View Full Version : Digital Painting: Tips and Techniques for Beginners With David René, Matellis, LotekK

06 June 2006, 04:24 AM
Digital Painting: Tips and Techniques for Beginners
With David René & Matt Ellis.

The digital medium is absolutely awesome, it’s easy, wicked fast, productive and practically non-destructive, or at least it can be - thinking back to when I was taking my first steps with this medium it was none of those things. Unfortunately, for digital painting to become truly intuitive, one must first have a strong working knowledge and a bit of inside into the inner workings of the painting application.

This thread was created to act as a resource and an environment in which beginners may start learning the technical aspects and techniques of digital painting - this thread does NOT deal with the artistic side - if you are a beginning artist and you have questions related to drawing or painting in general, I would refer you to the Beginners' Lounge.

Tutorials and exercises will be posted by myself or Matt (and hopefully others) on a regular basis but I encourage everyone comment, ask questions or offer advice.

It has been several years since I started painting digitally so a lot of things have become second nature to me, therefore I’m really interested in hearing your suggestions as to what should be covered in this thread - remember there are no stupid questions and nothing is too basic.


1. Although I will be giving comments and critique throughout the thread and helping with technical issues, the thread is about community input to help each other develop our skills in an environment of constructive group critique and interaction. Flaming is not allowed.

2. This thread is about Beginning Digital Painting with a big emphasis on “digital” - we’re not going to cover general drawing and painting techniques but rather we're going to focus on getting you comfortable with the medium so that it does not become an obstacle in your artistic development.

3. Please limit the SIZE of your POSTS to 800 pixel WIDTH x Appropriate pixel LENGTH. No huge images, please!

4. WIP is encouraged. Please post your best work as you go along.

Beginners' aims: To get a working knowledge of both application and input devices. I still invite experience users to participate in this thread, it’s always healthy to see different approaches to a problem and who knows you just might learn something.

5. Lets make this fun!

06 June 2006, 04:29 AM
Links to tutorials:

Getting comfortable with using a tablet ( by Corvax
Getting better pressure control part 1: Tweaking your tablets settings. ( by Corvax
Quick Mask ( by LoTekK

Navigation tips:

1) Creating hotkeys for Brush Tool Presets ( by Corvax

Interesting posts:

LoTekK posted a link to a site that has a description of the Photoshop blend modes. (

RebeccaK posted a hotkey that will cycle through Photoshop’s blend modes. (

Corvax posted the direct hotkeys to Photoshop blend modes (

06 June 2006, 04:29 AM
Getting comfortable with using a tablet:

If you don't know what a tablet is, don't worry. A section will added to this tutorial explaining what a tablet is and why it is important to digital painting.

So you've bought a tablet, you've plugged it in, you've installed the driver software and you're ready to start creating some digital masterpieces - but something's wrong, it feels odd, its nowhere close to the natural and intuitive sensation you where promised!
Drawing with a tablet is NOT like drawing with a pencil or brush, despite of what the manufacturer may tell you, so just because you can draw with a pencil it doesn't mean you can jump right in and use a tablet with the same precision. If drawing with a tablet seems difficult at first, then don't worry, there is nothings wrong with you or your tablet. It will just -like anything new- take a little time to adjust to. I'm willing to bet, that if you think back, the first time you picked up a mouse, it felt odd too. But look at you now, using a mouse is the most natural thing in the world to you, and I promise you that using a tablet will be just as - if not more - natural with just a little practise.

To hopefully shorten your adjustment period, I thought I would put together some tips and exercises to quickly get you comfortable with using a tablet.

- Use the tablet. Right now you're browsing a webpage, are you using your tablet? - Well you should be. Every bit of practice is going to count, so you should be using you tablet for everything you do on a computer, whether it is sending an e-mail, arranging you files, editing text etc. Don't just use the tablet inside your graphics application, use it everywhere!

- Unplug your mouse. Your frustration with the initial oddness of using tablet may cause you to constantly reach for the mouse, but one of the tricks of adjusting is forcing yourself to use the tablet, and having the mouse there as a "safety net" is just going to lengthen you adjustment period, so unplug that mouse and put it out of sight.


Exercise #1: Pointing. (Photoshop)

This exercise is designed to help you practise your hand-eye coordination when using a tablet.

(1) Create a document similar to the one you see below or download and open the one I have created.

(2) Create a new layer by clicking the "Create new layer"-icon in the layers palette or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Shift+N.

(3) Go into Full screen mode by clicking on the icon in the toolbar or by pressing F.

(4) Select the Brush tool by clicking the brush icon in the toolbar or by pressing B.

(5) Frame the document by pressing Ctrl+0.

(6) Make sure you have the new layer you created selected, then start of by, in random order, drawing a circle around each of the dots.

(7) Once all the dots are circled, draw an X through each of the dots, again in random order.

(8) Once all the dots are circled and crossed, make a selection of the entire canvas by pressing Ctrl+A, then delete the pixels in the layer you've created by pressing backspace.

(9) Start over from step 6.


Exercise #2: Pressure Control. (Photoshop)

This exercise is designed to help you get comfortable with using the pressure sensitivity of a tablet.

(1) Create a document of a desired size (1024*800 should be fine).

(2) Select the Brush tool and open up the brushes palette by pressing F5.

(3) Select the Hard Round 5 pixel brush from the brush presets area.

(4) Turn off Shape Dynamics by clicking the check box next to its label.

(5) Turn on Other Dynamics by clicking the label; this will automatically take you to the Other Dynamics settings of the Brushes palette.

(6) Make sure that Opacity Jitter and Flow Jitter is set to 0% and that Flow Control is set to Off. Set Opacity Control to Pen Pressure, now you can control the opacity of you brush with the Pressure of you pen (shocking isn't it).

(7) Now draw a spiralling curve on your document, like the one you see below, starting with a light pressure and gradually moving into a harder. Try to make the tonal gradation as even as possible through out the curve.

(8) keep on drawing these light to hard pressure curves as many times as you please.

I would suggest that you do about five to ten minutes of these exercises as a warm up before you start painting.

I know that the Photoshop steps of these tutorials are covered quite sparsely, but there will be tutorials in the future covering both the mechanics and practical usage of layers, the brush engine and everything else mentioned here, in a much more in-depth manner.

More tips, tutorials and exercises on digital painting are in the making, so stay tuned and have fun practising your tablet skills.
~David René.

06 June 2006, 04:30 AM
Navigation tip #1: Creating hotkeys for Brush Tool Presets.

I do about 90% of my painting with only a handful of brushes that I switch between constantly, and I found that I was using a lot of time simply showing palettes, selecting brushes and hiding the palettes, not very productive. Wouldn't it be great if you could map a brush to a hotkey, have it sitting there right at your fingertips.

Unfortunately Photoshop doesn't allow you to map custom content directly to hotkeys, and brushes are custom content. What Photoshop will allow you to do is; call (some) custom content from an action. Actions can then be map to function keys; in turn creating "custom content hotkeys"…
Yeah I know what you're thinking, that does sound really technical to me too. But please read on, it really simple and fast to set up, and if you find yourself switching between three or five different brushes all the time, this tip will boost you productive significantly.

(1) Lets say that I really like the Flowing Stars Brush that ships with Photoshop, so I want to create a hotkey for it. First thing I would do is select the Flowing Stars Brush preset from the Brushes palette.

(2) I've also decided that the Flowing Stars Brush works best with Opacity at 25% and Flow at 80%, so I would set that up in the Options Bar.

(3) In order for this to work, I need to set up a Tool Preset for the brush, so I'll open up the Tool Presets palette, click the New Tool Preset Icon. In the Dialog box that pops up, I would name it something descriptive and click okay. I've now created a Tool preset for the Flowing Stars Brush.

(4) Now for the exiting part: I'll open up the Actions palette and click the New Action Icon.

(5) In the New Actions Dialog box I'll name it descriptively. I'll set the function key property to the key I want my brush mapped to and click record.

(6) While recording I would click on Tool Preset I had setup in step three. An operation should have been added to my action, It should read: Select tool preset "*the name of my tool preset*".

(7) Click the Stop Icon in the actions palette. And I'm done!!

When I click the mapped function key, it will call the action, the action then calls the preset. And what do you know a hotkey to a brush.

I would repeat these steps for each of the brush hotkeys I want to set up, each time mapping a different Tool Preset to a different Function key.

Questions, comments or suggestions on or about this tip are more then welcome.
~David René.

06 June 2006, 04:31 AM
Go David! Its wonderful to see you put this up.

06 June 2006, 04:31 AM
Tutorial on the amazing photoshop paintbrush coming soon! yum yum

06 June 2006, 04:36 AM
Tutorials on layers and channels coming soon ;)

06 June 2006, 07:57 AM

This is great! Thanks so much for this first Tutorial, I am sure that many will benefit from this as well as from your future Tutorials here in this thread! :thumbsup:

Cheers, :)


06 June 2006, 08:20 AM
Amazing Idea- this is really what anatomy forum still needs :) And a great resource for beginners. I remember how I struggled with photoshop a few years back when just starting. This kind of thread would have been gold.

I might throw in a tutorial or two when I have the time :)



06 June 2006, 09:00 AM
Great idea and an important new subscription for me...:thumbsup:

Will there be application-specific tutorials for Painter, also?

06 June 2006, 09:50 AM
Frack, I thought this was going up a little later. Guess I gotta get cracking on the various masking tools/techniques.

First one's up, lemme know if it needs revising/clarifying:
Quick Mask Tutorial (

06 June 2006, 01:18 PM
Matt and Teck,

Looking forward to seeing your tuts! :) I've advertised this thread, I have a feeling that people will be expressing an interest in this for quite a while. :)



06 June 2006, 02:56 PM
Wow, I had no idea about the action function -- my fave brush hotkeys, here I come!

LOVE this idea, will definately be stopping by often! Thanks guys!!

06 June 2006, 08:22 PM
thanks for the tablet exercises. that really helps. and the hotkey thing was very helpful as well cant wait til next tuts.

06 June 2006, 09:15 PM
I and many others really appreciate this! When you lot started I guess you didn't have this type of help, and to give us it is wonderful!

You say it has to be technical and about techniques. So this means its just people who know the software and can post constructive tutorials? Or is it where us new people go through these tutorials that you post and show our progress? Sorry i just misunderstood a few things.

06 June 2006, 12:28 AM
Thanks buddy.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would do a tutorial for us :). Should you decide to do one, please PM me with a short outline of what it would cover (just so that we don’t have two people working on similar tutorials at the same time).

I had foreseen that there would be demand for Painter tutorials as well, and I am working on how to deal with that.

I’m not really Painter savvy yet, so I don’t think that I would be doing any tutorials on that application, but that is not to say that be any, it’s really too early to say.
Also keep in mind that Painter and Photoshop are similar in a lot of areas, and there will definitely be concepts from Photoshop that you could apply to your Painter workflow.

I’m looking forward to your tutorial buddy!!:D

I know the workshop description is a bit confusing right now, and I’ll try to revise it soon.

This is not just a thread where advanced users would simple post tutorial. I do want it to be interactive, but please be patience, we just started and it will take a while before we have an adequate enough resource of material, to actually start doing some more project based and interactive exercise – but there should an exciting little micro challenge up in few days :eek: , that you can work on.

~David René.

06 June 2006, 05:24 AM
Thank you Corvex, and Rebeccak for advertising it. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes. I love learning those little tidbits (like the custom brush hotkeys. Genius!) that make you go 'OHHHH' and instantly improve your productivity. :D

06 June 2006, 01:00 PM
I completed the first few tasks. They were really useful, it showed me how well I can actually use a Tablet. Before I was critical about how well I used it, but it wasn't difficult at all.

This seems like a real fun topic, I will keep an eye on this, and come and be involved with what happens.

06 June 2006, 01:30 PM
I have just a little question. Wil TTT (tutorials & tips & tricks) here cover only work in Photoshop or will there be stuff for Painter too?
For digital painting I tend to use Painter for only one sole reason, and that is document view rotation. Since let's say you cannot make natural moves for hotizontal strokes and requires quite a lot of dancing and stretching in front of the tablet. :D Some people here told me to hold tablet on my knees an rotate it ... but that isnt quite a sollution since nobody rotates monitor and you do stroke in some direction on your tablet and it appears in totaly different direction on screen. And after all Intuos A4 is a little too big for such maneuvers.
Well don't get me wrong. I hope I'm not complaining too much. The point is I adore Photoshop and use it a lot, but when it comes to painting I really (because of mentioned reason) prefer Painter. And brushes in both apps are wonderful!

So back to my original question... will this thread be Photoshop oriented or can we expect some stuff for Painter?

Otherwise I thing this thread is a great idea, even for us that are quite familiar with the tools since from time to time one can find out some useful tip, just like the one about creating shortcuts for different brushes.

Keep 'em comming :buttrock:

06 June 2006, 02:24 PM
This thread totally rocks!! :buttrock:, thanks for this, Im trying right now all the excercises, keep this thread up

06 June 2006, 05:27 AM
Great stuff, thanks for taking the time to write all this, it's appreciated.

06 June 2006, 09:40 PM
There are a number of masking tools available in Photoshop, but for now I'm only going to cover Quick Mask (hereafter known as QM), since that is arguably the most useful for straight digital painting (as opposed to design work, photo manipulation, etc).

Quick Mask is a tool that can be an absolute timesaver for all kinds of selection operations. If you've ever had a somewhat intricate area of a painting that you needed to select using the various lasso tools in order to do some color correction, for example, you'll appreciate the greater control Quick Mask affords.

Quick Mask Primer

First things first, a bit of a primer. To enter and exit QM, you simply hit "Q" on the keyboard (this may differ with non-standard keyboard layouts). In QM, unselected regions are displayed with a red overlay, while selected regions have no overlay. Any feathered selections will have less of the red overlay than full selections. Obviously this is easier to explain with pictures, so here we go:

In this picture, I have made a circular, non-feathered selection on the canvas, and then switched over to QM. Note that as explained above, the area within the circular selection remains visually unaltered, while the unselected area shows a red overlay.

In this picture, I have feathered the circular selection by two pixels, and then switched over to QM. Note that the blurred, fuzzy edge of the circle in QM, corresponding with the feathered selection.

Painting Selections

While in QM, all the standard painting tools are available, the only difference being that you're only working in black and white and grey (which shows up as varying strengths of the red overlay). Black corresponds to unselected, white selected, and gray partially selected (note that erasing does exactly the same thing as painting in black, or gray if you use a less-than-opaque eraser).

Even the filters work, which can be fun and useful as well, depending on the situation. Standard selection tools also work within QM, which would allow you to run a selective gaussian blur (effectively giving you selective feathering). Again, explanatory images:

Here we start off in QM with the entire image unselected (red overlay). I've taken a hard round brush and painted some random squiggles of white. Exiting QM gives you a selection matching what you've painted.

In this one I've used the same selection as above, only in this case you can see that standard selection tools do indeed work within QM. Here I've lasso'd a random portion of the squiggles, feathered, and then run a Gaussian Blur, giving me the selective feathering mentioned above. In the last step I've simply shifted the hue to something extreme to clearly show the resultant selection.

Now before I go into a quick example of how you might use QM in a painting, there's a caveat that bears mentioning. Now, if you select all (ctrl-A), as expected, switching to QM shows an unaltered image. For whatever reason, however, switching to QM with no selection active does not start you off with a red overlay.

Using Quick Mask

Now I'll go onto a quick example of how you can actually apply QM to your workflow. For this example, I'm going to assume that I'm unhappy with the skintones I've painted into the pelt merchant, and I want to hue shift them to, say, Hulk green. :D

Now, using the standard selection tools like the lasso select would prove to be a nightmare, since we're talking about multiple irregularly shaped areas. This is where QM comes in very handy. To start things off, I make a very rough selection of the four areas where the merchant's skintones show up, and then enter QM (hit "Q"):

Next I use the paintbrush to refine the selection, and exit QM:

Finally I use the hue/saturation dialogue (ctrl-U) to change the merchant's skin to a Hulk green.


If any of this was at all unclear, feel free to smack me. I mean, ask for clarification. :p

06 June 2006, 10:06 PM
Nice thread, I bookmarked it and will join it if I'm welcome. I know photoshop but just starting with digital painting so I bet it wil lbe helpfull, I got most problems with the brushes I don't know which ones to use on waht opicity flow and settings like other dynamics and shapre dynamics. Ty for doing like I stated above i will follow this and hopefully learn something =)

06 June 2006, 10:44 PM

This is a really well~written and informative Tutorial, and much appreciated! :thumbsup: Looking forward to your sharing more of your knowledge with the community. :)



06 June 2006, 12:18 PM
oh, usefull and informative. i've never used masks, but it sounds like such a usefull timesaver.... better start =o

06 June 2006, 03:29 AM
I've used photoshop for quite a bit of stuff, but I could never think of a solid use for the quick masking feature. Running throught the control oriented practice techniques was a very nice refresher course as well. Thanks for the great tuts guys and gals, look forward to seeing more.

06 June 2006, 09:26 AM
thanx a lot guys for this thread. being able to adjust opacity with pen pressure is def the best thing that iv learnt about my tablet, so much simpler than what i was doin before. cant quite explain just how much that little bit has changed my point of view. plz keep this thread goin. thanx Rebeccak for linkin to it. beer on the house !!! :thumbsup:

07 July 2006, 11:41 PM
Getting better pressure control part 1: Tweaking your tablets settings.

I've seen a lot of people that just leave the pressure settings of their tablet to the factory defaults, including myself for a long time. Defaults maybe fine for the most part, but if you really want to get the utmost control, you need to get in there and tweak those settings.

How much control you have over your settings and the way you adjust them, will vary depending on the brand and make of you tablet.
On the wacom Intuos 3 it’s the tip feel property you're looking for.

Exact settings are unique for everybody, so you'll need to play around until you find something that fits your way of painting. I recommend that you do the second exercise in the Getting comfortable with using a tablet ( ( post, if not for any other reason then just to analyse where your pressure settings could do with some adjusting.

If you find that you have to put down quit a hard pressure to get an opaque stroke, you might benefit from a softer tip feel.

If the pen seems to overreact, and even a light pressure seems to put down opaque strokes, you'll need a firmer tip feel.

Also the pressure that you put down will actually change doing the day (typically you'll put down a lighter pressure early in the day then you will towards the evening). Adjusting the pressure setting two or three times a day might also help to give you a more consistent feel.

part two of Getting better pressure control part will be up in the near future

-David René.

Relevant internal links:
Getting comfortable with using a tablet ( (

07 July 2006, 09:31 PM
Too bad the old school tablet settings got canned at some point in the drivers. You used to be able to tweak an actual curve for the pressure sensitivity. They canned that a couple of years ago for whatever reason. -.-

Anyways, layer blend modes can be somewhat confusing to someone just getting into Photoshop (and even people who have been using the app for some time have expressed confusion over the various modes). The best way to figure out what they do is, as always, to experiment with them. That said, it can be nice to know just what's going on under the hood, since with understanding comes better application. I could type out lengthy explanations of the blend modes, but instead of reinventing the wheel, I'll point to a page that covers the topic more than adequately:

Photoshop CS2 Blend Modes: An Introduction (

I used to have another page bookmarked that went into the mathematical formulae that is applied with each mode, but (a) I've lost that link, and (b) it's not going to interest a vast majority of users. :)

07 July 2006, 02:27 AM
Just to throw my 2 cents in regarding Blending Modes: :)

If you have the move (arrow) tool selected, the shortcut for cycling through the layer blending modes in PS is Shift + = / -.

Cheers, :)


07 July 2006, 05:18 AM
Looks like this thread will become a treasure of über-usefull practical info. Most guides, tutorials etc assume the topics covered here are no issue at all.

I'm finding this very handy (even though I don't use PS, most things are applicable for Painter and GIMP with a bit of creative thinking.)

Great stuff so big thanks peepz and keep 'em coming :D

07 July 2006, 09:25 AM
Just to throw my 2 cents in regarding Blending Modes: :)

The shortcut for cycling through the layer blending modes in PS is Shift + =.

That actually will cycle through the brush blend modes (along with Shift minus).

07 July 2006, 09:30 AM

If you have the move (arrow) tool selected, Shift + = and - will cycle you through the layer blending modes. :) You're right, with the brush selected, the same shortcuts will cycle you through the brush blending modes. (I edited my previous post to be more clear).



07 July 2006, 09:40 AM
Nice. Just tried it and it works a charm. Only problem (for me) is, it eats up your history states like crazy. :D

07 July 2006, 12:49 PM
Now that we're on the subject anyway, if you know what blend mode you want to use, you can use the direct hotkeys:

Normal: shift+alt+N
Dissolve: shift+alt+I

Darken: shift+alt+K
Multiply: shift+alt+M
Color Burn: shift+alt+B
Linear Burn: shift+alt+A

Lighten: shift+alt+G
Screen: shift+alt+S
Color Dodge: shift+alt+D
Linear Dodge: shift+alt+w

Overlay: shift+alt+O
Soft Light: shift+alt+F
Hard Light: shift+alt+H
Vivid Light: shift+alt+V
Linear Light: shift+alt+J
pin Light: shift+alt+Z

Difference: shift+alt+E
Exclusion: shift+alt+X

Hue: shift+alt+U
Saturation: shift+alt+T
Color: shift+alt+C
Luminosity: shift+alt+Y

If you have the brush tool selected, you'll be changing the brush blend mode, if you have the move tool selected you'll be changing the layer blend mode.


08 August 2006, 05:35 PM
wooooow nice subject


08 August 2006, 10:39 PM
Hi guys and thanks for the nice and positive responses to Digital Painting: Tips and Techniques for Beginners :). I really appreciate it and I still think that this thread has potential to become a great resource for digital painting, covering subjects that – as NR43 said – are often overlooked by other.
I am looking to update it more then have in past, and hopefully there should be some interesting reading for you all in the near future.

Also keep in mind, that we’re at all time taking suggestion for tips or tutorials, both from people looking for an answer and from people looking to share their knowledge of digital painting.

Asking questions takes away a lot of the pressure of us having to come up with stuff to write about, and in turn gets you the information faster and about stuff that you want to know – sounds like a bloody sweet deal to me!!.:deal:

So ask away guys - don’t be shy, and if you see people asking questions elsewhere that might be of interest to beginning digital painters, why not point them in direction of this thread, this will help to accumulate the knowledge in one place, instead of having it shattered allover in hundreds of little threads :). Collecting the information was one of the motivations for starting this in the first place.

Hope to hear from you.
David René.


09 September 2006, 05:34 PM
Hi everyone, these tutorials are great! I don't know if you'll be covering this in the future, but I'm having troubles with brush sizes. I'm working with Photoshop CS, and when I increase the size of the brush, the line stays small. What could I be doing wrong?

09 September 2006, 05:56 PM
tell me whether u r using a graphic tablet
or whether u have changed any of the brush settings

some more information wud help solving the problem
info like what brush and the settings that u r using

09 September 2006, 08:12 PM
Hi Seansea

I think iamawizard is right; more information would help nail what the problem might be.
Never the less I am going to take a stab at it.:)

First of all, this is only relevant if you’re using a tablet.

Some of Photoshop’s brushes come equipped with dynamic setups – for instance, the basic round brush has its size variable set to pen pressure, and I think that this might be the source of problem.
When the size variable is controlled by the pen pressure, the absolute lightest pressure possible will result to 1% of you current brush diameter, and the hardest pressure possible will result to you current brush diameter.
That means that unless you’re really pressing down hard on your tablet you’re never going to reach the diameter setting.

There are two ways to remedy this:

Either set the size control to off.

Or if you want to keep the size controlled by the pen pressure, but want a more subtle effect, increase the minimum diameter variable - this will offset the result of the lowest pressure point.

Hope this solves your problem - if not, don’t hesitate to ask.


09 September 2006, 08:58 PM
Thanks iamawizard, and corvax ! I am using a Wacom Tablet (Grapphire). I had the Shape Dynamics turned off, jitter off, and pen pressure @ zero. I'm gonna try turning off the size control and see if it works or play with the minimum diameter variableand see if that solves the problem.

Sorry I didn't explain things better. I'll let you know how things turn out! Thanks again!

09 September 2006, 04:38 PM
corvax your suggestions worked thank you! I'm going to comb the Photoshop help thread because now I'm having problems with color not looking right (red looks like magenta, etc).

09 September 2006, 04:33 PM
Nice thread, I bookmarked it and will join it if I'm welcome. I know photoshop but just starting with digital painting so I bet it wil lbe helpfull, I got most problems with the brushes I don't know which ones to use on waht opicity flow and settings like other dynamics and shapre dynamics. Ty for doing like I stated above i will follow this and hopefully learn something =)

we're in the same boat

Bev from OZ
11 November 2006, 06:55 AM
Hi guys thanks so much this thread is great and I just want to add a simple trick i learned some time ago and boy does it help, you stick a piece of paper over your wacom tablet and the pen feels more comfortable just like drawing on paper, no more slips :eek:

cheers Bev

11 November 2006, 07:18 AM
Hi guys thanks so much this thread is great and I just want to add a simple trick i learned some time ago and boy does it help, you stick a piece of paper over your wacom tablet and the pen feels more comfortable just like drawing on paper, no more slips :eek:

cheers Bev

It really does, but as a caution it will wear out your nib more because it's dealing with a harsher texture. And eventually you'll have to replace that paper due to use as it becomes smoother. I still think it's worth it though.

11 November 2006, 08:14 AM
Suppose you have a custom palette with 2 or more brushes.
Is it possible to use hotkeys to quickly switch between the brushes in this particular palette?

Something I've been unable to answer myself for some time now.
Thanks in advance!

01 January 2007, 11:02 PM
Hi just gained my second wacom, a intous3 this time. What do you guys have your express keys set to? And is the touch strip customizable?


01 January 2007, 07:33 AM
Aaah Wacom *puts a dreamy face on*
be careful, your partner might get jealous of your wacom ;)

My left side wacom keys are more for manipulation of the canvas (I am lefthanded) so I've got shortcuts to rotate the canvas and zoom to fit screen along with the touchstrip for zooming in and out.

On the right side I've got the touchstrip to change brushsize, then keys to switch to brush, eyedropper and the grabber (the hand icon) + the undo button.

This setup seems great to me for a good workflow. If you are righthanded, I would suggest putting shortcuts for your brush settings on the left side, so you don't have to take your pen off the canvas to change your brush...

01 January 2007, 09:28 AM
Ah, I set things up slightly differently. this is programmed for photoshop.
I will check yours out, as I only really programmed mine while I was sketching a skull, and obviously I had monochrome in mind.

01 January 2007, 10:59 AM
you can create and save different setups for different applications. Mine is for Corel Painter IX.5

09 September 2007, 08:24 AM
What I would like to know it is regarding the position of the tablet. Is that it's necessary to put it next to the keyboard, or alone in the middle, the angle of its position, the height of your seat (because sometimes I feel pain in the shoulder seen that my office is high), or I saw an artist putting his tablet between the arm-rest of the seat and the office that. That's all for me =)

09 September 2007, 10:04 AM
Your position at your desk is extremely important, especially when you sit in the same position (or as good as) for many hours each day.

Make sure you have a good chair that can be adjusted in height and has a mobile back support. Most shoulder/neck/elbow/wrist pain is caused by a non ergonomic position at the desk.

Regarding your tablet/keyboard position I would advise to have the tool you are using right in front of you and making sure you have enough free space for your arms so you can sketch/paint comfortably. Even when you have to make the slightest compensation effort with your drawing arm to be able to draw what you want, it can have a serious effect in the long run.

If you wish, you could also get a small wooden board to put your tablet on while drawing, which will allow you to draw in a more natural position.

09 September 2007, 07:01 PM
I'm more of a web design page layout person and whenever I try to use my wacom I find myself putting down the tablet to do the things I typically do in photoshop instead of trying to just paint/draw. I think I do this because I'm so used to constantly keeping one hand on the keyboard and using dozens of the keyboard shortcuts.

I can't seem to find a comfortable position that allows me to use the tablet and the keyboard at the same time.

Would anyone be willing to post pictures of themselves at their desk using both so I can get some ideas to try (and suggestions for a brand new desk =) )

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09 September 2007, 07:01 PM
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