Tablets

What differentiates the rundown from the wrap-up (which I’m angling to post on the 31st)? Basically, I thought it was time for a check-in, but don’t want to post any of the work I’ve completed in March until the actual end of March. The 31st will be the official “wrap-up” where I will post the pieces I completed this month. And guys, I’m going to be honest, I’m pretty excited about my output this month already, and I still have nearly a week left.

Most of — hell, actually the more I think about it, it might actually have been all — most of the work I’ve done this month has been digital. When our stimulus checks hit, we knew we wanted to spend at least part of them on something frivolous, as we have been lucky enough that there were no bare-bones essentials that we were lacking. So I bought myself a Surface Pro.

Now look, I have been having a good time with my Huion tablet. When I first bought it, I was unsure how much I’d like it — I hadn’t used a tablet since college, and back then it was my sister’s old Wacom, which functioned a lot like the Huion. Both are traditional drawing tablets without their own displays, which requires a separate computer/device with which to draw. I remember at 18, not being especially artistically skilled to begin with, and well mired in what would become a lifelong struggle with the habit of abandoning things I was not immediately good at, not loving the physical disconnect between what I was doing on the tablet and what was actually transpiring on the screen.

I don’t know if something improved between then and now in terms of the quality of the product — the tablet’s responsiveness or sensitivity or whatnot — or if it’s just my own changing attitudes and priorities (including the fact that I spent my own money on my tablet, unlike the one that my parent’s bought when I was younger, so I felt a much more pressing need to actually get use out of it), but that disconnect meant less this time around. I still felt residual pangs from it — I still preferred to sketch on paper — but it was something I started to get better at.

But then the stimmy hit, and my laptop, despite being only two years old, was — quite frankly — trash (and often co-opted by my son, anyway). So why not treat myself? So then I got the Surface Pro. And drawing directly on the screen? Ugh. A fucking dream come true.

It’s made everything so much faster. Since Monday, I finished three pieces. Like, from reference pics (which I took myself) to sketch to scan to ink. Three pieces. Done.

I am still primarily sketching on paper — I just like doing it that way, which is fine. The extra step of scanning isn’t a problem or especially time consuming, but I’m considering doing some sketches directly on the Surface for A-to-Z next month. I’m also considering streaming my sketching sessions on Twitch — I recently got a Twitch account and have been streaming my drawing to an audience between one and five at any given time, ha ha, but it’s fun and it holds me accountable (and it’s attracted my sister to the streams, who used to be the artist between us and still likes the process, even if she doesn’t have time for it herself, as well as my sibling-in-law, who is currently living in Ireland and it likewise an artist).

Anyway, if anyone is interested in following my on Twitch, I’m at twitch.tv/RarelyTidyTwitch. I don’t have a set streaming schedule, but the hope is, “most night, around 8 pm EST.” I won’t be streaming tonight, or tomorrow, but if I’m feeling up for it after my second dose of the Moderna vax on Saturday, I will be.

My wife and I are having a date night to watch the new James Acaster special, so I will sign off.

Stay safe and sane.

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