Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cintiq Review

I recently purchased a Wacom Cintiq21UX. I thought about getting the smaller version for the cost savings but being used to a larger Intuos, I didn’t think I would like it. Having tried both at the NYComicon I confirmed my suspicions. I wanted the big one. They were offering a discount if purchased there so I ordered it (thanks to a fortuitous timing of my tax return which cleared that day).

I couldn’t wait till they delivered it less than a week later (with very inexpensive shipping). The day the delivery was due I had to have checked out the window a dozen times an hour for the UPS truck.

Finally it arrived. I took the stand out of the box and placed it on my newly cleared desk (where the Intuos previously dwelled). All seemed to be going fine until I put the Cintiq on the stand and realized that if I wanted to tilt it down to a more horizontal position (which I certainly did) than my desk would need modifying.

The way y desk is configured my monitor is on a raised platform toward the back end of the desk. The platform consisted of 3 sections: the middle one which had the monitor on it and the two end ones which angled in toward the front. Those end sections had to go, so I put the Cintiq back into the box and did the necessary modifications all while hearing the Cintiq’s siren song beckoning (and faintly in the background the Intuoses mocking laughter).

Finally I got it all set up and spent about an hour or so configuring my system. I have it set up so that the Cintiq is my main monitor and my Dell monitor is my secondary one with the desktop continuing up form one to the other.

I find the Cintiq to be a fantastic tool. It has made it far easier to do detail work. With the Intuos I sometimes had to guesstimate where to draw whereas with the Cintiq, I know. I also like being able to draw on the Cintiq with my reference on the other monitor thus freeing up valuable screen realestate. Another benefit of the Cintiq is that it doesn’t succumb to Cliff’s First Law of Flat Surfaces: They can and will collect clutter. The Intuous did frequently.

The Cintiq has programmable buttons and a touchstrip on either side of the display. You can set them up differently depending on the program you are using. I currently have mine tweaked for photoshop but not yet for my other art programs. The pen also has a programmable side switch which acts in the same manner. On the other end of the pen is an ‘eraser’. The ‘eraser’ is an eraser by default in most art programs but can be changed just like the other buttons and switches. By default it uses whatever settings the eraser is set on without regard to the settings of the current drawing tool. This can be changed so that it keeps the settings of the tool you are working on already thus you don’t find yourself erasing more or less than you intended.

The only thing I have found annoying is the right side touch strip which I have a habit of hitting with my palm. This seems to be a rather common problem. The discontinued 20” inch model had this problems solved by placing the touchstrips in a different location, not sure why they didn’t do that with the 21”. Overall well worth the money (now if only I could convince the wife of that).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sketchin with Sketchbook Pro.

I am starting to really dig Sketchbook Pro. It is great for just doodling or sketching. I still haven't gotten around to learning all its ins and outs but I have been using photoshop7 for ages and I have barely scratched its surface.

Here are two sketches of NCN members I did recently.

Mike Carlon:

Joe Bluhm:

Me Again

Wow a lot more people have drawn me. Some of these are from the Drawingboard and some from the NCN Firing Squad:

By Guido Salimbeni:

Another By Rocky:

By Mike Carlon:

By Ritalin:

By Ramanjit Kaur:

Another by Chris N:

By Murgunstrum:

By Joser:

By Cucukahuna:

by About Faces:

Thank you all!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Been busy.

It has been awhile since I have had a chance to post. Since my last post I attended the NYComicon and learned a good deal. I also met several great people including Joe Bluhm. I purchased a caricature from him which I will post soon (Thanks Joe!). If you are not familiar with his work you should rectify that. As soon as I have more time I will post a more complete description of my trip there.

I have also become a member of the NCN and purchased a Wacom Cintiq (review on it's way)

I have been playing around with my Cintiq and Sketchbook pro when I haven't been working on a couple of commissions. Here is a sketch I did of a coworker:

I will have more pictures to show soon of what I have been working on.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Life Drawing

This Monday I went to a life drawing session. Getting together with fellow artists is always a great thing and this was no exception.

These first two are of other artists who were there drawn during a break.

I am still working on proportion, I noticed I tended to shorten the legs. I look forward to going again.