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I'm an experienced traditional artist by hobby who's considering making a switch to digital art. I tried a non-display tablet (Huion Inspiroy H640P) that a relative of mine gave and found it incredibly hard to make hand-eye co-ordination with the screen.

I thought of getting a XP-PEN Artist 12 because it has a screen and it's also significantly cheaper than the other screen tablets out there just because it's easier with a screen.

Is it a good idea to go for a screen tablet because it's easier?

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Some people hate screen tablets, some people (including me) love them: I'm using Cintiqs for 10 years now and won't switch back — so unfortunately there's no definitive answer to this and opinions of others won't be helpful to you because it comes down to taste, practice and habitude — basically it's like asking if oranges worth buying if you tasted one apple and didn't like it.

I think your best bet in figuring out about the screen tablets would be trying to find someone with a screen tablet to test it or buy it in a shop where you can easily return it back if you won't like it.

However I'd give your non-screen tablet a second chance *) and would try to practice a week or two before moving on. Your brain will make a connection between your hand and a cursor quite quickly.

*) Note however that cheap tablets might not be very representative: Wacom drivers can be terrible in some cases, but drivers of other brands can be disastrous, so it's a russian roulette. This might be not true if you're using a tablet as a hobby though — there's a fair share of people who are fine with Huions and XP-PENs

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This is all an opinion-based answer from my own experience. It may be helpful. While the suggested duplicate links are good links, they seem to relate more to the technical abilities of the devices, not general usage.


For what it's worth... I have used an Wacom Intuos on a desktop system for many years and have several iPads floating around. I don't own a Cintiq (explained below). And I've had brief exposure to other devices over the years such as a Samsung Note or SurfacePro, but nothing long-term where those are concerned.

While it does take some adjustment, eventually the way the pressure and disconnect from the screen with a drawing tablet (Intuos) works becomes second nature. It's fairly impossible to get a grasp on how well a tablet will work for you in a short amount of time. I find it takes at least a week of continual use to simply start to adjust properly. I'd estimate that it took roughly a month of continual usage before it felt natural to me. Then it took more time to figure out good software settings to accommodate my style. Today, I use my Intuos tablet 100% of the time in all applications. I have not even touched a mouse/trackpad etc in years other than to install an OS and then Wacom drivers.

With respect to "screen tablets" - iPad, Cintiq, etc... I hate them. Much of my natural drawing is propelled by wrist pivoting and finger movements. I am not one who draws from my elbow, or shoulder, in most instances. What this means is... I really need to rest the ball of my wrist on a surface to draw effectively. I simply cannot draw effectively, and naturally, if I need to hover my hand above a surface.

While screen tablets have come a long way toward "ignore hand".. I haven't found them reliable enough in this respect. So, that means I need a smudge glove or some other object between my wrist and the screen. This can make things more unnatural.

In addition, PRESSURE!!!!! Now I have not tried every screen out there. But when I draw I rely upon natural pressure in the drawing nib. I just normally vary pressure when I draw. Again, screens have come a long way toward seeing that.. but.. they aren't there yet for me. I have tried many devices or styluses (Stylii?).. the Apple/Adobe Pen, Wacom Inkling, etc. in an effort to get my natural pressure to be read effectively on a screen. The Cintiq obviously does a good job in this respect. But anything else with a screen seems to fail for me. (The Intuos tablet does as good a job as a Cintiq - it's more about where one is actually drawing regarding the Wacom products.)

Disclosure: Because I detest the "hover" aspect I have never invested in a Cintiq myself. I have tried them countless times over a few decades at trade shows, via colleagues, etc. And while I feel 100% adept with the Intuos, I always seem to have the same "hover" issue on any Cintiq due to the nature of the device. -- And.. I have only ever used Wacom drawing tablets. I know for a fact that Adobe only tests software with Wacom drivers. I can not comment on how any other drawing tablet on the market may function - good or bad. All I know is Wacom.

So.. with all that being posted... I actually still prefer my Wacom Intuos drawing tablet or pen and paper with a scanner. I may use an iPad to quickly jot an idea down, but I could never actually complete a full illustration on such a device. I find it far too time consuming and I fight too many device "hurdles" making it a "thinking" process more than a "creative" process, if that makes sense.

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  • I would think that when we are talking about drawing tablets that you plug into a computer, there is no need to hover hand. I mean I've only ever used Cintiqs that don't have any touch inputs (the older models) which just detect the pen and nothing else, but I have used screenless drawing tablets from Wacom that have touch and they always had the option to turn touch off. I would be really surprised if that wasn't an option in Cintiqs as well, now that they have touch. I'm actually not even sure if any of the XP-Pen and Huion drawing tablets with a screen have touch.
    – Joonas
    Jun 24 '20 at 7:38
  • Perhaps.. maybe it's the nature of the Cintiq always being at an angle and never a really flat surface - at least whenever I've tried them. There's just something about them that hasn't made be "ooo" and "ahh" enough to spend the money on one.
    – Scott
    Jun 24 '20 at 15:43
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Not bad. The main thing is that If we can learn and draw, we can learn and draw. If we can't, nothing will make us better other than practice, patience and a willingness to learn. Years ago, I had no idea about graphics tablets. Though I prefer digital art way more, and I'm using right now Wacom Intuos Pro, It offers you more natural creative control than ever before. I think you got the point, but I guess at the end of the day it all is decided by our taste, I think.

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I personally felt drawing with Huion Inspiroy / Wacom Intuos style tablets was limiting, I just could not get used to drawing with them and make the lines do what I wanted like I could on paper, and I used such a tablet for -years-. I guess my hand/eye coordination isn't the best.

My personal experience was that the quality of my drawing took a huge jump when I moved from a tablet to a XP-Pen Artist 24 Pro pen display monitor . It doesn't feel identical to paper, but if you're serious about art then it's definitely easier to adapt to because you no longer have that disconnect between eye and hand.

So yeah, if you're like me, switching to a screen-style tablet will absolutely help you out. The experience is very close to drawing traditionally, in that you see your hand, you see the pen and (depending on parallax) see the 'ink' come from the pen as you draw.

Some drawing screens come with have a satisfaction guarantee, so you can try them for a week or two and return for refund if you don't get on with them. Don't be ashamed to take advantage of this!

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    This, honestly, just looks like span from someone working for X-pen. -- I mean, it even includes the guarantee boilerplate.
    – Scott
    Oct 13 '20 at 8:42

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