The Most Funnest Toy Ever

So for one of my art classes this semester, I had to acquire a Wacom Graphire 4 Tablet. I had been wanting to get one for a while, so it was nice to have the "I need it for school" excuse to justify the expense (though it was only $70 at Best Buy, so not all that expensive, really). I've never been very good at drawing with a mouse, so I was very excited to try this thing out.

I hooked it up to my crappy old computer and spent basically the entire evening playing with it. It doesn't hurt that it includes pared-down versions of Corel Painter and Photoshop. Even as the scaled-back "Essentials" versions of these programs, they're far and away the most powerful graphics tools I've got on my machine, now. Even without these, the tablet is great. I did some fairly cool stuff with the previously more-or-less useless MS Paint before I got around to playing with the other stuff.

I know a fair number of people have learned to draw with a mouse, but I've never gotten the hang of it. Trying to create an image with a mouse or a trackball has always felt clunky and counter-intuituve to me. The tablet allows me to apply the drawing skills I've spent my whole life developing directly to the computer, and it's an amazing feeling. Already I'm feeling that this is the beginning of a major change in the way I approach my artwork. I'll always keep a sketchbook, I'm sure, just as I always have. And I'll still draw the old-fashioned way when I travel, because trying to keep a travel sketchbook with a laptop and a tablet would be far more trouble than it's worth. But I don't know right now how much need I'll ever feel to do other non-digital artwork in the future. We'll see.

But I do know for sure that the webcomic I mentioned in the comments section a couple of posts back is coming soon.