This is hard! How'd you guys start?


I got a graphire4 6x8 tablet because I decided to try my hand at digital matte painting. I don’t paint much non-digital, but I do sketch a lot. This tablet is so much more difficult because it’s so smooth. When sketching, I can feel the roughness of the charcoal pencil and the textured paper. With this though, my pen is flying everywhere.

I figured I should start with the ultra basics: shapes :sad:
I can’t say it turned out well, in fact it makes me disgusted and frustrated. My hand is too stiff and stressed with such as smooth tool.

You guys got any tips for beginner exercises? Or should I just do this 20 times a day? :rolleyes:


Well, installing the tablet drivers definitely helped. It made everything less jittery. I also taped a piece of paper on top. Now, it feels like I’m going to go through a lot of pen tips. Guess I should order some more.


Hey, same here. Have a look at this thread and take your time :=)


Don’t despair Draxxus! It takes a while to get used to the smooth surface. If you have more experience sketching then painting, you might try using a different brush preset. One that’s nice for sketching is the conte pencil in the dry media preset. In fact, try them all till you find one that feels right.

Try adjusting your pen settings too, in the Wacom preferences, to get the feel that suits you most. A lot of people are less comfortable sketching digitally than painting digitally. One way around this is to do your preliminary sketch the old fashioned way, scan it into Photoshop or Painter, and then paint over it.

Like anything new, it takes awhile to get comfortable with a tablet.


Thanks for the help guys. I think I can catch on fast, and more importantly, I’m determined enough to get there, quickly or not.

Could I start a post in the WIP forum showing off my progress? Do they allow WIP threads by newbs? :slight_smile: Given, I promise it’ll have more than the alphabet and numbers.


hey draxxus its the same for me am totally new to digital sketching through tablet :slight_smile: but like ya wrote paper over tablet for start really help :slight_smile:


I think everyone has the same problem when they first make the transition, and i was no exception, just keep practicing and trust me, you’ll get there soon enough. I tried the paper technique, taped to the tablet, this worked okay but probably isn’t the best way to learn.

It’s just like picking up any new tools, they all feel a little different, but the more you use em the easier and more natural it seems.

  • Dave.


I have a question. I have an Intuous 3 and I’ve heard people swear by the pads on the side and setting them up as hotkeys. What do people normally use those for? Which hot keys?


Best method for me worked this way. I assigned the most used shortcuts I am using on my keyboard and assigned them through the wacom setup tool.

You have to do this decision to yourself since you’re using the tablet. My assigned keys are: b, space, bigger/smaller brush and brush settings :=)


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