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Tablet Dragon05:11 PM -- Tue February 15, 2011

Why am I sharing a poorly drawn scribble-pic with you? Well, I am telling you about further attempts to enhance myself! When we cleaned out our office a few months ago (which was truly an epic undertaking, and frankly it still looks like an ancient ruin overgrown with papers and old video games), I found my Wacom tablet and since then I've kept it sitting around, always planning to give it a shot.

History: I bought this thing... well, it looks like these were new in 2001, so probably close to 10 years ago. I was so excited to get it, to be able to draw things on the computer just like on paper. I tried it for about an hour, got frustrated, and tossed it aside (quite an expensive disappointment!). I just couldn't reconcile the screen up there with the tablet down there. But I thought I should give it another try. I've always wanted the kind where you get to draw on a screen directly, since that really IS like drawing on paper, but those are way expensive. And I notice that real artists seem to get by just fine with these tablets.

So I am trying it! It seems a lot easier than I remember. Now obviously, that picture is full of tilty lines I couldn't quite control and so on, but it's my first effort. I really feel like there's no reason I can't pick it up. I even uploaded the file using the tablet (to click on the FTP program and all, I mean), so it's not like I can't point it where I want. I'm gonna keep it plugged in and try to make myself draw stuff with it in the future. I think the trick will be to copy a drawing rather than make something up. When I am cartooning freehand, I tend to just go with things as they happen. Case in point: as you can tell by his worry lines (the top where his eyes meet each other), this dragon was actually supposed to be looking to the right when he was first made. I'm not sure how the rest of him ended up facing left, but it did. I just went with it. The shape of his jaw is also pretty much wherever my hand happened to go. So working from an existing piece, where there is a "right" thing to do as opposed to whatever I want, should help with control. Or frustrate me into leaving the tablet aside for another 10 years. I'm impressed it still works right after all this time, anyway!
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