View Full Version : Which Wacom to buy to sketch?

04-15-2005, 07:09 AM
I'm not an avid sketcher, but I like it, and would like to start more with a wacom. But what would be the cheapest, although still fully functional model to get? Will the old serial ones on ebay work just as well as the new ones (push harder, and you get darker strokes, ect)? thanks-

04-15-2005, 07:18 AM
Just about any Wacom is a good investment. If you can find an older model that's considerably cheaper on Ebay go for it. I myself have had a hand-me-down ArtPad II model that I've been using for about 4 years now without complaint. This model doesn't have the tilt pen function, fewer levels of pressure sensitivity, plugs into the COM port and uses an external power supply.

The newer models are better with the new features, but if you're budget minded and are just looking for a WACOM to get yourself away from the mouse, then you can't really go wrong with any of them. If you find yourself debating between a larger/older version and a smaller/newer version but both at about the same price ... I would recommend going with the smaller/newer one.

Good luck!

04-15-2005, 07:24 AM
I have a graphire 3 wacom tablet, I'm still not used to sketching with it but it's great for colouring. I just prefer to sketch my drawings by hand. I think it's the best quality for the cheapest model. I get alog with it very well :D

04-15-2005, 07:48 AM
I have Wacom intuos3 9x12, its really a great investment ! it has some special features also, like touch strips and keys on the tablet. if ur budget is less then u can buy the small size also, its very sensitive and good for all type of drawings and painting that u r looking for .

good luck
shyam :)

04-15-2005, 05:42 PM
ah cool topic, I was thinking of getting one myself. Thanks for the advice guys & thanks doomtoo for posting this topic!

04-15-2005, 07:58 PM
I have a Intuos 9x12 that i got recently. Its very difficult to master, but i was told to keep practicing. Its pretty expensive too 400$ + 20$ shipping on newegg. It comes with a bunch of different replacable tips you can put on your pen for a different feel.

04-15-2005, 10:05 PM
I say it's not difficult to master at all. I've been playing video games for a while and that's the same thing just adjusting your hand eye coordination. Buy one. And for delicate work get a sensitive one, but I guess it depends on the person, I like my big one because I can get real rough with the strokes if I want to and I have moodwswings so that's good. I hope...Isn't it?

04-15-2005, 11:29 PM
I ordered Wacom Graphire3 A6 size 2 weeks ago, stil waiting for it.
I dream about using wacom, it's so stressing to wait ;)

I think that Graphire3 is good for first wacom, so you are not in so big loose if you don't like it. But I think that in few years I will buy Intuos. But as I said, I must first wait for Graphire3.
Intous has some very cool combos, like rotating and leaning.

Robert Longfield
04-16-2005, 01:32 AM
Speaking of this, I just picked up a Wacom Intuos 3 today. My last tablet petered out on me.

Love this tablet! I would recomend this to anyone.

04-16-2005, 02:42 AM
What do you artists feel is the optimal size?

04-16-2005, 03:21 AM
I'll probable end up with the smallest new model Wacom has, just cause it's cheapest, and It'll be my first one. I'll upgrade when it starts holding me back, assuming a small ever does.

04-16-2005, 04:36 AM
I'll probable end up with the smallest new model Wacom has, just cause it's cheapest, and It'll be my first one. I'll upgrade when it starts holding me back, assuming a small ever does.

Ok, I was curious, because I have the biggest Intuos 2, and it seems a bit unweildy, but today I just realized how nice it is for tracing. :)

04-16-2005, 07:03 AM
have a hand me down 12x12 intuos 1 that I bought pretty much brand new for 150 bucks off my friend about 4 years ago. Although Its a bit big for my taste, it still remains to be the best investment I've ever made as far as my art goes. The only thing that the new tablets offer is more functionality, and more pressure/ tilt levels. For you I whould say try to just snag up an old intuos 1 tablet if you like sketching and painting so you can play around with both the pressure sensitivity and the tilt. Once you get a handle on that, you can go wherever you want as far as the fancier things.

But if your an animator that just wants something for casual sketching or just painting skinweights etc in Maya, then I whould just invest in a graphire. Much cheaper.

04-16-2005, 07:26 AM
What do you artists feel is the optimal size?
Mine has a 6x8.5 drawing aread and it fits very nicely in my messenger bag to take to work (yeah, slow times at work so I draw mostly there). It's about the same size as a standard 11x14 sketchbook and the sketching area seems pretty comfortable to work in. I don't think I could work very well with any size smaller than this, but a larger size would be certainly do-able. I hear the new 21" Cintiq is very nice ... :D

04-16-2005, 07:39 AM
I have a Graphire 4"x6" drawing surface - 512 levels of pressure.

No bells and whistles, but it does the job.

I have had it for 2.5 - 3 yrs, and am quite comfortable with it.

The benifit - low cost - great deal for students!


ps: an unexpected benifit of the small size, is that I used to have to draw on very large sheets of paper - 36X48 - I had to arc with my entire arm to draw - I couldn't draw small images at all.

The graphire, helped me to learn (still learning) to draw with forearm, wrist and fingers.

04-16-2005, 07:48 AM
I hear the new 21" Cintiq is very nice ... :D

Man, when I finaly pay off my student loans, that thing is top on the list of things I will get. Right before one of those huge 30 inch apple monitors (Or a viewsonic one if they make them by the time I pay off those loans.) Hopefully by that time there price point whould have droped down a bunch. It seems touch screen things are the next big thing in consumer computing (Everything from iPod keys to the Nintendo DS) So hopefully whatever technology they use to make the Citiques will drop down in the near future.

04-18-2005, 02:37 AM
I bought an Intous 3 6x8 for a pretty good price. I recommend getting it from wacom.com because free shipping and there is the option of getting it overnighted (which I’m not sure if that’s free because I used my Dad’s credit card) and it got here in two or three days. Intous is great because you can use the touch strips and customize the keys so you barely have to use the keyboard. My custom keys are undo, brush engine, and [, and ] (which change brush size if you don’t know) and I still have 5 left to do whatever with.

04-19-2005, 02:08 PM
i've bougt wacom intous 3 9 x 12 on saturday..:bounce:

and it rocks...:buttrock:

really cool with tilt option. i think it's the best one to have (if you dont think about the price 416$)

i think you must go for it

04-19-2005, 06:59 PM
I have a wacom intuos 3, but I can't tell the difference from my old Graphire, except the larger drawing area. I don't feel the tilting at all, no matter how I adjust the settings.
Anyway, i think an old usb Graphire will do just fine, although I'd recommend size 6x8 if you have enough table space. I had 4x5 for two and half years, it does nice job, but gets a bit cranky with space over time. Try not to get the serial mode ones, extra wire could get very annoy.

04-19-2005, 07:20 PM
I'm considering getting one, but I just wonder if I need any drivers or software to go with it. Anyone know?

04-19-2005, 08:04 PM
I believe that it comes with Software and drivers.
My Graphire3 came with Photoshop Elements2 and Corel Painter Essentials...

Take care,

04-19-2005, 09:11 PM
I believe that it comes with Software and drivers.
My Graphire3 came with Photoshop Elements2 and Corel Painter Essentials...

Take care,

New ones come with software drivers, but if you try to get a refurbished one off of someone, don't worry if they don't have the drivers, becuase you can eaisly get them from the Wacom website for free. Also, don't be shy to buy a refurbished one, these things are pretty dang durrable and I've never seen one that acts glitchy. It iether works or it does'nt.

04-21-2005, 06:47 PM
I've been browsing these forums for a while now, and I thought I'd use my first post here to bring this thread back to life as I'm in a very similar situation to doomtoo.

I'm pretty much a novice when it comes down to art, having not had any lessons in the past. I've only really started sketching recently (while at work in a call centre!) and I've decided I'd like to progress to doing this using Painter/Photoshop - hopefully I can compare to some of the artists here someday! I've been looking for a wacom tablet on ebay for a few days now for something in the 50 - 80 range ideally and I'm not too sure what I'm looking for.

I'm starting to lose patience with ebay now, having just been outbid for an Intuos A4 tablet and I'm considering whether it would be worth simply buying a brand new Graphire3 A6 tablet for about the same price. Another alternative I'm thinking about is buying an Intuos A5 tablet, which is the size I'd prefer anyway I think, but this one costs 30 without a pen or power adaptor. Would I be able to pick up these items fairly cheap, so I can acquire the Intuos at a pretty good price overall?

I'll really appreciate some good advice from some experts on this forum. Sorry for the long post, and having to ask what has no doubt been asked countless times before......but I just want to make sure I can get off to a good start with cg. Thanks!

04-21-2005, 09:28 PM
Right now I am borrowing a friends Aiptek 9x12. Its a bit glitchy, and many people I know have had many of the same issues that I am having. He bought the Aiptek because he prefers larger drawing space and theyre about half the price of a Wacom. Personally, I prefer the 6x8 intuos wacoms. We had those in school, and they are my favorite tablet thus far. Like others who have posted, I just find the 9x12 to unweildy. So thats my 2 cents. Get a wacom, no other brand even comes close to their quality, and I have found the 6x8 to be the most practical size.

04-22-2005, 04:42 PM
I have a graphire 3 wacom tablet, I'm still not used to sketching with it but it's great for colouring. I just prefer to sketch my drawings by hand. I think it's the best quality for the cheapest model. I get alog with it very well :D

yeah this is where I quote myself :D I said that I prefer to sketch by hand well since I posted this I have been practicing painting with my wacom and finding it a lot easier than I thought. The preassure sensitivity is great to create subtle effects, I highly reccomend getting one :D

04-22-2005, 04:56 PM
i chose to enter the digipainting world with an A6 graphire3. its great to start with for both sketching and colouring. But obviously it is small, however if youre a beginning student like me you wont be bothered too much. I will invest in an A5 model in the future, to make some proffesional works. In my opinion any A5 Wacom model is the best, A6 is less detailed and the A4 just too big too work with.

04-24-2005, 03:10 PM
i have the intuos 9 x 12 also. its the best thing i have bought in a for my computer long time! really very good! :thumbsup:

04-24-2005, 03:16 PM
I use a graphire 3 A6 model, and I think it's a great start. I didn't have the money to buy it's bigger brothers, luckily, because this one satisfies me fully. And if you are not a pro, you won't need a bigger tablet.

04-24-2005, 03:56 PM
I bought a wacom graphire 3 6x4 a week ago and i works like a dream. Only thing that being used to sketching on paper...doing it on wacom feels like sketching on ice...so i put a piece of paper over it and feels rite at home....

Have fun!:thumbsup:

04-24-2005, 07:30 PM
Alright, I think I've decided on the graphire 3 - it's marketed as just a "photo editor", but it sounds like it works pretty well for you guys for scetching/painting! The least expensive I found it was $80 for the 5x4(or 5x3.6) at newegg, $85 with shipping. Just ordered it. Good deal? Do you think it'll work really well for learning how to paint on the computer, sketches, and more advanced painting?(I've seen some very good stuff on cgtalk, just wanted to be sure the graphire 3 could do some simmilar quality in the right hands).

Thanks for all the advice - hopefully I'll be learning by friday

04-24-2005, 08:55 PM
I've got a Graphire3 6x8, really happy with it, first tablet so I don't miss the extra features of an Intuos as I've never used one.

I still find it far easier to do sketching / line work with a pencil then scan but for painting / colouring it's great and the freebie copies of PS elements and Painter were most welcome.

I wouldn't worry too much about not getting the absolute "top of the line" gear either, I'm sure there's plenty people knocking out great work with tiny tablets, pentium II's and photoshop 5..

04-24-2005, 10:55 PM
A Graphire is a great entry level tablet. I don't really see the need to go for an Intous unless you want a bigger one with all the doo-dads, or if you can get it for cheap.

A6 (3.5" x 4") is a bit small, but it will do the job. You just have to zoom in more when doing detail work. A5 (4"x6") is better - my favourite one. A4 feels a bit like overkill for me, because I normally draw very small - but a lot of people prefer really big tablets.

I have to say though, that these aren't too great for sketching. Well - they are certainly WAY better than a mouse, but you will feel a lot like Bambi on ice when trying to draw with it. Heck, I've been using tablets for six years and my digital sketches are _always_ a lot messier than my analogue ones. I think the reason is that you lose a bit of eye-hand coordination when you're drawing where you're not looking. However, I keep doing digital sketches because it is convenient. No need to mess around with pencils, paints, water and scanners. =)

A Wacom tablet is a great investment for your art career, IMO - and once you buy your first one, there's no going back. I would be absolutely handicapped without mine.

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