginner)
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101 / F / Somehere.
Posted 11/16/14 , edited 11/16/14
I used to draw....years ago and I wanna get back to it.
I'd like to draw manga style and I want to know, for a beginner how do you start?
Pen and paper? Digital?

I can sketch pretty quick but it's really for coloring and shading i have trouble with.

So what do you suggest?

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23 / M / NJ, USA
Posted 11/16/14 , edited 11/17/14
If you go digital, there is the price of the tablet and the art software, then there is the period of adjustment. However, all you need to worry about with the tablet is maintenance whereas pen and paper you would have to constantly renew resources by buying more pencils pens, paint, etc. which will add more to finances in the longer run. Art tablets are also more portable so I would suggest digital, but it is all up to personal preferences. If you buy digital however, there are cheaper alternatives to Wacom tablets, just saying.
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Posted 11/16/14 , edited 11/17/14
pen and paper = improve precision skill
pencil and paper = understand shading
Paint and colored pencil = expensive but better color decision
tablet = laziness

Tablet doesn't really equal laziness, it's just that people try to get it thinking their artwork will be more beautiful once they get it. That is a very wrong assumption. If you are getting a tablet to practice, especially colors, I say that is a good reason but how often are you going to use it?
I'd say, get a small 100 paged sketchbook so you can carry it around anywhere. If you fill that sketchbook front and back within a month, go ahead and get yourself a tablet.
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33 / M / Huntington Beach,...
Posted 11/17/14 , edited 11/17/14
hmm tough question. I always like the feel of traditional media because it just "feets" right to draw on paper compared to glass/plastic. Digital also has the advantage of correcting errors easier. For me traditional media look greats if only seen in real life because scanning it into digital loses some of its charm while digital media is mainly made to viewed on monitors.

For me personally, I draw time from time on traditional because dependence of correcting errors on digital can become a bad habit and causes me to be less confident with my drawing ability.
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29 / F / in my office
Posted 11/18/14 , edited 11/18/14
Wacom tablets are awesome however not so easy to use if you are used to a pen and paper at least in my experience they don't feel the same at all it took me a while to get used to how it feels to draw with a stylus. so here is what I think. learning from square one on digital may be better than taking the time to learn pen and paper and then having to readjust what you are used to.
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18 / F
Posted 11/19/14 , edited 11/20/14
If you are a beginner just starting out, I suggest that you use paper and pen. It's good to first get a hold of your style and practice before moving onto the tablet. I will just tell you now, that using a tablet is a lot harder than it looks, especially for a beginner. It requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. I suggest if you want to work on your colouring and shading skills is that you should use pencil, pen, markers, watercolours, etc. It's nice to have the basic knowledge on that stuff before you hit the tablet. You should also look at references for shading.
Some artists are more built for traditional art over digital and vise-versa.
I hope I helped!
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32 / M
Posted 12/15/14 , edited 12/16/14
pen and paper are messy and if you mess up its hard to go back. there is no undo button.
you simply have to start all over again which is a pain.

wacom is clean and crisp and you can save and go back to it without a problem so long as you remember to save.
wacom is not hard to learn its just like pencil and paper you just have to get use to looking at the screen while drawing on the desk.
but that also depends on the wacom you get. if you get the cintiq ones you draw right on the screen which is awesome.
but if you get the intuos ones your drawing on a tablet which sits on a desk and then you look at the screen not the pen and tablet which my be difficult to some but not others.
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Posted 1/16/15 , edited 2/3/15
I really like my Samsung Galaxy Note tablets. My Note 10.1 was really nice, but my new Note Pro 12.2 is really nice.
The Galaxy Note series of phones/tablets have Wacom digitizers built in to the screen.
They come with Sketchbook Pro, though that is great for sketches, it doesn't have all the tools painting.
I downloaded the ArtFlow app on mine. It works really good. As a first attempt I decided to make myself a profile picture.
It didn't turn out to bad. (I think)

Here is what a real artist can do with a Note Pro12,2 and the ArtFlow app.

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Posted 1/16/15 , edited 1/16/15
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25 / M
Posted 1/18/15 , edited 1/18/15
i can say for sure that having a baseline with pencil and paper is definitely helpful but not truly necessary if you can gather the concepts without that its just as good. ive only been drawing for 2 years now and i started on pencil and paper but the concepts came pretty quickly just from looking at other art and just messing with trying to recreate the shading or lining or anything really from another picture or drawing or real life objects made the process much faster than just trying to figure it out by just drawing something i wanted to draw usually ended in a bunch of useless scribbles lol until i had the base concepts under my belt. I just switched over to using a wacom bamboo pen and touch drawing table maybe less than a month ago and if you use it alot like i do i traded it for my traditional media options at this point because its easier to just jump right back into drawing something on my computer i will say that until you figure out how you want to situate your hand when using the tablet it can be hard to get used to but is wonderful. I would suggest the tablet route
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25 / M
Posted 1/29/15 , edited 1/29/15
If you plan to do a bit of drawing here on out. Get the tablet hands down. that will run 80$

Free software to use with it.

Mischief, great for sketchin' n' colorin' to your little hearts content . (they also have a pro version for 25$)

Sketchbook Express- a really solid drawing program. Great tools and brushes make an account to get free upgrade.

Adobe Photoshop CS2- Very powerful software can do lots of stuff

so that takes care of the programs.
Other notable programs though if you decided you might want to pay for something
Easy Paint Tool Sai ( an amazing program, super duper light weight, one of the best I've used) 53.42$

Clip Studio Paint Pro- really awesome, you can do pretty much anything with it. it's what I currently use 50.00$

so you are looking at spending 80-140$ basically with taxes included. You may replace your pen nibs at wacom for like 5-8$ and that gets you 6 nibs that should last you a few years. Even if you were mad and blasted through 6 every year... thats only 8$ a year.

With the tablet you won't have to worry about buying a scanner, camera, or whatever to upload your work online. It's much cleaner and no mess to clean up with, more portable, so much cheaper in the long run. You can experiment more and not worry about wasting your supplies. The tablet is not just limited to drawing.
You can use it for photo manipulation , animation, writing, and 3d modeling. I'm sure there is other stuff but that's what comes off the top of my head.

Hey if you don't like the tablet guess what? you could always resell it or give it away to someone that would really enjoy it. That is worst case scenario. You could get some money back and or get a smile :3

Remember though the programs and tablets won't make you magically better the only thing they do is they make things more convenient and some stuff less of a hastle.

I do hope this helps a little.

oh yeah if you want to spend less money
genius tablets
and a few others I can't remember the names though.
But that's a gamble you will have to take. I never used any tablets other than wacom so I can't speak from experience how good these tablets are or how good the support and customer support is for them.

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32 / M / New jersey
Posted 2/7/15 , edited 2/8/15
I've done both traditional and digital media for many years, honestly i find it's a bit of personal preference. ignoreing the price of a tablet, you will need to learn your way around the software... so you'll have a bit of a learning curve at first (think it took me like 2 months to figure out everything i needed to know in photoshop and illustrator to do everything i intended to) but you'll still have a learning curve no matter the choosen media... but thats what makes it fun.

Now honestly i prefer mixing the two up, got an idea for a digital painting... sketch it out, scan it into your computer and get at it.

This would be my recommendation
grab a pencil and paper and see if you even enjoy drawing anymore, the quality of pencil doesnt matter (i use carpenter pencils from home depo... just for comfort purposes)

if you do then try messing around with ink, graduate up to a ball point pen.

Then if you'd like to explore your options even more go to michaels grab one of the assorted art supplies pack and try different things (color pencils, water color, oil, acrylic etc etc) see which you enjoy most then look at the option of investing in the higher quality stuff. it would suck to spend 50 bucks on some pens and find out that you dont really like inking.

as for the tablet well i'd recommend getting the software you intend to use (photoshop, paint tool sai, paint shop pro... w/e) and learn the program with a mouse, then if you feel it's something you want to delve into more then look at a tablet. you can find some cheap ones on amazon for about 70 bucks sometimes even less. a bit of advice though, i dont recommend throwing out the cash for photoshop right off the bat, it's very expensive for just starting out id suggest a much cheaper option. they all work relatively the same... if you can use one you can use them all.

experiment, try new thing's and always have fun with it.

also dont invest in the expensive tablets, for starting out they are a waste you do not need them... wait until your ready to move up from the basic pen tablet. my first tablet was a little bamboo pen tablet i got for 50 bucks from staples, it worked great for like 5 years and did everything i needed, then i moved up to a more expensive one with more bells and whistles when i was ready. i see alot of people throw out 200+ for a fancy tablet then decide they hate it and never touch the thing ever again all because they didnt take the time to learn the medium before hand. think before you leap across that bridge.
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Posted 1/4/17 , edited 1/4/17
End of the year clean up closing all the old threads!
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