…and it’s a weird looking two-finger glove. No joke.
I’ve been using my pen tablet (a wacom PTZ-930) for about six years, it’s old and beat up but works like a charm. It was time for an upgrade though so I took the tablet-monitor leap with the new Monoprice 19″. I only just got it, so it’s still too soon to give any kind of review, but what I can review is the little accessory I bought for it and it’s awesome.
It’s called a Smudge Guard. I had heard of it before but I didn’t think it would be worth the price since I never really had too much trouble, not to mention I had the desktop to monitor tablet so I didn’t have to worry about messing up my visual space. I was so so wrong.
I’ve had it for about two months now (I ordered it as soon as I found out about the Monoprice) and I wear it for 90% of my work day now. It was a little odd at first, but after a day or two I stopped noticing it on. It breaths and the material is really comfortable, but more than that it really works. I never really noticed how smeary and sweaty my hand got after drawing for a few hours… sorry that’s gross, but it’s true. After a month of working with the Smudge Guard on my hand I honestly can’t work without it. It feels weird. It has become an absolute must for my work space.
I’m raving about this thing right now, but I’m honestly considering buying another just in case something happens to my first one. I love it so much o_o
One of biggest problems I run into using digital medium are color discrepancies. I never really worried about it too much before, but just this last year I bought a second monitor for my main work computer… and wow, the difference between the two is painful sometimes. My work computer is a 5 year old 1680×1050 Mac desktop, so yes it’s a bit outdated but it’s still a decent screen. The new monitor is a 1920×1200 SyncMaster 243T that I bought second hand and only a little broken… haha, I have an old bandaid tin propping it up, but other then that it works great.
When I bought the second monitor I was really just looking for more “real estate”, so I could use one screen for photoshop while I draw, and the other for reference images or browsing so the extra crispness of images was nice, but not really what I was paying attention to. I first noticed the problem with the Festival Anonymous logo I did. It looked great to me when I finished it so I sent it out for approval. The response I got was along the lines of, “Wow! It looks amazing, but can you brighten the colors a bit?”. I thought this was a little odd since the colors were already pretty vibrant, but I brightened them up anyway then sent it off again. Again they thought it looked great, but said they were hoping for the colors to pop out a little more, so you could see it from a distance. I had this same problem after sending them two more previews of the image and by now the colors were off the charts bright, so I was getting a little confused. Any brighter and this thing would make your eyes bleed.
Finally and completely by accident, I saw the logo on my original Mac screen and I nearly fell out of my chair. The colors were mud! They all blobbed together and nothing popped at all. I had no idea that the color difference between the two monitors could possibly be that dramatic, but there it was. Granted this particular image was difficult to color balance anyway because of the dots and black background, but I really should have been more aware of something like that..!
I’m sure there is a way to adjust the colors on my two screens to match each other better… but I’m hesitant to do that. I love being able to see the beautiful colors and clarity on my nicer screen, but I still need to balance that for less high res screens, otherwise all of my colors turn out too dark to even see on regular computer screens.
Here’s a little something I’m working on right now.
It’s just a liiiiiitle bit rough still. My sketches are usually super rough and sketchy when I know they’re going to be inked or colored, especially digital sketches like this one. That’s one of the best parts of sketching digitally though; the ability to sketch super rough, then use layers and adjust opacity to still be able to tell what’s going on in the sketchiness.
To be honest though, my style changes a little when I sketch digitally. Because of the way I use my tablet, my style translate a little differently which I don’t always like. I’ve definitely noticed that my pencil or pen sketches are always fresher, and not so sloppy. That’s just a matter of improving my tablet skills though =/