I debated whether to even post or not today because there isn’t much that I can show you. I am in the midst of drawing up a new pattern that I will be offering as a painting pattern and kit, and it is kind of ‘in process’ and I would rather have it finished up a bit more before I show you all what it looks like.
I am thinking that I will also do a scrolled version of this pattern for the woodworkers, but that will need to be done a little later because I have several deadlines coming up in the near future. Besides the deadline for this project, which I want to offer to the company we do wholesale kits for, I have a couple things that I need to work on for Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine’s holiday issue. (Yes! Christmas is in the air!)
We had a beautiful weekend here in Nova Scotia. The weather is just perfect. Warm in the afternoon and cool in the evening with it being sunny and calm all day. It looks like it will be that way today, too, as the sun is already shining brightly.
I had a couple of people ask me questions recently about how I draw my designs and get them onto the computer, so I thought I would discuss that a bit here this morning. I am asked about this often and someone asked me a question about it just last week.
As some of you know, I use a Wacom Tablet and pen mouse for most of my drawing. While I like to draw on paper too, most of the time I draw directly into my Adobe Illustrator program using a tablet and pen mouse. Below is a picture of the model that I use. (the Intous3 – which is several years old. Now they are up to an Intous5 I think)
I love the tablet and I find that it really makes my drawing easier to use the pen instead of a traditional mouse. Even when I draw on paper first, I scan in my drawing and then have to re-trace it into the computer manually. I find that using a pen to do this is far easier than using a “brick mouse.” The pen uses fine motor skills of your hand while the regular mouse uses more gross motor skills of your entire arm. I find the pen is more natural for me to use.
This isn’t the case for everyone. A couple of years ago I got Keith a Wacom tablet (a Wacom Intous4)
It had many more features than mine, but he never really got used to using the pen. He felt it to be clumsy and it didn’t have the control he liked for drawing. Eventually, he went back to using a traditional mouse for his computer and says he just never really got comfortable using the pen. As I said – everyone is different.
Since the Wacom Intuos tablets start at a cost of a couple hundred dollars, it is kind of a risk for those who aren’t sure if it is something they would like. Although if you really want one with all the additional features, like any computer/electronic item, there are plenty of the slightly older models that are available at greatly reduced prices on Ebay, Amazon, and other places like that. I would also think that since there are probably others like Keith that just don’t like them, you may be able to find a perfectly good used one for a fraction of the original cost.
As an alternative, Wacom offers the “Bamboo” line of tablets which is a great low-cost starting point if you are interested in obtaining a pen and tablet and want to start with a brand new one. I was never sure how well these would work, but last week I was fortunate to pick one up at an online auction in our area which benefited the cats that live at the fishing wharf nearby. I picked it up for a mere $15 (probably because no one really knew how to use it or what it was) and I was thrilled to have something to use as a backup or to take with to use with the laptop.
As you can see from the picture above, it looks pretty similar to my Intous3 tablet. Of course there are fewer features, but since I don’t use many of the features offered anyway, I think it is certainly sufficient for someone who is just getting their feet wet regarding tablets. Besides – the Bamboo tablets are offered for a starting price of somewhere around $80, which makes it much less of a risk for those who are not sure if they like it. Another thing is that they all come with mice (as did my Intuos) so that you can make the transition gradually. I do want to make a note though that I still use a Logitech cordless mouse along with my tablet because the Wacom mouse needs to be used only on the surface of the tablet in order for it to track. I find that rather restricting and I like to have a regular mouse handy because I have a tendency to walk away from my computer carrying my pen. :) The idea is good though.
Again, it is all something that is a personal preference. After I hooked up my Bamboo tablet yesterday and played with it a little, I could feel the difference just a bit. My Intous3 has a much better level of sensitivity and I am able to fine tune it very precisely to how I like my pen to “feel” and track. But the Bamboo is not very far behind, and I do feel that for the money, it is a pretty good deal. In looking on the Wacom site, there are three different Bamboo tablets available now that are all under $100. There is a fourth that is $200, and I am sure that has the most features, but if you don’t want to take a risk and really aren’t sure that a pen is what you want, you may be better off with the lower cost choices. The Bamboo “Splash” tablet that I have is no longer listed on the site, and I expect that they don’t make them new anymore, but for $15 I didn’t feel I could go wrong.
I will be spending the rest of the day today finishing up drawing. Perhaps then I will have something nice to show you all. So far it is going well and I have pretty much mapped out what I wanted to do, so I am well on my way.
I wish you all a wonderful Monday and a great week ahead.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"