I bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet as a way of easing myself into the world of digital illustration. I find the "feedback mismatch" issue (sorry, couldn't find the proper technical name for this) a bit jarring.

The "feedback mismatch" issue is as follows. While drawing on the tablet, you look at the screen to see what you are drawing, but you have to guide your hand on the tablet in order to draw correctly. This is not the case while drawing on paper because both the drawing and the verification happens at the same location, i.e., you're looking at the paper as you guide your hand on the paper itself. As a result, I can draw lines and circles on paper quite well, but everything comes out malformed while drawing on the tablet looking at the screen.

Is there a proper technique that I am missing that will overcome this problem? For example, should I orient the tablet and myself in relation to the tablet in a certain way? Or is this just a matter of practice?

I have seen many videos that guide on issues like drawing from the shoulders instead of wrists, how to hold the digital pen, etc. But so far I have found none that addresses the "feedback mismatch" problem.

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    more a comment than an answer; but I slant my Wacom nearer left & further right, so spun anticlockwise maybe 15 or so degrees. Fo some reason that ties my movement to the screen's horizontal/vertical better than if I have it square to the desk.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 13, 2018 at 16:05
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    Sounds totally normal to me. Just to be on the safe side, make sure the aspect ratio of the drawing tablet matches your screen. You can change that in the tablet software. — I'd maybe suggest you get used to doing less precise work first. Use it instead of your mouse to control your OS, like surfing the web and stuff. One exercise that'll teach you precision is using it for Layer Masking. Like take a picture of some object or perhaps a person and remove the background using brush tool and a layer mask.
    – Joonas
    Jun 13, 2018 at 16:46

1 Answer 1


It's something you get used to after a while. I also experienced what you described when I first used a graphics tablet. To begin with it feels really weird. All I would suggest is that you practice and it will eventually become become second nature.

Another thing that makes it feel weird is that the stylus is quite slippery against the tablet. You could tape a piece of paper over the tablet's surface to help give you some friction, like you would experience when drawing on paper.

I've done many pencil-style portraits with my Wacom using that technique.


One more thing to add, which I forgot about, is to use a drawing application that has stroke/brush smoothing capabilities. Although a graphics tablet is way better than a mouse, you can still get help by applying some smoothing settings. It can really help iron out any hand shake issues.

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