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Last week, I finally bought a touchscreen laptop to start familiarizing myself with digital illustration (as well as an eventual replacement for my present HP Notebook, which has held up surprisingly well for three and a half years on but which has definitely been showing signs of age). Following others’ suggestions as well as personal gut feeling, I picked up a more financially reasonable HP Pavilion 360x instead of the MS Surface Pro I’d been eyeing. I figure I ought to improve my skills first (not least work out whether I have any when it comes to this stuff) and then splurge later when I’m more certain of myself (and the Pavilion begins to serve as my primary online interface).
Though the Pavilion came with Paint 3D, with which I’m pretty familiar, I went ahead and downloaded Adobe Sketchbook as well, and have been working with both. I’ve been in a little of a creative rut out of which I’m only starting to climb, and the paradoxical ease and challenge of using a stylus (standard HP model) have done a lot to help me. What’s definitely going to be a learning curve is varying my manual drawing style. For whatever reason, I write a little differently than most other people thanks to a weird personal omission in first grade (it’s been described as a “righthander writing like a lefthander”). As a result, the edge of my palm will drag against the screen and occasionally leave marks as I draw. On paper, this isn’t really an issue; I can always erase and I don’t have to worry about the lingering effects of pressure on the surface. Here, though, I want to take better care; an earlier laptop was a smaller Pavilion and I suspect part of the reason it went bust was my own poor treatment.
Portrait sketch done with symmetry tool
In the meantime, I’m having fun. The ability to change stylus types and sizes at will is already getting me working a little looser. I usually work with a mechanical pencil (formerly an Alvin Draft Matic recommended by Nick Wasnerski of the mothership) and micron pens, and though I can vary my style a bit while drawing old school, this approach definitely presents interesting avenues. Looking forward to learning more about this thing in the next few weeks.
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