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  23 July 2014 - Picking up the (digital) pencil again :: Posted in Drawing art
During my school times I was quite good at drawing. The average grade I had was 8/10 for my drawings and I even had a 9/10 once (the teacher was like "8 for the student, 9 for the teacher and 10 for God"), which shows I do have the skills. With that, half my family is very artistic when it comes to drawing, but only one of my relatives is serious in getting a job in it (though more in the line of computer game designer).

But well, my school days are gone now for more than 25 years (yes I am 45 ) and now that I've picked up programming as hobby and the first game (TetraGems) is nearly finished, I want to expand the border for the next title. I already have a lot of ideas of what I want to do, but the major problem will be the art I'll have to use. I know I can hire an artist or ask some of my cousins who have real good skills, but I'd rather do things myself. After all it's my hobby and not theirs

To get things started I first had to make the choice if I wanted to use pencil & paper (and scan the work later on), or go digital immediately. Well, with computers being my main hobby, that choice was an easy one to answer - lets go digital! That would mean I'd have to get a (good) drawing tablet for my PC.

My first idea was to get a Wacom Intous Pen & Touch S. A small and cheap one to get used to digital drawing. Though limited in options, it would be a good start. When I was at the shop, I learned that this tablet also has an optional wireless kit (MUST HAVE!) to make drawing a bit easier without having that wire all around me. Sadly though, the tablet and the wireless kit together would end up around €135, and that's a lot of money for a pretty limited drawing tablet I thought.

Of course, while at the shop I also glanced at the Wacom Intous Pro S. This tablet has the wireless kit included in the price of €199 and has a lot more options. The most important one I think is the pen pressure levels that the other one lacked. And with the 'little difference' in price I thought to get that one.
But the shop only had the showroom model, and I don't want that for the full retail price. Everyone has already been pushing on it (so I said), and I asked for a rebate (can always give it a shot ). To my surprise I could get it for €180 with still it's full warranty

Then software... I could keep using GIMP2, but that's more of a picture editor than a real drawing program. I also already had the Black Ink demo on my PC, and playing a bit with that I thought it was nice, but not really special. I also tried the Art Rage 4 demo and that one impressed me immediately and bought it.

Just an hour ago, I started reading in "Manga for Dummies" (.PDF eBook - I have ordered the paper version already through eBay). Though this book assumes one is drawing with pencil & paper, I can use the techniques demonstrated as well as follow the lessons in it. One of the first lessons was to draw a small circle, then one around it, and an other one around it and so on. I know drawing a (perfect) circle is already hard, but additional ones around it is even harder. And then try to do it as your first 'test drawing' on a tablet...
 photo circles_zpsb5b14041.png
I think I did pretty well there *NOT* The picture shows my first 'good' tries after 15 minutes of trying. I know the circles are not perfectly round, but practice makes perfect, and I will try some more later tonight or tomorrow morning (when it's not so hot here). But at least I know how to use the tablet AND be able to measure somewhat correctly where the pen's pointer on the tablet ends up on the screen. And that's worth something as well...

For now, I have made a category for my drawings on the blog, but don't expect any miracles the coming weeks or even months. I will most likely drop some try outs here first before I start on something serious and be able to show you. With that, I'm taking manga to get started on drawing people. As I said at the start I am good in technical drawings, but people is an other thing. I hope (think) that manga is a good start on people / characters for my upcoming game(s)...

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